Resell Hosting for Client Management?

Definitely Not!

At least not through a reseller package. A little while back I decided to get a reseller account for the sole purpose of being able to manage my clients websites all in one spot. What started out as a move towards organization and streamlined functionality quickly became tedious hosting package creation, billing software setup, sign up for hosting landing pages, and worst of all, many many many cpanel credentials to keep track of and log into. This was not at all what I was looking for.

One Question

If you want to manage multiple clients in one spot, you have to answer the following question:
Do your clients want to administer their own cPanel?
That is, do they want to be able to set up their own databases, manage their own email settings, etc.?

If the answer is “No”

I’d recommend picking out a hosting package from Bluehost because they allow you to add as many domains to your hosting account without any additional cost. There will be one cPanel and you will administer everything for every site within it. But let’s be honest, most clients never need their cPanel after it’s first set up except maybe to add an email account which will take you less than a minute. You can begin adding clients to your hosting package and upgrade as you need to improve server performance. See my article on Bluehost hosting plans for plans and pricing.

As you add clients to a standard Bluehost hosting package, send them a bill for their share of your hosting plan. It would be fair to bill them the same or a little more as they would have to pay on their own since you’re going to be handling any of their database or email problems.

If the answer is “Yes”

Maybe a reseller account is alright for you, but I would still warn against it for a few reasons. Yes each client will have their own cPanel, but you still have to oversee all of them in many cases. There are ways to have your clients passed directly through to the main support of whoever’s hosting you’re reselling. But why mess with it? If you have to log in to all of these different cPanels, and you have clients monkeying about with databases, how does that help you streamline anything?

Furthermore, when you sign clients up under your reseller account, your clients often get an inferior hosting package than if they would have signed up with the host directly. For example, on a reseller account through Bluehost, you get 100GB of storage. That’s the amount you get to split up amongst all of the accounts you have under your reseller account. Whereas if a client signs up with Bluehost directly for a shared hosting account, they get unlimited storage. So in a sense, you’re doing your clients a disservice by reselling them hosting.

Web Designer or Hosting Reseller

The bottom line is, if you are a web designer, then don’t be a hosting reseller. Reselling hosting is enough of a headache that it could be your job and leave you little time left for developing websites. Ask your clients if they require their own cPanel access or if they’d prefer you handle it for them. If they do require cPanel access send them an affiliate link so you make commission when they sign up for their own hosting account.