How to deal with client's crap webhosting

When i step into the SEO+web design business i wasn’t aware that besides tackling with (sometimes) difficult customers, I have to deal with their crappy webhosting as well.

This incident happened to me very recently, & i would welcome any opinion regarding this.

My project involves migrating static HTML to a CMS for a client who runs a construction company. And i bet most of you know that CMS involves LAMP. From consultation to design all went fine until i was given access to my client’s webhost.

My client webhost is not properly configured. Therefore to enable certain stuff i need to liaison with my client’s tech support. What frustrates me that the tech support is not responsive at all. One simple question will leave me waiting for 1 week to get an answer. The longest is 3 weeks to answer a simple query.

A small short project becomes lengthy because of the unresponsiveness of my client’s webhost tech support. Recently while start populating my client’s site, something in the control panel triggered an outage. I am not sure what it was & i requested the tech support to investigate and get the site back to normal.

They only get back to me after 3 weeks not replying with a solution but asking me some silly questions. Fedup with this, i developed (as in designing the CMS template) my client’s site in my own webhost because the outage hampered my efforts in developing the site in my client’s account. Until the development is complete now and ready for launch, my client’s webhost is still down! I have bombared emails almost on alternate day and weekly basis, and they responded with no solution but asking further petty nonsensical questions.

I am getting really frustrated now that his tech support did not try to restore his site.

anyone with similar experiences? how to deal with this?

…and charge the customer based on the time it takes to deal with the hosting company’s tech support. When they feel the pain, they’ll be receptive to moving to a better host.

how to deal with this?

For now, make your client aware of the crap support they receive there and offer them a better alternative, emphasising the fact that as it turns out, it’s going to be impossible to host the new, better site with the old host. Hopefully you’ll be able to move it somewhere better.

For next time, you’ve got a few choices:

  1. Check out the web host first, making sure that he’s up to the task to host your CMS and write a good contract that makes clear that you’re not going to be responsible for any delay that is caused due to the host’s inability.
  2. Become an affiliate of a decent web host that’s definitely up to the task
  3. Become a reseller and provide web hosting services from a web host that’s up to the task.
  4. Probably not an option right now, but you could look into getting your own server and hosting your clients’ sites yourself.