Should I Buy Web Hosting From A Reseller or Directly From A Hosting Company?


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Should I Buy Web Hosting From A Reseller or Directly From A Hosting Company?

Tell me, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when choosing a web hosting provider for your website?

His overall reputation?

Network stability?

Hardware?

Pricing?

All or none of these things combined?

As I already wrote hundreds of times all over the Web – the overall quality of your web hosting provider is really important. It should be on top of your priority list.

Especially if you’re someone who plans to make money from what you do and share online.

If you’re interested in using your site as a lead and sales generator for your business – you cannot really afford to fool around here.

No way.

The overall stability and accessibility of your website should be sacred to you.

Your no.1 goal here should be to cut down risks and make sure that your site is ALWAYS online and available to those who search the Web looking for your brand, products or services.

Being a person who owns a couple of websites that generate significant amounts of traffic, I have learned (the hard way) that quality web hosting is something that could make or break your business online.

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Why? – Well, because, web hosting it’s the backbone of the Internet. There’s no way around it. It’s the only thing that will keep your site alive online.

Having a bad company as a host for your online business will hurt your brand in literally hundreds of different ways. Your site will start to crash and experience all sorts of different hiccups that will surely drive your customers/audience away.

You don’t want that, do you?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Whenever I start preaching about terrible hosting and all the ways that it can ruin you online, I’m always reminded of the time when Amazon went down back in March of 2016. The site was out of order for about 20min, and people started to freak out!

I’m not exaggerating.

Thousands of frequent Amazon users from all over the world went on Twitter to share their frustration with the world.

It was a PR nightmare.

But, this isn’t the first time that Amazon’s site crashed. On 19th of October 2013,  the world’s largest online retailer, went down again for about 15 minutes. Knowing that this company processes more than $170k in transactions per minute on average, these sort of hiccups are not something that the guys behind Amazon can ignore.

Every minute their site isn’t working, Amazon loses a LOT of money.

And I do mean A LOT.

Piles and piles of money.

Looking over Amazon’s case, we can agree upon that web hosting isn’t something that you should really gamble with, right?

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From day one, you need to think about the overall safety and accessibility of your site. You need to make sure that your site’s in the right hands.

As I wrote before, frequent downtime and slow page loading can butcher your image online. It can cost you a lot of sales.

Having all these possible complications in mind, when choosing a web hosting provider for your site, you should really try your best to think about all the details. I know that this sort of things seems a bit much, but you can never be too careful.

That’s why I always beg my friends and business partners to think above the price and basic details of particular hosting deals. I urge them to go beyond these kind of things and figure out if they’re doing business with a reseller or a parent hosting company.

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So, What is Reseller Hosting?

It’s a form of web hosting where a certain brand gains the possibility to use a certain bigger web host’s hard drive space and bandwidth, and sell it to customers as its own, for a profit.

Yes, it’s basically renting hardware and selling it as your own. A lot of major web hosting companies offer reseller deals.

Why? – Well, there are many reasons.

Reseller hosting is great for various types of clients out there. Database programmers, copywriters, designers, digital marketing experts – these are just a few services and professions that may offer web hosting to their clients as a reseller.

This option helps these above-mentioned businessmen and businesses save a lot of money and hustle on acquiring all that physical infrastructure needed to run a successful hosting service on their own.

Thanks to these affordable reseller options, they don’t need to buy their own servers or focus on all the other tasks and responsibilities that come with managing, running and making sure that your server is up and running for a maximum uptime. Nope. Reseller hosting deals help them simply buy the services of bigger web hosting providers and resell them to their end-users in various different ways.

Ok, Great – But What’s The Catch Here? If Reseller Hosting Is So Great, Why Should I Avoid It?

Although reseller hosting is cheap and allows you to have complete control over your rented resources – there are still a lot of disadvantages that come with this particular type of hosting.

First and foremost of all, you’re not in charge of your own service. Yes, you can create your own plans and sell them any way you want to – but still, as a business, you cannot really guarantee a certain quality of service.

Why? – Well, ‘cause it doesn’t really concern you. If your parent host goes down, your service will follow. Same goes for the quality of your service. If the original host has terrible uptime and network stability, so will you. There’s no way around it.

