Just thought I'd talk a bit about them.
For those who don't know, resellers are companies that resell hosting for a larger company.
Being a reseller does not make a company bad.
Let's look at a couple reasons resellers are good.
- Resellers are smaller companies. This means less customers. The company can spend more time and attention per customer, because the customers are more valueable.
- Resellers don't have to worry about the server they are on. They don't have to administer it, install upgrades, stop attacks ect. That is the job of the parent company. The reseller can spend more time working with customer satisfaction and promoting their service.
- Resellers have less hassle than a full hosting company. Although support should be 24/7, they don't have to constantly monitor traffic, bandwidth and the server.
- Resellers can also offer you the same quality of servers and connectivity as the parent company, at many times a lower price.
Things that can make resellers bad
- Resellers are the lowest on the chain. The resellers many times have to go through their parent company, the parent company has to go through their dedicated provider (Unless they are co-located themselves) and then to the datacenter. If the client needs something upgraded on the server, or something installed, it could take a long time if it even happens.
- Becoming a reseller is too easy. Any 12 year old can start a web hosting company up by becoming a reseller. Because pretty much anyone can become a reseller, means the expertise in the area may be next to none. They may not know what the heck they are doing or how to help the customers. They bloat the hosting industry and give resellers a bad name.
Before ever commiting to a web hosting company, TALK TO THEM! CALL THEM! The client should test them, it is the clients money, make sure you don't get scammed.
What to look for and what to know.
- Ask the host straight up if he is a reseller.Honesty is key in the web hosting industry. If they can't be honest up front, how do you know that they won't lie about why there was downtime, or what was the problem? Many resellers believe that being a reseller is a "BAD" thing. Many people believe the same, because of point #2 I made above. If the reseller says, "Yes, we are a reseller" compliment them for their honesty and proceed. If they say "No, we own our datacenter" or something like that, be suspicious.
- If the company denies being a reseller, there are many things you can do to see if they are telling the truth. www.domainwhitepages.com will give you some information, chances are if the nameservers for the host's domain name are pointing to another hosting company, they are probably a reseller. You could also just type in the hosting names on google and come up with some info. There are many other things to do as well, but I won't go into that.
- Test their knowledge. Have a techie friend (If you don't have one, get one) write down a batch of questions that any good host should know, and test the company. IE- What is their connectivity, where is the datacenter located. Make sure they are knowledgable. Just like mechanics, the company is the expert and should know more than the client about the product or service they are selling.
- Find out who their parent company or companies are and research them. The resellers can only be as good as them. I've seen resellers who resell for resellers of resellers.
In closing, don't make decisions or stereotypes about resellers without proper research. Many great hosting companies start out as resellers and move up.
I probably left a ton out, feel free to add your opinions and comments.