Private Label Opportunities for Web Designers and Developers

Web designers have the opportunity to increase their income and to help brand their business by taking advantage of private label (or white label) options that are available. A private label means that you will be able to brand it as your own. For example, you can use a re-branded CMS that appears to clients as though it is your own system, rather than displaying the name and branding of the CMS.

In this post we’ll look at some of the leading private label options for web designers and agencies in a few different categories. We’ll look at content management systems, shopping cart/ecommerce systems, hosting, and email marketing.

Private Label Content Management Systems:

Most clients today want to be able to manage their content without paying a designer every time changes need to be made. There are a number of content management systems that offer private label options. A private label CMS could be a cornerstone for your business that includes residual income each month. Here are some of the leading options.

LightCMS
LightCMS is Element Fusion’s CMS that is created especially for designers. LightCMS aims to provide designers with a CMS that will provide clients with everything they need while not limiting the design, and also providing designers the opportunity to earn a residual income from monthly hosting fees.  There is no cost for designers to become resellers, and you can determine the prices that your customers pay. Earlier this year we published a tutorial for setting up your first site with LightCMS.

LightCMS

Business Catalyst
Business Catalyst really could be included in any of the categories in the post because it is more than just a content management system. With Business Catalyst you can create sites that allow you clients to manage the content, sell online, take advantage of email marketing and more. Business Catalyst does not sell directly to end users, they work only through partnerships with designers and agencies. Prices are not listed on the website.


Business Catalyst

CushyCMS
CushyCMS is simple CMS that allows clients an easy way to update pages without a lot of more advanced features. The system is free to use and designers have the option of upgrading to a pro plan ($28 per month) to be able to brand it as their own CMS. In January we published a tutorial for setting up a client’s site to be editable with CushyCMS.

CushyCMS

Surreal CMS
SurrealCMS is very similar to CushyCMS in that it provides a simple solution without all the extra features. You can manage up to three websites for free or you can upgrade to a designer’s account for $25 per month, which gives you the option of branding it as your own CMS. Spyre Studios recently published a tutorial for setting up a portfolio site on Surreal CMS.

Surreal CMS

PageLime
Like CushyCMS and Surreal CMS, PageLime aims to be a simple solution for designers, developers and clients. You can easily integrate PageLime into your sites very quickly and easily to make the content manageable. It offers features like editing in place on the pages, ability to create templates for creating new pages, RSS feeds, image galleries and more. You can manage up to three sites for free, 50 sites for $19 per month, and unlimited sites for $69 per month. Either of the premium plans allows re-branding. Nettuts has a video tutorial, Easy Website Updates with PageLime.

PageLime

Monk Development
Monk Development offers a high-quality private label CMS. It is the same CMS that Monk Development uses for Ekklesia 360 for church and ministry websites. With Monk’s private label CMS you can become a reseller or a design parnter. As a reseller you will design and code sites for your clients, and as a design partner you will do the design work and Monk Development will do the coding.

Monk Development

Interspire Website Publisher
Interspire’s Website Publisher allows clients to manage their sites, including drag and drop layout customization. It offers all the typical features of a CMS plus options for creating lead capture forms, an image manager, threaded comments and more. Designers can purchase Interspire Website Publisher for $395 and re-brand it as their own.

Interspire Website Publisher

Private Label Ecommerce:

For designers and developers who do a lot of work on ecommerce websites, private label options are available. Private label shopping carts also provide opportunities for residual income.

Interspire Shopping Cart
Earlier in this post we featured Interspire’s Website Builder, but they also have a brandable shopping cart. It provides all of the typical features of a shopping cart, plus a single page checkout, coupon code functionality, reporting and more. The Starter license allows you to sell ecommerce sites with your own branding and it costs $295. Professional and Ultimate licenses cost $995 and $1,795 respectively.

Interspire Shopping Cart

1ShoppingCart
As a private label partner of 1ShoppingCart you can earn 40% of the residual income for the life of your clients, and get support for you and your clients. There is a fee for setup and licensing, but it is not listed on the site.

1ShoppingCart

Pinnacle Cart
Pinnacle Cart (a PHP-based shopping cart) allows to designers to re-brand their shopping cart without any upfront investment. You buy one site license at a time and have control over the prices that are charged to clients.