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Sure reseller hosting demands lot less of your time, money, and technical know-how to run a legit web hosting business, but it still doesn’t really give you the luxury to create your own success. Your service is still pretty dependent on all sorts of external factors that could easily make and break your business.

Even though I don’t have much against reseller hosting, being a cautious type, my logic tells me that it’s always better to get what you need directly from the source, instead of third party distributor.  

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Quality Hardware Is Not The Only Thing That Makes You a Good Web Host

Listen – You can’t miss here, man. Every web hosting company is basically the same these days. They all have the same gear, the same network, and the same deals. Just pick a random one! They’re all good. It’s just web hosting, not rocket science.

I cannot even count how many times I came across such a comment and how many people – thanks to this particular way of thinking – got their online business in unnecessary trouble.

As the saying goes – assumption is the mother of all screw ups.

It really is.

That’s a fact.

And I’m not just preaching about web hosting here. No. I’m talking about everything. Every possible deal, every purchase you could make, both online and offline.

In this day and age, making uneducated guesses about things that are really important to you or your work is just plain ol’ naive.

It’s a bulletproof recipe for disaster and disappointment.

For example, let’s go back and focus on the first paragraph of this article.

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Even if that particular statement were true (and it’s not), you have to know that there’s more to web hosting than just hardware. Sure, it’s a tech business, which means that the quality of your gear is EXTREMELY important for your service – but, come on! There’s more to it!

And you know this.

You don’t need me to underline this for you. Otherwise, everyone would host their own site. Every lazy schmuck in the world with a couple of thousand dollars on his bank account would own a web hosting company and cash in like crazy on his tiny investment.

How come? – Well, because, in that kind of alternate-reality, all you’d have to do is buy the gear, hook it all together, and voilà – you got yourself a web hosting business! You’re now an owner of a fully functioning web hosting company!

Pretty sweet, right?

From now on, your job is just to kick back, relax, and let the machines do all the rest. They’ll make you rich and fat before lunchtime. Don’t sweat it, man. Go outside and enjoy yourself! Have a beer, catch a flick, go on a hike – do whatever pleases you! Your gear has you covered…  

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If only that were true. If only things were that simple.

But, sadly – they’re not.

You can buy all the best gear in the world, but if you don’t know how to use it right – it can’t help you efficiently run a successful web hosting business.

How come? – Well, because you’d still lack the necessary expertise and knowledge on how to actually talk to clients and meet their demands on daily, weekly, and monthly level. 

That’s why getting your hands on a proper hosting solution is still not really an easy purchase to make.

The devil is definitely in the details here.

Yes, there are a lot of web hosting companies out there that basically on paper look the same, but once you really get close to them, dig deep enough and read more about their service – you’ll see the differences.

You’ll see that some of them are just plain awful. You’ll figure out that even though they look quite professional on the outside, on the inside – their business is actually a mess!

But that’s also nothing new and it doesn’t only concern web hosting as an industry.

So, if quality hardware doesn’t really cut it here, what make a certain web host good enough for your business?

Great question! I’m going to answer that for you in the following part of this article:

1. Customer Service and Overall Responsiveness 

Anyone who knows anything about the complexity that comes with finding a perfect web hosting provider for his or her business – knows that this is not an easy purchase to make. It’s not something that you can just search in Google and blindly choose one of the brands from the top of your recommended results list.

Nope. A whole lot of variables come into play here.

First and foremost, customer care and the overall responsiveness of that particular chosen business.

You don’t want to hand over your site to a company that doesn’t really respond to emails or just ignores your requests, do you?!

Of course not.

For most today’s businessmen, their website means everything to them! It’s where they make their bread and butter. It’s where they generate leads and get people to eventually become their paying customers. Their website is like their digital visit card and office combined.

Having said all that, it’s understandable why they cannot expose their site to any unnecessary risk or downtime.

No connections means no new visits, which automatically means no new leads and clients.

Simple as that.

If people can’t see what you’re selling and why should they do business with you and not your direct competitors, then you cannot expect from them to spend their money on whatever it is that you’re selling.

