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  1. #1
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    I am in the process of starting my own web design company. I have Virtual Private Server that I rent from a web host. I have one of my own sites hosted thru this server. I can host multiple domains from this server.
    When I create a site for a customer, I also want to handle the hosting for my customer so I can collect a monthly fee. This way the customer does not have to worry about setting up domains, hosting, etc. I would take care of all of that stuff.
    Would it be a typical thing for me to just put my customers site on my VPS? And point their domain to my VPS and then charge them a monthly hosting/maintenance fee?
    What about domains? Should I keep the customer's domain name in my name under my account so I can maintain it for them and just give them a contract or something that says that if they stop using my service, they can take the domain?
    How do you set up these things in your business?

    Thanks for the help
    Carl

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    IMO, it's unethical to register a client's name under your own account.

    If you want an all-in-one service reseller package, look at Godaddy.com - they have domain name reselling services as well as hosting package reselling services. You can set up a virtual page in your site that processes the client's card there and godaddy will send you a check every month for the difference.

  4. #3
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    Why would it be unethical for me to host a client's site on my VPS?
    Since the client does not want to deal with the setting up of a hosting account, etc. and I will be the one maintaing the site anyway.
    Let's also say my bandwidth is 200GB/month and I'm only using 20GB for my own stuff. The clients site uses 20GB which is still under the total bandwidth.
    What is unethical about this? I'm not trying to be a smart a$$ or anything like that, I'm just curious as to why that would be unethical.

  5. #4
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    I just looked at godaddy's reseller program and the domain would still be in my name anyway.
    So if I sold a domain to a customer via the godaddy reseller program, the domain would still be in my name.
    A whois query of the new domain would be my name.
    Seems like the advantage to the reseller account is that I get a cheaper price on the domain, but I need to pay a yeary fee to get this price

  6. #5
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    Carl you are missing the point. What Transio says makes sense.
    The customer should always "own" the site.

    I am familiar with GoDaddy and if you register the domain name under your account, you can still go back and change it.
    I believe there are 4 different contacts (registrant, admin, billing and tech). You should only be listed under the tech.
    If they want you to administer and manage the site, then there is nothing wrong with being under the admin contact as well.

    You shouldn't have yourself as the "owner" of the site for several reasons.
    One, if there is ever a dispute regarding payment or services, I have seen other developers keep the site.
    As a matter of fact, I've had first had experience in dealing with a customer who lost their original domain because they didn't want an upgrade in services, so the developer kept it.
    They had to go and get another domain name........and this was with a Chamber of Commerce. This affected many businesses.

    It is looked at as unethical, no matter what your intentions are. Why do you need to own the site? If there is a dispute what protection do they have?

    Also, there is a liability issue. What if they have you post something that as a developer you don't have all of the detail on and they get sued?
    Guess who else gets sued? You......the "owner".
    Do you want to take that risk?

    Personally, I would not hire a company who retained ownership of my domain name. Just too many variables that you can't forsee.......plus, I have worked with many clients who have had stuff happen to them prior to seeing me.

    Good luck...
    GMan

  7. #6
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    OK, I do see the point now with not owning the domain names.
    But, what about hosting it on my VPS?
    Is that also unethical?
    If I have the available bandwidth?

  8. #7
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    Hosting is hosting.....I don't think that was ever the issue (using your VPS).
    GMan

  9. #8
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Hosting is not the same as domain name registration.

  10. #9
    Junior Member
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    Thanks for all of the input guys.

    I appreciate your time.

  11. #10
    Member cctech's Avatar
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    Most, if not all, clients will appreciate the fact that you are taking care of all the details for them. In most cases, they have NO idea how to handle these things and so will happily let you do it for them.


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