Pinnacle Cart

Reseller Hosting:

Many hosting companies offer reseller accounts. Here we’ll feature a few of the leading choices for setting up private label hosting services to host the sites of your clients.

Page.ly
Page.ly offers customers a service that includes hosting and automatic set up of WordPress. Customers can set up a new site in two minutes and Page.ly takes care of email setup, installation of popular plugins, nightly backups, and automated WordPress upgrades. Prices start at $14.98 per month with additional options of choosing a premium theme. White label resellers use a WordPress plugin to manage their reseller account right from their own site. If you get a lot of inquiries from clients with very low budgets, this may be a good option for you.

Page.ly

Site5
Site5 offers reseller hosting starting at just $19.95 per month (other plans are available for $31.95 and $46.95 per month). Each plan includes all the features, including private nameservers, the disk space and bandwidth allowances are the only difference.

Site5

midPhase
A reseller account from midPhase is available for $24.95 per month. A reseller Max account with higher limits on disk space and bandwidth is available for $34.95 per month (prices based on a 12-month commitment).

midPhase

Host Gator
Host Gator is one of the largest hosting companies and their reseller accounts start at $24.95 per month. Other plans with more disk space and bandwidth are available for $34.95 to $99.95 per month.

Host Gator

Campaign Monitor
Campaign Monitor is feature-rich email marketing software created specifically to be re-sold by designers and agencies. With Campaign Monitor you can determine your pricing and profit from the difference between Campaign Monitor’s base prices and your prices.

Campaign Monitor

AWeber
AWeber, one of the leading email marketing options, offers a private label program for resellers. AWeber’s private label partners receive priority support, and get support for their customers through email, phone, and chat, plus their own toll-free phone number. Prices for the private label program are not listed on the site.

AWeber

GetResponse
GetResponse is another leading email marketing option that offers private label opportunities. As a private label reseller you will earn 45% commission from your clients. Pricing details for the private label services are not listed on the site.

GetResponse

Interspire Email Marketer
Interpsire also offers email marketing software in addition to their CMS and shopping cart. To purchase the software that can be re-branded, prices start at $495 with no monthly or per-message fees (it runs on your own server).

Interspire Email Marketer

CakeMail
CakeMail focuses exclusively on private label partners, they do not sell directly to end users. The Start Up Account sells for $150 per month, which allows up to 25,000 emails per month. Advanced plans require a customized quote.

CakeMail

BlinkCampaign
Like CakeMail, BlinkCampaign also focuses exclusively on private/white label partners. BlinkCampaign uses pay-as-you-go pricing. One cent each for the first 50,000 credits, with prices being reduced for greater volume.

BlinkCampaign

Neteffekt
Neteffeckt is also dedicated to private label partnerships. Prices are not listed on the site.

Neteffekt

Listrak
Listrak email marketing software provides a private label option for designers and agencies. Pricing details for the white label program are not listed on the site.

Listrak

What’s Your Experience?

What is your experience with private label products and services? If you have any othe suggested services that were not mentioned here please leave a comment.

For more resources please see:

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39 Responses

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  • Jaspal, December 10, 2009

    gr8 list and some very good points … i wanted to ask if there’s any good reseller hosting giving unlimited space & bandwidth .. thnx

  • John (Human3rror), December 10, 2009

    seriously good post. thanks for this. didn’t know some of those email biz did WL.

  • It is a mine to a small web designing company like us http://www.web-design-folkz.com/just to dig out the wealth. Thanks you so much

  • Kyle Ledbetter, December 10, 2009

    In our dealings, we were extremely impressed with the products and staff/support at LightCMS & Interspire.

  • Space and Time, December 10, 2009

    Yeah I only knew of 2 of those. Good post

  • anistock, December 10, 2009

    I think the whole white label partnership model can be expanded to lots of vertical markets within web development and design.

    From a vendor stance, makes sense to give up branding if sales from a white label partner are high enough.

  • Chris, December 10, 2009

    I’m actually looking at using lightCMS. I like the CMS, I like how easy it is to design for, I like all the free designs for use on the system (and they are pretty damn easy to modify)
    but I’m hoping someone else will comment with more experience of the system, preferably someone from the UK… and I’d like to know if they use the client billing feature…

    (BTW, any chance of moving the notify me of followup comments radio above the submit button?)

