Have you ever thought about reselling web hosting? Or perhaps, offering hosting as an additional service alongside your usual offerings? Reselling web hosting can be a great way to add an extra revenue stream to your web business, with minimal long term upkeep or costs – if set up properly from the beginning!
Enter WHMCS. WHMCS is widely regarded as the most popular software for managing and automating web hosting services. WHMCS stands for “Web Host Manager Complete Solution”, and it’s software used for web hosting management and billing. WHMCS can be used for the selling of not only web hosting but SSL certificates and domain names too. In this article, we will be focusing on the web hosting side.
The real strength of WHMCS is its automation capabilities. It can be used to automate the entire web hosting purchase and setup process. This includes placing an order, creating the cPanel account on your WHM reseller account, assigning a package, emailing the customer their login details, and much more. The benefits don’t stop with making your own life easier – it’s also a much better experience for your customers. They won’t have to wait for an account to be manually created, or set up their billing method manually. Plus, once their service is created in WHMCS, they can manage their cPanel hosting service in their very own client area, including, but not limited to: upgrade/downgrade requests, cancellations, password changes, and managing their cPanel account.
What You Will Need
You won’t need too many things to get started – in fact, just 2 parts are required to get your automated hosting business ready to go!
- A WHMCS license. You can find pricing plans here. The main differentiation between the different licenses is the number of clients you intend on providing services to. For many, the starter or plus plan is sufficient.
- A web hosting account from which you wish to resell individual cPanel hosting accounts, with at least WHM reseller access levels.
That’s it! Best of all, reselling your own hosting with WHMCS does not require any server administration or maintenance skills at all. You can use any WHM reseller account, or better yet, a Managed VPS. That way, the server management itself can be left up to the professionals while you focus on working with your own clients.
Which type of web hosting account is best to resell from?
You have 4 main options when setting up your own hosting reseller business.
- Reseller Hosting – A simple, low cost option. This option is also the lowest powered however, and would only be suitable for client’s with small, low-traffic or starter websites.
- cPanel Managed VPS Hosting – This is the most ideal, mid-range cost option. The power and flexibility of a VPS will allow you to offer your customers a better array of hosting plan options to suit a variety of website sizes and traffic volumes. It is also a fully managed option, meaning you don’t have to worry about any of the server management side.
- Self-Managed Linux VPS Hosting – If you’re a savvy Linux expert, managing your own server can be an even more cost-effective and flexible option – it isn’t suitable for those without extensive server management skills, however.
- Dedicated Server Hosting – Finally, this is where you’ll really be pulling out the big guns. Reselling hosting plans from a dedicated server will allow you to potentially host many hundreds of clients while offering top tier quality, speed and reliability if managed correctly. You’ll either need significant server management expertise, or you could instead opt for a server management plan to have a team of experts take care of it for you.
Setting Up WHMCS
There is room for very in-depth customisations when it comes to WHMCS. However, it also works extremely well out of the box with minimal setup. The customisations are essentially endless, due to how modular and developer-friendly WHMCS is. Some of the customisations you may wish to make include tweaking your email templates and styles, and the front-end design of your client login area. Design not your thing? Not to worry! There are plenty of pre-built client login area themes that you can browse through and purchase on the WHMCS marketplace.
WHMCS have thorough documentation available to help you get set up, such as their ‘Getting Started’ guide, which is strongly recommended reading for newcomers to WHMCS. In addition, there are plenty of other online resources and forums that can aid you in your journey to automating your web hosting services. It’s usually just a matter of digging through your preferred search engine for the specific WHMCS customisation or topic you’re looking for.
We hope this post has been a helpful introduction to what WHMCS is and the tools required to get started! In part 2 of our mini WHMCS series, we will go a little further into the initial configuration, as well as how to connect your hosting account to WHMCS, so that you can start provisioning services automatically for your clients.
As always, if you have any questions about this post or our shared hosting, VPS, reseller or dedicated server plans, simply call us on 1300 MY HOST (694 678) during business hours, or submit a ticket through our Support Portal and one of the crew will be in touch!