Should I host my client's website or not?

Discussion in 'Web Design' started by kremo5le, Sep 23, 2008.

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  1. kremo5le

    kremo5le New Member

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    Hello folks!

    Quick questions only for the experts: Should I host my clients website or should I just encourage him to use his own? Why?

    THANK YOU ALL!

    kRem :D
     
  2. darrenfox

    darrenfox New Member

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    Always keep them seperate. It helps when tracking search marketing efforts, not to mention it a lot more professional.
     
  3. kremo5le

    kremo5le New Member

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    Thank you for your information! Now, why do hosting companies offer such web developer packages then? And, besides 1and1, what other service providers that support PHP, MySql, and all that stuff do you recommend?

    THANK YOU! ;)
     
  4. darrenfox

    darrenfox New Member

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    I read your question wrong, I thought you wanted to host your clients on your own domain/hosting. The web developer packages typically include leasing a server which allows you to host multiple sites off of one server you control. The benefit of doing this is after you have landed enough clients, the markup on the hosting fees can act as a constant source of monthly income. 1and1 is ok but you should check out www.rackspace.com especially if you do not have knowledge of operating a server because they can provide you with a team to manage it.
     
  5. kremo5le

    kremo5le New Member

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    Hey Darren, I think you still didn't understand my question--100%. Still, you gave me a closer approach of what I want to do.

    Really, I'm not going to get a server for my stuff--yet. It is on my plans though. I have plenty of space that I pay for with 1and1. But, is it really worth it to keep your customer's website withing your account? THAT's my question!

    Do you know if it's good or not?

    THANK YOU MAN! :eek:
     
  6. darrenfox

    darrenfox New Member

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    I checked out 1and1 so that I am more on the same page as you but I have not use anything like that so I do not fully understand how they seperate the client accounts within the main admin account (they it can be done).

    Maybe someone on here uses 1and1 and can better answer your question because I am curious as well.
     
  7. kremo5le

    kremo5le New Member

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    So you say that it can be done? Like have your customers and separate the 2 somehow? I will call them to find out. it is really important. As far as I saw a few months ago, 1&1 was considered No. 1 hosting provider in the world. I don't think they are any bad!

    Let me know what YOU find out please...

    kRem
     
  8. wetgravy

    wetgravy New Member

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    i never host my clients website. On occasion I will register their domains for them under my account to keep track for them (for the customers that aren't computer savvy) but hosting their website is always a no-no in my book. If you are a host and are looking to sell design services ... thats different. you're just providing your client with something extra to bill on. But otherwise, the hassle of an upset design client yelling at you for your server going down is something that should be avoided. There are plenty of free servers that host domains and can even have mysql support. (freehostia.com i think is the best for that) So if anything set them up with a free one and let them find a host they like.
     
  9. kremo5le

    kremo5le New Member

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    I like what you say my friend. It is just a pain in the head to deal with a future customer's problem. However, I still don't understand why the offer you such services for developers. I will be offering my customers design services. That's what I'm doing right now and I have possible 3 websites coming my way. One of them will have its own everything, while the other 2 will be under my supervision. Is this ok or not?

    I'm still confused here unfortunately...

    THANK YOU for your time my friend,

    kRem
     
  10. starteasy

    starteasy New Member

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    I host my clients' websites on a reseller account and offer ongoing minor site maintenance for duration of hosting. Not a bad $200pa profit for nothing really I think. It works under the similar principle to extended warranties you purchase from stores. They offer it to make $200-$300 extra knowing that only 15-20% of customers actually return in the extended warranty period asking for warranty return.

    I used to use that strategy in my IT sales business and made a killing. Now I have transferred it to web development through this hosting, and it makes it easier for me to manage their sites, and basically babysit their sites for around 10 minutes a month.
     
  11. kremo5le

    kremo5le New Member

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    Man I LOVED YOU COMMENT. Tell me something, what's a resellers account? Any samples? You mean that I say "pay $200 and your site will have this........." what? I got what you said, but not completely! Could you explain this a little better?

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH BEFOREHAND! :D

    kRem
     
  12. starteasy

    starteasy New Member

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    lol

    Reseller is a large hosting account that has what is called WHM (Web Host Manager) installed (similar to cPanel but for Web Host management). This allows you to split your one management account into several smaller accounts which are then run exactly the same as if you were selling hosting space on your own server, no difference. You can alter the account size, have predefined account types and sizes, have bandwidth reports on client accounts etc, some even have built in API's that allow you to have a website running the backbone programming of the webhost so that everything is set up and paid to the web host, and they pay you your markup profit (kinda similar to affiliate I guess).

    Primehost is good, from memory, but at the moment I use Hostgator.I have only had a couple of issues, and they wer resolved within 5 minutes using the online help which is brilliant for me in Australia and they are in USA.

