Everything is going digital. A hosting business is a sensible and future-proof business idea for precisely this reason. But what do you do if you want to become a hoster but don't want to invest in your own data centre? – Or if you want to concentrate more on sales than on technology? We show you a good alternative – including all the necessary requirements and the steps to take.
Digital projects are popular – and they are becoming increasingly profitable. Business activities are shifting online. Successful companies and providers recognise the value of digital marketing, developing their own apps, online shops or SaaS offerings. Blockchain technologies are on the rise.
Mark Zuckerberg recently announced the Metaverse, which is probably the highest level of digitalisation we can imagine. Even though it is still a vision for now, we can expect it to set a direction in which our world will develop anyway. How fortunate for you! Because:
What do all these futuristic projects have in common?
They take place online.
And what is needed increasingly as a result?
(Web)hosting. Highly available, powerful and secure servers.
The demand for suitable hosting offers is growing. And who offers these?
The Keyweb AG. Who else? You!
Basically, anyone with good know-how in the hosting sector and talent in marketing and sales can set up a hosting business and profit from current and future developments. Now you can find out how this can be done without your own data centre and servers as well as the corresponding high-availability network connection.
There is a simple solution to becoming a hoster without having to worry about your own data centre or servers – become a hosting or server reseller! With this business model, faulty hardware or problems with the infrastructure are simply not your problem! You "only" have to take care of the customer relationship, i.e. building it up and maintaining it. Sounds fantastic? Then you can look forward to the details of the reseller hosting business now!
Explanation: Resellers (also called "specialist dealers") sell products or services that they have bought or rented from a provider to their own customers. Accordingly, a hosting reseller books server and hosting services with a hosting provider (for example, Keyweb AG) and rents the web space to its end customers.
In general, the reseller receives a reseller discount on the provider's services and can rent them out for a higher price and thus make a profit. Thanks to the white label option, the reseller can brand the products according to his own ideas and wishes, so that the original provider is no longer recognisable for the end customers – unless he has special knowledge about IP addresses.
If you want to become a web hosting provider or offer web space as a reseller, you have to consider that, as with every company, some areas have to run optimally for the flawless operation of the hosting services and their success. This requires a wide variety of activities in different areas. The following diagram provides an initial overview:
While the hosting provider is responsible for the activities on the left side, you as the hosting reseller take care of the activities on the right side.
As a hosting reseller, you do not have to take complete responsibility for all areas. You are primarily responsible for customer contact and marketing the service. Your hosting provider takes over everything else to a large extent. However, this does not necessarily mean that you have less to do. However, you can concentrate entirely on the areas that are particularly important to you as a reseller!
Therefore, the main advantage for the hosting reseller is that the reseller does not have to take care of the technical infrastructure and its security. Depending on the contract, updates and other regular services are also integrated here - especially to ensure security - because this is particularly important!
Once you have gained your customers and advise and take care of them very well, you can look forward to a long business relationship. Satisfied customers will be happy to buy from you again if necessary.
In case of technical problems, you only need to contact your hosting company and they will take care of everything concerning the servers for you. In such a case, you can concentrate completely on your customers.
Basically, your technical knowledge does not have to be as in-depth as it would be if you had your own data centre. Of course, you should still be able to advise your customers competently on all product questions.
Of course, for many of these points it is essential that you choose a hosting company that offers the best conditions for efficient and secure hosting. You can read about the criteria to look out for in this guide.
Not all resellers are the same. There are various situations and constellations in which it makes sense to consider the reseller business. The first variant is obvious:
You become self-employed as a web hosting provider and market corresponding services such as servers, cloud, web hosting, domain and additional services. Here you benefit from the above-mentioned advantages as a reseller.
The second case is perhaps not quite so obvious:
In this case, you already offer your customers services in the digital field. These can be programmes, apps or websites, for example. In general, you also need online storage space, i.e. web space, to operate the applications and platforms. In this case, it would of course be optimal and above all efficient if you could offer this to your customers yourself. Even better: you could independently adapt the web space to the needs of your customers.
This variant is suitable for example for:
If you are such a value added reseller and offer the hosting service "only" in addition to your main product - your advantage is that, for example, when you build your customers' projects on this "platform", you can already trust the performance. This eliminates a possible source of error – because anyone who creates a website or has one created today also wants it to run well and quickly.
If you want to become a hosting reseller, you need to have some skills and fulfil some requirements. These include:
Economic and legal knowledge and thinking
As with any business, you should also have basic business knowledge for reseller hosting. Topics such as contract law, accounting, taxes and also data protection should not be foreign to you. In addition, it is always helpful if you have contacts or employees in these areas so that you can seek professional advice in important cases – especially if you are not an expert yourself.
Marketing and sales
Your marketing and sales skills are essential for your success as a reseller. This is where your main activities lie in the early days of your business. You need to know and understand the needs and requirements of your customers. You need to be able to respond to them in contact and in your marketing activities.
But also in the future, regular contact with your customers and fulfilling their needs is one of the most important activities for your success as a hosting reseller. Customer relationship management is therefore written in capital letters!
Therefore, it is also important that you have very good communication skills. These will come in handy again and again, both in customer acquisition and in customer care. Especially in case of problems, it is important to be able to respond properly to the customers and to continue to guide the customer relationship in a good direction.
When selecting a suitable host for your reseller hosting, the same factors are basically important as when selecting a hosting provider in general – i.e. in particular:
You can find more details in our blog article on choosing a hosting provider.
Aspects that should be given special consideration for reseller hosting are:
The operation of the hosting services should always be guaranteed. This means that as soon as a customer calls you and has technical problems, it must be very easy for you to contact your provider and resolve the problem as quickly as possible. Otherwise the problem will fall back on you and this can have negative consequences for your business.
As a hosting reseller, you in particular have a great responsibility towards your customers. Believe us: in an emergency, fast support is worth a lot of money!
One point we would also like to draw your attention to is the topic of server administration. There are often costs for server management tools. Especially for resellers, these can quickly lead to high costs. An alternative to these server administration tools is the free KeyHelp(R), which you can use not only on Keyweb servers. You can find more information about our server management tool at keyhelp.de/en.
You may already have noticed: If you are planning a reseller hosting business, you need to keep a close eye on a few aspects right from the start. Here we give you a brief overview that will help you get started:
You can find Keyweb's reseller hosting here.
Does all this seem too complex to you?
Maybe an affiliate programme would be something for you then. Here you simply publish the advertising for certain products on your website and can earn income with it.