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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Aug 2006
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    Hi, Im going to start a (very) small web design business by myself. Just making small sites for people I know, mostly getting customers through past customers. I was wondering what I should do about hosting the sites. Should I buy my own space and put all the sites on it, or should I just help them set up a domain and host and let them pay the ~$5 a month themselfs? I will probably have my own space anyway, but what happens when I go to college and stop making sites? Im in high school now, just trying to make a little money working for myself, work my own hours, etc. Ive made only 1 site so far, but the guy I made it for told some friends and I have 3 people lined up for web sites.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hatfield, England
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    9790
    Hosting in my opinion is just another potential problem. Its very hard to compete with existing hosting firms for price and its not really worth the time you put into it.

    I offer advice on which hosting firms are good/bad, i was and perhaps am still a little tempted to offer my clients hosting. The reason i don't is that i am a web designer/developer, i am not a web host and i don't want to spend my time troubleshooting my clients sites when they go wrong.

    Also if you are just adding folders and domains to your account you can't monitor bandwidth and the such. If this the case one client may decide host a popular file and take out all of the websites on the server because they exceeded the bandwidth.

    In my opinion you should offer them advice when it comes to hosting, nothing more, nothing less.

  4. #3
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
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    The other side of that is that you can offer hosting. It gives you a more full service look and they don't have to shop elsewhere.
    Offering hosting services is pretty easy. You can charge them for the year and upload the site (and make any changes) a lot easier since you help control the hosting account, passwords, etc.
    You can also offer them webstats, email and other services that come along with hosting.

    I certainly don't promote hosting at all, but I do offer it to web design clients as part of my services.
    I spend VERY little time managing or servicing the hosting accounts. They just want their site up and their email. I shoot them webstats once a month (with SEO recommendations) and help add email addresses as needed.
    It also makes it easier when their is a problem because if it is on the hosting side, they can call you vs. having to call the hosting company and them telling the customer to call you. Just makes it easier to be the point of reference.
    That is also good for billable hours if it is the customer's issue.

    Now where Perad's advice might come in handy is that you are stating you want to start up a very small web design company.
    Adding additional services will just add more time to the mix. In which case, you want to stay small.........so maybe you help them get their hosting set up (provide them with a hands on tutorial, help them set up passwords/logins, and email) and then let them manage it.
    It will save you in the long run, especially as you go off to school.

    So, I guess my advice is if you are going full service, then yes provide it. If you are going to stay small and work off referals (and plan on leaving for school) then it is best you don't provide it (other than in a support capacity).

    Good luck........
    GMan

  5. #4
    Senior Member Tech0rz's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northwest, Eng
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    7314
    Someone showed me this yesterday:

    http://www.site5.com/multisite/

    Might be useful for you, although I've only quickly browsed it.

  6. #5
    Member DanielGibbs's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    Location
    North Devon, England
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    6249
    Hello,

    I haven't browsed these forums in a long time but I am in a similar situation. I have designed in the past for a company but I was never involved in the hosting aspect of things. I now have a potential customer who is the owner of a chain of business's in my county and it would be a very good job for me to take. However I'm concerned about the domain registration and hosting.

    I was thinking of doing it myself. In other words using another business and just charging the client for what I'm paying.

    As having my own server isn't financially feasible for me at this time can anybody provide a good and affordable company to host websites and purchase domains or offer me any advice?

    Regards

  7. #6
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
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    Because I don't offer it as a service I promote (I just let people know that I can do it).
    I use GoDaddy.com

    I know there are a lot of people out there who don't like it, but it works for me in that I offer them low cost hosting and domains.
    Plus, I get decent webstats and email............which for my client base is something they like.
    Plus, their tech support (the few times I've needed it) has been pretty good.

    You should repost into a new forum and ask about good/solid/inexpensive webhosts.
    You will get more of a selection to look at.
    It may get lost in this post.

    Good luck.........
    GMan

  8. #7
    Senior Member Steax's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Location
    Bandung, Indonesia
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    14572
    Diamondx, I am almost exactly like you. I'm 16 and doing small web development buisness. I've seen something important.

    Call yourself a web developer, and tell your clients you do your work from start to finish.

    This means you take care of their hosting, design, development, programming, and possibly management. I've had many many clients who have been looking for a complete service - everywhere only does one part, while I provide a complete from-scratch system. Try it.

    I generally use my own handmade CMS for sites... so I have cheap rates. Like around $10 per year (which is a lot in my currency) for an inifinite amount of pages, including static pages and dynamic pages in everything. Then I provide a text editor like TinyMCE (google it). This means they have it easy - I do everything from scratch and they get a fully developed site just waiting for content. And if they want more pages, they just click. People like to be in control while they don't need to manage all sorts of complex stuff.
    Note on code: If I give code, please note that it is simply sample code to demonstrate an effect. It is not meant to be used as-is; that is the programmer's job. I am not responsible to give you support or be held liable for anything that happens when using my code.

  9. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Thanks for all the advice. I think I will just go basic web design, because Im not that good at all... for some reason all my web sites all come out looking very "ameture-ish". I understand HTML and CSS, but nothing about actually making it look professional. The site I kinda finished is http://www.hubbellpottery.com/. I am doing small updates till Im happy with it because the guy I made it for is my dad's really good friend, etc. Dont want to be too greedy with friends!

  10. #9
    Senior Member Tech0rz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northwest, Eng
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    7314
    Quote Originally Posted by diamondx
    Thanks for all the advice. I think I will just go basic web design, because Im not that good at all... for some reason all my web sites all come out looking very "ameture-ish". I understand HTML and CSS, but nothing about actually making it look professional. The site I kinda finished is http://www.hubbellpottery.com/. I am doing small updates till Im happy with it because the guy I made it for is my dad's really good friend, etc. Dont want to be too greedy with friends!
    I'm guessing it comes out looking amateurish because you don't think about what you want the site to really look like. Focus more on colours, ones that compliment eachother. Also use the CSS to format the text until it looks more cohesive with the design.

    I'd suggest browsing the web interfaces on Deviant Art and writing down some of the features that make the designs look professional. As long as you're persistant in working to improve your design skills you'll do fine.

    -Tech =o

  11. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Member #
    14751
    A lot of professional website design companies rarely use tables now days. CSS based layouts are more versitial and user friendly. Managing one css style sheet is much easier then multiple pages.


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