If you would have told me four years ago that you could create a profitable web hosting business these days I would have thought you were crazy.
Since starting Name Hero I’ve quickly identified many entry points into the industry and our growth alone is a testimony to just how lucrative the web hosting market still is.
Last summer I released a guide called Resell Hero: The Quick Start Guide To Making Money With Reseller Hosting
Since then, I’ve watched countless individuals, of all walks of life and skill levels, create profitable hosting businesses.
In today’s post and videos I want to talk about a sub-niche of Reseller Hosting and that’s WordPress Hosting.
There is a tremendous demand throughout the industry right now for high quality, affordable, and scalable WordPress Hosting.
Just look at the data from Google trends:
As WordPress continues to increase in demand worldwide, we’re only going to see more opportunities for Entrepreneurs and Web Developers to be able to offer this lucrative service to their customers.
We will cover:
What is Managed WordPress Hosting
WordPress Hosting features you can offer over the competition
How to create your 100% White-labeled WordPress Hosting
Automate your WordPress Hosting business
Market and advertise your WordPress Hosting
How To Start Your Own WordPress Reseller Hosting Business
WordPress has evolved from a simple self-hosted, open-source blogging platform into the most used content management system (CMS) in the world. It’s no longer just used for blogs, it powers everything from eCommerce websites to large news websites such as CNN.com.
Being an Internet-veteran, I can remember the days of having to draw up a website inside of Photoshop, splice it out into HTML, and then incorporate all of my scripts to ensure the site functioned dynamically as I needed for my business.
This entire process took many weeks to complete and I specifically remember holidays and breaks from high-school to work on a “new design.”
WordPress has allowed webmasters to automate this entire process with extreme flexibility. Regardless of your budget, coding knowledge, or size of your business, it levels the playing ground for individuals to create professional looking websites.
Along with this comes the need for adequate web hosting to ensure your website stays online 24x7x365 with ease. With the rise of mobile devices, speed is also now a major contributing factor to ranking high in Google and other search engines. Faster sites will display higher, while slower sites get buried.
WordPress offers two versions of their software:
While their remotely hosted platform is helpful to beginners trying to get their “first blog” online, for our purpose where we’re going to be covering hosting for the self-hosted open source version.
The majority of WordPress users want the ability to place the files on their own web hosting account so they have the freedom to customize and develop their website that is best fit for their business model.
What Is Managed Web Hosting?
Before we get into WordPress specifically, it’s important to first define Managed Web Hosting as a whole.
Nearly every web hosting company offers some type of Managed Web Hosting especially in their marketing.
But what exactly does this mean?
Frequent readers of our Blog here at Name Hero know I believe in complete transparency to all of our customers.
So what exactly do you manage?
For starters, all of our servers at Name Hero are updated daily by our Level III team.
This includes applying operating system patches, kernel updates, as well as updating all core software components such as cPanel, Web Host Manager, LiteSpeed, CloudLinux, etc.
Even for our customers using their own Virtual Private Server (VPS) we carry out these updates daily. We strongly feel by being proactive in our upgrades we’re able to increase our security for newly detected threats and malicious software holes.
Some providers only notify customers after a threat has been detected on their website.
In most cases, this is by seeing unusual server activity in the log files such as user’s relaying Spam email out.
At Name Hero, we take a proactive approach by scanning all of our Shared / Reseller servers nightly for Malware. Each morning our Level III team manually reviews the report and begins the automated removal process to ensure a safe, reliable, and secure network.
Since most attackers will first upload their malicious software and wait to carry out an attack, we have it mitigated as soon as we see it.
We have teamed up with industry security experts such as Arbor and Corero to provide comprehensive mitigation of distributed denial of server attacks automatically.
We monitor all network traffic (not just web traffic) at the border layer of the network, in real time. At this layer, analytics are used as well as a customer Threat Detection System to intelligently and proactively identify attacks before the reach any critical layer of the infrastructure.
When detected, any malicious traffic is scrubbed and separated from all other traffic prior to being mitigated by countermeasures, tailored specifically to the type of attack that has been identified. Specialized hardware ensures that all legitimate traffic proceeds directly, unimpeded, to our customers throughout the duration of the attack.
Other web hosting providers will charge a premium for this service (as it’s not cheap to offer) but we strongly feel it’s vital into creating a network with a high level of redundancy (i.e. uptime).
We have provisioned all of our Shared and Reseller hosting servers to work with multiple versions of PHP.
While in a perfect world we would all use the newest, PHP 7, that’s simply not reality for some developers still making the transition.
By offering the ability to switch PHP versions from inside of cPanel as well as installing/enabling extensions, customers are able to customize their hosting experience to ensure full software compatibility.
Migrations From Other Hosts
Without a doubt, the most time consuming support request we handle is migrations from previous/former web hosts.
We want to make sure your move to Name Hero is painless with no downtime and full migration of your website while maintaining its functionality.
With our Managed Hosting, we offer 10 free cPanel to cPanel migrations with additional migrations discounted for new customers.
You can offer all this to your customers
All of these managed web hosting features are available directly to our Resellers.
Meaning you can offer a comparable Managed WordPress Hosting infrastructure to your end-users without them ever seeing us here at Name Hero.
Keep reading to learn how to setup your 100% white-labeled Managed WordPress Hosting business!
Offer your customers all the bells and whistles
One good thing about our Reseller hosting accounts at Name Hero is we include all the bells and whistles you need to offer your customers the best Managed WordPress Hosting. This includes:
- free & automatic SSL certificates
- solid state storage drives
- PHP 7
- LiteSpeed web server
Free & Automatic SSL Certificates For Your Customers
At Name Hero, SSL is free and automatic for every domain and subdomain created on our network.
As soon as name servers are switched to our servers and DNS propagates, Let’s Encrypt will automatically issue SSL certificates for your domains/sub domains, no action on your end is necessary.
The same is true for all your Reseller Hosting customers. Once they update their domain to your Reseller name servers, the SSL certificates will be processed.
Free SSL By Let’s Encrypt
Basically you want to look at the domain field of the above table and then the Issuer. It should say Let’s Encrypt. If it says “Self Signed” or if you brought over another SSL certificate from a migration, it will be listed here.
If you’d like Let’s Encrypt to replace one from another Issuer, simply click the delete link and Let’s Encrypt will automatically replace it the next time it runs. The module also checks each night for expiring certificates to ensure they’re renewed prior to their expiration date automatically.
This is a huge selling point to your end-users
Your customers will love this feature as they don’t have to go buy a SSL certificate, dedicated IP, or other add-on to have their website secure. It’s simply free and automatic.
This is a huge selling point that you should stress throughout your website and in your marketing. Many of the larger hosting brands still don’t offer this standard, especially on Reseller accounts.
While SSL certificates used to be our biggest upsell, we feel by offering them for free allows us to greatly increase the reliability and security of our network.
Hands down, this will set your Managed WordPress Hosting apart from the majority of the competition, including the big brands! They don’t want to lose the up-sell!
What Is SSD Hosting?
We’ve designed our private cloud here at Name Hero based on speed, reliability, and security as we saw a tremendous gap in the web hosting industry where it was almost impossible to get high quality web hosting at an affordable rate.
One of the ways we accomplish this is by only offering web hosting packages with solid state drives (SSD) protected by Raid 10.
For those unfamiliar, a solid-state drive (SSD) is a solid-state storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data persistently. SSD technology primarily uses electronic interfaces compatible with traditional block input/output (I/O) hard disk drives (HDDs), which permit simple replacements in common applications.
In simpler terms, websites hosted with SSD storage vs. “old school” SATA drives not only load faster but are more reliable as the physical drives themselves don’t have spinning parts.
SSD Hosting protected by Raid 10
Raid 10 provides good protection against and recovery from hardware defects or defective sectors/read errors (hard errors). While this doesn’t replace our extensive backup system, it helps add to the reliability of our high-speed cloud infrastructure.
