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  1. #1
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    Web hosting responsibilities for a website designer

    I was wondering what people thought in terms of the responsibilities that a website designer has in the selection of and set up of web hosting for their clients' websites?

    Do you encourage clients to choose their own hosting and give you the details?Or do you find them the best deal for their requirements? If so, do you have a web host you regularly reccomend, or is it case-by-case?

  2. #2
    Mazel tov! bronze trophy kohoutek's Avatar
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    I do see it as my responsibility to suggest a few good and solid hosting companies and hosting plans to the client, unless he already has a host. Which host(s) I recommend, depends on the client's site's needs, location, and budget.
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard esds's Avatar
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    As a designer I would consider to be do reseller hosting too.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard ~ServerPoint~'s Avatar
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    Most of the web design studios have web hosting accounts and they are being offering web hosting services as the part of their servers and they are resellers.
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    Good question. I see it as part of the service to assist the client with suitable hosting. In a typical scenario I would offer the host the site on my own servers or give them a short list of recommended hosts. Customers choice!

    Sometimes a client will already have an account or a particular host in mind (usually cheap ones!) but sometimes you have to be careful because the hosting they're think of is often unsuitable for the site.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot eukhost's Avatar
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    Many website designers offer hosting for client's websites as a part of the deal however this isn't a compulsion. The customers have an option to choose hosting provider of their choice if they wish to host their website elsewhere.

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  7. #7
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    I, at one time, thought reselling hosting and eventually getting up to a dedicated server would be a great way to generate revenue.

    After all, having 2 or 3 clients will cover your expenses (for a reseller account)...imagine having about 10 or more...that's passive income, and a great way to make some money.

    HOWEVER - I am NOT a server administrator, and servers are not perfect - they will, at one time or another, fail. Who do those people call? Yep - you. and you are responsible for pretty much everything on your server. If it crashes, gets hacked, etc....not worth the headache.

    Now, of course, you can always get yourself a managed server and leave it in the hands of real server professionals - but I dread the day that something happens and my phone gets blown up, my inbox gets filled with "WHAT THE F*** IS GOING ON" e-mails.

    I simply don't have the time to deal with it, and dealing with non-paying clients, shutting their site down etc...

    Maybe I'm making things sound more complicated than they actually are...

    What I do, at this point, is point them to a hosting source, such as HostGator, and set them up on a Hatchling plan. The billing and server admin stuff is out of my hands.

    Which raises a question...If I'm on a HostGator Reseller account - why would a client choose my services over a cheaper $6 hatchling plan?

    If a client asks you about your servers, how much space they're getting, etc...why should they choose you...the middle man...over the cheaper, actual source?
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard masm50's Avatar
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    When designing or developing, I tend to offer a complete package where I will mainatain the site for a certain period and host it for a fee.

    If they just want straight hosting then I tend to recommend a few hosting companies and let them take a choice (and offer my own services that I resell, but I don't like to compete on price with some of the more budget ended hosts if I can't offer more of a service).

  9. #9
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    Ditto. Generally try and get clients on my hosting package and in turn they pay a fee either monthly or quarterly.

    If the client prefers to host elsewhere or can't afford my hosting fees then I recommend an alternative solution.

  10. #10
    Entrepreneur Spencer F.'s Avatar
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    You can make a lot of recurring revenue by hosting your own clients. Lots.
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  11. #11
    SitePoint Member raja314's Avatar
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    Providing Hosting by yourself will be more profitable and helpful, since most of the people i come across dont know what webhosting is all about !!!!!

    To Provide Hosting for your clients you can just sign up for a Reseller Hosting account and create account for each individual client from there. Just be sure to sign up for an overselling enabled reseller account to save money and resources

  12. #12
    SitePoint Zealot MikeDVB's Avatar
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    It really comes down to whether you simply want to design or if you want to be a hosting provider as well.

    Sure, you can get a reseller plan and put all of your clients on it but unless you have seamless end-user support chances are you're still going to have to support your clients when they have issues.
    Michael Denney - MDDHosting, LLC - Hosting over 8,500 domains!
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  13. #13
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Do the majority of page design as well as selling hosting, is certainly a lot of time to introduce their own hosting, but also the guests of their choice

  14. #14
    SitePoint Addict zipperz's Avatar
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    I just refer clients to a good host that is easy to work with and reliable.

    I have thought of doing reselling before but after reading horror stories of hosts disappearing over night and scrabbling to find hosting for 30-40 sites. No thanks.

    I really don’t want to send out bills every month and turn off sites for non payment worry about down time and all that other stuff that comes with hosting it is just not worth the extra money to me.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Member
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    Thanks for all the responses so far

    I didn't realize that a lot of designers were so involved in the hosting side of things, but I guess it makes sense.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Enthusiast devAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjbrowne View Post
    I was wondering what people thought in terms of the responsibilities that a website designer has in the selection of and set up of web hosting for their clients' websites?

