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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard Another Designer's Avatar
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    Should I charge for hosting and domain name in addiction to design?

    I am going to design a new website for a local cardiologist's office. Is the usual practice to let the client purchase their own domain name and hosting, or should I charge them for doing it for them? If I charge them that would mean I have to pay for their domain name renewal and hosting service. I could always park their domain name and host on my hosting server. However, I don't have a reseller's program. If I do these two options what is the markup price? I could always just let them purchase the domain name and hosting on their own. But then comes the hassle of getting the proper information from them.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Member SLY-Ivan's Avatar
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    I suggest you just design their new website. They should hold complete responsibility of their domain name and web hosting. If they need assistance on how to set it up, help them for sure... Make sure you collect the money they need to spend for the domain and hosting , and charge them a little more extra for assisting them for that matter.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard Another Designer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLY-Ivan View Post
    I suggest you just design their new website. They should hold complete responsibility of their domain name and web hosting. If they need assistance on how to set it up, help them for sure... Make sure you collect the money they need to spend for the domain and hosting , and charge them a little more extra for assisting them for that matter.
    Thanks That would make things easier on me. They will have to purchase it with their credit card and give me the usernames and passwords then. That's always a confusing headache but so be it.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member SLY-Ivan's Avatar
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    No problem.

  5. #5
    Non-Member MyDomAinZ.us's Avatar
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    You should charge them for design.
    Suggest him the registrar and host, if you want. otherwise let iem choose and pay recurring monthly/annual charges.
    Once he registers the domain and opens hosting account, upload the pages/website.
    If he want further modification, he should provide you or create one ftp account for you to manage the website/pages.
    Good luck

  6. #6
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    Leave them with the hosting and domain if they want you to do that charge them.

  7. #7
    Twitter: @TimIgoe silver trophy TimIgoe's Avatar
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    You've got a couple of options - charging them for hosting / domain registration service will give you an extra (regular) stream of income after the design phase has been finished.

    A lot of places I know tend to bundle the first years hosting etc in with the design costs as one to try and encourage using the companies hosting.

    If they want to do it themselves, let them, but you can always guide them that "it helps keep their site running optimally if you host it and can control it".

  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast agrable's Avatar
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    I think it's valuable to become a reseller for your favorite hosting company and when you have the customer sign up for hosting, send them to that link. This way, your customer is being independent about setting up their hosting (they love the responsibility, believe it or not!) and you get a little cut off of their purchase. It's a great addition to your business, letting the customer know that you provide everything (hosting, design, ecommerce, etc.) all under one roof!

  9. #9
    Web Host fcolor's Avatar
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    You'd better not engage with the web hosting. You would find yourself working as a support representative very soon. Team up with any web host and outscore the web hoisting operations to them! On the reseller level you could us WHM, if you want to have control over your reseller account.
    HostColor.com
    Colocation | Dedicated Servers | VPS Hosting
    Web hosting provider since 2000

  10. #10
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    The best option would be to have them set up and do the care keeping on their end. It will be a huge hassle if you take charge of the domain and hosting.
    The design work is fairly routine and will be a one time affair. You don't want to be their web master unless they pay you.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Member
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    It depends on how much of a headache you want to deal with when your client calls you at 2 AM asking some dumb question about the hosting. If you take on the role of the host, you need to be prepared with that. Personally, I think you might be better off money-wise forgoing a support contract and letting them manage the hosting. Then, when they inevitably screw something up, you can decide whether or not the job is worth the headache, what to charge them, etc. Often, working with small businesses can be a nightmare if they are non-technical and have bad expectations. This is why I suggest that.

  12. #12
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    I afraid web hosting, domain name, those words are jargon to a cardiologist. As a web designer, you can assist him to register a domain name and subscribe a hosting plan at the very first time. Make sure that all the information are registered under their name. Then pass all this document (or online document) for him to take care. Your main responsibility is to get the website done.

    I think communication is very important when come to this deal. Customer normally mess up the hosting provider and web designer. So, talk nicely to them and they will understand.
    Exabytes Network - The Hosting Provider since 2001
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  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard masm50's Avatar
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    I tend to bundle the first year's domain registration and hosting in with the web design for small firms.
    As you said, they don't understand industry or know what to look for, so they will generally just buy hosting with either who you recommend or the cheapest they saw in the back of a magazine (not good!).

