Reseller account versus shared account
Is a reseller account any different than a shared account?, what are the pros and cons of the reseller account?. Should you go for one or is the shared plan better for you?..
The Reseller Account
One of your options when choosing a web hosting plan is the reseller account. Basically you rent the resources on the server (like usual) but this time you are granted the power to manage and sub-rent your resources, effectively becoming a reseller. A reseller account in principle is more expensive than a shared account, but because you will be renting your resources many times the reseller account will be cheaper in the long run.
Reseller Account vs Shared Account
How is a reseller account different than a shared account?. For starters when using a shared account you are not allowed to rent or sell your resources. With a shared account you can host unlimited domain names (unlimited websites) but there is not isolation between them.
Every single website or domain is managed from the same cpanel account, meaning that if someone has access to your cpanel he has access to all your accounts, this is problematic because you cannot even pay someone to help you with one of your sites without granting that person access to everything.
And that’s not all, with a shared account you cannot control which one of your websites will have more resources and which one will be limited, they will all drink from the same pool and let the hungry one wins. Because there is not isolation, if something goes wrong with one of your sites be ready to deal with a chain reaction: if one of your websites is hacked, the rest will more likely fall too.
With a reseller account you avoid most of these problems, you can assign the resources per website, you can limit the ones you want and grant more resources according to your needs or your selling plans. There is isolation and each website is totally separated from the rest, you can delete, modify or cancel an account without much hassle and if something goes wrong with one of sites the rest will function as they should. You can assign a cpanel account to each client instead of having just one cpanel for all the sites.
The Unlimited thing…again
There is still something strange, if you have a reseller account with unlimited bandwidth, domains and storage, cannot you oversell the server capacity?!. Oh yes that is exactly what will happen if you have unlimited resources, but coming to this point you should know web hosting companies better, do you really believe that they will allow you to beat their records on overselling server’s capacity?.
Here is the safeguard: they won’t give you unlimited resources, instead you will be granted certain amount of bandwidth, storage and memory, once you consume all your resources well.. you how that goes, but hey at least you can sell hosting to as many clients as you want 🙂
It’s a funny thing that a shared account will actually get more resources (“unlimited”) than a reseller account, but it is not surprising really, you already know that unlimited is just a marketing gimmick and web hosting providers really need a way to stop resellers to overstep the boundaries. It only feels weird because that darn unlimited thing, otherwise it’s just the logical thing to do.
Should I go for the reseller account or the shared account?
Well, if you will be the owner of all your websites and you can keep them under control, then a shared account should be enough for you. Now if you are dealing with clients all the time, say you are a web-designer you should seriously consider the reseller account, think about this: you have to design a website for a client, you recommend a web hosting company and then proceed to design the site, once you are done you move on to another client and repeat the cycle. Maybe you will work with that client again maybe not, if instead you became the hosting provider of your clients then you will have them month after month, they will be now recurring clients and you will also be making much more money because you will be keeping them instead of sending them to some hosting company.
Now, forget about taking it easy, you want more money?, you will have to work more, much much more in fact. You see, websites don’t care about time zones or anything like that and you will be getting calls all the time at all times, remember that support will be your responsibility. That also means that you should at least know a little bit more than just working on WordPress 🙂
Nevertheless a reseller account is still a viable option even if you don’t plan to sell web hosting. You can be working on five or six websites of your own, in that case the reseller account is much more appropriate than a shared account for all the benefits we mentioned before, specially the isolation factor, which will give you the chance to hire someone to help you maintain one of the sites without risking the rest. Not only that, you can distribute the resources according to the needs of each site and limit the problematic one if you ever needed to.
Give it some thought, and if you need help to clarify some points don’t hesitate to contact us or drop your comments.