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How to Resell Hosting to Your Digital Agency Clients

September 22, 2020

By Shahibul Islam

Resell Hosting Cloudways

Gone are the days when agencies could remain in business by just providing a core set of services. These days, agencies need several revenue streams to deal with the “slow season” and retain their competitive edge.

One of the ways design, dev and marketing agencies could set up additional revenue streams is to resell hosting. This is a great way of generating recurring income and make sure that the agency is able to take care of the hosting component of the projects on behalf of their clients.

Reselling Web Hosting – What Does It Mean?

Reselling hosting allows you to act as if your agency is the hosting provider, whereas you will actually be working with another company.

One of the major benefits you get is that you can buy hosting at discounted rates, and then resell at a considerable profit margin. More importantly, you can bundle the hosting with other services, allowing you to offer a well-rounded service package to your clients.

For example, let’s consider AtOneSpot, a Latvian WordPress agency that managed to generate additional revenue by reselling Cloudways’ hosting platform. Alexey Seryapin, the owner, wanted to switch from his current hosting provider because it was slow and difficult to resell.

  • He chose Cloudways because of its transparent pricing and ease of use. He’s still reselling it today!
  • He bundled Cloudways with each of his care plans, resulting in a windfall of profits for his agency. More importantly, his clients became much happier as load times decreased drastically.

Why Would Agencies Manage Hosting for Their Clients?

At first glance, it might appear that procuring and managing hosting for clients lie outside the scope of many agencies. After all, the client contacted them to build a business app or marketing campaign. Once the project is done, the client could take care of hosting or deploying it on their preferred hosting solution.

However, in practical terms, there are several reasons why clients actually prefer that the agency also take care of the hosting part as well.

i. Lack of technical expertise

Clients contact agencies because they lack the necessary technical skills required to pull it off. When it comes to hosting, this lack of skills and expertise could lead to a poor decision that could potentially hurt the performance of the project.

The marker offers a wide range of hosting solutions that range from cheap shared hosting to highly-expensive dedicated servers. Instead of navigating this complicated landscape, clients (and agencies themselves) prefer that the agency that built the project should be the one that arranges the hosting for it.

ii. Hosting can disrupt business operations

Let’s discuss the worst case: the client picked a hosting solution that is incompatible with the application. In this case, the choice could actually bring the business operations to a standstill because of downtime. Since visitors couldn’t see the products, they would not buy and thus the revenue and brand reputation will suffer.

This is an important reason why businesses want the agencies to handle the hosting compatibilities because they want a turnkey solution that works without any disruptions.

iii. Managing hosting is a distraction

Very few businesses want to be distracted by anything that does not directly affect their business operations. Hosting comes with its own set of issues and not every business owner has the time or the technical expertise to tackle hosting issues IN ADDITION to other business operations. At best, managing business hosting is a distraction; at worst, it is a serious roadblock that can take up the bulk of the owner’s time.

iv. Clients demand maintenance

Maintenance is an essential component of any project and clients usually expect it as part of the “after-sales” services. For agencies, maintenance is often the cash-cow of the project that continues to generate revenue after the project conclusion.

For web projects, agencies need on-going access to hosting in order to make sure the applications continue to perform without any downtime.

Resell Hosting – Why Cloudways is a Great Option?

When agencies look for a web hosting reselling solution, they need to be sure that the chosen product is the right fit for their clients.

Cloudways is a great option to consider for agencies to resell cloud hosting because of the way the Platform is built and the features that come with every account. Here’s a brief overview of the features that can help agencies convince their clients when they resell hosting.

Unrivaled Performance

Performance is the defining yardstick that determines whether an agency would work with a hosting provider. Clients want speed and performance and they expect the agency to take care of this requirement. This is why performance is perhaps the make-or-break factor in the agency-provider partnership.

Cloudways offers a highly optimized hosting stack (a combination of servers, databases and cache components) that ensures smooth performance for all hosted websites. In fact, users can mix and match cache components to customize the stack as per the project’s requirements.

