Essential tips for selling web hosting to beginners | Heart Internet Blog – Focusing on all aspects of the web

If you’re a Heart Internet reseller, chances are you’ll be looking to sell domain names, web hosting (and potentially other related services) to an inexperienced market at some point. As our recent survey showed, over half of UK consumers don’t actually know what ‘web hosting’ is, which is something of a challenge if you’re trying to get the average consumer or small business owner to invest in your products and services!


So, why sell to those new to the industry? Everyone has to start somewhere, and if you’re on hand to help out from the beginning, chances are you’ll be able to develop a long-term, trusted relationship with your clients. This is especially valuable if you’re combining selling hosting with other services such as web design and site maintenance. The consumer market is also a potential goldmine purely based on its size (but make sure you don’t fall into the trap of being too generic or trying to be everything to everyone – find your niche. See How to enter a competitive market such as web hosting for more tips). If you’re not hugely technical, targeting customers new to web hosting is ideal because they are far less likely to ask in-depth support questions or require non-standard set ups.

The tips below specifically refer to how you sell from your website, but you can easily apply them to print materials, phone calls and face-to-face meetings quite easily too; just jot down a few notes and reminders to get you started.

Diversify your media

Use plenty of imagery, especially if you’re selling a product the customer will use to make a website themselves. Consumers expect to see images and videos of a physical product or service online, and web hosting is no different. When you’re targeting an entry-level audience, avoid images of hardware and people, and instead focus on visuals based around finished websites (your own examples if you’re a designer, or website builder templates if applicable), themes, and control panels. Ask your customers to supply a short quote or testimonial that you can use alongside a screenshot of their website.


Using a variety of different types of media to sell your products helps you appeal to a wider audience, as some people are more convinced by video, others text, and so on.

Consider creating a step-by-step guide through the process of buying a domain name and web hosting. Depending on what kind of business you have and how it’s set up, this may work better in the form of a series of mini-guides explaining both your core services (e.g. hosting) and secondary services (e.g. email). You may want to consider using the same format for each, for example:

  1. Briefly explaining what the product/service is, focusing on the benefits for the customer
  2. A practical guide on how to buy it from you
  3. How to set it up/get started.

How you present this is entirely up to you, but printable PDFs are definitely worth considering for people less familiar with the web as they tend to prefer hard copies of information. If you visit clients in person, then you can also print them to hand out at meetings. To save time, we’ve created plenty of resources you can brand, rewrite or get inspiration from as you wish:


  • Product Data Sheets
  • Web Hosting Guides
  •  White Label Reseller Materialselling-web-hosting3


    Write concisely. The best copy will avoid irrelevant explanations and unnecessary information; for example, you don’t need to highlight data centre features to beginners, whereas a table highlighting the most important product features is a useful at-a-glance feature.

    Simplify terms (e.g. instead of ‘bandwidth’, use ‘traffic’ or ‘visitors’), and consider using hover-over tooltips, boxes or even pop ups to explain essential technical terms (particularly acronyms) in full. Ideally you want to sell the benefits and potential of your products and services rather than focusing on the tech features. Think about what your customers want to achieve and the kind of websites and businesses they aspire to have, and create your sales copy around how your services can help them make their ambitions a reality.

    The tone of your writing can be one of the toughest things to get right, because it’s easy to fall into the traps of being condescending, over-explaining, or assuming your reader knows more than they actually do. To help get the right level, think of someone you know in real life with the same level of knowledge you’d expect a typical visitor to that page to have and imagine you’re writing for them. It’s a lot easier than writing for a completely fictitious audience.

    It’s fairly common to see pages that explain what a domain name is, but then use acronyms like ‘HTML’ assuming the reader understands them. When you’re really involved in the industry it’s hard to remember which terms the average consumer is familiar with, so get someone with no knowledge of web hosting to read it all through when you’re finished (a parent is ideal!).


    Presenting the required information on a web page is often one of the biggest (and most important) challenges. When you’re targeting beginners, your first consideration should be how to provide the necessary information in a way that isn’t overwhelming. Ideally you want the perfect balance between giving enough detail so that the visitor can make a buying decision and not providing so much information that it becomes overwhelming or confusing. Remember to make it clear to your visitors how they can reach you if they need help deciding or have any questions – a phone number or live chat option provides extra reassurance.

    Use Google Analytics or other tracking software to keep on top of bounce rates, conversion rates, and other essential stats so you can make adjustments accordingly and try different approaches. If you have the time and budget, A/B testing is ideal for optimising your sales.

    Avoid cramming large amounts of information into small amounts of space, and use elements like video, collapsible tables, and sliders to prevent pages looking cluttered or becoming unreadable. Consider using a specific colour to represent each of your key products (for example, your website builder product may be orange whilst your domain names are blue) consistently across all your web and print material. In addition to creating the sense of familiarity, over time, your customers will be able to recognise which sections of a page are relevant to them at a glance.


    Make sure there are no distractions on your main product page. It’s tempting to link to other pages on your site to sell complementary services or explain products in more detail, but avoid this on core sales pages as it tends to be distracting. Instead, aim to provide all the information needed about a specific product or service on one page with the aim of easing your visitor directly into your order (or contact) process. Use clear call to action buttons such as ‘Find out more’ or ‘Order now’ to avoid any guesswork.

    Checklist Summary

    Here’s a tl;dr version of the points we’ve covered that you can copy and paste/use as a quick reference guide when selling hosting to beginners:

    • Give people enough information to make a buying decision – don’t overload them with technical/non-essential details, but don’t leave out key elements either.

    • Make good use of space and code to simplify your offerings and make them easier to read and digest.

    • Ensure contact details are easy to find and reassure visitors you’re on hand if they need help.

    • Use a variety of media on pages (e.g. videos, demonstrations, closely related images, text).

    • Make ‘how to’ guides to explain products and services.

    • Ensure you have plenty of images of the service/product in question (where practical).

    • Consider associating each of your key products/services with a distinct colour across web and print.

    • Direct visitors to your order/contact process without distractions.

    • Avoid common pitfalls of being condescending or too technical.

    • Ask someone new to the industry to provide feedback on your writing style and your pages as a whole.

    • Use analytics software to refine your pages over time.

    What are your top tips for explaining and/or selling web hosting to inexperienced customers? Let us know in the comments!



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