If you’re on one of the newer MacBooks you’ll notice they use SSD (or flash) storage, hence move a lot faster than devices that don’t.
Prior to Name Hero, you had to either build out your own VPS or dedicated server or had to settle for a mid-level Reseller package to have features such as SSD with Raid 10, Litespeed Web Server, etc.
How NameHero hosting is different
We went against the grain to offer these type of features in our Shared and Reseller hosting packages. While the majority of the “big brands” are starting to branch out to offer these type of services, they’re a lot more expensive than their traditional web hosting packages.
This is the sole reason why I don’t consider Name Hero a “discount” web host. While we have strategically priced all of our hosting packages, it wouldn’t be possible to offer “true SSD hosting” for a couple of dollars a month billed monthly.
Not a day goes by we don’t get a pre-sales inquiry either by phone or live chat with someone asking for our Basic or Plus package in a monthly billing cycle.
We are considering adding some hosting packages without SSD drives to become more competitive in the discount hosting market. There will however there will be a noticeable performance difference than our packages built using SSD drives.
I’ll never forget the day I moved my own websites over to SSD drives and how much faster I could navigate through my most popular sites and how fast content management systems such as WordPress would publish content.
In my opinion, SSD hosting is the “new” standard of web hosting and is what will help send your business to the “next level” as with the increase in mobile devices, large search engines such as Google give priority to websites that load faster in their search results.
WordPress Hosting With PHP 7
If you’re powering your website with WordPress and not using PHP 7 you are missing out on a much faster experience!
Over the last year, we’ve helped clients migrate over from PHP 5.6 and have seen 2x faster performance and 50% better memory consumption, allowing you to serve more concurrent users without adding any hardware.
We all know how important it is to have a fast-loading website in 2017. With the rise of mobile devices, search engines such as Google, prioritize websites that load faster in their organic search results.
If you own a local business, that means you’re losing customers if your site isn’t blazing fast.
We already offer very important WordPress optimizations such as solid state drives, LiteSpeed web server, and MariaDB.
However, by adding PHP 7 to the mix, you immediately provide you site with critical optimizations that most of your competitors haven’t yet done.
Multiple PHP Versions
At NameHero we understand that flexibility is the name of the game. While you might be ready to move your WordPress website over to PHP 7 today, some of your plugins may not be compatible.
That’s why we allow you to select your PHP version right inside of cPanel which means you can instantly “revert back” if something doesn’t work out.
Personally, I’ll play around with website speed tests and different PHP configurations until I find the winning combination.
How To Use PHP 7 With WordPress
Switching your WordPress website to PHP 7 is extremely easy. I’ve filmed a brief video tutorial that shows you exactly how to do this right inside of cPanel:
How To Switch To PHP 7
- Login to the NameHero client portal
- Login to cPanel
- Click on Select PHP Version
- Select PHP 7.0 or 7.1
- Modify any memory upload limits/extensions
PHP 7 Is The New Standard
In the coming months, we’re going to be switching our servers to default to PHP 7. We still however, will keep our PHP selector inside of cPanel so you have the flexibility to use multiple versions if needed.
We strongly feel that PHP 7 will help increase the speed of your website and help you rank better in search engines and give you the competitive advantage you need.
Your reseller-customers can leverage these exact same steps through your own website to run PHP 7 on their WordPress installations. Once again this is leaps and bounds passed much of the competition out there.
What Is LiteSpeed Web Server?
Much of our success here at Name Hero is credited to our high-speed infrastructure that allows for our customers to have extremely fast loading websites.
With the rise of mobile devices accessing the Internet and Google’s constantly changing algorithm, there has never been a more important time than ever to have your website optimized for speed.
Personally, this was one of the main catalyst being developing Name Hero in 2015. I couldn’t find a reliable, dependable, fast web host for my own websites without building my own dedicated or VPS. Not to mention one that was affordable for small businesses like my Dad’s self-storage facility.
One key element in our infrastructure is using all LiteSpeed web servers.
LiteSpeed is a lightweight piece of server software that conserves resources without sacrificing performance, security, compatibility, or convenience.
Main LiteSpeed Benefits
- Double the maximum capacity of Apache – The majority of “shared” web hosts still use Apache web server. LiteSpeed Web Server’s streamlined event-driven architecture, capable of handling thousands of concurrent clients with minimal memory consumption and CPU usage.
- Added security – Continue using already familiar mod_security rules while also taking advantage of a host of built-in anti-DDoS features, such as bandwidth and connection throttling.
- Reduce complexity – By eliminating the need for an HTTPS reverse proxy or additional 3rd party caching layers.
LiteSpeed vs. Apache Web Server
I’m a big fan of infographics, so here are some benchmarks comparing to the widely popular Apache web server (what most of the “big brands” use):
LiteSpeed WordPress Cache
A couple of months ago, LiteSpeed implemented their caching software specifically for WordPress.
Our initial testing combined with Cloudflare saw a nice little jump in page-load times across the board.
LiteSpeed has also done their own internal testing that shows performance much better than Apache and other caching plugins:
While LiteSpeed is just one piece of our infrastructure, it’s a very important one, and helps us deliver crazy-fast speeds so our customers can focus on what’s most important to them; running their businesses.
Additional WordPress Hosting Features:
- One Click Installation Through cPanel
- Nightly Backups With Point And Click Restore
- Daily Malware Scanning With Automatic Removal
- Hardened Operating System Specifically For WordPress (Security)
- LiteSpeed WordPress Cache
Name Hero WordPress Hosting vs. Competition
A lot of the “big” web hosting brands use the term “Managed WordPress Hosting” simply as a marketing ploy. Once you dig into the meat and potatoes of the package, it’s nothing more than a “larger” hosting package.
We also don’t restrict you to ONLY hosting WordPress in your account. What happens if you decide to run a custom PHP script one day and are unable too? Does that mean you have to pack up your entire website and move? What a pain in the butt!
To further illustrate how we accommodate high-speed WordPress cloud hosting here at Name Hero, I filmed the following video:
As always, let me know if you have any questions or need further explanation of how we can help your business!
In my opinion Managed WordPress is mere marketing term that summarizes web hosting packages developed specifically for the WordPress software.
Companies like WP-Engine and Pagely have built their hosting infrastructure using Amazon’s Cloud. When a customer signs-up, their website is provisioned across their servers that have been tightly configured for WordPress redundancy.
They mainly tout the following benefits:
On each of their websites, they tout different features in each of these categories, but simply put; they’ve designed their servers for just WordPress.
How You Can Make Money With Managed WordPress
This spring, I blogged about 5 Easy Ways To Make Money Reselling WordPress Hosting. Many of our top resellers are already doing this!
While both WP-Engine and Pagely haven proven solutions, they’re more geared towards enterprise clients with high demands, placing them out of budget for many small businesses. WP-Engine won’t provide phone or ticket support on their entry level package of $29/month and Pagely starts at $500/month.
Use this to your advantage!
My dad who owns a local self-storage facility has a WordPress website that’s very important to his business, but paying a couple hundred a month is complete overkill!
What You Can Offer With NameHero Reseller
Following the benefit categories I listed above, successful Resellers should focus on the following features to their customers:
All of our Reseller packages are deployed onto our private cloud that allow unlimited cPanel accounts to be created with these account limits. Your customers can rest-assure knowing that even if they have a big spike in traffic their website will never be “suspended” but they’ll simply get an error message once they reached their allocated amount of resources.
At that time, more resources can be purchased or they can easily be upgraded to one of our Managed VPS Servers. Our Level III techs will quickly handle the migration keeping downtime minimal. We have many clients who will “scale up” during a bit traffic season (i.e. holiday shopping) and then scale back once traffic levels off.
We have implemented many features into our Reseller accounts to help keep your customers secure.
First, we offer CageFS, a virtualized file system and a set of tools to contain each user in its own ‘cage’. Each customer will have its own fully functional CageFS, with all the system files, tools, etc.
The benefits of CageFS are:
- Only safe binaries are available to user
- User will not see any other users, and would have no way to detect presence of other users & their user names on the server
- User will not be able to see server configuration files, such as Apache config files.
