cPanel Reseller Hosting Account Guide & How To

cPanel reseller hosting goes beyond merely getting a web hosting reseller account.

The best reseller hosting plans will help you maximize your income and brand.

Learn how to build a brand as a cPanel web host & cPanel hosting reseller.

WHM Interface For cPanel Resellers

What is cPanel Reseller Hosting?

In the web hosting industry, a web hosting organization owns a web server which is hosted in a data-center in a certain region or location.

This web server is built in a way that it can host multiple domain names (with separate handling of each name) on a single server (or pool of servers) and customers with different needs within 1 (one) machine.

This is called virtual hosting and cPanel does this extremely well and securely as it streamlines how the system handles hostnames and virtual hosts in order to satisfy most common-use cases.

A cPanel reseller hosting is a cPanel account owner that can create, manage & host cPanel hosting accounts for his or her own customers using his or her allocated hosting resources.

This is possible because one of cPanel’s most attractive capabilities is its ability to grant server root administrators, hosting resellers, and end-user website owners fine-grained ways to ease website and server administration tasks even within one (1) server.

So when a customer wishes to acquire capabilities that will enable him or her to resell web hosting resources to his or own target demographic, he or she will be granted access to WebHost Manager (WHM) interface.

With WHM, a cPanel reseller can sell cPanel accounts.

Each account that you create as a cPanel reseller is owned by you.

You can modify these accounts and do pretty much most of the things that full-fledged web hosting organization can do within the WHM interface.

What Are The Benefits Of Having A cPanel Reseller Hosting Account?

If you are a freelancer, a web developer, a web agency, a web hosting customer with multiple hosting accounts or an individual with an enterprising spirit, cPanel reseller hosting is specifically designed with you in mind.

When you purchase a reseller hosting account or upgrade your hosting account to such, you gain immense powers.

These powers grant you the ability to:

  • brand every aspect of your hosting with your own logos, colors, etc.
  • create new cPanel accounts.
  • add, modify and edit existing cPanel user hosting packages
  • terminate hosting accounts that you own
  • suspend and unsuspend hosting accounts that you own
  • upgrade or downgrade hosting accounts that you own
  • manage integration links in the cPanel interface
  • create, list, update, and revoke API tokens
  • manage DNS records such as adding DNS zones, removing DNS zones and editing DNS zones for your customers
  • use your own nameservers instead of the hosting company’s
  • manage your server’s OpenID Connect-compliant identity providers
  • manage where to direct hosting provider contact information requests
  • offer multi-factor authentication & other security tools to your customers
  • and more.

Coupled with a WHMCS billing system, you become a web hosting brand but without the stress that comes with managing a web server.

Why Can’t I Just Get My Own cPanel VPS?

The fact is that server administration while not impossible to do, is extremely stressful and demanding.

One can go ahead and grab a cPanel VPS or cPanel dedicated server and the cPanel support team does a great work helping anyone even those with minimal server administration skills.

But managing a server goes beyond just being able to provision it and get it online.

You need to understand Linux operating system, understand all layers of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) in order to be able to secure the server from malicious hackers, deal with technical issues that will certainly arise and spend more in terms of money and time.

cPanel reseller hosting takes over these responsibilities so you can focus on just building your brand.

If something pops up, you just notify the web hosting provider since reseller accounts come with 24/7 priority support.

The fact is that when you drill down to the basics, getting a web hosting reseller account will always prove to be a better decision in the long run for you as a startup or someone wishing to make an impact in the technology world.

How Much Does It Cost To Be A Hosting Reseller?

Well, it all depends on two things: your use case and budget.

If you just starting off but with an enterprising spirit, a cPanel reseller hosting package might be as low as $30.00 per month.

That is less than 10 cups of Starbucks Frappuccino and yet comes with immense abilities and the potential to be one of the biggest tech companies online.

If you are an established web agency or web developer with thousands of websites scattered in different places, a good cPanel reseller hosting package might be within $100 per month.

The beauty of it all is that if you choose a good web hosting company that cares and one that has engineers that knows what they are doing, you can always scale up as you grow.

How Do I Become A Web Hosting Reseller?

Surprisingly, it is actually pretty straight-forward.

For example, if you visit webhostingmagic.com/cpanel-reseller-hosting, you will see six (6) different tiers of our web hosting cPanel reseller packages.

All you have to do is to select one that is within your budget, complete the order and voila … you are now have a cPanel reseller hosting account.

But making a success of this goes beyond merely having a reseller account.

For a beginner without an existing customer base, it will require marketing skills & commitment on your part to bring your hosting offering and service to those who may need it.

For web developers or web agencies with an already established clientele, making the transition is really simple and easy.

As A Hosting Reseller, How Do I Handle Billing For My Customers?