We gave Cloudways a try and we saw our client sites have page load time decreased from an average of 5.4 seconds to just over 1 second. – Jeff Weese, Founder of Joslex Studios

Cloudways is Easy to Use

Since Cloudways is a managed cloud hosting provider, the Platform is built to be simple and convenient to use. The Cloudways Platform offers a point-and-click UI that abstracts a lot of complexity from the users.

CW Platform

Take the example of deploying an application on a cloud server. Ask any cloud engineer and they will tell you that this requires several CLI statements. On the Cloudways Platform, this is done at the time of server provisioning and the user just has to select a few options. The server and the applications are then provisioned and installed within minutes.

Multiple Apps and Servers

With a single Cloudways account, users can launch unlimited servers. That simplifies management and allows agencies to keep track of multiple projects of a client. But more than this, users do not have to launch a new server every time they wish to launch a new project. A Cloudways managed server can practically support multiple apps – the only restrictions are the server specifications (that could be increased in a few clicks).

Cloudways platform choice reselling

Note that Cloudways offers the choice of five cloud providers including Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine, Linode, Vultr and DigitalOcean. On every Cloudways managed server, users can host practically any PHP powered application such as WordPress, Magento, WooCommerce and popular PHP based CMS.

Unparalleled Support

The quality of a hosting provider becomes apparent when the user runs into a roadblock. If the support is not able to resolve the issue themselves and/or point the user in the right direction, the solution is pretty useless.

For agencies that resell hosting, the importance cannot be overstated. Agencies generally do not wish to handle the clients’ issues themselves and expect the provider’s support to take over seamlessly.

Cloudways has a 24/7/365 expert support that understands the challenges and issues agencies face while providing services to their clients. That’s why they are responsive and have a low turnaround time. For agencies that do not wish to get slowed down by user-level issues, Cloudways offer two support add-ons for a closer partnership.

Transparent Pricing

Transparent pricing simplifies budgeting and allows agencies to build a pricing model that they could trust. Cloudways charges on the PAYG model where the customers pay only for the server resources they consume in a billing cycle. Similarly, the prices of add-ons, backup retention and Cloudways CDN are also clearly laid out in the invoice. Based on this invoice, agencies have a clear idea of the actual cost of using Cloudways services and could add their premium to the invoice they sent out to their clients.

Collaboration

The Cloudways Teams feature allows both agencies and their clients to add team members and give limited or full access to their servers and applications. This feature allows team members with different roles to collaboratively work on a project. The server owner can give team members access Support, Billing and Console.

Cloudways Reselling Website Hosting - Team

Bigger Profits (for Agencies)

When agencies resell hosting, an underlying motive is to set up an additional stream that continues to bring in revenue long after the project handover. Similarly, agencies can leverage the Cloudways Affiliate Program to set up another income stream that could be extended to include the agency’s audience that is not yet paying customers.

How You Can Resell Cloudways?

If you are an agency with clientele of any size, reselling Cloudways is a great way of setting up a pretty lucrative income stream.

And, it is really easy, thanks to the Cloudways features and add-ons that add value for your clients’ business processes.

Remember that Cloudways does not offer any Reseller Hosting Program, but that does not mean that you cannot resell Cloudways. Many of our digital agencies customers are already reselling hosting using Cloudways.

These agencies resell website hosting using Cloudways in two major ways (or modes).

  1. The agency manages the hosting
  2. The client manages the hosting

Let’s discuss each mode separately.

1. Agency Manages the Hosting

Many clients don’t want to get into hosting complexities and their main concern is their business website. This is why they hire agencies to create and manage the website along with hosting and maintenance.

Here are two common use cases for our digital agency customers.

1.1. The Agency Has the Ownership of the Servers

In this use case, the agency acts as the hosting provider for the clients. in this instance, the client knows that the agency is their hosting provider and so they look up to the agency for everything regarding the hosting. The agency does not share server access (and even credentials in many cases) with the clients and takes care of the maintenance as per the clients’ needs.

The agency creates a new Cloudways account for the client OR chooses to launch a new server for the client on their own account and manage it for the client.

For a better idea, here is an example of Sentree, a WordPress maintenance business that also provides hosting, and the benefits they gained by reselling Cloudways.