- User’s will have limited view of /proc file system, and will not be able to see other’ users processes
In addition, we also provide nightly malware scanning with automatic removal. If your customers “fail” to update their WordPress or plugins and they become infected with malware, we quickly detect it and remove it for them.
We’re able to achieve 99.9% uptime with our high available cloud infrastructure. Since we’re able to scale our resources on-demand, we aren’t relying on a single “old school” dedicated server to power your customers. We also work with industry leaders such as Arbor and Corero to provide comprehensive DDoS mitigation.
To be extra safe, we provide automatic nightly backups for each customer, as long as their Inode usage doesn’t surpass 100,000 or 20GB. Your customers have instant access to all of their backups directly inside of cPanel. They don’t have to submit a ticket or even ask you – they can restore a single file, email, or an entire website.
Page speed is crucial to the success of your customer’s website. Personally, this is the first thing I took into consideration when I decided to build NameHero.
Along with our high performing cloud infrastructure, we only use Solid State Drives (SSD) protected by Raid 10 along with LiteSpeed web server and MariaDB. Through our partnership with LiteSpeed we’re also able to offer their custom caching plugin, that has proven to benchmark faster than any other plugin + web server combination on the market:
We also give users the option to select from multiple versions of PHP (including 7.1) from right inside of cPanel.
If that still doesn’t sale your audience, you can mention we throw in Cloudflare’s Railgun, a $200/mo value purchased directly, for free!
You Have All The Tools You Need
Simply put, all of our Reseller packages come with the exact tools you need to run a highly lucrative Managed WordPress Hosting business. Many of our Resellers have been running with this and continue to grow monthly, adding new accounts across all of our nodes.
If you’re a developer, why not start earning recurring revenue from your customers and make money long-term all while offering your client the best value in web hosting!
We get a lot of questions from potential new Reseller customers asking if our service is completely white labeled.
What Is White Label Reseller Hosting?
White label reseller hosting is when you offer web hosting packages to your customers / end users where they only see your company name.
The customer works directly with you/ your company giving you the flexibility to bill / manage them how you best see fit. They never see anything that goes back to Name Hero – nor do they know you’re using our servers to power your business.
Website and WordPress developers specifically see a great need for this as they’re able to create recurring revenue for their business that bills as long as the client has an active website.
Reseller Hosting Packages
To get started with your Reseller Hosting business, you simply choose one of our packages to power your business:
Our most popular package, especially for beginners, is the Corporate Reseller as it comes with a complimentary license to the popular WHMCS billing and automation software.
WHMCS allows you to instantly integrate your Reseller account and begin selling to your customers with ease as it will handle all of the invoicing/billing and then create their account all automatically. It takes all the “leg work” out of the process!
Purchased separately, it would cost you upwards of $18.95/month, hence the reason why the majority of resellers go with our Corporate package.
Full Control Over Your Business
Once you have your reseller package with WHMCS setup, your customers work directly with you. You’re free to charge them as much as you see fit for their account and they pay you each month.
Your only obligation with Name Hero is to ensure your customers meet our compliance guidelines (i.e. no adult/offensive material, spam emails, etc.) and that you pay your invoices with us in a timely manner.
All communication, emails, etc. to your customer come directly from your company.
Supporting Your Customers
A lot of new resellers become a bit intimidated when it comes to supporting their customers. While ultimately the support is the responsibility is up to the Reseller, our heroic support team will help you solve issues 24x7x365.
The only thing, you have to contact us on behalf of your customer. We unfortunately don’t offer a white labeled help desk, so for issues you cannot solve, you can let your client know you’re working on it, and reach out to our team for immediate assistance.
As I’ve said many times throughout our blog here, a lot of support issues can easily be solved by Googling the issue and following some simple instructions. I do understand some people’s concerns, so I always do like to re-assure you that our team always has your back in these situations.
Reselling vs. Affiliate Program
Reselling web hosting is much different than our affiliate program as reselling is completely white labeled to your brand/business. This means you have to do all the selling, billing, etc. through your own website.
Some people however would rather just “grab an affiliate link” and receive a commission for referring customers to use Name Hero. That’s fine as well as we payout thousands of dollars each month to affiliates ranging from WordPress developers to review websites.
Regardless if you choose to become a white label reseller or an affiliate, there is a lot of room for us to work together if you have customers that need high speed, reliable, cloud web hosting!
How To Make $100 A Day From Reseller Hosting
Every Entrepreneur wants to know how much money it’s going to take to make money.
When I ran the IMGrind Discussion forum it was actually one of my top questions:
“How much do I have to spend to make $100 per day.”
With Reseller hosting this is a great question and a much easier one to answer.
Our most popular package is the Corporate Reseller with the following features:
- 100GB SSD Space
- 2,000GB Bandwidth
- Unlimited Accounts
- Non-Branded WHMCS License
- Dedicated IP Address
- Free & Auto SSL
- Private Name Servers
The cost is $39.95/month or $1.28 per day.
Basically you have to make $2.56 per day for 100% ROI
So for you to break even you have to make at least $1.28 per day and for 100% ROI you have to double it at $2.56 per day.
Any Entrepreneur can see this a tremendous ROI advantage!
So let’s say you charge the average customer $29.95/month for web hosting (this would be the average going rate if you are doing local web hosting).
It would only take one customer to put you close to break even and two to start making a profit.
2 Customers @ $29.95/mo each – $59.90
Name Hero Corporate Reseller – $39.95
Net Profit: $19.95/Month – 50% ROI
It doesn’t take much money to make money with Reseller Hosting!
I love this because I feel like it brings in Entrepreneurs of all ages from around the world!
Because of the low barrier to entry, reseller hosting also makes for a very nice “part-time” income to many web developers. Since they just have to have a couple of clients to start profiting, it’s an excellent way to earn income passively.
But going back to my question above, what do you need to make that $100 profit a day?
How To Make $100 Profit A Day With Reseller Hosting
$100 a day profit seems like a lot to those just getting started, but since you’re breaking even with two customers at $29.95/mo each, what do you have to do to reach that level?
If you’re charging $29.95/month it would take 4 signups a day to generate $119.80, well over $100 profit a day.
Living in Kansas City, this wouldn’t be that hard to get.
First, I would get on YellowPages.com and start looking at services such as plumbing.
If it was me, I’d call everyone of them that aren’t mobile optimized and tell them if they sign-up for my monthly web hosting ($29.95/mo) I’d optimize it for free (up to 5 pages).
I would then hit them on an up-sell to re-develop their entire website and offer something crazy like a 50% off coupon.
Web Hosting Is Recurring
Even if you don’t get 4 new customers everyday you have to remember your existing ones are going to continue to bill.
So if I am able to signup just 1 new customer a day, it would take me 4 months to have an average profit of $100 a day or $3,000 a month. That’s not millions, but it’s certainly a start!
Me personally, that’s the most attractive thing about selling web hosting. It’s not a one-time charge. It’s on-going. Think how big your business will be in a decade!
Even if you don’t get them all in a week, you will gain this number in time!
Long Term Profits
For the last decade, I’ve made the bulk of my income on recurring revenue.
I spent sometime in the affiliate marketing industry promoting other people’s products, and while I made a lot of money fast, I’ve always slept much better at night knowing I have multiple customers paying multiple recurring billing.
In my opinion it’s very easy to make $100 a day with Reseller hosting, you just have to go out and get the business.
How To Setup Your Reseller Account
Automating Your Web Hosting Business With WHMCS
Once you have signed up for your Reseller Hosting account – you’re almost ready to start making money!
While Web Host Manager is an excellent tool to create hosting accounts for your customers it can become overwhelming to keep track of everyone’s payment.
That’s why we recommend building your “storefront” website with WHMCS and using it on the back-end to automatically provision accounts inside your Web Host Manager and automate all your billing/invoices.