    I buy a certain size for $30AUD/month, and have a max of 40 accounts that I can put onto that (due to the size I have set for my accounts). Those $40 accounts are charged at either $9.95/month without ongoing maintenance, or $19.95 with ongoing website maintenance. Do the sums. It works out beautiful, as I said, very similar to the upselling extended warranties. I find working on 20% of sales return with issues, and create your markup from there.

    Don't think you can go off and earn $1000's from just selling hosting. Bear in mind, that I charge $9.95/month for an American webhost. If a client were to get from anywhere else they could get the same package for around $2USD per month. The idea, is offering an extra service for $10/month called maintenance, in case anything needs to be changed (ie some content, image placements, change of html/css colours or fonts etc - no template or flash redesigns though!) and because although CMS can be user friendly, "they are business owners, not internet geeks. Why should they learn how to use a CMS system). I install a free CMS system called SnippetMaster on all my accounts, and use it myself if content needs to change, so I dont waste time altering html and uploading files etc, and if the client wants to use the CMS themselves they can, but it only changes text...so if they want an image inserted, or if they destroy their site from using the CMS, I am here to the rescue...for $10/month.

    It certainly isn't a rip off, and in Australia, general hosting is a minimum of $300pa for less service than what I deliver. So, as I said in another one of my posts, its ok to charge what you want for your products or services, but you must give a reason for why someone would pay that price, and I obviously give a good reason.

    Hope that helped.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2008
  13. kremo5le

    kremo5le New Member

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    Hey man, now I understood! I had to go to HostGator to see what you were talking about.It is just like an awesome idea. However, how do you do if, for instance, 500 people want to sign up with you. Are you taking care of all their needs or how would that work? And, how do you convince people that a share hosting ain't too bad?

    Anyhow, I think this is just a plain awesome idea. What's your site so I can take a look at it?

    THANK YOU!

    kRem
     
  14. starteasy

    starteasy New Member

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    It's not really share hosting. You are selling segments of an entire server, a part of which you rent yourself. I like to use the shopping centre analogy, where I am renting the entire shopping centre off of someone, and then I am leasing out individual shops inside the centre to business owners. Some shops are bigger than others, but regardless, I can only fit so many square metres of shop in my shopping centre (or MB storage and Bandwidth on a server).

    If I were to get 500 customers, I would purchase a larger reseller account, or several of them. Just because I have 1 WHM Hosting account, doesnt mean that all my customer accounts go onto the 1 server. An alternative, is to lease an entire server, which is also an option. These options are obviously not for massive sites such as 1000hits per day sites, but for a majority of business, its brilliant. I've never had any issues, and i'm not expecting any soon either.

    My site is www.starteasycomputing.com.au, but as my hosting is only for web design customers, my web hosting section of the site is not complete.
     
  15. FeatherCodeTy

    FeatherCodeTy New Member

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    Depends what sort of clients you're trying to appeal to. Generally, more "web experienced" clients will want their own type of hosting, or wouldn't feel very secure having their design/development firm host it for them.

    However, those newer to the internet (perhaps restaurants or local businesses) may see a huge value to having their site hosted and maintained by you. Could also bring in a healthy subscription based income to your firm as well.
     
  16. wetgravy

    wetgravy New Member

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    It really ultimately comes down to what you are looking for. I know people who resell their hosting to cover their costs or to provide an extra service like start easy, but until I expand a little ... a hosting deal is out of bounds. Just keep in mind any potential hassle with hosting someones website before providing it to your customers. I don't mind getting calls that pertain to "my website just went down for maintnence and tommorrow I need it up for an event, please help!" What I do mind is a call that even remotely sounds like "MY site is down, what are you going to DO about it!!!" I maintain sites for a fee of $50 every 6 months ... but I require them to be on their own servers. with that they get one update every 2 months and 20% off additional services if they need it. Not everyone goes for it, but its like start easy said ... its like a service plan for your car.
     
  17. kremo5le

    kremo5le New Member

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    Man you have given me an AWESOME idea. I will be doing kinda like what you are doing. This is definitely the way to get some money easily!

    THANKS! :D
     
  18. starteasy

    starteasy New Member

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    Lol, not a problem Kremo5le. Considering the site is up 99.9% guaranteed, you shouldnt have too many issues. But when one does arise, bear in mind the comment from wetgravy, it can get messy....but messy is fine when you charge for it and are prepared for it.

    My clients are all small business and community organisations who have no idea what hosting is, so operating the way that I do is easy, and really does just make sense. The alternative in Australia is a minimum of $300-$400 a year without maintenance, so offering this deal for $200 with site maintenance is a far more affordable option.

    Good luck! and my pleasure :)
     
  19. starteasy

    starteasy New Member

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    Also, for those who chose to go for their own hosting, I have aligned with a couple of good web hosts through their affiliate programme so that even when a client doesn't host with me, I score commission from when they host with someone else.

    Just another option as well...you need to cover all your bases :)
     
  20. kremo5le

    kremo5le New Member

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    Holy schnikies! You ARE good man! Hey, what companies are those you talking about? Just wondering... :D
     

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