5 Best Reseller Web Hosting Companies of 2017

A list of the best reseller hosting companies and a guide on how to choose a reseller hosting service suitable for starting your own web hosting business.

Our official guide to the best Reseller web hosting

Finding the best reseller web hosting to suit your needs is the crucial foundation for success. Whether you’re a web design and development agency or an aspiring web hosting startup, it is important to choose a reseller provider that offers everything you need to run your own business successfully. In this article, we’ll cover the top 5 reseller web hosting companies we’d recommend, along with a detailed guide on what you should look for in a reseller web host.

The Best Reseller Web Hosts at a Glance

Here's a quick overview of the top choices for reseller web hosting. We've listed the different purposes we would recommend each one for:

Web HostStarts at:Recommended for:Learn more
InMotion Hosting$13.99/moAffordable, high-performance reseller hostingRead Review
HostGator$19.95/moPremium reseller hosting for uptime & reliabilityRead Review
GreenGeeks$19.95/moGreat reseller hosting for web designersRead Review
Reseller Club$12.99/moReseller web hosting for both Linux & Windows O/SLearn More
SiteGround$18.75/moGlobal reseller web hosting with premium hardwareLearn More

Rack of servers in a data center

What to Look for in a Reseller Web Host

In making a decision to sign up for a reseller hosting account, the cost basis of the services provided by the web host can be compared to similar companies in the industry in order to determine which plans provide the best overall options. Some factors to consider when comparing reseller accounts are:

  • The CPU speed & processor version of the servers: Xeon, Atom, & Opteron
  • The number of cores each server has available for multi-threaded processing
  • Whether the servers use hard disk drives (HDD) or solid state drives (SSD)
  • The account limits on hard disk storage vs. the price for the plan
  • Whether the accounts include the ability to host unlimited numbers of domains
  • The account limits (if any) on the number of MySQL databases installed
  • Whether the account includes the use of WHMCS or requires a paid upgrade license
  • Which company is provided to manage the domain name registration (Enom, GoDaddy, etc.)
  • Whether the account uses cPanel for domain management or proprietary admin software
  • What additional services can be rebranded and resold (VPS, Dedicated, Domains, etc.)

WHMCS

HINT: WHMCS is an advanced platform for managing web hosting companies. Save money on licensing fees by choosing a reseller hosting account that provides integrated use of WHMCS.

Pricing

It is important to confirm the pricing on the sale of top-level domain names (TLDs) as this will determine the margin available for up-sale in the competitive web hosting industry. Also, where a WHMCS license costs $17.95 per month and a ENOM domain name reseller license is priced at $50 to $800 a year, having these services provided for free can make a big difference between reseller hosting plans. Because reseller accounts have many service options available, some questions to consider are:

  • What is the pricing on TLDs when resold to customers through the account?
  • How many TLD extensions are available? (.com, .net, .org vs. new gTLDs)
  • Can VPS and dedicated server options be sold to clients through the service?
  • Does the reseller account have an easy to deploy template for launching a web hosting site?
  • Are the prices offered for resale of products truly competitive with industry standards?

Some reseller frameworks only allow the webmaster to host multiple client domains under a single shared hosting account, making them not very different from unlimited consumer plans. Thus, it is very important to determine exactly what products (VPS, dedicated servers, domains, etc.) are being made available through the reseller plan and also if these are priced at a reasonable level. This will determine the margin available when reselling the services to clients. All of the reseller pricing should then be analyzed in comparison to the quality of the server architecture that is used in the data center.

Choose a reseller hosting account with cPanel

HINT: cPanel is used by millions of website owners to manage domain settings, server configurations, & access analytics on site performance. Choose a reseller hosting account with integrated cPanel support.

Data Centers

The best reseller hosting accounts will have a top-quality data center architecture and service staff behind the product that will support clients through quick turn-around on technical problems. The inclusion of a free domain registration account and the integrated use WHMCS & cPanel can save a lot of money compared to plans without these options. With WHMCS, resellers can set the size limits on disk space for shared hosting products and determine the cost of each plan that is sold to clients. This allows resellers to “over sell” their account and consolidate clients, upgrading to a new reseller plan with more disk space when required. The inclusion of a free “Cloud Linux” upgrade option with CentOS and cPanel is also a recommended feature that is available with some reseller plans.

Hardware

Not all reseller plans actively advertise the server architecture offered on their accounts. There can be a wide range of “quality of service” determined by the make and model of the servers used in the data center. With Intel's Xeon range of servers, there can also be a large difference between configurations depending on when the CPU was manufactured. Best practice is to confirm the data center architecture in advance with sales support staff from the web hosting company, and then research benchmark tests on the CPU performance through independent reviews. Look for servers with a greater number of cores and the most installed RAM per machine for best performance. Additionally, servers with solid state drives can perform better than traditional hard disks, but may be priced at a higher rate.

For businesses using reseller hosting plans to operate an independent web hosting company, check the make and model of dedicated server products with the web host to do a price comparison with similar configurations sold at other companies. This should give a quick and easy method to see if the reseller is offering good prices for the resale of hosting products. Look for reseller plans that offer the ability to re-brand all the best options of a “state of the art” data center, including dedicated servers, VPS, and shared hosting accounts. If the prices and quality are not lower than other companies offering the same products on the web, there will not be a significant margin available for resale.