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That’s why people need to be really careful when choosing a company to host their business online.

Even though web hosting is a tech business – there are still a lot of variables that could go wrong here. It doesn’t really matter if you spend a lot of money on your hardware, you still need to invest a lot of your time and energy into making sure that everything is constantly working on desired levels. 

You need to constantly cruise over your gear like a hungry hawk and make sure that there are no hiccups.

Even though this all sounds like a pretty straight-forward and standard thing, there are still a lot of careless and inexperienced hosts out there that can’t really ensure that your site remains online at all times. They either don’t have the skills, nor time, nor the will to be omnipresent online.

That’s what really separates good web hosts from bad ones. Before you go on and pay a certain provider to host your website, make sure that he really has the skillset to answer all your questions and ensure that your site is constantly up and running. 

2. Reputation

It doesn’t really matter if you’re shopping for a shirt, pair of shoes, a bike, household appliances, or web hosting – you need to properly analyze your options and figure out what you’re exactly paying for here.

As I said above – it’s all about cutting down risks.

Consumers who tend to think that they’re making the right decision by siding with a random hosting provider whose credentials and reputation they’ve failed to properly check online, often end up with a website that’s constantly offline.

Of course, once they finally see in which kind of jam they’ve gotten themselves into – they start to freak out!

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Web hosting is like a car, in many different ways. First and foremost of all, almost every piece of junk can get you from point A to point B, but at what cost?

You need to see who stands behind a certain product, service, and company. It’s in your best interest to catch up on the full story, and not just run through the headlines if you know what I mean.

Otherwise, you could end up paying for a piece of garbage that will only put you in an even more complicated situation.

Like I said above, web hosting is not something that you can really just type in Google and blindly pick from the search results. Nope. It’s more complicated than that. Like everything else, web hosting is a service that is controlled by humans. And having that in mind, you know that every single provider out there is different. Some of them are more serious and professional, while others are not. How they think of their job is what really sets them apart.

Your job here is to find those with great work and ethical skills. But, in order to do that, you need to do your research. You need to go beyond the regular Google search and really look for reviews and testimonials from real people online. Real clients.

3. Area of Expertise

The days of picking up random articles from the shelves are long gone, my friend. The world doesn’t really work like that anymore. If you want to make smart choices and get the most out of your money’s worth – you need to properly acquaint yourself with whatever it is that you’re shopping for. You need to know all the essentials, all the pros and cons of  your every possible deal or option.

Especially if you’re shopping for something delicate like web hosting.

Even though at first glance it looks like all web hosts offer the same type of deals, once you really acquaint yourself with this service, you’ll see that most of them target different types of customers.

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Some of them offer great shared hosting plans, but that’s it. They’re all about offering basic services for basic clients. You cannot really grow your business with them, while some of their competitors have great enterprise solutions but aren’t the right fit for someone with a small recipe blog, or something similar.

So, in order to find a good host for your business, you first need to know what kind of service are you looking for. Even though they have great hardware, that still doesn’t really mean that they have the capacity or expertise to host a bigger client.

Look into a company’s specialty or area of expertise before you buy, and go with one that understands your particular needs as a customer. You can find reviews and recommendations on the Web, and many of these will talk about a particular company’s strengths and weaknesses.

4. The Overall Quality of Support

This is a big one. This should be your main area of focus when choosing a web hosting company.

Why? – Well, because, the Internet never sleeps. It doesn’t really matter how good or new your host’s hardware may be, you could still run into a lot of problems. It happens. The important thing here is that you figure out if your provider has the skills efficiently solve any of your problems.

I don’t know about you, but when my site goes down for some reason, I want to know that my provider has my back! I want to know that my provider can find out what’s wrong and fix it, or at least tell me what I need to do to get my site back online.

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Before going with a host look into their reputation for customer support. See what kinds of different ways you can contact them when you need support – email, toll-free phone, chat, and so on. Are they staffed 24/7? Do they outsource support?

You’ll find that, like in price and technical specifications, all hosts are not equal. Some hang their hat on their support crew, and some view customer support as an afterthought. Steer clear of the latter.

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