    To take this hassle away from them, it can also offer you yearly income and if you have a reseller hosting account with whitelabel support then you won't be troubled with those questions - but you could bring in an extra $100+/year for very little work. It will also mean that you are still their contact if/when they need something new online.

    I do make it clear to my clients, however, that whilst hosting and the domain is bundled for a yearly fee - if they want changes done to their site after completion of the development/design then this is an extra cost. It is best to be upfront about this sort of thing, as some could believe the hosting+domain fee is more like a retainer for your services.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Pros and cons of reselling

    The reality is that they are going to go to you for everything anyway if they are completely clueless. You may as well make money out of it. Set up a "white label" reseller account. Everything has your brand name on it and you charge whatever you like. You can either bundle it as part of the design process (but charge renewal fees). Or offer it as an additional cost - on top of the design.

    Offer any additional fees at a set schedule for support or an ongoing fee that includes both. Or a mixture. What a lot of our resellers do is a one off fee for the design and a monthly fee for support (which includes the hosting and domain fees).

    But to make sure you are not taken advantage of - spell out clearly what they actually get for that. Anything additional attracts a fee.

    From their point of view this is great. They don't have to learn "internet" and they have someone they can always turn to for help - and to buy additional services and to recommend to their friends/family/business associates.

    Once the initial period of settling in is over this just means setting up the occasional email address or the like. Anything really technical you pass on to the company you are reselling from - but you get all the credit :-)

    It is a little extra work but it is an easy income stream - so long as you strictly state what you will do and have prices in place for additional services.

    Tim at ingenyes.com

  15. #15
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    Tell me about it! This is what brought me to this forum today. I have a reseller account with a hosting company. I built a Website two years ago for a lady who is a small manufacturer of a single item. It's available in many "flavors" but it's just one item. She has a shopping cart, so there is a database, but she is basically a wholesaler. Since before the site was compleated, this lady became a royal PITA. She is totally without any knowledge of anything that has anything to do with computers or Websites, so I wound up loading her "store", and agreed to do maintenance (for an hourly rate).

    Long story short, I found out quickly that she wants more than she is willing to pay for, complains when things aren't done as quickly as she would like (but she can't do it herself), and every time sombody can't place and order or get an email through, she automatically assumes there is something wrong with the Website or my hosting (we use ZenCart and FormMail, two open source programs that work very well). I find that I spend so much time doing her "stuff" that I barely have time to sell other design jobs, which is what I want to do.

    The last straw was right before Christmas when she asked me to do an online catalog for America's Mart show in Atlanta (this week). After ten pages, and many hours doing creative work, she pulled the rug out from under me (when she asked for a couple more pages, and I told her I was charging her $50/page, which was cheap) and said she was going to give the job to her "graphics designer". I told her, "wait a minute, I have many hours in this project." She agreed to "pay for my time." I sent her a bill for $500 for the ten pages, which she had had me send to her "graphics designer" to complet the job.

    When she got my bill, she called me, and was furious. She said she couldn't do business with me any longer and would be looking for a new host! (Hooray!). She paid the bill. She is still on my servers, suposedly looking for a new host, and has someone she calls her "help" (that's what she called him in her email) that will manage her Site, and not to bill her any more. I'm glad to see her go, but she is still on my servers as of today.

    I have others that I host (I built their sites too) and I never hear from them.

    But, this is an experience that makes me question if I want to offer such services ever again. As of right now, don't think so.

    And now I think I'm going to sit down and play a little flamenco on my Alhambra 7fc flamenco guitar!
    William Otis
    Flamenco aficionado and Freelance Web designer
    www.dreammakergraphics.com/

  16. #16
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnguishedBird View Post
    It depends on how much of a headache you want to deal with when your client calls you at 2 AM asking some dumb question about the hosting. If you take on the role of the host, you need to be prepared with that. Personally, I think you might be better off money-wise forgoing a support contract and letting them manage the hosting. Then, when they inevitably screw something up, you can decide whether or not the job is worth the headache, what to charge them, etc. Often, working with small businesses can be a nightmare if they are non-technical and have bad expectations. This is why I suggest that.
    OMG! 2:00AM????? What nerve! Charge them tripple time for that!
    William Otis
    Flamenco aficionado and Freelance Web designer
    www.dreammakergraphics.com/


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