Reseller Hosting vs Shared Hosting - Which One Should I Get?

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If you are searching for web hosting options, you may have compared reseller hosting vs shared hosting. Which one should you choose, if money is not an issue?

I decided to write this article because I recently helped a client to set up a script, and notice that he, as a newbie, is using a reseller hosting account. Puzzled, I asked him why. He said he had done some online research and most people said that reseller hosting is better.

Curious, I did some research too and realized that many bloggers are advocating reseller hosting. OMG.

Hence I decided to write this article, to shatter some of the myths that are going around… and to help you save some money.

I’m going to list down the arguments on why reseller hosting is better (based on what other bloggers wrote). Then I’ll share my own view point… and you’ll be the judge.

1) Reseller Hosting Saves You Money When You Have Several Domains

Most bloggers say this, “if you have ONE personal website, shared hosting will save you money. But if you run an online business with several sites, a reseller hosting will save you money, since it allows hosting of multiple domains.”

That’s not true.

Yes, some shared hosting services allow only 1 domain, and the cost is about $5/mth. But there are tons of hosting companies that offer shared hosting with unlimited domains and the cost is less than $10/mth. You can have 100 domains hosted on a shared server. No problem.

2) Reseller Hosting Makes You Money

“A reseller account allows you to sell hosting, helping you to offset the cost of your server.”

If your intention is to get into the highly competitive website hosting industry, then yes, by all means, get a reseller account. But if your intention is to offset your cost, it’s really a bad idea.

As a reseller, you have to provide your own customer support. If you are not server savvy, you will have problem serving your customers. Even if you are server savvy, your time will be better spent growing your key business, not to offset your cost.

3) Shared Hosting Is ‘Shared’

“With shared hosting, you are sharing the server with hundreds or even thousands of other users.”

That’s true, but what those bloggers didn’t say is reseller hosting is also shared!

The only difference is whether the server is shared among a few hundred people or a few people.

Other than reseller hosting and shared hosting, there are 2 more forms of hosting called virtually dedicated hosting and dedicated hosting. To put it very simply, only dedicated hosting is 1 server to 1 user. All other hosting plans are shared.

It doesn’t matter if you are sharing the server with 2 users or 200 users, you are still sharing, which means there is a limit to what you can do, and there is a risk of other users crashing the server.

Nowadays, hosting companies are giving unlimited disk space, unlimited domain and unlimited bandwidth for shared hosting (such as the baby plan in hostgator.com, which cost less than $10 a month). If you can burst their limit, it is their problem!

Even if you are on reseller hosting, all you need is one heavy user from another reseller to crash the server. Unless you are using a dedicated server, the risk of sharing is always there.

Conclusion

Unless you want to run your own hosting service, always go for shared hosting, until you hit some limits that force you to upgrade. Even so, you should upgrade to virtually dedicated or dedicated hosting. Don’t bother about reseller hosting.

Some Interesting Pointers

You may be curious why hosting companies can offer unlimited domain, unlimited bandwidth and unlimited disk space. If you are interested to know, here’s why:

- although they give you unlimited bandwidth, they limit the connection speed. It’s like giving you 1000 trillion dollars but you can just take out $1 a day (a little exaggerated but you get the idea).

- although they give you unlimited disk space and unlimited domain, they limit the Index Node, which is the number of files. For hostgator, the limit is 250000. Wordpress script itself has about 250 files. If you use some templates and plugins, you can easily hit 500 files. That means by the time you reach 500 domains, you would have hit the Index Node limit. (You can theoretically fail the server by uploading 250000 video files, each 1GB big. But remember, your connection speed is limited. It will be a pain to upload those files.)

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    65 Comments »

    Comment by Fred Raley
    2011-08-26 23:13:45

    Spot on article here Ken. Great logic.

    Shared hosting is good if you use domains like I do. I get a domain that is easy to say on the phone for each project I am doing. I just register it, host it and redirect it to whatever URL I want (like a long affiliate URL.)

    Since it only takes a handful of files to do the hosting and redirect, you can get a lot of domains on a shared hosting account before going over any file limits.

