Web hosting for clients

#21

I’ve just gone ahead and signed up for my first reseller account. It looks like the account domain has now propagated and I’ve had no problems connecting via FTP. I’ve logged into WHM and it looks like I need to create a standard package for web clients. Perhaps a couple package types.

The websites are typically quite small, but I’m wondering about what resources should typically be allocated to each client. Maximum number email accounts, quota per email and that sort of thing. For those who have been doing this a while do you have any recommendations and also do you let them have access to cPanel?

I’m trying to find the right balance here between allowing clients adequate resources without abusing the situation, but also not enough rope to mess things up.

EDIT: I should have added that the account has 100gigs of space and 1000 gigs bandwidth limit.

2 Likes
#22

Coming back to this a while later, I set up the reseller account and all running smoothly with a few customers already onboard. I have a job to do with a new client, who has already taken out web hosting through https://www.ionos.co.uk/ on some horrible £1 a month package, including the domain…

I’ve never used them before, but I gather they have a custom control panel and I’m pretty sure the setup will be horrible. How do you convince web clients not to use rubbish cheap hosting? I’m already setting out reasons why this may complicate the setup and how I won’t be able to help them afterwards if issues arise.

#23

This - https://www.shivarweb.com/3280/1-and-1-hosting-review/ - might give you some ammunition.

#24

Thanks, I read that last night and they look pretty horrible, but it often feels like customers have a blind spot on hosting and just want the cheapest option. Then when it’s rubbish they expect the web designer to sort it out.

I have cloud hosting and the cheapest cloud option from 1&1 costs almost £220 a year, which is more than I charge.

#25

Anecdotally, I have a couple of client sites hosted with them and they haven’t caused me any problems. Simple sites though, with limited functionality.

#26

If you can find a technical out that the client might not be interested in refuting, that could be one (like PHP version or something). I wouldn’t want to advocate anything deceptive, obviously; they should be legit concerns.

There are a couple of screenshots from the link Rob posted (under Perfomance) that could scare them away. If you showed them all those ‘F’ scores and said that you’d have to limit their site’s complexity in order to run quickly.

Or you could simply have a list of hosting providers that you don’t work with because they have a history of poor performance/support. For the current customer, if they’re paying £1/month, you could offer to cover the remaining months and transfer them to your hosting.

#27

I’ve simply pointed out that any web hosting package costing a £1 a month is going to be “sub-optimal” to use the language of the day and not recommended for business usage.

Furthermore, if any technical issues arise, they would have to deal with the web host directly, because I couldn’t contact support on their behalf, nor could I control how they operate their servers. I’ll see what they reply.

#28

From my terms…

Self-hosted Sites

In certain circumstances, we build self-contained websites that you can host on your own servers. In this instance, we will create a zip file containing all the files you need to upload to your server and make it available to you via email or an online sharing service.

If you choose to self-host before we zip the website up and send it to you, we will first demo it working on our server. This is so you can see that it looks, performs and works as agreed. Once we send you the zip folder, we can offer no further support. We can’t help you publish it to your server, or help with any functionality that might not work on your server.

We’re not unreasonable!

The reason we can’t support the site once we’ve sent it to you is that for a website to work the server must be modern, robust and have all the required up to date software. As it’s not our server, we’ve no idea if it meets any of these requirements. Typically, the cheap hosting companies supply old hardware running outdated software, that’s how they are cheap!

The basic things you will need to be able to do yourself if you self-host…

  • Use FTP to transfers the files and folders to the server
  • Set the correct permissions and ensure it’s all secure.
  • Set up an SSL cert.
  • Update/change PHP versions as required.
  • Set up and configure your email accounts.
  • Perform daily/weekly backups.

If you’re up for this and trust your cheap hosting company, go for it. If you want professionals to look after everything for you leaving you to run your business, use our hosting!

SELF-HOSTED TYPICALLY INCUR A 25% UPCHARGE TO OUR REGULAR PRICES

This isn’t because we’re greedy, it’s because self-hosted sites take longer to build.

4 Likes
#29

I take it nobody self-hosts after reading that. It makes the point very clearly.

#30

Recently, one. Who decided once the job was done that they’d self-host. The finale invoice was already in and paid. I told them it was going to be another two weeks for the changes to be made to convert the site to self-hosted and said I’d send the invoice for the up-charge by return (wasn’t a lot, less than £200).

They strung it all out for about a month, making all sorts of daft claims and all sorts of dafter threats. In the end they paid up and got their zip file. As yet the site has never seen the light of day, no idea why, I never heard from them again.

Actually, I had another over Christmas. A rush job for a lovely bloke heading to the US to pitch for a job, he needed a site up pronto and long story short it was just going to be easier for him to fire it up to his existing server. I built it for him in a few hours and sent it over with an invoice telling him I trust him to pay up as soon as he was back (he was literally getting on a plane that afternoon and planned to publish it at the airport! The invoice was for £300, he sent me £500 and a note saying Merry Christmas! Last month he sent the site back to me for me to expand and host as he got the gig, so sometimes there is a good reason to allow self-hosting, but rarely.

#31

Obviously I make a bit of money if they host on my server, but I wouldn’t mind too much if they were going to a reputable host using cPanel. In this case though it’s a complete unknown and I can guarantee they’ll come back to me in a month or 12 when everything is running dog slow or emails are not coming through and blame it on the site.

Since GDPR kicked in, obtaining technical support for clients has become that much trickier as well, so for all these reasons I need to convince clients to use my own hosting and why it’s worth paying a bit more than the bargain basement brigade.

What I find shocking though is that people want to set up a business where their primary means of marketing will be a website, yet they think it’s a good idea entrusting that to £1 a month web hosting.

#32

Similar analogy in my last business, selling bikes. Regularly people would spent £2k on a commuter bike, but max out at £20 on the lock which was going to lock it to a lamp post outside their work.

Stupid people everywhere.

#33

Looks like the web hosting advisory service worked and they’ll be hosting with me. It’s a training centre, where they will typically be making around £600+ a day, so it made no sense whatsoever entrusting that to such low end hosting.

#34

Result.

#35

@ashleykaryl Well done. To mimic @steveb advice, work smart. Sounds like you took it on board.

I used to work in financial services and for the last 3 or 4 years of it we were drilled into changing our long engrained work ethic, to stop chasing initial commissions and lure clients in on no commission but hefty annual management fees. Basically playing the long game.

Obviously not as sinister in web design.

It takes a while but when you wake up on January 1 knowing you’ve already paid the years bills with the recurrent income you’ve accumulated from all your clients really takes the stress away from the job.

#36

I agree completely. Actually, I would say the smaller jobs are often not worth doing unless you can tie it to something like this with ongoing income.

A few months ago I realised this wasn’t making sense from a business perspective and web hosting obviously helps. I am in the process of rebuilding my main site, which is no small challenge given the plans I have in mind, but I’ll also be opening the doors to website maintenance packages.