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What is Reseller Hosting & Why It’s a Scam

For many clients, a web designer or developer is the first stop to getting their website online. After your website is built, you’ll will likely turn to your designer for help with the next step, which is generally hosting. This can be a daunting and confusing task, especially if you are less familiar with the web and how it works. 

How are you supposed to know anything about hosting a website, how much bandwidth or disk space you need? So naturally, you look to the person or company who built your site for guidance. And they offer to host your site for you. They’ll take care of everything and you don’t need to worry about it at all. Great, right?

Maybe. But maybe not. If your web designer is offering you hosting, chances are what they are really selling you is reseller hosting. 

What is reseller hosting?

With reseller hosting, the reseller (in this case, your web designer) buys hosting services from a hosting company and resells or rents them out to their clients (you). It gives small companies the ability to easily provide hosting to their clients as if they were a web hosting company without actually being a web hosting company. 

Why reseller hosting is a scam.

It may seem simpler and easier than figuring out your own hosting, especially if you like and trust the person who just built your website. But all you are doing is paying more for something than you should at the cost of losing control and ownership of your own site. Here are few reasons why relying on third party or reseller hosting may not be all that it seems. 

  1. Pay more for nothing. Support, server hardware, updates, maintenance, connectivity, network infrastructure, setup and maintenance, security, all of it still comes from the actual web host, not the reseller. There are no specific technical skills that the reseller is providing, it all comes from the hosting company and likely at a higher cost so that the reseller can make a profit. 
  2. Don’t choose your host. You’re at the mercy of the hosting company your reseller chose. The overall quality of your web hosting provider should be really important, especially if your site is used to generate leads and sales for your business. But if you go with reseller hosting, you have no say in the quality of service you are receiving, because you’re not choosing it. More than likely, you don’t even know who the parent hosting company is. 
  3. You’re not in charge of your own website. What happens if your site goes down? What happens if the reseller’s company goes under? What happens to your site if something happens to your designer? Normally you would contact the company hosting your site. But with seller rehosting, you don’t have another contact, so if that person or company is unreliable or something has happened to them, it’s hard to say what’s going to happen since you don’t have any of the hosting information for your own website.    
  4. You might not have 24/7 support. Your website should be up and running around the clock. It doesn’t matter what time it is, if your site goes down, you want it back up fast. Most hosting companies are available 27/4 for support. Most web designers keep standard office hours. If your site goes down on the weekend or in the evening, you might not have support until the following business day.  

What to look for instead?

Instead of relying on your web designer or developer to host your website because it’s convenient, work with a web designer or developer that you trust to help you figure out the best solution for your needs. They probably know more about hosting options and what you really need for your website and should be willing to make a good recommendation. If not, you may want to consider a different web designer. One that’s a bit more customer service oriented in the event that any issues do arise. 

Let them spec out the type of server, monthly or annually costs, add-ons that they recommend like firewalls and fully managed support. Make sure they answer and explain all your questions you can make an informed decision. Ultimately, it’s your website so you should be in charge of where it’s hosted. If you’re still unsure of the process, see if they’ll become your technical contact and set up the VPS or get your site configured for you. Then once the site is up and running, you’ll have complete control over your website and its hosting. You can reach out directly to the hosting company, rather than needing to rely on a third party for assistance. 

Of course, if you choose your web company wisely and they have truly great customer service, like the kind we promise at Matt Gerber Designs, they’ll always be there to help. Customer service is the backbone of our company. We believe in seeking out your needs and exceeding them in every possible way to create lasting relationships. We love being the go-to for our clients, but we want them to call us because they think of us as their business partner and want our help and services, not because we they have to. At the end of the day, it’s your website and you should have complete control of every part of it. If you are looking for a web company to partner with, contact us online or by calling (414) 232-7862.


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