How To Setup Your Own Hosting Business
In this video tutorial, I walk you through step-by-step the process of installing WHMCS, integrating your NameHero Reseller account, as well as configuring your settings to get your business going:
The most exciting thing for the Entrepreneur deep inside of me, is how quick and easy it is to get your business online!
I’ve had multiple other companies that have taken months of content writing and development just to get them to the stage where we can begin accepting payments.
With Reseller Hosting, it’s really as simple as having a good infrastructure for your clients and then getting them to sign-up and manage their account all in one place.
Many Resellers will also use WordPress so they can customize their “store front” website a bit more and then send the orders directly to WHMCS. Either way, you have a ton of flexibility and can get as creative as you want.
How To Install WHMCS On A Subdomain
I recommend that a lot of “beginner” Reseller web hosts use WordPress to create the “front end” of their hosting website.
This makes it especially easy for those that don’t know HTML as you can find thousands of professional looking web hosting templates to have your site online in a short amount of time.
While this is super easy to setup and get going it can create somewhat of a challenge when you’re trying to integrate everything with your WHMCS billing system.
WHMCS is where your customers will login, manage their account, and buy their hosting packages from you. It automates the entire process!
However, if you try to mix this with your WordPress installation, you can run into some errors since each script uses respective .htaccess re-write rules.
The easiest solution to this is to install WordPress on the root of your website and then install WHMCS on a subdomain. This way, you can have something such as clients.yourbusiness.com where the WHMCS files will go.
To help set this up, I filmed a brief video tutorial that shows everything from ordering your account, to installing and configuring in 10 minutes:
How To Install WHMCS On A Subdomain
- Purchase your Reseller Hosting package with the free WHMCS license.
- Register your name servers.
- Update your domain to reflect those name servers.
- Access cPanel.
- Create the subdomain.
- Install WHMCS, selecting the subdomain in the auto installer.
- Enter your license key and requested information.
- Allow up to 24 hours for the DNS to propagate and your website to become live.
WHMCS On A Subdomain
As you can see, the finished product allows you to have your billing system in one area and your website in another!
How To Build A Professional Looking Website For Your Hosting Business
While a lot of our Reseller Hosting customers are in-fact WordPress and Web developers, we still get a fair amount of questions from Entrepreneurs just starting their business on how they can design a professional-looking website for their hosting business.
Beginners, use WordPress
If you don’t know the first thing about coding or HTML, WordPress obviously will allow you to have a professional looking website online in a couple of hours.
After you have everything installed and setup, you just need to find a nice-looking template and customize for your business.
Web Hosting WordPress Templates
All of the popular WordPress template websites, such as Themeforest, have a category for web hosting companies:
For under $100 you can have a website that looks very nice and you don’t have to spend a ton of time developing it. Your time is always better spent marketing to your customers!
I’ve seen plenty of beautiful looking Reseller hosting websites fail because they spent all their budget/time making their own website. Once you start making money you can always pay a professional developer to come in and “clean things up” later.
WHMCS provides a couple professionally designed templates by default. If you’re not a developer, I recommend using these to power your back-end (or customer pages) as they will automatically update them as the software updates.
One big mistake I’ll see beginners make, they’ll completely customize their WHMCS template, only to have the changes wiped out from a future update. This can be a tremendous time-waster not to mention pain in the butt!
Instead, use your WordPress website that you can easily customize to do the selling and use your WHMCS install to handle your client area and order pages. It’s already been optimized for you!
Once you install WHMCS, you just need to replace the logo with yours (right click view image location) and then you can add some custom CSS to the /templates/six/custom.css file if you’d like to change some of the colors to match your brand.
How To Develop Your Website
Improve as you progress
As I mentioned above, as you start to get customers and have revenue flowing in, you can then hire a professional to come in and tweak things. ire a professional to come in and tweak things.
When you’re starting a new business you want to develop what’s called your minimum viable product (MVP). This is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future development.
In simpler terms, it allows you to “test” your service to see if it’s even viable before sinking thousands of dollars into the project or wasting precious time. Your goal as an Entrepreneur is to get this up and running as quick as possible. Spend your time on the marketing/making money!
Since 1998, I’ve created seven different successful Internet based businesses. While they’ve all been in separate niches, I’ve kept my costs low, developed my MVP as quickly as possible, and spent my time wisely allowing the companies to grow vs. always staying in development.
Host Unlimited Clients With Our Reseller Hosting
A lot of Reseller Hosting providers limit the number of cPanel accounts you can create.
At Name Hero we allow you to create unlimited cPanel accounts as long as you stay within your disk space and bandwidth limits. We also allow overselling, meaning you can sale more space/bandwidth than you’ve purchased.
Why We Don’t Limit cPanel Accounts
If you’re a frequent reader of our blog, you know I don’t like people cramming an unlimited number of “add-on” domains into one cPanel account.
This is acceptable if you have multiple “small” websites for one business, but not a good practice if you’re trying to host separate clients all in one cPanel.
There are two main reasons for this:
- Performance – We limit CPU, RAM, memory, Inodes, etc. based on cPanel account (read all our limits here). You’re putting yourself at a severe disadvantage by putting hosting everything in one cPanel as they’ll have to fight for the same resources. While if you create a separate cPanel, it’ll have its own resources to use.
- Security – It only takes ONE outdated WordPress plugin or template file to cause a lot of problems for your site. If you’re just hosting ONE WordPress website per cPanel it’s a lot more secure than hosting multiple. Especially if you’re like me and are bad about applying updates frequently!
Our Reseller Hosting Limits
Each one of our Reseller hosting packages is limited to the amount of disk space and bandwidth that you actually use.
So let’s say you have our Corporate Reseller package. You can host as many cPanel accounts as you’d like until you reach 100GB of disk space usage.
The “average” basic WordPress website is around 600 – 800MB therefore it’s pretty safe to assume you can handle about 70 – 100 clients on this package.
I Recommend 50 Accounts Per Package
While you’re completely allowed to go above this since we don’t limit the number of cPanel accounts, I still recommend that you only host 50 cPanels per Corporate Reseller package.
Growth and Redundancy!
Let’s say you’re offering your customers “unlimited” disk space. While you’re know the average WordPress website is going to be around 1GB (let’s just round up), you want to allow them a cushion for growth. Nothing will kill your business faster in this industry if you go completely overboard overselling your resources.
While overselling is necessary to remain competitive, you want to do it within a certain limit.
If you have 100’s of customers you wouldn’t want them all on one Reseller package.
While this is extremely rare at Name Hero, what happens if we would have a server outage on your package?
Having ALL of your clients go offline at once would probably create quite the support headache! It’s much smarter to have a couple of Reseller packages and diversify.
Making The Most ROI
I understand we all want to make the highest ROI percentage when running our businesses. But you want to be smart about it.
If you’re paying $19.77/mo for our Corporate Reseller package how many monthly hosting clients do you have to have for 100% ROI?
Well, if your average package is $5.95/month then you only need about 7.
So even if you want to get greedy and go to 500% ROI, you would only need about 35 customers. At this point wouldn’t it be a “safer bet” to order a second reseller account to allow for growth and add extra redundancy.
Unlimited Reseller Hosting
We want to be your Reseller hosting partner and provide the best unlimited experience as possible, but as I said we want to make sure you use this correctly for your business.
How Many Reseller Accounts Do You Need For Your Business?
I spend a good portion of my time each day on the phone with potential new customers learning about their business and how we can help them.
One of the biggest questions that comes up when discussing Reseller Hosting, is how to manage their resources when they use up all their disk space and bandwidth.
“After you get your first 50 customers, I suggest ordering a second Reseller package, regardless of your usage.”
This will often catch people off guard. Another account? Why?
When you’re offering web hosting to your customers you want to focus on being as reliable as possible. This means you never want to put all your eggs in one basket, or in this case, on one account.
At Name Hero we pride ourselves in having very little to no downtime across our network. However, that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t happen. When dealing with servers, hardware, software, etc. there is going to be some time when a machine needs a reboot. Or we have to do some routine maintenance.
