Resellers and Their Stigma

The views and acceptance of reseller web hosting providers seems to differ greatly when it is compared to local (South Africa) and international markets. The general perception amongst South African consumers is that resellers accounts are somehow inferior or not to be advised – something that is mostly in deep contrast with international consumers. International consumers understand that a reseller who is on top of things with their customer support and have partnered with a professional web hosting company can offer good service, often with value added services.

Just to describe exactly what a reseller is, a reseller is basically an individual or company that sells a service with a source that they do not provide themselves, i.e. a middleman if you will. In web hosting, they usually have their own plan breakdowns, as well as billing system and are usually required to provide basic support to their clients.

I am often amazed at how vehemently opposed local customers are of resellers, just recently I read a post on a forum that one should not purchase web hosting from a company that does not have their own data centre. This is a bordering idiotic statement, simply because it costs tens or even hundreds of millions of Rands to just to build and develop a datacentre, never mind infrastructure, staff, marketing, licencing or networking equipment / servers.

There are extremely few web hosting providers that own their own datacentres and locally I can only think of a few, most of which don’t provide shared web hosting. Most of the largest and fastest growing shared specific web hosting companies in the world do not have their own datacentres.

We rent and own servers from numerous data centres and do not own any such facilities, which are all best of class and I doubt could be run any more efficiently than they already are. I cannot fathom why that would put us at a disadvantage to a datacentre which does actually provide shared web hosting accounts (which again are very rare to begin with).

I would be interested to know how these individuals would conduct a comparison between two such datacentres that provide web hosting – would their floorspace make a difference? What if they own multiple datacentres versus a provider with a single facility?

I wonder what these same people would answer if posed questions such as “Do you only eat at restaurants that own their food supply chains (the farms, etc), as well as building?” or “Do you only use flight services from providers that own their own airports?”. When it is put into such everyday perspectives, the absurdity of these claims can be easier understood.

Please be careful when reading advice from people on forums or social media – it should often be taken with a pinch of salt.

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