    Good thought on the videos though. I have been thinking of moving mine off of You Tube and onto a service like Amazon S3. Any recommendations on which hosting service to go with for videos?

    Fred

     
    Comment by Niranjan Ranade
    2011-08-27 00:17:52

    Yes, thanks Kenneth for this valuable post! Even I was once impressed by Reseller option and paid $50/pm for many months…but later realized that Shared hosting is the best suitable option for most Bloggers like me at $10 monthly :)

     
    Comment by ilanlarcaddesi
    2011-08-27 05:44:17

    Valuable post! Thanks

     
    Comment by Holger
    2011-08-27 07:22:00

    Ken, all your comments about sharing are correct.
    However, reseller accounts with WHM panel are easier and faster to use than “add-on” domains (IMO), and I can allocate my purchased MB/GB individually for each domain in my account. For a blog I give it more MB and bandwidth, I monitor and if needed increase or decrease bandwidth etc. I maintain 3 Reseller accounts with 3 different hosts, only for my own domains
    (up to 300+), and pay approx. $35 p.mth. total, incl. a few dedicated IP.
    I buy and sell rapidly doamin/sites (therefore delete and add weekly) and the Reseller WHM makes it a breeze.
    And yes, for most a shared account with a stable host, can be maintained for less than $5 a month. Everybody should stay away from “FREE” hosting accounts.

    Comment by Kenneth Koh
    2011-08-27 15:20:28

    Yes, if you are in the business of buying and selling domain, it makes sense to get a reseller account because you can sell hosting together with the domain and earn passive income. That’s a great move!

    Otherwise, I personally don’t think WHM is easier and faster than add-on domain. It’s neater, for sure, but may not be easier. WHM interface has more control, but it can be overwhelming to a newbie. If the newbie were to manage different domains using cpanel, it will be a disaster as that user will then have to switch cpanel to move from one domain to another. Worse still, inexperienced users may set up domain under a new account and also set up some domains under add-on. This was what happened to the client I mentioned. In the end, he forgot which domain is under which.

    As for bandwidth allocation, shared hosting nowadays offer unlimited bandwidth. So users don’t even have to bother about allocation. They are more likely to hit other limits set in the shared hosting account. That’s when they look into other hosting options.

     
     
    Comment by David Hurley
    2011-08-27 08:12:34

    I was thinking about reseller hosting so that I could build up passive income - until I realized that it wouldn’t be so passive if I had to administer all the accounts for my customers.

    In the end I found a good affiliate deal with a reliable webhost that offers a one-time payout on new accounts with no other requirements from me. That’s where I send my customers now.

    For my own purposes, I have a shared hosting account with Bluehost and currently have around ten or so websites on it.

     
    Comment by James West
    2011-08-27 17:43:57

    I have shared hosting because I am a newbie when it comes to having my own website. I was wondering why though it took me so long too put HTML on my domain and took me forever too email campaign my downline but this article sure did explain it thanks again Kenneth:

     
    Comment by Dan@Student Loans
    2011-08-27 20:02:49

    Hey Ken, you always have some superb information to share! I am currently using Hostgator with unlimited everything and it is A-OK with me. But thanks for explained about hitting the “invisible” limits on these accounts tho. I would never want to host like 500 domains under one account anyways - nor do I think it’s wise.

     
    Comment by Cool Websites
    2011-08-27 20:06:43

    I am using free hosting for the moment(I found this hosting company on your blog btw), but when Im gona get more traffic to my website I’ll upgrade to paid, thanks for clearing stuff up.

     
    Comment by Asmodeus
    2011-08-27 22:49:59

    I use both reseller accounts and 2 shared hosting accounts and I agree with you that newbies should stay away from reselling because of all the extra work involved. I see way too many noobs reselling hosting for $1 until the server crashes and they’re gone a week later. I use it for website flipping only, as selling hosting is way too much of a pain!

    The only sentence in your entire article that may be misleading is “If you can burst their limit, it is their problem!” regarding “unlimited” shared hosting. Actually, it would be the users problem, as Hostgator WILL kindly tell you to stop it or suspend your account if you use too many resources on a shared server. It happened to me enough times that I eventually moved each time.

    Good article!