By having multiple reseller accounts you split your customers up across multiple servers, greatly increasing your redundancy. That way, if there would be a time where we needed to reboot or an update, it wouldn’t effect all of your customers.
I use 50 customers as my benchmark, but also take a look at your ROI (return on investment). If you’re making 5-10 times what you’re spending for your account, it maybe a good idea to go ahead and get another package; regardless of your usage.
The majority of our top Resellers already take this route. They’ll sign-up first with our Corporate Reseller package to take advantage of the free WHMCS license but then as they grow, they’ll add a couple Entrepreneur packages. Using WHMCS, they’ll randomly assign customers to the account with the least amount of customers.
This ensures they don’t go over their limits and provide a very reliable network. As a little added bonus it also gives you a new IP subnet if you’re looking at offering hosting optimized for PBNs ;).
Almost every Reseller that comes into Name Hero asks the same question:
Are we allowed to oversell with our account?
In short, the answer is yes, we have overselling enabled on all of our Reseller packages.
For those that aren’t familiar, this means you’re able to sell more resources (disk space/bandwidth) than you have allocated to your account.
For example, if you have 100GB of disk space, you would only be able to offer 1GB of space to 100 customers without overselling.
Since we allow overselling it means you can have an unlimited number of clients on your reseller package as long as you stay within your package limits.
Is it bad to oversell your resources?
If you go to industry discussion forums, you’ll find most of the “technical minded” people heavily shun this. They’re probably close to a stroke reading this very post.
This is because if you promise someone 200GB of disk space, but you only have 100GB of disk for your entire account, and they use it all, you’re in big trouble!
But from a marketing standpoint, it’s absolutely necessary if you’re going to compete in the web hosting industry in 2017.
You have to find a happy medium
Resellers that promise the moon and back for a couple dollars a month could potentially get in a lot of trouble.
Going back to a post I wrote earlier this month, you have to consider your business plan to examine your audience you’re trying to attract.
If you’re targeting graphic and video designers, you better be really careful over-selling your disk space, as they’re going to use a lot of it!
But if you’re targeting your local lawn service, they may have a simple 512mb WordPress website.
The same goes for bandwidth. If you promise “unlimited bandwidth” but have a video streaming website sign-up, you’re going to find they use all your resources, leaving all of your customers out of luck!
I personally like to define limits
Owning Name Hero, our audience is very clear. Primary we serve Resellers but also host a couple thousand WordPress websites from local businesses ranging from personal injury attorneys to self-storage facilities.
But regardless Shared or Reseller, we define a disk limit so there are no surprises. We do however offer unlimited bandwidth on our Shared package, as we purchase extremely large blocks and a website is going to reach another limit before hitting bandwidth that would cost us bit.
We take it one step further to even publish our specific cPanel account limits so our customers know exactly the number of files they can upload to an account, memory usage, etc.
The majority still don’t touch these limits
Somedays when I really want to compete against some of the larger brands I have to bite my tongue not to have an “unlimited” disk package as I know after examining thousands of accounts, specifically how much disk/bandwidth the average customer is going to use.
But there is always a “couple” that push every limit we have.
Sometimes a special promotion will really come to bite you in the rear when you’re offering 50GB of space for $9.97/month and the customer uses every single megabyte of space!
Despite temptation, I’ve stuck to my business plan, but I’ll never say never ;).
Multiple Reseller accounts
Finally, what a lot of our top Resellers do is have multiple accounts with us for redundancy.
Even though they’re far from using up their resources, some will often have 5 – 10 accounts across multiple servers so their eggs aren’t all in one basket. In my opinion that’s the smartest way to be able to oversell with Reseller hosting and have all of your basis covered.
Rather you decide to oversell or not, keep in-mind your audience, business plans, and make smart decisions always looking out for the long term health of your business!
The Truth Behind Unlimited Disk Space
If you’ve ever purchased web hosting it’s likely you’ve encountered a company offering unlimited disk space for a couple dollars a month.
It’s something that’s often talked about throughout the web hosting industry, which most veterans frown upon.
So what’s the deal with it? Is unlimited really unlimited?
In short, there is always a limit, but let me explain why companies offer “unlimited” disk space in the first place.
Unlimited Disk Space Is A Marketing Ploy
It’s no secret the web hosting niche is filled with competition. Sometimes when I’m doing competitive research I get completely overwhelmed at the number of endless websites I come across.
Sometime in the mid 2000’s a lot of the larger brands, such as HostGator, started offering “unlimited” with very competitive prices.
In my opinion this was a pivotal move for their organization as it allowed them to shift from their primary Reseller-based clients to overtaking a big portion of the shared web hosting industry.
The average “Joe the plumber” wants as much web space for his website at the best cost.
Finding The Limit
Regardless what hosting package you go with, you should always do research and see what the exact account limits are. Some hosting companies try to hide this as far down in their TOS/AUP so you’ll never find it until it’s too late.
Most popular web hosting companies will place limits on Inodes vs. Disk Space as it makes more sense in terms of I/O usage on the hard drives. An inode is a data structure in a Unix-style file system that describes a filesystem object such as a file or a directory. Each inode stores the attributes and disk block location(s) of the object’s data.
An account may only use 2GB of disk, but 250,000 inodes, would be much more taxing on a server than an account with 2GB of disk space with 50,000 inodes (basically number of files).
Is It Ethical To Offer Unlimited Disk Space?
A lot of industry veterans will argue me until they’re blue in the face on this – but coming from my marketing background – absolutely it’s ethical!
I strongly believe that as long as you’re upfront with your customers about their specific limits [always read the fine print] – you should be able to market your service as you wish.
We allow all of our Resellers the ability to over-sale their packages. That’s how they stay competitive!
Why We Don’t Offer Unlimited Disk Space
Even though I understand the marketing aspect of it, I’m personally not targeting customers looking for the most disk space for the cheapest cost. Even though our Shared and Reseller hosting prices are competitive, I don’t consider Name Hero a discount web host.
We’re targeting individuals and business looking for high performing, fast, web hosting with unmatched customer service. We extend this through our Reseller packages, allowing other web hosting companies the ability to offer their customers the same high quality hosting options at a very affordable price.
With cloud-based storage being so inexpensive (i.e. Dropbox, Amazon S3) you’re better off anyways to use a service like this to store large amounts of media as solid state drives (what we use at NameHero) are much better for your dynamic PHP, HTML, and other files.
Too Big For Shared Hosting
Finally, there eventually may come a time where your website or blog is simply “too big” for a Shared Hosting plan. Regardless how much disk space you use, you may simply get too much traffic and need the power of your own server.
We host many very popular websites on our VPS Hosting packages – that wouldn’t work on our Shared or Reseller. They not only need a lot disk space, they need dedicated RAM and processor to power their applications that drive their content.
The 1 Reason Why Most Reseller Hosting Businesses Fail
For the past five years I’ve coached and trained some of the largest Internet marketers, agencies, and advertisers through a private discussion forum as well as face-to-face seminars.
To say I learned a lot about Entrepreneurs during this time would be an understatement.
Throughout these endeavors I learned a lot about people, specifically business-minded individuals, and why some seem to thrive at everything they do while others seem to rarely have success.
Why some people thrive & others don’t
Since 2015, I’ve shifted my coaching gears to teach Entrepreneurs how to Resell Web Hosting.
Even though I’m not in a completely different niche, I’m still working with Entrepreneurs and I notice on commonalty amongst them both: the ones that succeed are relentless and the ones that fail are quick to give up.
The rags to riches stories I’ve heard all have the same thing in common: the person responsible didn’t give excuses as to why they couldn’t do it, they just kept going until they succeeded.
The ones that continue to fail also have the same thing in common. They always have some type of excuse that keeps them from moving forward.
It actually all comes down to consistency
Have you ever looked in the mirror and decided it’s time for a diet? I know I have!
Did you try to eat a salad for a day or two and then fell off the wagon? I know I have!
Have you tried to follow a diet and exercise routine and stay consistent? I also have done this!
