The word Reseller has certain connotations. You may think that a reseller simply buys from a distributor and goes on to sell the same thing for an inflated price. Gotta make money somehow, right? Well, this isn't always the case, as we'll find out soon.
ResellerClub doesn't simply wheel and deal with other hosts services (although there is a bit of that, too), they also provide their own self-hosted platform.
Founded in 1998 in Mumbai, India, ResellerClub were acquired and incorporated into the Endurance International Group (EIG) in 2014. With the move to EIG, ResellerClub joined an evergrowing list of hosting providers to be snapped up by the group. Take a look at the image below to see all of them, as far as we know anyway since not all of these companies publicly admit to being part of the group. However, if you do a little digging, you can find out more.
Excuse my poor Illustration skills! I decided to leave plenty of blank space here, as EIG have a habit of mopping up brands like nobody's business. So I expect this list to be added to fairly often.
So as you can see, ResellerClub is in some good company! Some not so good, too, but that's only natural when being part of such a diverse group.
Moving on. In this ResellerClub review we'll be taking an in-depth look at their Shared Hosting options, and hopefully, by the end, you will know whether they are worth a try or not!
Without further ado, let's get this started.
- Shared Hosting (Linux Or Windows)
- Reseller Hosting
- Dedicated Server Hosting
- WordPress Hosting
- Cloud Hosting
- Domain Reseller
- Website Builders
A rather large selection! Not unexpectedly, however, since the nature of a reseller is to have as many products available as possible to allow for greater profit margins. Included in some of the options, like dedicated servers, you will see some familiar names once again.
Both Bluehost and Hostgator dedicated servers are available for purchase through ResellerClub. It's fairly difficult to understand what the main focus is here since there are so many options. However, we will be reviewing, as we do with all of our hosting reviews, the shared hosting package, running on Linux servers. Before we dive in any further though, here is something that caught my eye:
A pretty bold claim - 'Make your website up to 1000% faster'.
I wasn't entirely familiar with Varnish Caching beforehand, so I did a little reading. Here is an excerpt directly from the horse's mouth:
The cache is often the most critical piece of software for a web-based business. Varnish Cache is a powerful, open source HTTP engine/reverse HTTP proxy that can speed up a website by up to 1000 percent by doing exactly what its name implies: caching (or storing) a copy of a webpage the first time a user visits. Varnish visits your server once to cache the page, then all future requests for the same page will be served by Varnish. This means lightning-fast content delivery and fewer backend server resource requirements.
Very interesting and certainly something that should be offered by more hosting providers out of the box! The only downside I can see from this form of pre-caching is that site changes may not be shown to the user as soon as you might like since the server will show them a pre-cached version first. Still, nice offering.
What’s Included In The ResellerClub Hosting Packages?
In a word: lots.
Let's be honest, most of these features are a standard when it comes to shared hosting providers. Well, good ones anyway. Hopefully, ResellerClub can match up to the high expectations they set for themselves.
Moving a little down the page you'll find this:
And this, my friends, is very welcome information. Too many times when checking out various providers, I'd have to contact chat support to find out even half of this information. ResellerClub just puts it right there on the shared hosting plans page. Great stuff!
Now it is time to break down the plans in more detail! Let's see what they each offer, and how they differ.
|Disk Space Limit||Unmetered||Unmetered||Unmetered|
|How Many Domains Allowed||1||3||Unlimited|
|SSD Or HDD Used In Servers||HDD||HDD||HDD|
|Email Accounts||Unlimited (10GB boxes)||Unlimited (10GB boxes)||Unlimited (10GB boxes)|
|Assisted Website Transfer||cPanel, free||cPanel, free||cPanel, free|
|Auto-Installer||Included (Softaculous)||Included (Softaculous)||Included (Softaculous)|
|Money Back Guarantee||30 Days||30 Days||30 Days|
|Customer Support||Live Chat (pre-purchase only), Phone, Ticket, Knowledgebase||Live Chat (pre-purchase only), Phone, Ticket, Knowledgebase||Live Chat (pre-purchase only), Phone, Ticket, Knowledgebase|
|Choice of server location||USA / India / UK (Pre-purchase only)||USA / India / UK (Pre-purchase only)||USA / India / UK (Pre-purchase only)|
|Free Automated Backups||Included (cPanel)||Included (cPanel)||Included (cPanel)|
As you can see from the table above, the single difference between the plans, other than the price, is the number of domains you are allowed. 1 for the Personal plan, 3 for the Business plan, and unlimited for the Pro plan.
