What is the Best Reseller Hosting for Web Design Companies?

18 replies
Hey guys,

I need some feedback from owners of web design and development firms, who use reseller hosting for their clients.... on which the best one is?

When it comes to resellers, a lot of names popup: HostGator, ResellerZoom, ResellersPanel, GreenGeeks, HostPapa...etc.

So: what is the best reseller hosting in your opinion (from your experience), and most importantly WHY?

Thanks in advance for your inputs!

.
#companies #design #hosting #reseller #web
  • Profile picture of the author CyberAlien
    HostGator - they by far offer way better support than any of the others you listed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kingfish85
    There's sites right in your signature for the "best web hosting". Everyone will jump right to HostGator, but even as a direct competitor to my company I'd say the following:

    Eleven2, MDD Hosting, HawkHost & StableHost.

    IT of course still depends on your requirements, which you don't list. What is your budget? What type of sites are you looking to host? How many sites are you looking to host?
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    • Profile picture of the author Mystery777
      Originally Posted by Kingfish85 View Post

      IT of course still depends on your requirements, which you don't list. What is your budget? What type of sites are you looking to host? How many sites are you looking to host?
      I wanna update my list of the "Best Resellers Hosting" page on my site, and possibly even start my own web marketing firm (design, development, seo, im & hosting).

      - Budget: no real prob with it, if the service is excellent.
      - Types of sites: business sites (small and big).
      - How many sites: errrr... millions? There isn't a fixed number. There'd be continuous increase. Obviously, the more the better for my business, but of course growth is gradual.

      I was also wondering if there is a reseller host that helps with support for your clients, on your behalf. Heard Hostgator does so, but they never state that on their site.

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author Kingfish85
        Originally Posted by Mystery777 View Post

        I wanna update my list of the "Best Resellers Hosting" page on my site, and possibly even start my own web marketing firm (design, development, seo, im & hosting).

        - Budget: no real prob with it, if the service is excellent.
        - Types of sites: business sites (small and big).
        - How many sites: errrr... millions? There isn't a fixed number. There'd be continuous increase. Obviously, the more the better for my business, but of course growth is gradual.

        I was also wondering if there is a reseller host that helps with support for your clients, on your behalf. Heard Hostgator does so, but they never state that on their site.

        .
        There aren't a lot of companies that will directly support "your" customers. HostGator does not offer end-user support even though people seem to throw around that they do; they don't. They will assist "you" just like any other web host, but not directly with your customer.

        And ideas on the type of infrastructure you're looking to host on? For example - web server type: LiteSpeed or Apache etc. Are you looking for companies that offer daily backups etc? We've just implemented SendGrid as an enterprise mail delivery solution however, these additional features/safeguards come at an additional premium too.

        You also have do do some research - don't just listen to the first 25 people that spout off one company because someone told them the same. HostGator is a reputable host, as is Eleven2, MDD, HawkHost etc however, you need a host that fits your needs, not everyone else's.

        I personally would not want my support to be outsourced & most companies that offer end user support tend to do just that. You'll end up with one-line answers to tickets such as "please hold while I check on that" or "this ticket needs to be escalated" etc.

        I'd suggest contacting a few companies and ask about their services, backups, what safeguards they have in place, extra features and some questions about their infrastructure as well. Then, make an educated decision based on the responses you get.

        Hope that helps!

        -Brent
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        • Profile picture of the author CyberAlien
          Originally Posted by Kingfish85 View Post

          There aren't a lot of companies that will directly support "your" customers.
          There are actually more and more companies who are now willing to provide support directly to reseller's customers: https://www.google.com/search?q=free+end+user+support
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          • Profile picture of the author Kingfish85
            Originally Posted by Chase Watts View Post

            There are actually more and more companies who are now willing to provide support directly to reseller's customers: https://www.google.com/search?q=free+end+user+support
            Do some extended research on most of those companies, then come back. Spend some time over at WHT doing that research. OP - I'd recommend becoming an affiliate/partner vs having a 3rd party handle support like this.
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            • Profile picture of the author CyberAlien
              Originally Posted by Kingfish85 View Post

              Do some extended research on most of those companies, then come back.
              Do some extended research on any company and then come back, they will have negative reviews if they are popular services. No company is going to make everyone happy.

              However, the #1 thing the OP should be thinking about is support. If I can't call them for support 24/7, I don't trust them with my customers.
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              • Profile picture of the author tldagent
                I just wanted to weigh in here as a long time HostGator user.