The results? I lost 34 pounds and got myself in the best shape of my life.
What’s different? I was consistent.
Look at business just like dieting
The number one reason why most reseller hosting businesses fail, is they lack consistency (especially in their marketing).
In the beginning, most are all pumped about the idea of starting a business and are “all hands on deck.”
But as time passes, reality starts to set in that riches aren’t going to come over night, decreasing motivation to the point that those that aren’t going to be consistent give up.
One blog post isn’t going to do it. One Facebook share isn’t going to do it. One YouTube video isn’t going to do it.
But a collection of all three over the course of a year is going to create a buzz!
Focus on your consistency
Name Hero is my seventh successful Internet business since I got started in 1998. It’s also been the hardest!
Why? There is a lot of competition in the web hosting industry so you have to take consistency to a whole new level.
Be consistent blogging. Be consistent blogging. Be consistent buying ads.
Look at it just like a diet! You’re not going to lose 34 pounds overnight. But it’s possible.
You’re not going to get rich overnight. But it’s possible.
Startups aren’t fun but can be very rewarding
For my friends that stick to it, the reward is phenomenal. You’ll be able to quit that 9-5 job you hate going to, you’ll have the flexibility of owning your own business, but most importantly you’ll gain the satisfaction of seeing consistent hard work pay off.
Every company I’ve ever started I say I’d never do it again. That’s because the early couple of years getting out there aren’t fun. But once you get over that hump the rewards are plentiful. Much more than just money in the bank; the satisfaction knowing you saw something through, just like a diet!
If you get nothing else out of this post, remember consistency wins! You don’t have to be the smartest. You don’t have to be the best. You just have to be the most consistent! It’s just like dieting and losing weight. Overtime things will come together and success will be yours!
How much should you charge people for web hosting?
This is a question new reseller hosts ask over and over again.
How can I compete with -Insert Company- with that price?
Why would anyone buy my hosting when they can get hosting from -Insert Company- for $X?
This is how I can quickly spot a beginner who has no real business plan in place and someone that thinks if they’re the “cheapest” they’ll get the most business.
I can head over to Web Hosting Talk right now and find the “beginner” web hosts as they’ll be offering some ridiculously low priced deal such as $0.99 for first year of web hosting.
While that may bring some customers, most have no clue what they’re getting into.
Who is your target audience?
If you say, “people that need web hosting” that’s your first problem.
The first thing you need to decide when starting a reseller hosting business is who you’re trying to reach, specifically.
You want to find a niche that’s not too granular, but one that is in need of web hosting, and that will allow your company to grow.
We all know WordPress hosting is a hot area right now, but you have to be a bit more specific. Who uses WordPress and why?
I like to think about local businesses looking for a reliable platform to develop their website on where they can update regularly without having to know HTML, code, etc.
We focus on Resellers
Throughout 2017 we’ve rapidly grown much because of Resellers.
But if you look at our prices we’re by far the cheapest Reseller hosting provider out there. But we’re also one of the fastest growing.
Our competitive advantage isn’t price! There are so many companies that offer reseller web hosting it would be virtually impossible to try and be the cheapest.
Even if we were, that wouldn’t give us a ticket to become the industry leader.
Rather than price, we use customer service, our high speed infrastructure, and our Reseller training as our main competitive advantages.
Setting the right price
Once you know your target audience, you can then determine what a good price point is.
For example, if you’re going to be offering hosting as an add-on to your customers you already develop websites for, you may want to include it in a “monthly maintenance package.”
When I did local web development back in 2007, I always had that “one customer” that would want to tweak colors, pictures, logos, etc. at least once a month. By charging them a monthly maintenance fee you can be very upfront and transparent how many updates this includes.
You may even get as specific as to how many face-to-face meetings this includes. Your time is valuable so you certainly want to manage it accordingly!
Adding hosting to this type of “package” would be the cherry on top allowing you to make the most ROI possible.
I think it’s fair to say, many local businesses would pay upwards of $100+ for a couple site updates, 1 meeting, web hosting, and some basic social media management. Add phone support in for even more!
Don’t guess, test
You may find that you have to alter your price many times until you find your “sweet spot.”
I strategically have spent hours (if not days) when determining our pricing here at Name Hero.
I plan all of our discounts according to how well the company performs at different times of the year and evaluate every single client that signs-up to ensure we’re hitting our target audience accordingly.
There is nothing more valuable though than experience and actually testing to see what works! You can always make changes later!
There is always going to be more companies
In conclusion, price should be a factor in your business, but don’t let it be your competitive advantage.
There is absolutely no shortage in companies online offering web hosting, but there is certainly a shortage in the number of companies that do things “the right way.”
As Ray Kroc put it, “If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.” This is what I live by.
5 Steps To Effectively Market Your Web Hosting Company
The biggest thing that held back my first web hosting company [back in the early 2000s] was I didn’t know how to effectively market.
Like most Internet Entrepreneurs, I was very technical, but lacked some of the most basic sales skills that allowed for my companies to “take off.”
Immediately after graduating college in 2007 I spent every waking second learning the ins and outs of affiliates marketing; hence learning how to market.
Unfortunately, much of my time was spent marketing low-quality products and services that didn’t provide a good user experience.
Therefore I learned a lot about marketing, but peddling other people’s crap (seriously some of the products/services were no good), left for inconsistent revenues playing a game of cat and mouse.
The problem I see with a lot of our Resellers, is they have the knowledge to create their businesses, setup their websites, and offer a high-quality product but they lack the marketing experience.
Many don’t realize they actually have the “hard part” out of the way. Marketing isn’t difficult but it’s also something that doesn’t take care of itself.
Step 1 – Develop A Marketing Plan
“Buying some ads on Google Adwords” isn’t a marketing plan. Paid advertising is just one marketing channel or part of your marketing plan.
You should actually sit down and develop marketing plan that lists out the following:
- Who Are You Trying To Reach?
- What Is Your Target Product?
- What Is Your Initial Budget?
- What Problems Are You Helping Your Target Audience Solve?
These are just some brain-storming questions that allow you to develop an effective marketing plan.
Once you know who it is you’re trying to reach you can then focus your time on reaching them.
Step 2 – Setup Your Marketing Channels
Every company out there has access to each of these marketing channels, but it’s how you use them that makes all the difference in the world.
Rather you’re a one-person startup or a large corporation, you should have these setup:
- Blog (The Core To Your Inbound Marketing Success)
- Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube)
- Search Engine Optimization (Basic On-Page SEO, Link Building)
- Email Lists (Potential Customers & Current Customers Segmented)
- Paid Advertising (Google Adwords, Facebook, Re-Targeting)
If you don’t have big pockets to fund paid advertising channels, that doesn’t mean your startup is a fish out of water! It just means you have to work harder using the channels available to you!
Step 3 – Execute Your First Campaign
Now here comes the hard part for many – how do you execute your marketing strategy?
Once you know who you’re trying to reach, what product is your main focus, and how you’re going to distribute your message, you need to get creative and develop an advertising campaign.
This is what pulls everything together and “spins the wheel” so to speak to turn prospects into paying customers.
Some effective ways to create campaigns:
- Focus On Solving Your Target Audiences Problems
- Use Specific Times Of The Year To Offer Discounts (i.e. Summer, Spring, Holidays)
- Leverage Viral Trends (Our Biggest Campaign Last Year Was “Making Hosting Great Again”)
- Offer Discounts Through Re-Targeting To Customers Who Abandoned Your Checkout Page
- Participate In Industry Events And Discussion Forums
Spending big ad dollars on a campaign isn’t the only way to execute it. If you don’t have money to spend on ads, focus on free distribution areas such as press releases, commenting on influencers within your target audience, and be active on LinkedIn/Facebook groups.
Step 4 – Be Consistent
The “secret” to being an effective marketer is to be consistent.
If writing one blog post a day is out of question for you, focus on writing one really good one per week.
It’s free to film a video and upload it on YouTube. But doing this once “whenever you feel like it” won’t be enough.