There is no shortage of billing systems with cPanel native integration.

From WHMCS, Blesta, Hostbill, Ubersmith, and dozens of others, you will always find one that suits your use case.

For most of our customers, we recommend WHMCS because we consider it the easiest way to run a web hosting business

It is also really affordable with a great team behind it, simplifies and automates all aspects of operating an online web hosting and domain registrar business.

Like cPanel, WHMCS really made web hosting automation super-easy and let you automate daily tasks and operations that normally would take hours on end to get done.

WHMCS is scalable and extensible with hundreds of available apps and integrations for all leading service providers and comes with a powerful developer API.

Yes, the initial configuration probably will take you a week or so to get most of the things operational.

But you have gotten it right, it literally runs on its own.

If you do not have the time to do this yourself, we certainly can help you (for a small fee of course) install, configure, secure your WHMCS billing system once your reseller account is ready.

What Should I Do After Getting My cPanel Reseller Account?

Purchase WHMCS Billing System License

Once your reseller hosting account is ready, visit our add-on section and purchase a WHMCS license if you need a billing system.

You can also select the package that has WHMCS as part of its features by following this URL and our system will automatically provision the reseller account with WHMCS.

Installing the newest version of WHMCS is as easy as filling the form fields and clicking the “Install” button.

Just visit our Softaculous 1-Click app installer and either search for WHMCS or select the e-commerce to see WHMCS.

If you need manual installation, just create a ticket and our team can help install WHMCS.

Replicate Your Entire cPanel DNS Record

Visit cPanel Zone Editor and replicate every single DNS record there at your domain registrar’s dashboard if you can. The reason is simple; the more your DNS records are in sync, the easier it will be for everything else.

This ensures that instead of accessing cPanel via the hostname, you can access each domain under service domains such as:

  • https://whm.domain.com
  • https://cpanel.domain.com
  • https://domain.com/cpanel
  • https://domain.com:2083

Generate An SSH Public Key For Your Main Account

If you are on Mac or Linux, open Terminal.

Paste something like the text below substituting in your email address or an identifier for the key.

$ ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "$identifier"

where $identifier is either your email address or something else.

When you’re prompted to “Enter a file in which to save the key,” press Enter.

This accepts the default file location.

At the prompt, type a secure passphrase if you so chooses to implement that additional security step.

Create a ~/.ssh/config file to automatically load keys into the ssh-agent and store passphrases in your keychain.

touch ~/.ssh/config

Start the ssh-agent in the background.

$ eval "$(ssh-agent -s)"


Then modify the file you created earlier:

cd .ssh && vi ~/.ssh/config

Add this to the file:

Host *
AddKeysToAgent yes
UseKeychain yes
IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_rsa

Add your SSH private key to the ssh-agent and store your passphrase in the keychain.

$ ssh-add -K ~/.ssh/id_rsa

Confirm the key existence:

$ ls -al ~/.ssh

Now copy the generated public key you will add to the cPanel server:

$ cat .ssh/id_rsa.pub

Login to cPanel and scroll down to Security >> SSH Access

To import an existing SSH key, perform the following steps:

Click Manage SSH Keys.

Click Import Key and copy the id_rsa.pub you generated.

To use a custom key name, enter the key name in the Choose a name for this key (defaults to id_dsa) text box.

Paste the public and private keys into the appropriate text boxes.

Click Import.

Now, you must authorize new keys before you attempt to use them.

So go back and click Manage to manage authorization for the key.

A new interface will appear.

Click Authorize to authorize the key, or Deauthorize to revoke authorization for the key.

Windows has a different workflow but these will help:

https://winscp.net/eng/docs/guide_windows_openssh_server
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/administration/openssh/openssh_keymanagement
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/administration/openssh/openssh_overview
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/administration/openssh/openssh_install_firstuse

Check Your cPanel Server Email Deliverability

One of the best features that cPanel 78 came with is the ability to test your cPanel server email deliverability.

The feature located cPanel >> Home >> Email >> Email Deliverability help you identify problems with your mail-related DNS records for one or more of your domains.

It uses these records to verify that other servers can trust it as a sender.

Once you access the interface, the system will list your cPanel account’s domains and show you any existing problems with your mail-related DNS records.

Using the navigation controls at the top of the table, search for a domain or navigate through the pages of results.

Click Domain to sort the list alphabetically by domain names.

Click an individual domain to view its public-facing website.

The Main Domain label identifies the domain that your hosting provider used to create this account.

For each domain, you can perform the following actions:

  • Repair — This feature allows the system to repair a domain’s invalid records. A window appears in the interface that allows you to review and confirm the system’s recommendations for any invalid records. You can copy or customize a suggested record before you approve the system’s repairs. The system will recheck any repaired records. This process can take up to five minutes, depending on the server.
  • Manage — The Manage the Domain interface will appear. This interface allows you to manually resolve issues with your domain’s mail-related DNS records.

