Shared Hosting Vs. Reseller Hosting - Which Is Right for You?

Julia

Julia Raznik · 03rd June 2021·Reseller Hosting

Shared Hosting Vs. Reseller Hosting - Which Is Right for You?

When setting up an all-important business website, most entrepreneurs will opt for a shared hosting option given how affordable and straightforward it is to get started. However, many are now considering making the switch to a reseller account, and asking themselves what benefits they can expect, and just exactly how it differs from traditional shared hosting.

We understand how confusing the hosting world can be sometimes, so we decided to put together this comprehensive walk-through of the differences between shared and reseller hosting, and to help guide you to the best choice for your business.

What Is Reseller Hosting?


Basically, reseller hosting lets you manage multiple websites at once. You rent server space from a large hosting platform, and then have the option to ‘resell’ that space to other clients, while you act as the host.

You don’t always need to sell the space on though, and you can utilize this method to host multiple websites that you own. You can find all the details over on our reseller hosting page.

What Is Shared Hosting?


Shared hosting is by far the most popular method used by small and medium-sized businesses to host a website.

Here, your site will be located on a shared server alongside multiple other businesses, and the hosting provider will allocate resources to each site as and when needed. These are meant for one owner, using one cPanel account with one username and log in only.

Shared Hosting Vs. Reseller Hosting


At first glance, both hosting methods can appear to have a number of similarities. For example, both ultimately utilize a shared server space used by multiple clients, but there are some critical differences between the two that could make all the difference when it comes to your business success.

Advantages of Shared Hosting

hosting features
  • Great value for money - There are so many hosting providers to choose from these days, that anyone looking to start a business can get a website up and running for just a few dollars per month. Sharing server space with other business owners and entrepreneurs means you all benefit from cost savings

  • It’s easy to get to grips with - Your hosting provider will provide all of the technical support, set up instructions and administration of servers. You just need to worry about perfecting the style of your website

  • Impressive customization tools - A lot of platforms these days offer intuitive website building tools and a comprehensive range of add-ons. These are made easy to understand for beginners, and they enable you to create some pretty awesome-looking websites. Simply choose your template, make some tweaks and you can have a site up and running in hours

  • Easy to scale - Since your data isn’t stuck on just one server, it’s really easy to scale up your business when you grow. If you need more memory and bandwidth, the hosting provider can simply allocate you more in another shared server for an additional cost

  • Compatible with content management systems - Most shared options can be used easily with the likes of WordPress, Joomla and Drupal

Disadvantages of Shared Hosting

  • More vulnerable to security issues - While hacks of major hosting platforms are certainly rare, being in a shared server solution presents greater security risks. If one website comes under attack, there’s a chance every other site sharing that space could be at risk

  • Fewer customer support options - Being the cheapest package offered by most platforms, you’ll often find that support channels are often more restricted. You could find you’re missing access to a phone line or live chat, and will just be limited to email tickets only

  • Limited modification tools - You’ll usually have quite a strict set of applications you’re allowed to install on the server. This cuts down on the sort of advanced modification options sought after by many web developers

You can read more details on the advantages and disadvantages of shared hosting over on our comparison page.

Advantages of Reseller Hosting

reseller advantages
  • It can be used as an additional revenue stream - This is one of the most common reasons people will go for the reseller option. By selling on hosting space you can create the perfect complementary sideline for your business, or even use it as a full business model

  • Whitelabel hosting - You get full control over the branding of any services you sell on. Your customers won’t know you’re selling on space from another provider

  • Personalized control panels - While shared hosting is restricted to just on management account, reselling allows you to create tailor-made web hosting solutions for your clients

  • Your host will cover any technical issues - Your chosen platform should resolve any back-end issues, and will be responsible for the uptime of your sites. This gives you more time to focus on the important stuff, like perfecting your customer service skills and site customizations

  • Increased feature-set - You’ll usually find far more features in a reseller package than you would with a simple shared hosting option

Disadvantages of Reseller Hosting

  • You’re dependent on your web host - If your host is having server issues or technical issues, then this will have a knock-on effect on all of your own customers. Choosing the right platform can make or break your business

  • It can be expensive - Costs can quickly mount when reselling, and we’re not just talking about the price of server space. You’ll also need to consider a marketing budget, potential staff hires as you grow, and paying for additional customer service channels

Who Is Shared Hosting Best For?


who is shared hosting best for

The simple answer would be that it’s for everyone! Almost all users will be able to derive some benefit from hosting their website on a shared platform. However, it’s particularly beneficial to new start-ups, bloggers, niche sellers, hobbyists, and small businesses.

Plus, it’s a great choice for those that only have very limited experience with web developing, or none at all. Freelancers will often go down the shared hosting route, become more experienced, then scale up as their business grows.

Some might want to consider making the switch to a dedicated private server should they see significant growth, but the sheer simplicity and easy scalability of shared packages mean many entrepreneurs will stick to their original plans for many years at a time.

