This is a question people always seem to ask me. Which is better a shared hosting account or a reseller hosting account? This is usually asked by people who are trying to get clients or already have clients. However, sometimes people that have a network of sites for internet marketing purposes are also wondering which is better.
What most people don’t realize is that the whole shared vs. reseller debate is fought on the wrong terms. Reseller hosting is actually considered shared hosting. I guess the difference is that with some shared servers you’re sharing the server with thousands of other sites whereas reseller hosting you are sharing with maybe a hundred or so. Either way you look at it, you’re still on shared hosting whether it’s a basic shared hosting account or reseller account.
The Difference Between The Two
Shared hosting is usually used if you have a simple blog or just one or two personal sites. This makes sense for new bloggers or those of you that have only one website. It’s not just for one website though, you can use the cPanel that comes with most shared hosting accounts and use the “Add on domain” feature to add additional domains you would like to use. A reseller hosting account is basically like it says, it allows you to resell hosting space. This is commonly used if you have clients or intend to be acquiring clients for your services like website design, conversion rate optimization and so on. But which one performs better? Performance will vary based on the server you’re being hosted on as well as the company you choose to use. I use Hostgator for Reseller Accounts but never used their shared hosting though I expect it to be the same as far as quality and support goes. The Main Difference is about CONTROL. With shared hosting you’re not allowed to “resell” the hosting space. That isn’t the only difference though, many hosts don’t allow shared hosting plans to have multiple IP addresses, SSL certificates, Advanced DNS configurations and cPanels for each domain. This isn’t a big deal when you’re using a shared plan for yourself, but it IS a big deal when you’re using shared hosting for your clients.
Why a Reseller Account Has An Advantage Over Shared Hosting
Even for those that are not going to be hosting client websites, reseller accounts may make more sense if you have multiple domains. The reason I would suggest a reseller account for almost anybody with more than one domain is for a matter of protection. Most websites nowadays are not the basic HTML they were years ago. They’re more complex content management systems like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. If your website is on one of those platforms or other various CMS’s it may make sense for you to use a reseller account because each domain and website will have its’ own cPanel and jailed root access. Under a shared hosting account, if something were to happen like an exploit or php/SQL injection on one website, it could effect every website and every file you have on that shared plan. Whereas if the same thing happened on a reseller account, the infected files would stay within that domain’s root instead of hurting every other site you have hosted. Another benefit of the reseller hosting is that if you have client sites being hosted you can give them their own cPanel login and information. You can’t do that with shared hosting without compromising every other website you have. Some cool things about reseller accounts. One of my favorite thing about resellers opposed to shared plans is that you can use personal name servers. This is awesome for credibility when you’re sending instructions to your customers and have your own name servers like ns1.incomebully.com or ns2.incomebully.com those are the typical custom name servers you can have with a reseller instead of letting everyone know you’re on a crowded server with other websites.
Site builder tools for your clients are another cool thing. One of the things I did when I started out was set people up with a cheap $10/mo hosting account through my reseller when they turned me down for custom web design services. I told them I could set them up, no setup fee just $10/mo and they can create their own website through the site builder tool. I emailed their login information for cpanel and processed payment.
While that little “down sell” wasn’t worth much, just $120/year per client, it did generate a nice little recurring income that I didn’t even really have to support. It was also a nice consolation prize for being rejected.
So Get A Reseller Account!
Unless you’re just going to have one or two personal sites for yourself, do yourself a favor and get a reseller account. I really recommend HostGator Resellers but if you’re wanting a shared account, you can get that too. I am an affiliate for hostgator but that’s only because they’re the best hosting company I’ve used. I’ve used about 12-13 companies and have had the least amount of problems with them.