There are 3 plans available to choose from, which is fairly standard. The pricing structure is also very similar to many other hosts. A single-domain Personal plan will cost $2.79 a month, 3-domain Business will cost $3.49 and an unlimited Pro - $5.19. All of these prices are valid for purchasing periods of 1, 2 and 3 years.
While Personal plan is strictly offering only these kinds of durations, Business and Pro plans also include 3 and 6 month periods, costing just a little bit extra. You also need to pay extra if you want UK servers.
$3.49 becomes $3.99, $4.99 turns into $5.99, and $6.49 is now $7.49. The reason why it's happening is bigger registration costs in the UK. We've seen exactly the same kind of increase done by NameCheap - it's a common practice.
But all of this is becoming seriously complex. ResellerClub have so many things going on, it could be difficult to keep track. So in the table below, you will see how much would you have to pay for each duration of the each hosting plan.
|Payment Period / Plan||Personal||Business||Pro|
Once this plan runs out, however, hosting prices will increase for a little bit - the three plans will cost $3.49, $4.99 and $6.49 respectively.
ResellerClub Customer Support
Customer support is a really important section to me, personally. I have worked in customer support, both front facing and remotely, and let me tell you, it's not an easy job. Having a disgruntled customer at the end of the phone shouting at you for something that isn't your fault is always disheartening. However, it is important to understand how each and every hosting provider performs in this area. Bad customer support can truly break an otherwise wonderful hosting experience. On the other side of the coin, great support can lift up an otherwise bad host. So, it's an important part of this ResellerClub review.
Here are the support options:
- Ticketing System
- Phone Support
- Live Chat (Pre-purchase only)
Three of the usual options, plus a knowledgebase, which is always a welcome inclusion to any hosting provider package. Let's look at each in a little more detail.
Traditionally, ticketing has been the way to go. That has kind of faded away slightly since the introduction of powerful and fast live chat systems. However, for anything detailed or technical, tickets are still preferred by technicians and users, alike.
After purchasing a package with ResellerClub, I genuinely encountered an issue I wanted more information regarding. I already set my domain nameservers over to ResellerClub's and was surprised when after a couple of hours the site still wasn't live. This does take some time, but usually 15-30 minutes with most providers.
These are the options that you are shown when creating a ticket. It's a nice way to lay out all the available options, and also will help both users and tech support agents as each ticket should go to the right place if the system is used properly.
So I created a ticket and sent it off expecting a response possibly a few hours later. (You might be wondering why I didn't use the live chat for this question, we'll discuss that soon)
That is what you call fast! I received ticket confirmation about 2 minutes after creating the ticket. So to go from sending a question off to receiving a detailed response in less than 3 minutes is nothing short of incredible. Absolute props to ResellerClub's technicians and more specifically, Nuzeefa S, here.
This one is a bit harder to show off in a review. Here's the story. ResellerClub gives you 3 phone numbers to call on their support page: One for India, one for the US, and one for the UK.
I suppose they just feel that if you are outside any of those countries you would just call the one closest to you. So that's what I did. After waiting for a couple of minutes I was connected to an agent. I asked a few probing questions about what was included in the shared hosting packages ('Do you use SSD or HDD in your servers?') and generally tried to be not very polite. It's not nice to do that, but it is a good test of how the support holds up.
And well, they held up very well! Professional and polite throughout, as well as informative.
I'll include this in the phone support section since it seems to fit best here. I received a call a few days after purchasing the hosting package and already setting up my site, as well as running some tests.
Mumbai, India. I thought for a second, who do I know that's based in Mumbai? Then it hit me! 'Founded in 1998 in Mumbai, India'. Of course! ResellerClub. So I answered, and was told basically that they had sent me an email requesting card verification, and it would only last 48 hours before my site would be suspended. Now asking for additional information is a bit of a pain, especially after a few days of smooth sailing, but the fact that they called me with plenty of time in advance is really great and definitely something that Hostwinds could learn from.