                Hostgator was once the best hosting company in the world but today that's not the case. Since Brent Oxley sold the company they have been making changes and have amped up their advertising and are apparently joining the ranks of the likes of GoDaddy as far as overselling etc.

                Hostgator is moving everything out of Dallas to Provo Utah which is like moving to a server farm in Ottumwa Iowa. They are moving off the main fibre coming into the U.S. and sticking there severs in a location where there is no main fiber channel.

                This past year with Hostgator I've been moved from the bad neighborhood server to a worse server. It's all gone downhill.

                Now in 2007 I had a site getting between 5,000 - 10,000 unique visitors a day and HG handled without issue on a reseller hosting platform. Today it wouldn't be possible.

                I WOULD NOT recommend HostGator at all at this point. Not at all. The sad thing is, I don't know what else to recommend because I've not yet moved my websites but it's time.
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                • Profile picture of the author Kingfish85
                  Originally Posted by tldagent View Post

                  I just wanted to weigh in here as a long time HostGator user.

                  Hostgator was once the best hosting company in the world but today that's not the case. Since Brent Oxley sold the company they have been making changes and have amped up their advertising and are apparently joining the ranks of the likes of GoDaddy as far as overselling etc.

                  Hostgator is moving everything out of Dallas to Provo Utah which is like moving to a server farm in Ottumwa Iowa. They are moving off the main fibre coming into the U.S. and sticking there severs in a location where there is no main fiber channel.

                  This past year with Hostgator I've been moved from the bad neighborhood server to a worse server. It's all gone downhill.

                  Now in 2007 I had a site getting between 5,000 - 10,000 unique visitors a day and HG handled without issue on a reseller hosting platform. Today it wouldn't be possible.

                  I WOULD NOT recommend HostGator at all at this point. Not at all. The sad thing is, I don't know what else to recommend because I've not yet moved my websites but it's time.
                  You are being housed now with BlueHost, JustHost etc - all of the other EIG hosts. When you get fed up and leave to the next unlimited provider, chances are, you'll be in the same datacenter, on the same servers but logging into a different public website for support. Most of the behind the scenes is the same people as well from what I've heard over the years.
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            • Profile picture of the author Brian Tayler
              Originally Posted by Kingfish85 View Post

              Do some extended research on most of those companies, then come back. Spend some time over at WHT doing that research. OP - I'd recommend becoming an affiliate/partner vs having a 3rd party handle support like this.
              White label services are provided by a lot of companies. In fact you don't even have to have the same web hosting provider as your technical support provider. Although it's usually silly to not have the company hosting the hardware (and thus most experienced with it) providing end user support.

              You'll need to keep your web servers up to date with security patches etc. Are you a IIS or UNIX admin?

              This type of service is also called "Managed services" as in they'll "manage" your servers for you (but NOT necessarily your customers). Providers are here: Managed Service Provider Offers - Web Hosting Talk


              It all comes down to how involved you want to be. Are you looking to just refer customers? Or actually white-label your own web host without doing any of the actual work? There is a BIG difference (in cost and time) between the two.

              Also as a last note. I'd be cautious with whose opinions you take here. Aside from Kingfish85 and myself I don't know of anyone that's commented in this thread that's ACTUALLY run a web hosting company (or has enough experience in the industry to give educated opinions). Most of the opinions you'll get here are from end-users who have bought web hosting themselves... and with all due respect... this is NOT the opinion to listen to when getting into web hosting or becoming a web hosting affiliate.
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              • Profile picture of the author Kingfish85
                Originally Posted by Brian Tayler View Post

                White label services are provided by a lot of companies. In fact you don't even have to have the same web hosting provider as your technical support provider. Although it's usually silly to not have the company hosting the hardware (and thus most experienced with it) providing end user support.

                You'll need to keep your web servers up to date with security patches etc. Are you a IIS or UNIX admin?

                This type of service is also called "Managed services" as in they'll "manage" your servers for you (but NOT necessarily your customers). Providers are here: Managed Service Provider Offers - Web Hosting Talk


                It all comes down to how involved you want to be. Are you looking to just refer customers? Or actually white-label your own web host without doing any of the actual work? There is a BIG difference (in cost and time) between the two.

                Also as a last note. I'd be cautious with whose opinions you take here. Aside from Kingfish85 and myself I don't know of anyone that's commented in this thread that's ACTUALLY run a web hosting company (or has enough experience in the industry to give educated opinions). Most of the opinions you'll get here are from end-users who have bought web hosting themselves... and with all due respect... this is NOT the opinion to listen to when getting into web hosting or becoming a web hosting affiliate.
                read some of the threads/replies by some of those advertising "managed" services..

