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Thread: Should I offer hosting to my clients as a web designer?

  1. #1
    Junior Member jakefordesign's Avatar
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    Should I offer hosting to my clients as a web designer?

    I'm in the process of starting my own web design sole proprietorship business. There are a lot of questions that I have, but the main one is about hosting. So when I design a website for a client, they are going to want it running live as soon as possible, but under what hosting? After researching this for a while, I've learned about what other Web Designers do:

    1. Do not provide hosting - Point the client to a quality and affordable hosting company and help them set it up and get the website live.

    2. Provide "my own hosting" - Purchase a Reseller account at Hostgator or some other web hosting site, and host all of my clients websites on my own Hostgator server. Every site that I ever create will be on one server and in my control.

    The Domain names will be bought by my clients, since it is their site after all.

    I am leaning towards buying a Reseller account, and charging my clients a monthly web hosting fee in addition to the site design.

    My big questions on doing this are:
    How will I collect the payment of the client? Should I just include it in the price of the entire website design?
    Should I charge them monthly or yearly? How much would I charge monthly? I'm not sure if I want to deal with this for EVERY client..

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Vapr_Arts's Avatar
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    We cannot discuss pricing.. Its not allowed.

    First off, i know you were just throwing out an example but HostGator should not be recommended.. Its under the EIG company umbrella. Anything under EIG is likely to cause you problems AND have horrible support.. I use GoDaddy but thats cause im too lazy to choose a different host.. I dont host any sites for clients as of now, so i can get away with it.. My site isnt up its more of a playground for me to continue learning..

    As far as what you should do.. It all depends on you and how much responsibility you wish to have.. Hosting it on your own site WILL give you an additive income, but it could also give you more problems..

    You are responsible for alot of things that you might not wish to be held accountable for.


    Regretfully sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk during lunch and other breaks

  4. #3
    Junior Member jakefordesign's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply Vapr, I should have known not to ask about pricing. Thats funny you said that about your site being a playground, mine is too! My site is up and live but under a free domain and hosting lol. As for the EIG thing, thanks for the heads up! I didn't realize Hostgator was a part of EIG. Would you recommend any other hosting companies?

  5. #4
    Senior Member Vapr_Arts's Avatar
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    Ive done very little research so i wouldn't feel too comfortable recommending a company. Like i said im using GoDaddy and have had college professors tell me horror stories some similar to some of the stories ive heard on this forum and some others..

    The Game recommends SectorLink and so far all the advice I've seen from his is pretty accurate and honest. I haven't seen many other recommendations on here so if i had no time to research it and was forced to leave GD as quickly as i could i would probably be going to them. At least until i could do more research.

    What i do is go to the EIG wiki and leave a window open with the list of companies they own. Then ill start searching hosting companies. If its on the EIG list i drop it as an option. If its not i browse their page looking at prices and what they offer. I then will google reviews and see what others have to say about it.

    I did that for about 20minutes one day while waiting for a client to respond back to me and haven't went back to it. I plan to do alot of this work during winter break while im not busy with school work


    Regretfully sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk during lunch and other breaks

  6. #5
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    You could offer it as an optional service, but you should still allow clients to host elsewhere if they wish.
    The points you bring up are very valid regarding collecting payment, etc...and remember that tech support will be a concern as well.

    As an alternative consider keeping your business model focused on web design, and sign up as an affiliate with one or more web hosting companies - who would pay you a commission for each new hosting client that you refer to them.

  7. #6
    Junior Member jakefordesign's Avatar
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    @Vapr I'll check out Sector Link, and yeah found that wiki list for the EIG companies.
    @pingpipe Thats a really good Idea, applying as an affiliate and all. The only thing about me offering hosting as an optional service is that I would be paying roughly $20/month to have the reseller account, so either its all in or not lol.

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    I think as much as possible, you want to offer convenience to your clients. Having a one stop shop is a start. I say HG ro GoDaddy is up for this task.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakefordesign View Post
    I'm in the process of starting my own web design sole proprietorship business. There are a lot of questions that I have, but the main one is about hosting. So when I design a website for a client, they are going to want it running live as soon as possible, but under what hosting? After researching this for a while, I've learned about what other Web Designers do:

    1. Do not provide hosting - Point the client to a quality and affordable hosting company and help them set it up and get the website live.

    2. Provide "my own hosting" - Purchase a Reseller account at Hostgator or some other web hosting site, and host all of my clients websites on my own Hostgator server. Every site that I ever create will be on one server and in my control.

    The Domain names will be bought by my clients, since it is their site after all.

    I am leaning towards buying a Reseller account, and charging my clients a monthly web hosting fee in addition to the site design.

    My big questions on doing this are:
    How will I collect the payment of the client?

    Ans:Throught Paypal or payza

    Should I just include it in the price of the entire website design?
    Ans
    Should I charge them monthly or yearly? .
    Ans: Its not Like That You should charge them with full price like when you finish the work then charge it once

    How much would I charge monthly?

    Ans:Its Your Wish

    And you can make the website as testing in the pc itself

  10. #9
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    Don't waste your time with monthly if you're just going to provide to clients (not as a standalone service) they would pay the first year as part of the web design package. After that, it's up to you if you use some sort of system to keep track of it to invoice the client each year. There are things like WHMCS but they are more targeted towards companies that sell web hosting as a service, but even if you never give the client access to it, you can use it to keep track of the hosting clients.

    I definitely recommend smaller companies rather than something like hostgator, bluehost, godaddy, 1and1, etc. most if not all of the big companies have overloaded servers and don't care about your business. Remember, with a normal reseller hosting plan you have no control over the server, so if something is wrong you need your provider to actually give a hoot.

    I would recommend CatalystHost. You probably haven't heard of them, but I know the guys who run it and they really do care. Their servers aren't old or overloaded. No, I don't get any commission from sending you there, but I do get the piece of mind that one more customer chose a high quality small provider rather than throwing more money into EIG's deep pockets.

    https://catalysthost.com/reseller/

    Oh, and one more thing - many clients will not mind paying a little more to have you take care of it. There will always be the cheapskate know-it-alls that will sign up for some $2 "unlimited" hosting crap but there is nothing you can do about it. The average small business customer would have no problem paying $5-15/month for a small hosting plan... Most small business sites are just a few megs... So maybe sell them a $120/yr ($10/mo, billed annually) 2GB plan, to hold their website, email, etc. Plenty profitable and it makes your life easier when something is wrong with their site. No more "well, your host changed something and it's broken now, can you open a ticket with them" bs.

    Another thing... domain names. Completely unprofitable but once again it's all about keeping the client with you. There are almost no domain registrars that won't try to sell the client hosting too... probably at a cheaper price than what you offer. So offer domain registration as part of the package... Start with a domain reseller account from resell.biz (avoid their reseller hosting though, it's awful) and this way you will be the single point of contact related to anything the client needs with their website, which makes fixing problems easier and also might lead to more revenue opportunities in the future in addition to the small recurring revenue providing hosting and domains brings.
    Last edited by noodles415; May 15th, 2015 at 11:46 AM.

  11. #10
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    If you are willing to provide your clients with web hosting services as well, you might as well check out for some of the best hosting service providers and their plans so as to profit from the deal as well.

    There are numerous hosting service providers quoting some really great rates online yet there might be some discrepancies as well.
    So before you think of offerring web hosting services to your clients do ensure whether your client is aware of the market rates of web hosting etc.


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