  • Taruhan Bola, December 10, 2009

    Wow! I did not knew such kind of Private labelling could be done on sites also. Felt nice reading the post. Will be using LightCMS for now since it is free

  • Adam Morland, December 10, 2009

    Great article!

    Cake is a seriously good product. We’ve used it for over a year now and we have a lot of very happy clients. They are such a nice bunch of people to deal with too.

    Good call on Hostgator too. After 3 bad experiences with other hosts, we settled on hostgator and haven’t looked back.

  • Steven Fanning, December 10, 2009

    I have recently used PowerCMS a white label simple CMS solution – it’s kinda light weight but works really well http://www.webassist.com/php-scripts-and-solutions/powercms/

  • Elio, December 10, 2009

    Cool as usual Steven. A quick sidenote: Business Catalyst is the well known GoodBarry
    http://goodbarry.com/

    • Vandelay Website Design, December 11, 2009

      Elio,
      Yes it is, but Goodbarry is no more (after the Adobe purchase).

      You’re welcome Sally.

      Steven,
      Thanks. I’ll have to check out PowerCMS.

  • Sally Strebel, December 11, 2009

    Thanks so much for including Page.ly in your list. It’s an honor to be in good company with the other remarkable businesses. We truly appreciate it.

  • DJ Lesniak, December 11, 2009

    When I was looking at using WordPress, Magento, Vertical Response and PHPForum as solutions for my clients. I decided to look for a single system I could become good and proficient at and still provide all those solutions. I just felt it a little silly to have to learn and install 4 seperate solutions each time my clients needed it.

    So in my research and demos of Element Fusion, Monk Dev and Business Catalyst, I decided on BC because it was the most complete. A year later, I’m glad a made the choice! Especially since the Adobe buyout.

    If anyone is interested in going with BC, I can sign you up! Just drop me a line over at relevantmade.com

  • Web developers Company, December 11, 2009

    No doubt Cake is a great Software. Easy to deal with for even non technical persons.
    Cool explanation as usual.

  • Steven Fanning, December 11, 2009

    No problem, here’s the demo if u want to check it out http://powercms-demo.com/admin/users_login.php

  • Bobby, December 11, 2009

    Great resources. Didn’t even know this was possible.

  • Marcell Purham, December 11, 2009

    Very good list! Never tried light cms but willing to give it a go very soon :)

  • washington dc web designer, December 13, 2009

    Would you consider Expression Engine private label? I keep hearing good things about it, but have never used it personally.

  • Charles, December 13, 2009

    Nice article, a good CMS system, I is nearly a try. Thank you.

  • Web Templates, December 14, 2009

    You lose a lot of flexibility when you use a cms but with dynamic content you really must. Will be interesting to see if the increased importance of load times influence the more popular CMS systems.

  • Graham Strong, December 14, 2009

    Here’s another one for the list: DMXReady CMS.

    You own the software, so there are no monthly fees, and it’s fully customizable right down to the code and database level. One of the best features (I think) is that it comes with a built-in database, so you don’t need to configure one on the server. It Microsoft Access, and though it’s perhaps not the most powerful database structure out there, it is fine for smaller business websites — what it lacks in power, it easily makes up for in ease of use. You can upgrade to MySQL or MS SQL if need be.

    There is also a CMS Lite, a free version, that lets you demo it (unlimited time, limited functionality). DMXReady also has dozens of other apps that plug into it like Catalog Manager, Members Area Manager (security application), etc. to extend its functionality.

    http://www.dmxready.com/dmxreadyv2/cms/cms.asp?page=catalog&product=cms

    Plus, it really is Private Label software — if you are a web designer, you can buy the Developer’s License to use the software for an unlimited number of sites AND you can rebrand the whole software with your own logo and file structure.

    http://www.dmxready.com/?page=license

    I think that’s kinda cool, being able to give clients software with your own name on it…

    ~Graham

  • DJ Lesniak, December 14, 2009

    I really liked what the guys over at http://www.concrete5.org are doing. I found their CMS to be very easy to install and design for and was using it on a couple sites before I found BC.

    It’s been awhile since I’ve used Concrete5 but I understand they now have an integrated shopping cart as well.