    Do you encourage clients to choose their own hosting and give you the details?Or do you find them the best deal for their requirements? If so, do you have a web host you regularly reccomend, or is it case-by-case?
    I try to give them the best deal based on their requirements. However, most of my clients before already have web hosting.
    sig space open...

  17. #17
    SitePoint Enthusiast miles2go's Avatar
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    If you are a web designer you can earn from the host reseller. You can provide the space to your client so with one client your earning will be double

  18. #18
    You Bet Your Life...Really lerxtjr's Avatar
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    If it crashes, gets hacked, etc....not worth the headache.
    I agree with other posts that there is a lot of money to be made in hosting whether you just use a hostgator reseller account or upgrade to your own dedi server like I did a year ago. It's kinda funny. Web design services can be changed on a whim, but once someone finds a hosting company they like, hopefully yours, they'll stay with it FOREVER! That's residual income to you for like 10 years!

    Sure, you might get the occasional hack or server upgrade taking the site down for a few minutes, but as a whole, having a server or two has a huge payoff month after month.

  19. #19
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    I personally feel it is worth getting aquainted with reseller hosting not just because you can more easily deal with setting up the website for the clients "hands free", you also give them insentive to come back to you if they need more work done (as you will have experience with maintaining their service).

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard
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    yea for me i have my own vps i have it quiet cheap and i have one client paying me monthly for me hosting his website. if you want to know who i am talking about feel free to pm me and ill pass the info on to you but i get it as very cheap.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Zealot smadeira's Avatar
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    Which raises a question...If I'm on a HostGator Reseller account - why would a client choose my services over a cheaper $6 hatchling plan?

    If a client asks you about your servers, how much space they're getting, etc...why should they choose you...the middle man...over the cheaper, actual source?
    They will pay you more because they don't need to know about domain name registration, DNS settings, email configurations, helpdesk tickets, sometimes useless technical support people, etc. They get one-stop shopping. I only have a few clients currently as web design is more of a hobby than a real job but for my $5/month reseller plan I have people paying me $15/month for hosting. After the first site (actually the first third of the site) everything else is pure profit. You can register domain names for $10 or so. I charge my clients $25 per year because I handle everything for them. It is very little effort and a good revenue stream. I do give them the option of doing it themselves but they won't be bothered for $15 difference.

    another benefit to hosting the sites is that you know how the servers are configured and it doesn't change from site to site. That can be a challenge when some places allow SSH and some don't. Some have email throttles and some don't. Some are running MySQL 4.x and some are running 5.x.

    But, if you are truly just a designer and want to design and move on then you either need to partner with somebody that does the hosting and can handle everything for your client if necessary or you toss it back into their lap.
    Scott

  22. #22
    SitePoint Zealot MikeDVB's Avatar
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    Which raises a question...If I'm on a HostGator Reseller account - why would a client choose my services over a cheaper $6 hatchling plan?

    If a client asks you about your servers, how much space they're getting, etc...why should they choose you...the middle man...over the cheaper, actual source?
    This is where they make the decision to host with their designer or host elsewhere. I wouldn't not design for somebody because they didn't want to host with me.

    You offer them an all-inclusive package including hosting at a monthly rate and if they don't want to use your hosting then you offer another package where it is purely the design.
    Michael Denney - MDDHosting, LLC - Hosting over 8,500 domains!
    http://www.mddhosting.com/ - Celebrating 3 years in business!
    Serious Internet Solutions, LLC. - Quality Unmanaged VPS
    SeriousVPS - http://www.seriousvps.com

  23. #23
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    Being able to offer your client hosting along with the website in one package is preferable as it allows you to ensure that the hosting environment matches the needs of the website you built. Most clients dont have the time or just generally dont want to deal with setting up their own hosting, domain, email, etc. Do your research and find a pool of qualified hosts you can use on various projects.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Zealot MikeDVB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by textbox View Post
    Being able to offer your client hosting along with the website in one package is preferable as it allows you to ensure that the hosting environment matches the needs of the website you built. Most clients dont have the time or just generally dont want to deal with setting up their own hosting, domain, email, etc. Do your research and find a pool of qualified hosts you can use on various projects.
    But there is a difference between having a reseller plan and putting your clients on that or simply placing them with a few hosts that you know and trust and letting those hosts take care of the hosting needs (and support issues).
    Michael Denney - MDDHosting, LLC - Hosting over 8,500 domains!
    http://www.mddhosting.com/ - Celebrating 3 years in business!
    Serious Internet Solutions, LLC. - Quality Unmanaged VPS
    SeriousVPS - http://www.seriousvps.com

  25. #25
    SitePoint Enthusiast rumsfo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDVB View Post
    But there is a difference between having a reseller plan and putting your clients on that or simply placing them with a few hosts that you know and trust and letting those hosts take care of the hosting needs (and support issues).
    That is correct Mike. But I assume the managment is important here as well. I assume that is easy to manage one web hosting account then several even from the trusted web hosts. In any case you can chose one trusted web host and have reseller account

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