Draft a spreadsheet in Excel and create a “content calendar” that displays a schedule that works with you with your available resources.
The lower your budget it, the more “organic” traffic you’re going to have to take advantage of. This gives both small and large companies level playing ground.
Step 5 – Don’t Be Afraid Of Failure / Criticism
The Internet is full of haters and trolls that will try their best to get you down. But don’t let it bother you!
Once you get a couple troll comments – you’ll know you’re reaching people!
The only sure way to fail at marketing is to do nothing. Get creative, produce content, and get the word out about your company.
I consider myself a marketing veteran but some of my ideas still don’t pan out as I would hope. But rather than “giving up” when I have a campaign that doesn’t work – I go back to the drawing board – leveraging what I learned to be stronger the next time.
When I ask beginners why they don’t Podcast or Film Videos they’ll tell me “they’re not good at it.” Practice makes perfect! Even if your first couple videos aren’t that great – you will get better the more you do. Don’t make excuses, they’ll only hold you back!
What I once considered my “weak link” I now consider my favorite thing to do. I wake-up each morning wondering what “crazy idea” I’ll try next to set Name Hero apart from the competition.
Remember, it takes 4 new customers a day at $29.95/month to make that $100 profit a day (less expenses). Since this is recurring revenue (bills each month) you really only have to focus on 1 or 2 new customers a day for a couple of months to have a sustainable $100/day business.
Look in the Yellow Pages
I would say get out your phone book; but who does that anymore? You can simply get on YP.com or start looking for high ticket items. For example, HVAC services in Kansas City.
Start clicking around on some of the website links. Look for ones that are “outdated” or not mobile optimized. [I’d screenshot a few, but I don’t want to “call out” companies publicly. You can go do this yourself though in any city.]
Get on the phone or make an office visit
Once you have a handful of “potential” clients, give them a quick phone call or go visit their office. Explain to them you can offer them a “new” website for a special promo rate and provide high-speed cloud web hosting.
Make sure you tout our Reseller features (especially the free SSL) and let them know that faster hosting = better search engine listings = more customers. This is one main way you can justify charging more than the “large brands” such as HostGator/Blue Host. Let them know, they’ll have much better results going with you!
I suggest “high ticket items” such as HVAC as these companies tend to have more capital and are a lot more likely to buy a complete website from you, where you can charge an initial development fee then on-going maintenance/hosting. Other niches may include Landscaping, Lawn Care, Plumbing, Irrigation Systems, etc.
Use WordPress to develop
You don’t have to be educate in web design to develop a pretty website. Using WordPress you can pretty much get a nice template for around $50 – $100 and modify it enough to make it look super professional.
If the client is super anal and wants a custom job, you can always outsource to a professional WordPress designer (I’d be more than happy to recommend one).
What you’ll often find, most companies just want to have a website that works seamlessly across multiple devices and contains a control panel where they can make their own updates. It’s a real pain in the butt having to call a developer to change an address/phone number on a website.
Don’t forget the extras
Most companies don’t want to pay multiple companies for their “website.” Throw in social media integration/management, search engine optimization, pay-per-click management, etc. as an upsell! Even if you aren’t an expert, you can always learn by reading (what I do) or outsource to other professionals.
Over the next several weeks I’m going to continue on this series of posts titled “the path forward towards $100 a day with Reseller Hosting” so be on the look-out for much more content!
Prior to starting Name Hero, I spent six years exclusively doing digital marketing.
Managing multi-million dollar ad budgets along with developing a patent-pending tracking and analytics platform, it’s safe to say I learned a thing or two about the best times to market to potential customers.
One thing every marketer must be aware of and that’s the hot and cold seasons of when people buy.
Look at the retailers
If you look at large retailers such as Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, etc. you can look at their financials and easily see the holiday shopping season kicks off their “hot season.”
Starting in November, most retailers will blow up their ad budgets, and see sales rapidly increase all the way through the New Year.
In January, budgets drop back down, and many re-organize for the next “hot season.”
When is the hosting market hot?
I think many season web hosting veterans would agree with me when I say our “hot season” really gets going in the fall and lasts all the way through spring.
Personally I believe a lot of people are like me and don’t want to risk messing something up switching web hosts over the summer. Ever think something is going to be simple and turn into a couple day affair?
Summer is the “hot season” (pun intended) for vacation merchants, airlines, etc. but certainly not web hosting.
Plan your marketing / advertising accordingly
It takes a couple of years to get an understanding of your target audience and to correctly identify these “hot” and “cold” seasons.
Once you have a good understanding, you can then plan your marketing and advertising accordingly:
When buying is hot, double down your ad-budget, when buying is cold, ease up on your ad-budget.
Hint: Watch Your Acquisition Costs
Your cost per acquisition (or CPA) will tell you a lot about these seasons. This is the amount of money you have to spend until you get a paying customer.
When you see this number start to double, you can then begin to spot the trend of a cold season.
Personally, I’ve tried to fight these trends by doubling down, but it’s not smart practice. You end up paying a lot more for a customer of lesser quality / low brand loyalty.
We’ve been really fortunate here at Name Hero to have some pretty rapid growth. We’re already up 290% over last year and July already looks to be our best month ever!
This doesn’t seem to make good sense when we’re analyzing the hot and cold seasons but it’s something you see with Startups.
I’m sure well established brands like Host Gator and Blue Host aren’t seeing 290% up over last year!
What I learned spending $19,889.56 last month on ads
However, this still doesn’t mean I’m ignoring the “hot” and “cold” seasons of the industry. Last month we spent $19,889.56 on advertising.
What did I see? Double the acquisition costs, lower quality sign-ups from the advertising, and relentless bidding wars from other companies all trying to fight the trend.
Even though business is up overall, the trend still remains the same.
This is why so many “new” Entrepreneurs fizzle out in the beginning, they have no clue about their “hot” and “cold” seasons therefore they get inpatient and move to the next idea before evaluating and executing their marketing plan.
I’ve seen some of the “best” startups fail because they have some of the “dumbest” marketing ?
Throughout my years in business, I’ve always been told (by other Entrepreneurs) getting your first 100 customers is the hardest.
I have to agree.
Getting to that magical 100 – is quite the challenge – especially when you’re just getting started.
Many of our Resellers will often reach out for tips on how they can penetrate such a crowded industry.
1) Put Things Into Perspective
When you’re running a new business, especially as a web hosting reseller, you have to look at the industry through a different set of eyes.
Overall the web hosting industry is crowded. I’ve said it many times here on the blog, sometimes doing competitive research, I’m simply overwhelmed at the number of companies out there.
However, if you put things into perspective and look at the industry like this, it’s not so crowded:
- We’re based out of Kansas City. How many companies are offering web hosting specific to businesses around the metro?
- How many companies are offering high speed WordPress hosting with website development and updates?
- How many companies offer free consultations with companies looking to move their web hosting?
See how we’re starting to niche-out and find markets that aren’t overly crowded?
2) Take Full Advantage Of The Internet
I’m originally from Beckley, West Virginia. Unfortunately the local market in Beckley isn’t large enough to offer businesses web hosting.
While you’d certainly be one of the only companies, you’d be severely limited on the number of customers you could reach. But that’s the great thing about the Internet: there is no boundary!
Prior to founding Name Hero in 2015, I was really big in the CPA/Affiliate Marketing Industry. I owned an affiliate discussion forum, network, and even a performance software company. One thing everyone needed? Hosting.
While the majority of the “big brands” concentrate on the masses, there is really only one or two hosting companies that offer solutions for the entire affiliate industry. Niches like this can be the “secret pill” to your first 100 customers.
3) Market Your Business
Once you have decided on your niche, the path to your first 100 customers is dependent on your marketing and advertising.
One excuse I commonly hear: that’s great and all Ryan, but I don’t have $$$ for advertising.
This is completely understandable! I’m currently paying $15+ CPC for some keywords on Google Adwords. For companies just getting started this is probably impossible unless you’ve received funding or have enough personal capital to float until you get popular.