Okay, aesthetics aside, it's actually a really good system. There are absolutely loads of articles in here, almost all with relevant, up-to-date and informative content. I was very surprised that ResellerClub's knowledgebase is this extensive, to be completely honest.
As you see, just opening up one of those tabs, in this case, the 'Hosting' one, unravels plenty more, all with their own nestled tabs!
Live Chat Support
Now this one is the interesting one!
For some reason, ResellerClub has decided that live chat is only to be used for pre-sale support. You can connect as many times as you like and ask anything about the hosting packages, but if you have any kind of technical issue with your site or a detailed issue, you're going to have to raise a ticket or make a phone call. Or check the KB, of course.
There's nothing wrong with this, per se, but it is a little odd.
The first thing I saw after opening a live chat was this lovely little message. 6 minutes isn't too bad, I thought. Well, it wasn't really 6 minutes. I was a cheeky lad and decided to time it. It turns out, from connecting and receiving this message to actually talking to a human, took around 11 minutes. This was the case multiple times, too.
This isn't awful, but it's not good either. Considering that ResellerClub's email support is so lightning fast, you'd have expected their live chat to be even quicker. Sadly, it's not the case.
However, not all is lost. We still have to find out how good the agents are once we are actually connected. So, let's find out.
................. Still waiting ............ 11 minutes later.........
Okay, there we go, connected at last.
Once connected with Aditya and later, Shikha, I asked the same questions I had asked on the phone and was hoping to get different results because until now everything was going suspiciously smoothly. Well, I got the same answers.
Response times were kinda slow as I would wait at least 3-4 minutes between each question. Strangely, I'd say live chat is the area of greatest weakness for ResellerClub. It's strange primarily because a lot of other providers have great live chats and not much else.
First Impressions During And After Purchase
You are presented with that magic number 3 once again when it comes to payment options with ResellerClub.
- WebMoney (Don't worry, I'd never heard of it either)
Smooth sailing here.
That big and beautifully designed 'Manage my order' button was too tempting to not click on. So, click on it I did. And I was then presented with the dashboard.
Uhh, where is my site then? Despite being hideous, this just isn't intuitive. To actually get to the real dashboard from where I could manage my site, I had to enter my domain name in the 'jump to domain' box and hit enter. It's really poor UI and UX design here. And yes, this is a review of hosting, not design, but UX and UI design is genuinely a big part of our 'User Friendly' rating, so it's definitely worth exploring and evaluating, I believe.
Once I had entered my domain and fell deeper into ResellerClub's web of 'design', things didn't improve much.
Okay, I suppose it isn't terrible, but it could certainly be improved. Clicking on the 'Manage Web Hosting' option takes you to a welcome sight, however!
Ah cPanel, how wonderful you are. See, web design doesn't have to be complex and fancy to be visually appealing! We are provided with a standard 'paper_lantern' cPanel theme to begin with, but there are customisation options in the cPanel settings section.
As it turns out, ResellerClub has done a really thorough job here. I won't show all the options in pictures, otherwise, this review will turn into a picture book. I will, however, point out some of my personal favourites and highlights.
- Softaculous App Installer (Over 400 installations available, from WordPress to SEO improvements)
- Site Publisher (A simple and quite lovely way to publish a 'coming soon' page to your site whilst you build the full thing)
- IP Blocker (Does what it says on the tin)
- File Manager (Again, self-explanatory. Really useful for adding images and files to your site's backend)
cPanel makes things really quite simple and I truly believe that unless you have absolute confidence that your own solution is better, then every hosting provider should be using it.
Let's take an example of how easy things are to show you why I value cPanel so much. I wanted to make a simple HTML subdomain site, for our performance testing. With cPanel, this took me less than 30 seconds.
Hit the 'Subdomains' button, type in the word 'HTML' and click create. And that's it. Done. No faffing around with settings and the rest of it. It just works. Oh, and then something that got the nerd in me really excited.
In the file manager, there is an HTML and code editor included. cPanel, you're the best. And well done to ResellerClub for being smart enough to include it by default!