Who is Reseller Hosting Best For?


who is reseller hosting for

Reselling is primarily for those that are looking to start their own web hosting business. It usually attracts those that have at least some familiarity with the industry, or people working in the digital sphere that are looking to add a complementary revenue stream to an already existing business. Alongside hosting, you might want to offer services like web development, branding, design or social media management.

Barriers to entry are pretty low, so even those that have no experience in this type of market can dip their toes in. We’d highly recommend you do your research beforehand though, as there are a lot of concepts to get to grips with.

You don’t just have to sell server space to other clients either. You can use reselling to manage multiple sites connected to your own business. You might want to take advantage of the extra customization tools, or provide staff members different administration platforms across multiple sites.

Security Differences


Shared hosting packages often come with a fairly standard suite of security tools and features. Most will offer two-factor authentication when logging into your administration dashboard, DDoS protection, and we’re seeing SSL certificates packaged as standard across most platforms.

Those choosing a reseller package will often find they’ll have access to more beefed-up security. For example, you might find daily backups of all the data held on sites under your control, regular security scans may be offered by the hosting platform, and you could be offered advanced web application firewall options.

That’s not to say you’ll be guaranteed better security if you opt for reselling, but a general rule to follow is that the more you pay, the more features you’ll get. We suggest you do some digging before you make your final choice though, as we’ve seen some shared hosting options offer some pretty stellar security tools for a reasonable price in recent years too.

Number of Websites and Control Panels


This is one of the main differences between the two types of hosting.

When using a shared solution, you might be able to manage several websites at once, but you’ll have to manage all of them under one administration dashboard. Usually, via just one cPanel login.

Resellers will instead be able to manage as many sites as they’d like, all via individual cPanel accounts. This allows for total customization whilst giving your new clients the ability to log in too. You yourself will manage all of these sites via a meta hub where you can track issues, manage customer queries and arrange billing.

Cost


Shared hosting is definitely the cheaper option, and the one we’d recommend if you’re just getting started out. Amazingly, you can get a brand new website up and running for just a few dollars per month these days, and hosting platforms are frequently running sales promotions to attract new customers. Always check how much disk space and bandwidth you’re getting in each package though, as you don’t want to outgrow your capabilities too quickly.

Those choosing the reseller route will be paying quite a bit more for the service, but users will receive access to far more features. When comparing basic packages, you can expect to be paying roughly three to four times more per month for a reseller hosting plan than you would by using a shared server.

We’d like to stress again the different functionalities between the two services, and while prices might sound high initially, you should be more than making this back as you take on new clients.

Hosting performance


One potential downside of shared hosting is an impact on connection speeds and site loading times. For instance, if you have multiple domains parked under a single hosting account, then there’s a good chance those sites are going to be fighting each other for their share of memory.

Since resellers have a separate administration account for every single website under their control, these performance issues no longer become a problem. While using a shared service should definitely provide enough efficiency for those operating just one site, if you’d like top speeds across multiple websites we’d recommend reselling as the way to go.

Reseller Hosting Vs. Affiliate Programs


Those that might not have the time and resources to put into reselling might want to opt for an affiliate program as an alternative.

Here, you won’t be selling a service under your own brand name, but will instead be driving customers to your chosen affiliate in exchange for a percentage of the sale. Most web hosts offer this type of program, and you can find more over on our affiliate page.

Summary


Now that you’ve got a clearer understanding of how each type of hosting works, it should hopefully make it easier for you to come to a decision that’s best for your business model.

Those just starting out on their business adventure, like bloggers, freelancers and hobbyists would be better off going for a shared hosting plan. While those looking to start their own web hosting business, that wants to add an additional revenue stream, or simply have a lot of sites to manage, should get signed up as a reseller.

These are, of course, just general rules to follow, and everyone’s personal situation will be a little different. Always make sure you do thorough research and due diligence before signing on the dotted line with whichever hosting contract you end up going for. Luckily, most providers offer a 30 or 60-day money-back guarantee, so it’s never been a better time to give it a try.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need Technical Knowledge for Reseller Hosting?

Not necessarily. Most hosting partners these days offer comprehensive packages that take care of every technical aspect of your reseller business.

Which Method Is Right for My Business?

Generally speaking, small businesses, and those managing just one website, will want to try shared hosting. While entrepreneurs looking to build their own hosting business should sign up as resellers

Is It Easy to Switch Between the Two Hosting Methods?

Yes. Most hosting partners make it quite easy to switch between different tiers and packages

Which One Is More Expensive?

Reseller hosting is more expensive, averaging between $10 and $20 per month for basic tiers. Simple shared hosting will set you back between $2 and $10 per month.

How Do I Choose a Data Host?

Find one that has everything your business needs. You’ll find a huge variation in features across suppliers, but always try and choose an option with servers located near your customers too.

Julia
Julia Raznik