But this doesn’t mean you have an excuse NOT to market your business!
From 1998 – 2008 I didn’t spend but maybe $1,000 in paid ads. I found other means to get the word out about my companies.
Combine your specific niche with blogging daily, syndicating to social media, and posting in your specific industry forums – gives you just as much – if not more reach than someone paying for ads.
It’s a lot easier here in 2017 than it was back in 1998 – I promise!
4) Be Persistent
The biggest reason why most people don’t go this route is it takes a lot of hard work to be persistent. One blog post a month isn’t going to cut it. One blog post a day might not even be enough!
I can’t tell you how many times I feel like I’ve been knocked down with disappointment, only to get back up swinging ten times harder.
Business is a marathon not a sprint.
Be persistent for 2 years – then come back and tell me your success. Don’t look at it on a daily or monthly basis.
This past weekend, I rented the movie The Founder which tells the story about McDonalds founder Ray Kroc. He got knocked down a lot but it didn’t stop him from developing one of the world’s most recognized brands.
5) Set Obtainable Goals
Getting 100 customers is as simple as getting an average of 3 – 4 new customers a day for one month. Break that up to three months and you only need to get 1 customer a day.
That sounds a lot easier than getting all 100 in a day doesn’t it?
I would be the house that if you’re a local web developer and you went to 10 different businesses today you could sign at least 1 that needed web development and hosting right now.
The Path Forward
Starting at 0 – 100 seems almost impossible. But if you follow these 5 tips and take complete action with no procrastination, you’ll begin to see results.
The majority of people that fail, do so because they lack the confidence to be persistent. You only fail when you quit.
Even though it may not feel like it at the time, persistence WILL pay off in the long run. Look at your growth on a broader scale and work like heck everyday!
When I first launched NameHero back in 2015 I started to attend local small business “meet-ups” around the city. Most of these include sometime of presentation by a speaker along with refreshments and an opportunity to network/mingle with other small business owners.
The majority of these small business owners have little to no idea about web hosting, and are looking for a company to help keep their website online and updated without a hassle.
Since a lot of the “big brands” have neglected customer service, most of these business owners just want to have a “contact” at a reputable company they can trust. A lot of companies I’ve met, very seldom submit a support request, but just like to know someone is going to help them if they ever need it.
Search for local meet-ups in your community
My favorite site to look for such meet-ups is Meetup.com. Regardless where you live, it’s likely you’ll find some type of small-business group that you can meet with.
Here in Kansas City, there is a group that meets several times a month to just discuss WordPress. Talk about a targeted audience! If you attended each one of those meet-ups for six months how many customers do you think you could get?
I can almost guarantee you there are people that attend these that are frustrated/not happy with their current hosting solution. If you can be the solution and be helpful, you can gain a customer for life!
Important things to remember
When attending small business meet-ups there are a couple of important things to take into consideration:
- Be professional – You don’t have to wear a suit and tie, but dress as professionally as possible. Especially for those of you that are younger Entrepreneurs, you want to look like you mean business, and don’t want to be mistaken as a “kid.”(trust me I’ve been there before).
- Make eye contact – When introducing yourself make sure to make good eye contact and have a nice firm handshake. Don’t be staring at the ceiling or floor, look the individual right in the eye and let them know your name, your company, and a little about what you do.
- Be direct – Make sure to have all your details together about what services you can offer them. Don’t try to “bs” just to get business, be very direct in your offering, and let them know with confidence how you can help their business.
- Bring business cards – Don’t be “that person” who doesn’t have any business cards. This is key to getting your contact information inside their office. Get on Overnight Prints or Vista Print and have some printed out. They’re not expensive and you can have them design them, or can easily download a free business card PSD and edit in Photoshop.
- Don’t pitch – People hate this. Don’t go in with a “sales presentation.” Go in with the sole goal of meeting people and helping them solve their problems. The more helpful you are, the more people will like you, and will be more likely to do business with you.
This may take a little practice, especially for those of you that aren’t that extroverted. The more groups you attend and the more practice you have, will make it a lot easier.
How to leverage local meet-ups to get customers
I filmed about a twenty minute video where I explain all of this in a bit more detail and provide some tips/examples of how I go about this with NameHero:
If you take local small business meet-ups seriously, you will start to get customers that will be life-long relationships. Remember to always respect others for their time and offer the value that you promise (i.e. put the customer first).
I now challenge you all – how many customers can you close this week?
Are you ready to kick that 9-5 job to the curb and finally experience the freedom of being your own boss?
This is the goal of the majority of our Resellers and we’re taking a commitment to help you do just that.
For the past two years, I’ve positioned Name Hero to become a leader in the web hosting industry, but offering competitive hosting packages loaded with the features you need is only part of it.
For you to achieve genuine success that can lead you to a life of financial freedomis achieved by a proper education.
You’re in business to make money – doesn’t it make sense to have some type of coaching/support from someone that has been in your shoes?
I’ve been working online for nearly two decades and have made almost every mistake that’s possible.
I’ve dealt with ADHD (a/k/a shiny object syndrome), I’ve had ideas plain out crash and burn, but I also know what it takes to lead companies to be successful. I can save you very valuable time by showing you from my experience.
Today, I filmed a video talking about this commitment to our Resellers, as well as our exciting new live training seminars coming soon to a city near you!
In Business For Yourself, But Not By Yourself
Bonus: How To Resell G Suite To Your Hosting Customers
I love learning about our Resellers and their businesses!
Last week I had a conversation with a potential new Reseller and we were talking about Reselling G Suite to his customers.
As I’ve posted about before, shared hosting can be quite the challenge sometimesfor clients with high email demands.
It only makes sense to offer them the ability to sign-up with G Suite through your hosting business.
While obviously they could go direct with Google, a lot of customers want everything in one place, and want it setup along with their website.
Especially if you’re developing / maintaining your customer’s website, G Suite is another way you can add recurring revenue to your business, along with Reselling hosting.
G Suite Partner Program
Google has launched a partner program that provides discounted pricing, API access, and monthly invoicing to allow you to bill your customers directly.
The only downfall is the application process can “take a few weeks to complete.” Google first requires that you have a paid G Suite account (and not a legacy free one) and then they want you to sell 100 G Suite licenses.
Once all of that is completed, you have to pass a business credit check and anti-bribery due diligence evaluation. Google doesn’t mess around!
Form a business standpoint, I understand them making it challenging, they want serious businesses that are going to help add value and new customers consistently to their platform. They’re not really looking for people that are going to add a couple of clients a month.
Reselling G Suite With Enom
If you’re not ready to go direct with Google’s Partner Program, you can begin reselling immediately with your complimentary Enom Reseller account that comes with our Corporate Reseller package (for free).
Last year, I was part of a beta-testing group that helped Enom integrate directly with G Suite where Resellers can simply use their WHMCS plugin to offer it to their customers.
I personally believe this is the easiest and fastest way to begin offering G Suite to your customers. They offer discounted pricing and the WHMCS integration takes care of the entire setup.
Configuring WHMCS to Resell G Suite
Most of our Resellers buy our Corporate package because it comes with a complimentary Plus license to WHMCS (a $18.95/mo value).
As long as you have that license and WHMCS installed, you just have to install the Enom G Suite plugin and configure some options to begin offering it to your customers.
While we cannot provide “official support” for their module (since we didn’t develop it), I’ve decided to film a video tutorial how you go about integrating:
How To Resell G Suite
- Have your Enom Reseller account setup
- WHMCS installed and functioning
- Install Enom’s WHMCS plugin (get from Enom)
- Configure server options / products
Once all of this is completed, you can simply resell G Suite through your Enom account! It will use your existing funds when customer’s place an order and automatically rebill each month!
It’s time to get started
If you made it through this entire post, pat yourself on the back and grab a cup of coffee!
Now, it’s time to get started making some money with WordPress and Reseller Hosting.
Get started by setting up your account today and let our Superhero Team know if you need any assistance!
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.