                Again, I would not recommend outsourcing any type of support if you value your customers.
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              • Profile picture of the author tldagent
                Originally Posted by Brian Tayler View Post

                Also as a last note. I'd be cautious with whose opinions you take here. Aside from Kingfish85 and myself I don't know of anyone that's commented in this thread that's ACTUALLY run a web hosting company (or has enough experience in the industry to give educated opinions). Most of the opinions you'll get here are from end-users who have bought web hosting themselves... and with all due respect... this is NOT the opinion to listen to when getting into web hosting or becoming a web hosting affiliate.
                Just an FYI, I've been supplying web hosting to select clients for many years. I've also worked in integration solutions between WHMCS and Joomla/Wordpress for several of those years and was the lead support provider for web hosting companies using our product.

                So in a nutshell, web hosting companies trusted our team with the most sensitive login information to login to the web hosting companies accounts and fix problems. I'm not talking about 2 web hosting companies I'm talking about 2000 web hosting companies.

                Through that experience I've learned that most web hosting companies haven't a clue on how to correctly host their clients websites.

                At the time, before the buy-out, HostGator was the very best for Resellers looking to get started on the web in the web hosting industry. For webmasters or web designers their service was second to none.

                Today is not the case. HostGator sucks and it's sad to see. I've had conversations with Brent previously via email about providing our services as a free add-on, much like WHMCS since we seamlessly integrated it with other CMS systems but that was shortly before the the deal was made to sell the company.

                Ever since the sale, HostGator has declined... almost from the date of the sale. Uptime means nothing anymore. Out of the 2000 clients I previously supported, I couldn't recommend any of them either.

                So it's a bit of a quandary in the web hosting game at this point. The best in the world has puked on themselves and there's very few great hosting companies out there and the ones that are good, are very expensive.

                I've had a couple servers previously through HostGator at the Planet in Dallas and I've been kicking around going that route again but I really don't want to be in the large scale hosting business and providing support to end users. Hell, providing support to Hosting companies was bad enough, I don't want to deal with end users at all unless they're a client of mine.
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                • Profile picture of the author Brian Tayler
                  Originally Posted by tldagent View Post

                  Just an FYI, I've been supplying web hosting to select clients for many years. I've also worked in integration solutions between WHMCS and Joomla/Wordpress for several of those years and was the lead support provider for web hosting companies using our product.
                  Cool. I wasn't singling you out. I obviously don't know everyone's experience I was just pointing out the limited experience in web hosting one would find here. Most aren't that tech savvy. Most think WordPress is the only (or even good) CMS system.

                  Originally Posted by tldagent View Post

                  Thanks for the suggestion but I was banned from WHT long ago during the Registerfly Debacle and they allowed the owner of Registerfly to post confidential and personal information about myself and my account with them in retaliation for my taking their knees out in 2007. WHT refused to remove the posts and ultimately banned me. So WHT isn't for me.
                  That sucks. I hate the politics of sites, but its everywhere. Another good site (for VPS related discussions) is lowendbox.com and lowendtalk.com. However they have their fair share of problems (just bring up Chicago VPS in there... lol).

                  But there are also other Web Hosting related forums outside of WHT (albeit not as popular maybe). I'm a member of a few.





                  Regarding those looking for hosting or becoming an affiliate of a web host:

                  With the cost of bandwidth going way down over the last 10 years, the cost of electronics going down, and advancements of software like nginx, Lite Speed, OpenVZ, and KVM, XEN, etc.. its getting easier for anyone to call themselves a web host. A cheap $5/mo VPS with cPanel + WHMCS installed and you think you are gold. This is the sad reality. Because of this when researching a web host to use or to become an affiliate for... you have to do much much more due diligence than you did before.

                  When I got started in the industry if you didn't know SunOS and FreeBSD (forget Linux, it wasn't even used outside of hobbyist yet) you were SOL... because RADIUS (what was used for PPP authentication) only ran well on a UNIX platform. Then regarding web hosting... you COULD do some unstable hosting on IIS, but the preferred method was UNIX. But if you wanted to host sites in UNIX you had to understand Apache's conf in depth, understand passwd/group settings in depth, and understand UNIX directory structures in depth (mind you all of this was before linux became "popular" so the UNIX community was really limited). Now adays anyone that can point and click can install cPanel and get going in minutes.