     
    Comment by Victor
    2011-08-28 00:48:30

    I have different ideas…

    Though reseller hosting is still “sharing”, it’s better than shared hosting when you run multiple sites, especially niche sites, adsense sites.

    As mentioned in the article, most shared hosting like hostgator and bluehost have limitation on “inodes” in an shared account, which we can interpret it as “files” for simple understanding. For example, hostgator limits max 250,000 inodes, once your sites on the shared account exceeds this limitation, your account is in trouble, will get suspended or terminated according to your response to their warnings. When you use reseller account, you can create many cpanels so that you can avoid such situation in most cases.

    Typically, when I install a wordpress site, it takes about 2000+ inodes. Of course it varies when you have different numbers of themes and plugins.

    VPS and Dedicated server are independent and will not influenced by other users. But it’s more difficult to handle for average people.

    So, for running multiple sites, if your sites tend to exceed the limitation of your shared hosting plan, reseller plan is a good choice rather than VPS or dedicated servers for average people, unless you have other specific purpose.

    I use VPS to build large websites, especially those will use a large amount of server resources. I also use VPS to run softwares and apps. My friends use dedicated servers for their gaming sites, ecommerce sites, etc.

    So, it’s better to understand what you really need and know more about different hosting choices so that you can find out the best solution for yourself.

    Just my two cents.

    Comment by Lyle Kannenberg
    2011-08-31 08:31:04

    I happen to agree with this comment, as I run several sub domains, as well as other domains on a reseller account.

    I do not upload a lot of videos, as most of the videos that are onsite, are mainly youtube embed codes.

    On a limited budget, reseller does work for me.

    There may come a day when I do create training videos, or have a lot of files that need downloading, or have a store of my own where my options will have to be reconsidered.
    Thanks for the great information.

     
     
    Comment by Ashley Maynard
    2011-08-28 02:37:21

    Hey,

    Thanks for the detailed direct host, reseller host information.I personally use B Host and bluedomino.com.Your insight and explaination the different kinds of hosting is an eye opener for me. Once again thanks!

     
    Comment by Ashley Maynard
    2011-08-28 02:46:43

    Your information on hosting and the different types of hosting has been an eye opener. I now have a clear understanding of hosting, which will enable me to choose the best host service for my website campaigns.

     
    Comment by Ashley Maynard
    2011-08-29 00:04:23

    Hi,

    Is there any particular host you can recommend for pushing a learning to speak spanish program quickly?

     
    Comment by Joel Canepa
    2011-08-31 20:59:30

    I have been marketing online since the old days of dial-up bulletin board systems (BBS), and using the DARPAnet before it became the Internet. I’ve used services offered for hosting from shared hosting, to Virtual Private Server (still shared), to dedicated server, to my own server. Each service has its pros and cons, and what it really comes down to is what works best for each individual customer.

    There is one new service that has caught my attention recently, and it is indeed a unique concept and worthy of a look by everyone from beginners to seasoned professionals.

    They are offering unlimited hosting, unlimited domains, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disc space, URL Rotator Service with unlimited rotators and unlimited URLs, Link Cloaking Service with unlimited links, a personal conference room with unlimited seats, and all of this for 7.00 per month.

    NOW, what makes this unique is that they are offering all of this, plus any future add-ons at no additional charge, and they have a referral program that covers your cost with only 4 referrals. With a forced matrix referral system, after only 4 referrals, not only are you paying for your monthly fees, but you are making a monthly income for those interested in a little matter like that.

    Check it out for yourself by clicking my name above.

    Joel C.

     
    Comment by Directory
    2011-09-03 19:01:42

    Hostgator running Softlayer reseller program, so i could say hostgator is good.

     
    Comment by Patricia Cole
    2011-09-04 07:46:25

    Thanks for this article. I am thinking of changing where my site is hosted. I can now make a better informed decission.

     
    Comment by Ashley Maynard
    2011-09-04 08:51:18

    Hosting is still affordable.I am using free hosting for the moment but when I get more traffic to my website I’ll upgrade to paid,member.