Please note that you cannot simultaneously update two or more domains whose records exist on the same zone.

However, if two or more domain’s records exist on separate zones, you can simultaneously update them.

The interface also gives you the ability to set a Reverse DNS (PTR).

A PTR record (requires an associated A record) is a DNS record that resolves an IP address to a domain or hostname.

The system uses this record to perform a reverse DNS (rDNS) lookup to retrieve the associated domain or hostname.

The interface provides information when a problem exists with this record.

It also provides instructions for how to fix your PTR record.

This ensures that your emails to your customer reach them because it will be trusted.

You must have the authority to update a domain’s PTR record.

If you do not, contact the owner of the IP address.

For example, the IP address’s data center or service provider.

Login To WHM

Now that your cPanel reseller hosting account is ready, you can log in to WHM.

To access WHM, you can either use:

  • https://123.456.789.101:2087 where “123.456.789.101” is either the server IP address or your dedicated IP address
  • https://iowa.$hostname.com:2087 where “$hostname” represents the server hostname
  • https://domain_name.com:2087 where “domain_name.com” represents your domain name and its extension
  • https://whm.domain_name.com where “domain_name.com” again represents your domain name and its extension

cPanel Customization, Skeleton Directory & Web Template Editor

cPanel Customization

One of the first things you will need to do once you have accessed WHM is customizing the cPanel interface to use your brand name.

You can do that by visiting WHM >> Home >> cPanel >> Customization.

This interface allows you to upload cPanel, Webmail logos, and favicon, modify specific aspects of the cPanel interface to match your company’s branding, and upload custom cPanel styles.

You can also use this interface to update your hosting company’s public contact information.

If you have a support portal such as the one that WHMCS provides, customize the Help link by entering your help or support website URL in the Help Link text box.

The Help link will not appear in the cPanel interface until you enter a custom URL.

WHM Skeleton Directory

The skeleton directory allows you to easily copy the same files into every new account’s public_html and public_ftp directories when you create an account.

It gives you the ability to create a base setup for new accounts.

You can do incredibly cool things with this including adding something like:

'require ip $ip.add.re.ss'

to an .htaccess file at /home/$reselleruser/cpanel3-skel/ so that when a new account is created, that .htaccess file will be put at /home/$newuser/.

So visit WHM >> Home >> Account Functions >> Skeleton Directory).

Then just place an index.html file at /home/$reseller/cpanel3-skel/public_html (home represents the name of the home partition, and $reseller represents your reseller’s username) that you want to show customers whenever they meet errors or as part of your branding.

If you are not sure how to go about this, create a ticket at https://dashboard.cpanelcontrolpanel.com/submitticket.php?step=2&deptid=1 and our tech support team will help you get this implemented once you have submitted your HTML files.

Please note that:

  • any files/directories that are put in a reseller user’s cpanel3-skel directory will be put in all new accounts that are created by the reseller user. The changes will not be retroactively applied to accounts that have already been created.
  • the structure of the skeleton directory is such that /home/$reselleruser/cpanel3-skel/ is equivalent to /home/$newuser/. This means that if we make a file named some_file.txt at /home/$reselleruser/, then that file with all of its contents will be made at /home/$newuser/.
  • files can be added to directories that are normally created by the cPanel account creation process by creating that directory in the /home/$reselleruser/cpanel3-skel/ directory. For example, if a customer needs a particular file created in /home/$newuser/etc/, then a directory named ‘etc’ would need to be created at /home/$reselleruser/cpanel3-skel/ and the file placed in that directory.

If you add this “Default Website Page”, it will display if any of the following statements are true:

  • the owner did configure this site.
  • the owner deleted this site.
  • the domain points to an incorrect IP address.
  • the domain points to an IP address on your server, but none of your cPanel accounts own that domain.

Web Template Editor

To fully white-label your service, you may want to visit Home » Account Functions » Web Template Editor.

From here, you can create templates for placeholder web pages that will show when:

  • the domain’s owner did not configure the site, or no owner exists for the site on your server.
  • the domain points to an incorrect IP address.
  • the site moved.
  • a connection or firewall problem exists on the site.
  • the domain’s owner suspended the site.

When any of these conditions are met, cPanel will display a notification to any visitor to such websites showing them how to reach the website owner or web hosting company.

To modify a template file within the WHM interface:

  • access the tab corresponding to the template which is to be changed is to be selected.
  • make the changes you wish to make.
  • check the changes before proceeding, click Preview.
  • click on Save.

