Sell "Reseller Hosting" with WHMCS

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Written by Dennis Nind

Last published at: February 8th, 2019

Reseller Hosting - Overview

Reseller Hosting is now an incredibly popular platform, allowing design agencies, startup hosts and individuals build a recurring client base and revenue with little to no overheads (just the price of a Reseller plan, which ranges from £8.95 - £19.50 per month). A huge number of businesses alike rely heavily on reseller hosting packages to start their web hosting business, or to expand their existing business into new markets - its incredibly simple too, as you only need to manage support and billing for your clients whilst the hosting company handles the more complex issues, such as server monitoring, uptime reporting, SLA's, server maintenance etc. If you don't want to start your own hosting business but find yourself managing multiple websites, reseller hosting is definitely a better solution than using a single shared hosting account / cPanel account and comes with a huge number of benefits, such as separated access, far more secure file structures and increased resources (normally, a cPanel account will have resources assigned to it through LVE / Cloudlinux) - with Reseller Hosting, its fairly standard that those resources are then allocated separately to individual cPanel accounts.

Master Reseller Hosting - What is it?

So, the above explains the basics of what Reseller Hosting is - so, whats master reseller hosting? Basically, 'Master Reseller Hosting' allows you to 'sell' reseller hosting to your clients, by provisioning accounts on the same server as your main account. Why is this a bad idea?! Sounds great! NO! Master Reseller hosting leads to a large number of issues which WILL impact your business further down the line...

Reasons Master Reseller Hosting is a BAD IDEA!!!

1.) Poor Security - whilst there have been many releases of 'master reseller' scripts for WHMCS / cPanel, most have been flawed from a security perspective on a number of occasions. 2.) Server Overload - as server administrators of over 120,000 sites, we know from experience that overloaded servers can be a HEADACHE. For us, we intentionally avoid this at all costs to ensure we are able to meet SLA's for uptime. However, by providing 'multiple levels' of resellers, each can have their own customer accounts. Lets see how this works in practice... Let us say, for example, you purchase a master reseller plan with a hosting provider and immediately start selling reseller plans on to your clients. For this example, you sell 100 reseller accounts. Now, those 100 reseller accounts have started each selling their own shared hosting plans to their own customers - again, let's use the example of 100 clients each. Simple maths I know - we now have 100 * 100 = 10,000 customers on the server. We run enterprise grade hardware throughout and have designed one of the most efficient software stacks in the hosting industry today. Yet, I would be more than happy to tell you that even on that hardware, we would NEVER run that many accounts - a server realistically will have at most 2500 accounts (mostly much less) before we consider it 'sold'.

I want to sell Reseller Hosting still!

This does make Master Reseller Hosting completely infeasible - BUT, we completely understand the need to market this type of product to gain attention in this incredibly competitive industry. That's why we offer our Reseller Pro clients a huge 50% off any additional Reseller Hosting plans! This, unfortunately, doesn't allow you to 'automate' the process of selling reseller accounts, but its FAR safer, and is a long term, robust solution that we have offered for years - it works flawlessly as a model and provides you significant markup to make it a feasible product to sell! If however, you decided that you wanted to completely automate the process, you would need to run your own VPS servers (or dedicated of course) - again, were more than happy to help there also!

Sell Reseller Hosting via a VPS

You can completely automate the process of selling WHMCS to your clients by purchasing a VPS. As a root user, you are able to create Reseller Accounts within the VPS, which is standard WHM functionality and therefore imposes no security risks as there are with Master Reseller Hosting, and is tightly integrated with WHMCS out of the box. Contact us today to discuss the options!

Sell Reseller Hosting to your Clients (no upfront costs and 50% discount!)

If you wish to sell reseller hosting without any upfront costs, then you are able to 'sell on' our own Reseller Products to your clients. To do this, you simply purchase the hosting account from us when your customers place an order, then 'hand over' those credentials so your new resellers can access their WHM / cPanel accounts. We appreciate though, that this is a slightly manual process, however, we have written the following guide to simplify things slightly...

Reseller Hosting - Configure WHMCS

Currently, we have no automated way of you provisioning Reseller Hosting to your clients via WHMCS, however, this will be introduced in the near future. 

For now, the following is a great workaround, allowing you to resell the Reseller Hosting products to your clients via WHMCS...


I believe the best way to handle this would be to create a custom product within WHMCS (Setup -> Products and Services) with the following... 

Product Type: Reseller 

Account Welcome Email: Customised** 

Module: None 

The exact reason we recommend selling reseller hosting this way is that we distribute the accounts between servers, avoiding 'overloading' a single machine. 

As such, you would also need to take into account the 'server' where the account will be provisioned. 

The simplest thing would be to customise your welcome email, providing the URLs to the server directly. In the event where you were to purchase additional reseller accounts for your clients on separate servers, you will need to cater for this. 

The following may be a good solution (although, feel free to work this however you wish)... 

1.) Create a new Configurable Option via Setup -> Products / Services -> Configurable Options -> Create a New Group (name this "Reseller Hosting" or whatever you wish, and assign to your Reseller products) - by using Configurable Options over the Custom Fields in WHMCS, you are able to 'add new servers' in the future / when required from a central location, as opposed to editing each product. 

2.) Once the Group has been created, hit 'Add New Configurable Option' to add a new option in with the following... 

Option Name: Server 

Option Type: Dropdown 

Add Option: exampleservername.cloudns.io (which is URL of the first server your reseller has been provisioned on) 

Important: You don't want clients to be able to select this, or configure this from your end. As such, you will need to also select the 'Hidden' checkbox and hit Save Now, I would recommend creating the Welcome Email, using the Configuration Group you have created to provide the URL / link to your clients... 

Setup -> Email Templates -> Create New Email Template selecting 'Email Type' as Product/Service 

The following is a complete guess, as we don't need to do this with root access, however, the template will need to reference the {$service_config_options} field - this though from memory contains an Array() instead of straight output, so you may need to do something like... 

{$service_config_options.CONFIGOPTIONNAME .value } 

That should output the selected value of the config option you created (in this example, just 'phantom.cloudns.io' - this now makes providing your clients access fairly simple, as you can provide the following in your email template (glorified a little hopefully!)... 

------------------------------- ------------------------------- ------------------------------- 

Congrats, your {$service_product_name} has now been activated! 

Username: {$service_username} Password:  {$service_password} 

You can access your new reseller plan using the following link... 

https://{$service_config_options.CONFIGOPTIONNAME .value} :2087 

etc. etc. etc. 

------------------------------- ------------------------------- -------------------------------  

From here onwards, when you take an order, all you need to do is populate the username and password fields in WHMCS (which are available automatically due to the fact you selected 'Hosting Account' in the earlier steps) then select the relevant server from the list (currently, we have only one server, so its going to be pre-populated anyway!)