     
    Comment by seattle seo
    2011-09-06 15:25:29

    Since speed is now a ranking factor, and cloud hosting has driven the cost of hosting down, there is no reason to save a few dollars on a cheap host vs. a cloud environment.

     
    Comment by Ashley Maynard
    2011-09-08 11:50:23

    Who is the host?

     
    2011-10-16 20:18:44

    Hey, Really nice Post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Looking forward for more post like these!!!!
    Thanks for sharing!!!!!!!!!!

     
    Comment by Ashley Maynard
    2011-10-16 21:42:50

    Hosting topics will forever peak one’s interest especially if you’re making a living online.
    Thanks for the comment….

     
    Comment by Walter Scott
    2011-11-02 10:51:46

    Thanks for this very helpful topics. If you are to begin your own business right away. Reseller hosting is very easy, which means that a reseller you host, you will not have any problem.

     
    Comment by Bryan
    2012-02-04 10:17:15

    I got an extremely important question (to me anyway - extremely)…. From what I am reading, on a shared hosting package with add-on domains, if you publish different-looking websites (but have the same exact content), it will actually be negatively affecting your ranking. Since a reseller account does not use add-on domains, they have their own cpanel log-in, is it the same scenario? For example, I have a new client - I am designing about 100 websites. All of them are the same content, they just look different with graphics and layout. If I put them all on the shared hosting, I am using add-on domains for each website. If I change over to re-seller, its still ONE hosting package, but will it hurt search engine submissions?

    This is time sensitive, I hope someone can respond asap - so I know if I should move them before the search engines pick up the sites and put a negative mark against him.

    Thanks!

     
    Comment by best backlinks
    2012-02-23 01:13:43

    Great article!if it weren’t your post i would choose reseller hosting instead of the sharing one thank so much

     
    Comment by Wowrange
    2012-03-15 01:56:42

    I think it does not effect users either its shared or reseller. Hostgator is theplanet reseller and i am using hostgator which is best one.

     
    Comment by Seth Seventoln
    2012-04-27 04:48:53

    True, but what about your own server? There are many free servers on the internet, they take a short time to download, storage and bandwidth are only limited by the capacity of your computer. And it is not shared.

     
    Comment by Diego
    2012-08-16 06:57:40

    Kenneth, thanks for the article. Shared hosting is defiantly the anser for bloggers and people working with their own sites. Reseller is only really needed if you are a website designer or something and you want to actually offer your client hosting services.

     
    2012-09-13 01:53:24

    This is a good and common sense article and very helpful to one whom is just finding the resources about this part.

     
    Comment by whm hosting
    2012-09-19 19:39:30

    Ηеy! Do you know if they makе any plugins tο aѕsist ωith Seaгch Εngine Oρtіmіzatіon?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not sеeing very gοod геѕults.
    Іf you κnow of anу plеaѕe share.

    Thаnκ уοu!

     
    2012-10-20 17:07:02

    I was curious if you ever considered changing
    the page layout of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.

    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

     
    2012-10-27 06:33:42

    Usually I do not read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced
    me to take a look at and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me.
    Thanks, quite great article.

     
    Comment by James West
    2012-10-27 06:47:41

    I’d just rather have shared hosting because if you have reseller hosting your responsible for all the server space and that could take alot of time and ecpsially money.Ya share hosting might be slower but that’s ok with me

     
    Comment by Best Beat Maker
    2012-11-01 06:11:06

    Hey excellent website! Does running a blog like this take a great deal
    of work? I’ve no knowledge of coding but I was hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyways, should you have any recommendations or techniques for new blog owners please share. I know this is off subject nevertheless I simply needed to ask. Appreciate it!

     
    Comment by Gail
    2012-11-18 16:36:05

    Hi i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anyplace, when i read this
    article i thought i could also make comment due to
    this brilliant piece of writing.

     
    Comment by James West
    2012-11-19 02:14:49

    Hey Kavin welcome to the club man. Your right though this man does right alot of interesting articles so I would keep my eye out for future ones becuase they are very interesting and educational. Again weslcome!

    Jimmy West

     
    Comment by seo strategy
    2012-11-19 23:50:45

    My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was totally right.
    This post truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had
    spent for this info! Thanks!