To return to the recent version of the template, click on Revert.

To cancel the changes, click on Revert to Default.

Securing Your cPanel Reseller Account and Your Customers

Strong cPanel Password For All Accounts

If all the things that you as a cPanel reseller need to be aware or conscious of, it is your sacred responsibility to protecting your customer’s data.

To us, part of this is either using passwords that are no less than 18 alphanumeric character set that includes both upper and lower case letters, punctuation marks and symbols and setting up two-factor authentication each time you create a new cPanel account.

You can easily generate strong passwords by visiting either of these URLs:

Our friend Bill Hess from PrivacyPixel covered this extensively at a post titled The Real Life Risks Of Re-Using The Same Passwords.

We also highly recommend enabling login notification for every cPanel account so that whenever someone logs in to your cPanel, you will get an instant notification.

To do that, log in to cPanel and visit “Edit Contact Information and Preferences.

From there, select and tick the check-box with “Someone logs in to my account. Send login notifications, even when the user logs in from an IP address range or netblock that contains an IP address from which a user successfully logged in previously.” for each account.

Enable 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) For All Accounts

Gone are the days where your trusty password is enough to protect you.

Even if you have a unique password for every website you use, there’s little in the way to stop malware on your computer (or even on the website!) from scraping your password and using it.

Or, if someone sees you type in your password, they can memorize it and log in as you.

Don’t think it’ll happen to you?

So-called “credential stuffing” or brute-force attacks can make it easy for hackers to break in and hijack people’s online accounts in bulk.

Two-factor authentication (sometimes called “two-step verification”) combines something you know — your username and password, with something you have — such as your phone or a physical security key, or even something you are — like your fingerprint or another biometric, as a way of confirming that a person is authorized to log in.

It is the best way to protect yourself online.

You might not have thought much about it, but you do this more than you think.

Whenever you withdraw money from an ATM, you insert your card (something you have) and enter your PIN (something you know) — which tells the bank that it’s you.

Even when you use your bank card on the internet, often you still need something that you know — such as your ZIP or postal code.

So once you have logged in to your cPanel and WHM, we really, really recommend that you activate two-factor authentication immediately for your control panel.

Having a second step of authentication makes it so much more difficult for a hacker or a thief to break into your online accounts.

With 2FA enabled the application on your smartphone supplies a code that you must enter with your password to log in.

Without your smart-phone, you cannot log in.

Don’t worry about losing your device or losing access to the app.

If you do, just let us know and we will remove the two-factor authentication so you can log in until you re-activate that again.

To do this, perform the following additional steps:

Download a two-factor authentication for your device.

You can do this either by visiting your app store and searching for the terms you see below.

Or visit these URLs below to download the appropriate app or extension for your operating system:

Once this is done, visit WHM >> Home >> Security >> Two-Factor Authentication.

For cPanel, visit cPanel >>> Security >> Two-Factor Authentication.

Open your preferred 2FA app in your smart-phone to retrieve the six-digit security code. The 2FA app generates a new six-digit security code for your cPanel account every 30 seconds.

To automatically create the link, scan the displayed QR code with your app.

To manually create the link, enter the provided Account and Key information in your app.

Enter the six-digit security code that the app provides within the allocated 30 seconds before the code changes again.

Click Continue.

The page will reload and once you log back in, it will ask you for the 6-digit authentication code before you can proceed.

Please note that this changes every 30 seconds and that you must use the generated code within this block of time.

Bonus Tip: When doing that, do take a screenshot of the generated bar-code.

That way, not only would you have an additional backup if you ever reset your phone and lose access to the two-factor authentication app, but you can also share the screenshot with your customers each time you activated 2FA for their account.

Getting Support As A Hosting Reseller

One of the biggest perk as a hosting reseller is the kind of hosting support you will get.

Compared to a normal cPanel hosting account, your request will be accorded the highest priority 24 hrs per day.

And beyond that, the great team at cPanel can also step in when needed to make things easy for you if the need be.

At Web Hosting Magic, we actually do offer white-label support directly to our reseller’s customers.

All you need to do is to create an email address, add us to your support system and forward each request you want us to have access to, to our technical support team without anyone else being the wiser.

What To Do Next

Well, if you are a web developer, a web designer or a web agency with multiple clients, you can build your brand faster, earn more and keep your customers happier if you use a cPanel reseller hosting with a good web host that really cares for your success.

Should you want to take this step, visit https://www.webhostingmagic.com/cpanel-reseller-hosting to start a life-changing journey, right away.

Published by Trax Armstrong

A figment of someone's imagination that doesn't really exist. He lives inside a sci-fi simulation, reads philosophical and metaphysical books when he is not fighting aliens that want to steal his soul & always quote Star Trek to make his points.

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