If your design agency works online in any capacity, then there is a good chance that you have had at least a few clients come to you with questions about web hosting options. After all, now that you have designed something for them, they need a place to host it, right? There is an equally high chance that, when they approached you, you were uncertain what to tell them. Why not become a reseller? Not only does this help provide you with a source of recurring revenue, it will also enhance your reputation in the eyes of your clients. Not only can they go to you for all their design needs, they can also trust you to host their site for them, as well. Sounds like a win/win, right? It can be. But finding the right host to partner is critical to your success as a reseller. When evaluating hosts to resell, consider these factors:
- “Fully Managed.” Unless you have a systems administrator on-staff, you’ll want to go with a hosting provider that manages security, operating system updates, patches, and monitoring. Such hosts often refer to their service as “Fully Managed/”
- 24/7/365 Support for Your Agency. Ensure the host is there for you around the clock for when you have questions or need support.
- Strong Service Level Agreements (SLA). A “100% Uptime” guarantee is only as good as the policy that backs it up. Make sure the guarantee and the SLA remedies are clearly defined.
- Ability to Handle Your Projects. Clients come in different sizes, and so do their projects. To avoid using numerous hosts, select one that can accommodate your projects, big or small.
While you can rely on your reseller host to keep your clients’ websites secure, you also need to make sure your own infrastructure is secure. Would you trust a creative agency with your website if they were not capable of protecting their own? Certainly not. You cannot afford to skimp on security, To ensure you maintain a positive reputation with your clients, and to protect the data that is most critical to your business, here is what you (or your host) will need to do:
- Regularly scan your systems for vulnerabilities, bugs, and flaws. If your host does not handle this for you, you can use a tool such as Nessus.
- Keep all software up to date. Install critical security releases and bugfixes immediately, and set a time every week (or even every day) where other updates will be installed - preferably a time when site traffic is at its lowest.
- Maintain secure backups of all critical data. Do not update these backups manually. Again, set a time each day when backups will be uploaded.
- Install an antivirus/antispam solution, and conduct regular scans. Pair this with a monitoring solution that will allow you to keep track of suspicious traffic.
Reseller hosting is an excellent way to enhance your value in the eyes of prospective clients, and turn a tidy profit in the process. But becoming a reseller arguably makes your own security measures more critical than ever. Before you start selling hosting solutions to your clients, you would do well to make sure your own data is safe, first. Take our reseller checklist: Launch me