                  Now this is great... I think expanding a community and expanding the ability for more people to use a technology is great for development of that community. Ultimately it'll make it better for all of us. But because of the low entry barrier, you also have a higher lack of quality and higher lack of knowledge in some cases. It brings back the memory of a great quote I was told when I was a arrogant know-it-all teenager. "You don't know what you don't know." This is so true. And so we have instances of "entrepreneur-wannabe" 20 yr olds who buy a $5 VPS and a cPanel license and think because "hey I know more about computers than most of my friends and family" that they have the skills and knowledge to run a web hosting business. They don't know what they don't know (and I'm only speaking "technically" here... let alone all of the business/taxes/accounting aspects of running a business they lack).

                  How do you combat this though? How do you ensure you aren't sending leads to (or buying service from) a company run by someone who doesn't know anything? Someone who may not be around in 5 years? Well thats tricky. For starters you can look at how long they've been in business. But this isn't a huge indicator... but it is something (for instance my company has been online since 1998). Another thing is to look at their testimonials and client list. Even reach out to customers and ask their experience. Google the company and find out information on it. Go to Web Hosting Talk and look for reviews. If they are a "serious" business and have dealt with a good size customer-base and traffic... you should be able to find SOMETHING (I have one site that gets 1 MILLION hits a day, and a smaller host most likely wouldn't know how to properly handle the traffic and route it... and no there isn't a "setting" in cPanel for such a thing... lol). Another thing you can do with a smaller company is literally interview them. Yes... ask them questions. Ask who they host? Ask how they'd handle situations, etc. Have them sell you. With so many choices now a days in web hosting and internet service providers... you should only go to someone you feel comfortable with and have a connection with. I can tell you from the other side (as far as being a web hosting provider) I won't accept a client I don't feel comfortable with. Why should I? So why should you?

                  The internet has grown and advanced. Thats great. But being a good researcher and doing your own due diligence has always been important to making sound business decisions. You shouldn't approach this decision any different.
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                  • Profile picture of the author unaware
                    I'd like to chime in and suggest / warn those that might be considering a VPS or dedicated server as a platform for your website clients - essentially becoming your own web reseller. In short - don't do it.

                    If you have a lot of experience in server administration or can hire someone to do it, then maybe it would work out. But, in my experience it's better to use a VPS for your own websites and as a development platform if needed, but keep your clients websites on their own hosting account.

                    I use ServInt for VPS and BlueHost for client sites and have had no problems and very good support from both companies.

                    TIP: Don't EVER use GoDaddy or Network Solutions, though. Terrible.

                    I've found hosting environments that use cPanel to be best. All the bells and whistles others upsell are usually included at no extra charge with cPanel.

                    Lastly, if you have a client's website that starts to get a fair amount of traffic and it gets a bit slow, consider using a content distribution network, or CDN, for images and content that is bandwidth intensive. I like Amazon's S3 and CDN, but there are others that are good too. Hopefully, these tips will steer people clear of some of the mistakes I've made in the past.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brian Tayler
    I'd recommend checking out Web Hosting Talk. You'll find a lot of competition and competent companies interested in you reselling their services.

    HostGator is *NOT* the best solution (anymore). As they've been acquired by EIG and things have been going down hill. From an affiliate standpoint (stories of affiliates having commissions withheld), an end-customer experience standpoint (less quality technical support responses), and ultimately a service standpoint (lots and lots of mini-outages).

    With all that said, I also provide web hosting if you'd be interested in setting something up.
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    • Profile picture of the author tldagent
      Originally Posted by Brian Tayler View Post

      I'd recommend checking out Web Hosting Talk. You'll find a lot of competition and competent companies interested in you reselling their services.
      Thanks for the suggestion but I was banned from WHT long ago during the Registerfly Debacle and they allowed the owner of Registerfly to post confidential and personal information about myself and my account with them in retaliation for my taking their knees out in 2007. WHT refused to remove the posts and ultimately banned me. So WHT isn't for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author tldagent
    Slightly off-topic.... I've had 500 domains and resold domains through ResellerClub for a long time and they've recently added reseller hosting to their portfolio and while I've spoken with them and they've made lots of promises, I wonder how it actually is.

    Has anyone used or attempted to use USA Reseller Hosting through ResellerClub? I haven't sold any because of the Indian support but I'm taking a closer look and going to be speaking with them shortly because I have to break free from Hostgator.
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