The owner of Sentree, Carl, wanted to opt for a suitable WordPress hosting service for his clients. He realized that he could not manage his own hosting services and acquiring customers for his maintenance business simultaneously, so he decided to look for a hosting provider but he could resell. He chose Cloudways, and has never looked back.

  • Carl wanted a reliable hosting solution for reselling alongside his WordPress maintenance services. He decided to go with Cloudways;
  • This should be an excellent decision. His business profits increased, and customer satisfaction rose overall. It also removed a significant burden off his shoulders because he was able to resell managed hosting at an affordable price!

How Reselling Cloudways has helped Sentree grow?

Download to learn how Sentree’s team used Cloudways to manage hosting services effortlessly.

Thank You

The Case Study is on its Way to Your Inbox.

Tip: If you are an agency affiliate of Cloudways, you can earn extra by making a new account for the client using your affiliate promo code or affiliate link.

Affiliate Comission Payout

Cloudways Billing and Support

In this case, the billing and support access is with the agency because they have ownership of the clients’ servers.

1.2. The Agency Transfers Ownership to the Client

Some agencies disclose that they are hosting client’s applications on the Cloudways Platform.

This often happens when the client comes to the agency for website creation, hosting, and maintenance. In the contract, the agency discloses that they will use Cloudways as the hosting solution.

You then launch a new server on your agency’s account and after setting up the client’s website, you transfer that server to the client’s new account that you create on Cloudways. You can easily transfer the server from your account to the clients’ account by using the Cloudways Server transfer feature.

Why would an agency transfer the server to the client’s account?

In general, this could happen because of two reasons:

  • Agency doesn’t want to take care of the billing. They want their clients to pay directly to Cloudways.
  • The client wants full access to their servers and account.

Tip: In this case, agencies could still provide support and maintenance services by asking the client to give your agency account access to the server as a team member.

Agencies with Cloudways Affiliate accounts can ask the clients to sign up for a Cloudways account through their affiliate URL or promo code so that the agency could get the affiliate commission.

Cloudways Billing and Support

The rule of thumb is that whoever has the ownership of the server receives the monthly invoice and can contact Cloudways Support. However, if the client has granted the agency access to their server (through the Cloudways Teams feature), the agency can contact Cloudways Support on the client’s behalf. Similarly, if the client has granted access, the agency could even pay the invoice on the clients’ behalf.

2. Client Manages the Hosting

Sometimes, agencies get clients who are not into long term contracts. They simply want to get their website ready and then manage the website (and hosting ) themselves. Now, there is no reason why agencies could not earn extra off these short-term contracts

2.1. The Agency Hands Over the Project and Hosting to the Client

In this case, the agency completes the projects as per the client’s specifications and then hands over the project to the client along with the hosting server. This is done through the Server Transfer feature.

However, since the agency will not handle the project after it goes live, the client does not add the agency account as a team member.

Tip: In this case, the agency could earn affiliate commission by recommending Cloudways to the client. If the client agrees, the agency then asks them to sign up through their affiliate URL or promo code.

Cloudways Billing and Support

Because the client has complete ownership of the account and the agency is not managing it for them, the client is going to pay the monthly invoice and can contact the Cloudways support.

The Best Way To Resell Hosting

As you can see, there are several ways agencies could resell hosting through Cloudways and set up an additional revenue stream that ensures that the agency continues to earn long after the project has been handed over.

As an agency owner, you have to make an important decision every time you take on a project – Will you handle the hosting or let the client take care of the decision?

If you are a full-service agency that receives long-term and recurring contracts, the first option (the agency manages the hosting) is a good fit. This is also true for agencies that want to branch into hosting as an additional service or a side-business.

On the other hand, if you are an agency whose clients don’t want much help with hosting other than your recommendation, the second option (let the client manage the hosting) can suit your circumstances.

If you are reselling hosting using Cloudways and you want us to tell how you are doing it,  simply comment below.

Arsalan Sajid

Arsalan, a Digital Marketer by profession, works as a Startups and Digital Agencies Community Manager at Cloudways. He loves all things entrepreneurial and wakes up every day with the desire to enable the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs through his work!

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