Customer Support

Technical support provided by a knowledgeable staff working on-site at the data center can make a big difference in determining which reseller host to choose. Companies which offer outsourced, off-site customer support facilities to a large client base may underperform small teams of dedicated workers with hands-on experience in systems administration. Research customer reviews of the company and its technical support staff before signing up for a reseller account, and test the company's service offering by opening up a communication channel before committing to a long term contract. Hosting companies offer phone support, chat, and email support for clients. Choose the option that will be used most frequently to communicate with staff at the company to see if the customer support is quick, friendly, and able to solve technical problems efficiently. Many web hosts will not offer technical support that supports the clients of reseller accounts.

Enom domain name reseller accounts

HINT: Enom is a domain name registrar providing reseller accounts with the ability to sell TLDs and gTLDs to clients at competitive rates. Choose a reseller account with an integrated Enom license.

cPanel License

There is some range of difference in cPanel account licensing prices due to the “grandfathering” in of accounts who signed up years ago and the availability of bulk-rate discounts. Because of this, many of the largest companies can offer a much cheaper price for cPanel than if an individual signs up directly with the company. For example, it currently costs $20 a month or $200 a year for a cPanel license on a single VPS installation with CentOS, and Cloud Linux is an additional $16 a month. The price is double for a dedicated, standalone server. Because of this, companies that provide the integrated use of cPanel and WHMCS (currently starts at an additional $15.95 per month) with reseller hosting are providing a great deal to clients. For small businesses, the inclusion of cPanel, WHMCS, and Enom domain registration licensing for free with reseller hosting is one of the main benefits which should determine the web host to choose for the service plan.

Billing Software

WHMCS is a billing software for managing web hosting companies that allows for the creation of products like shared hosting accounts and the allocation of disk space or other features to each plan. Many of the main companies in the web hosting sector use this platform to manage customer accounts. WHMCS is owned by the same company which produces cPanel, and also distributes the Cloud Linux upgrade for CentOS. Resellers can use this service to create hosting plans (silver, gold, platinum, etc.) with different features and time length (monthly, 3 month, annual, etc.). WHMCS offers automatic billing services for clients as well as an easy to use administration panel to manage the accounts.

When independently purchased, WHMCS costs $15.95 to $39.95 per month, which can be a costly upgrade to a basic reseller account. Look for web hosting companies who will include WHMCS with the reseller plan to save money. Companies who are using WHMCS to manage a complete web hosting platform under the “white label” business model using reseller hosting will still need to develop an ecommerce solution that allows new clients to effectively sign up for new hosting plans or register domains. Setting up the billing and ecommerce facilities for a web hosting company independently can be expensive, so it can also be beneficial to search out reseller plans that offer an “out-of-the-box” template system with many aspects of a web hosting site pre-configured that can then be customized to use for service offerings to customers.

Domain Reseller Accounts

Most reseller hosting accounts use Enom as the domain registrar, and many include a free license for this with every plan. However, there is still a wide variety of pricing in the industry for the sale of TLDs and gTLDs. Many reseller plan users will be surprised to discover their available pricing for .com, .net, and .org domains is actually higher than charged by the leading domain registrar companies on the web. This can be problematic when billing clients or setting up a web hosting sales site, because it will not make sense to customers to pay more for the same service offered elsewhere. Because of this it is important not just to confirm that a domain reseller license is included with the reseller hosting account, but also that the pricing available is industry competitive.

Dedicated IP Addresses

Another aspect that can be very helpful to web designers and developers using a reseller account for client support is the ability to offer dedicated IP addresses and SSL certificates for web encryption as required by ecommerce applications. Reseller accounts that offer a discounted rate for this can save money when the same services are purchased repeatedly for many clients at a time. Again, it is important to confirm that the service plan not only offers the ability to resell IP addresses and SSL certificates to clients but that these products are also priced competitively compared to other companies in the sector. Otherwise, not only will the margin be lost in resale to clients, but also the risk of over-billing exists which will discourage potential clients from signing up.

Final Thoughts on Choosing a Reseller Web Host

In summary, while server architecture is the main aspect of determining reseller web host performance, most of the major companies are operating large data centers with the latest equipment on an equivalent basis. Therefore, it is important to consider the price of dedicated servers, VPS offerings, and domain name extensions as a primary aspect of choosing between reseller plans, and to confirm that these are competitive or lower than mainstream industry standards. The other major point to reference when signing up for a reseller hosting plan is whether cPanel, WHMCS, and an Enom domain reseller license is provided free with the account. Small businesses, creative professionals, and social media marketers managing many domains for clients will get the most benefits from these services.

Signing up for a reseller hosting plan with the intention of launching a new web hosting company is more difficult in comparison, as the large hosting companies have too much of a head start and competitive advantage in the sector for small resellers to attract many clients outside of their own development contracts. Nevertheless, many successful web hosting companies do operate on this service model using reseller hosting, but it takes a lot of sales and marketing work to generate new accounts. Reseller hosting is still a good way to get started with managing data center resources and developers can take advantage of price discounting to offer optimal web hosting plans, dedicated servers, VPS, and domains to clients.