Among the many service plans in the website hosting field, there’s a bit of confusion between two similar-sounding names: Shared Hosting and Reseller Hosting. So let’s clear this up.
This means that the original web hosting company sells several accounts on one server. A server is a dedicated PC used to host websites and interface with the World Wide Web. The opposite is dedicated hosting – one computer, one website. On a shared hosting plan, one computer can serve for many websites. Since disk space is cheap and websites on a typical shared host plan are only going to run a WordPress blog anyway, this makes practical sense.
A shared host plan is similar to renting an apartment in a larger building with other tenants, all of you paying a share of the rent.
By contrast, a reseller account lets you play the landlord. You still pay for server space, but like an AirBnB, you can turn around and sell portions of your server space to other clients. Effectively, you play a smaller web host inside a larger web host.
You may be asking “Why would somebody do this?” Why not just go to the direct source for your web home instead of paying a middle person? There are actually several reasons why this is a common practice. The most common reseller host is a web developer, web marketer, or other web entrepreneur. Many clients simply don’t want to run their own website – at all! A reseller plan lets someone like a web developer offer a package plan, where the customer gets their own domain but pays somebody else to maintain it for them.
Other use case scenarios include start-up owners who anticipate launching many small websites. A reseller account lets you hold multiple domains, emails, and installs of WordPress, databases, and other web software. It’s a bit of flexibility for the break-out eCommerce tycoon who may be looking to branch into full-time web hosting themselves. Many web hosts got their start back in the 1990s with a single computer which they parceled out to customers for webspace and worked their way up from there.
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Which plan is better for your business?
The typical shared hosting customer is happy with one domain, and as long as the bandwidth and resources holds up, you’ll hear no complaints. Larger web businesses, however, will start to feel the cramp, particularly when they have a traffic spike on the server that crowds out the bandwidth for the other sites on that server.
Reseller hosting is better for multiple web domains. In particular, freelance web developers typically set out on this career path where they take on maintaining WordPress installs for a couple of clients, and eventually grow their portfolio to the point where it’s simpler to preside over a cluster of web domains, each maintained for a different client. Or again, holding a group of domains as they hire a few extra hands to help maintain their growing web empire.
As for being a client of a domain reseller provider, this is fine for very small businesses or sole entrepreneurs. It’s all well and good to manage your own website when you’re in a tech field, but for non-tech professionals, it’s a needless hassle they’re more than happy to pay somebody else to worry about. It is quite liberating to simply appoint a helping hand as your designated Internet marketer and have them handle everything from site maintenance to branding to blogging to social media promotion. Hosting resellers typically don’t mark up the resold web space by that much, since their profit is mainly in selling their services.
Advanced eCommerce entrepreneurs might want to also explore VPS (Virtual Private Servers) or a whole dedicated server. Everybody wants a part of the web in the modern business world, so we had to come up with lots of ways to parcel out an Internet homestead for everyone.
Guest Author: Dan Kaplan
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