     
    2012-12-01 01:26:39

    You actually make it appear really easy together with your presentation however I in finding
    this matter to be actually one thing that I think I might by no means understand.
    It kind of feels too complicated and very broad for me.
    I’m having a look forward for your next post, I’ll attempt to get the hang of
    it!

     
    Comment by carlos
    2012-12-03 11:47:54

    How safe is running your own server?

     
    Comment by Fred Raley
    2012-12-03 11:57:03

    Not recommended at all. Gotta be pretty techie to do that. Rec: hire it out.

     
    Comment by JannySmith
    2012-12-15 17:35:27

    I think that reseller hosting is a great way to start your own web hosting business and one of the best ways to earn money online.
    With that you can some money.
    This is a great way to become your own boss.
    Main features for looking for web hosting are: flexibility, reliability, security, usability, control.

     
    Comment by James West
    2012-12-16 01:08:04

    I agree hole hardedly with what Janny Smith said if your not a very tech savvy person and just want a website to get your name out there so you can make money or advertise your hobby than absolutely go with shared hosting

     
    Comment by Hosting Coupons LA
    2012-12-31 19:14:12

    How safe is running your own server? Finding a Stable hosting provider is more important things do your business. I think.

     
    Comment by backlinks service
    2013-03-05 06:28:42

    It is really a great and helpful piece of information.
    I am satisfied that you just shared this useful information with us.
    Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

     
    Comment by windows8helpnow.com
    2013-03-16 17:22:05

    This is the best place where we can find web hosting options. If you are searching for good web hosting options, here you will find the place. Thank you very much for this which will maybe useful for many others too.

     
    Comment by James West
    2013-03-16 23:56:15

    I get my web hosting from one of the oldest and most trusted sources and that is Godaddy. I was told by many people including my own brother and countless mentors to use this service. I tried Intuit but just didn’t care for them all that much of course at the time I was too afraid of all the tech work that would go into building a good website but after I caught on later in my years it wasn’t that bad but I still went with Godaddy and I have no complaints

     
    Comment by Holg
    2013-03-17 00:10:39

    @James West
    You definitely should have done some googling research about GD hosting, and search in some forums. Over 90% use Cpanel hosting, especially if you will run websites with Wordpress sites, and you plan to buy and sell sites. Transferring websites in and out is a pain (IMO) I have sold/bought and transferred over 1,000 sites since 2005 and I do NOT install or transfer out of GD. Even so GD is great as registrar with their coupons etc., but their hosting is not the user friendly platform for IMer. They capture many people (newbies) with their special offers during registration of new domains, however the main business platform by far is CPanel.

     
    Comment by James West
    2013-03-17 00:18:14

    Well that’s just it Holg I’m not very tech savvy and with Godaddy’s website tonight builder websites you can easily build a website it is damn near as easy as building a blog trust me you just have to make sure you get the website builder website. You can also make this an e commerce website just like you do a c panel website. I’m not disagreeing with you I’m just not at all tech savvy that’s all I mean ya I can copy and paste banner codes and use HTML but that’s about the extent of it.

    Comment by Holg
    2013-03-17 00:27:47

    James, most Cpanel host I know and use, offer webbuilder programs, included with 1000’s of themes. If this fits your needs with GD good for you, I am just viewing it from my experience with buying and selling activities, which your plans might be totally different and therefore a GD platform might be satisfactory for you. The key is, if you are using Wordpress as your building platform for sites, you will use WP themes and plugins to build your website and not a html/php webstructure, and I am sure you read enough about why WP is used by so many (ease and practically all available for free) and CPanel is the preferred platform for WP sites.
    wish you good luck

     
     
    Comment by James West
    2013-03-17 00:35:22

    Ya I hear ya holg I know GDI and GVO offer these kinds of platforms that your talking about and have been checking into them. I currently don’t use wordpress and know I should that’s why I’m doing my own research on this and seeing which would fit me best. I’m not sure if Godaddy offers this or not I think they do I just never tried wordpress yet but thanks for the advise I will certainly keep it in mind you have a good weekend

    Jimmy West

     
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    2013-03-29 21:54:48

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