So far everything seems to be pretty great about ResellerClub. The pricing structures, although odd, are fair. The customer support is top-notch, and the feature set is packed and polished. That could all be for nothing if it doesn't deliver good performance, though. So, let's find out. Here is what we will be taking a look at:
- Host’s speed during low upkeep
- Host’s speed with a website created using cPanel Site Publisher
- Server’s overall uptime
- Anti-theft security strength
As with all of our reviews, these tests will be updated over time, as performance isn't something you can judge once and then ignore forever. Just look at Hosting24, who have gone from a sub-par host to one of the best. Sometimes things change, so we must, too.
Note - These tests were concluded on ResellerClub's USA based servers
Host Speed During Low Upkeep
For this part of the performance evaluation, I used the code editor previously mentioned to create a really simple HTML site. It has fewer than 30 lines of code, in total. These kinds of sites should be a breeze for all but the absolute worst hosts, so let's see how ResellerClub does with it!
Don't mess with the Schrute.
Pretty great to be honest! Being US-based servers, the fastest speeds coming in from US(W&E) are not unexpected. And as for the rest of the scores, none break the 400ms level, which is generally considered where things start going into the B category. So an A and some pretty good scores across the board. Good stuff. Moving onto:
Host Speed During High Upkeep
Almost identical to the HTML score! The only big change is the Singapore server is almost twice as slow, but everything else is the same and London, Sydney and Bangalore even improved! Really nice work from ResellerClub here, they are certainly on the right tracks. However, the next test is where boys turn into men.
Server Overall Uptime
A basic WordPress website was set up. I went ahead and set our friend Uptime Robot to check its performance once every minute - by doing so, we can see the host's overall availability. Both in downtimes and in the fluctuating response times. Here's how it went through several days of testing:
In a word, magnificent. The speeds are not only some of the best we have seen from any provider, but the server overall uptime was also perfect. The largest of the spikes was a brief one at just over 500ms, which as a spike isn't so bad since some other providers would love to claim 500ms as a baseline speed, let alone a spike!
Also, for good measure, I then turned off 'Varnish caching' as mentioned earlier, to see if we can detect a big difference in the response times. So, did it make a difference?
Well, it did, but not a large one! Speeds after turning off Varnish caching averaged around the 170ms mark. 100ms slower, yes, but still a very, very good speed! Obviously, it does make a difference, though, so it's still worth enabling it!
Anti-Theft Security Evaluation
For the final test, I will be attempting to steal my own hosting account without anyone noticing. In doing this, I will find out how seriously ResellerClub takes security.
Firstly, I tried to brute-force my way into my account by entering an incorrect password as many times as possible and as quickly as possible. A really secure system would notice that this is probably a bot trying to access an account and would throw out some extra verification steps. And ResellerClub?
Well, after 30 incorrect attempts, I logged in with the correct credentials and that was it. Easy as that. Not ideal by any stretch, considering there are many simple options for extra verification available.
Next up, I attempted to lure some information out of the live chat support. I told them the usual excuse ('Oh I'm so sorry, I lost access to my email inbox so I can't receive a password reset!') and hoped they would slip up.
They didn't. I was required to show proof of purchase as well as an ID verification. This is more like it!
So, how do we sum up this ResellerClub review? Here's how:
Not superb, though. There are a few points that we have to mark ResellerClub down on. Live chat could be improved and expanded to include post-sale support, as well as improve response times since they are a little on the slow side.
ResellerClub could also do with a bit more expansive options in regards to things like website building and templates being offered. It's great that Softaculous is included as they have an extensive auto-installer script package, however.
Now onto the good. Support is well established, with an excellent knowledge base and supremely fast ticket replies. And the performance? Fantastic. The server didn't experience any downtime during our testing and the speeds, as mentioned, were incredible. It's actually a surprise that the speeds are so good, as other EIG hosts seem to prioritise support and other things over performance.
All in all, it's a fantastic choice for most users. If you need a little more flexibility, choose one of the other top 5, but if you value performance over everything else, ResellerClub could be the choice for you!
- Incredible performance
- Great Support
- Choice of server location
- Poor UI and UX
- Live chat only pre-sale