  • Gavin Smith, December 16, 2009

    And for something a little bit different, but still design related, you could set up a fully white labeled print-on-demand merchandise store at Printfection (http://www.printfection.com)

  • We Designer Chennai, December 24, 2009

    Really very essential collection of information for every web designer….

  • tuyen dung, December 31, 2009

    Reselling means exactly that — you’d buy the software yourself, install it on your clients site, then use the private label option to remove our name from it. This allows you to set your own price. Some people even charge monthly fees, or bundle it with the website design & integration. Your customers don’t need to know that we exist.

  • Trevor Collins, January 7, 2010

    Thanks of the article, thought provoking.

  • thanks for great idea

  • Lee, May 4, 2010

    Nice list. I knew of LightCMS and Interspire, but not the others.

  • Phil, June 14, 2010

    Good article, I think CMS’s are the way to go.

  • chris, July 1, 2010

    The business catalyst company gives the opportunity of web designers and developers in creating a websites in a simplest way.

  • Gordon, March 14, 2011

    I’ve used Pinnacle Cart before, I like how you can host it on your own server.

  • siobhan, June 25, 2011

    I’ve used a few of these, still shopping around for “the one”. In a previous business venture we used Business Catalyst, and it’s incredibly feature-rich, but actually a bit too much for the types of folks I tend to work with. Light CMS is attractive particularly for their marketing support materials, but a bit on the expensive side, and actually I don’t find the CMS as fool-proof as I’d like. I just love their video tutorials!

    Great post, thanks!

  • Giles, November 8, 2011

    I’ve been using Campaign Monitor for the past year, it’s an excellent product and very cost effective for my clients. Interspire is also very good but unless you’ve got the technical know-how, customising the layouts isn’t that simple.

  • arda, December 1, 2011

    We use Cakemail and very satisfied. Except CMS and Email marketing, there are sldo some survey management services which you can sell under your brand. About CMS, I think all mentioned services are great but anyway hosted solutions always have some limits. We are using Silverstripe CMS and extremely happy. It’s free, opensource and you can 100% rebrand it and use or even sell. After spending lots of years with products like Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, Expression Engine, Concrete5 etc, we stopped at Silverstripe and very happy. I am strongly recommending to anyone. If you had experience with Expression Engine, you can easily learn it and use it under your brand.

  • Brett @ Reseller Hosting, December 13, 2011

    I’ve used Host Gator, (and their off-shoot service SEO Hosting). The former I’ve never had a problem with. The latter I was quite happy with until we started to out grow them then we had issues with more advanced technical issues and ended up switching to another service.

    On the email side the comments on Cake are interesting. I’ve never used it, but glad for the reviews here!

  • Ed Sussman, May 1, 2012

    Buzzr.com is a high-end SaaS private label website builder and CMS.

    Buzzr provides a simplifies interface on top of 200 Drupal modules. It includes a point and click design suite, Quickstarts (websites with features, pages, and permissions for specific verticals),drag and drop layout with dozens of feature modules, a content management system, hosting, upgrades and high touch support. It is available in Spanish and English.

    Buzzr and it’s private label clients have used the platform to power numerous Ace Hardware websites, as well as sites for churches, non-profits, lawyers, dentists, interior decorators, online magazines, architects, exhibits, hair salons, spas, restaurants, retail stores, real estate holdings, community groups, professional security services and even as a a multi-store intranet.

    Learn more by e-mailing me — Ed Sussman, co-founder — at info@buzzr.com or check out http://www.buzzr.com/content/white-label-buzzr-ideal-multi-site-platorm

  • Tom, August 27, 2013

    The typical white label scenario is usually pitting the “mother ship” against the white label off spring. This can be some tough competition to overcome since customers always want to deal with the owner of the software and not a reseller.

    The PremiumWebCart white label offers a different experience because it’s often repackaged and targeted towards specific niche markets.

    For example, because of the extensive scheduling and appointment capabilities, it suits off line businesses that need “time selling”, scheduling and follow up marketing to boost sales from existing customers.

    Landscapers, nail salons, restaurants, karate dojos, health clubs, coaches, consultants, sports teams, etc all provide very niche specific opportunities based upon the same software platform.

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