Web Designer - Provide Hosting Services?

Hi there, I am strongly considering starting my own all in one web design and develop business next year (2012). My question is though, should I provide hosting and domain services to my clients?
It seems like a lot of extra work…and liability.
But my target customers are going to be small business owners in the local area, of which are unlikely to have a knowledge of the process or how a website appears on the web.
Therefore I was considering an all-in-one reseller package for my clients, because if I refer them to say - goDaddy, it may deter them and they won’t invest in my services.
However, the problem with providing hosting, is if something occurs, or I change career or start studying again, it means that I have all these businesses sites being hosted on my server… then I am going to have to tell them that the service will no longer be provided and have to help them move their site to another server (massive job).

Any suggestions would be helpful.
Thanks, RB.

Hi rball. Welcome to SitePoint. :slight_smile:

It’s very handy to have a reseller account or VPS, and I don’t think it’s all that difficult at all to move a site if needed. Often the new host will just move everything over for you.

And if you get something like a managed VPS, the hosting provider will help you with any issues, so you don’t need to be a hosting expert at all.

I’d say go for it. I myself have a managed VPS, which is great. I can set up sites in a jiff, and it’s very handy to have multiple sites of my own, too.

Thats a fantastic response, appreciate it. But what if I wanted to pull the pin on the business? I don’t want to be hosting all these sites.

Well, as I mentioned, you can easily say to them—“Time to move hosting.” It’s not hard to do that. A lot of people change hosts all the time.

And anyhow, for the most part websites just sit online once built. A VPS or reseller account is not very expensive, and if you are hosting enough sites and charging even a normal hosting rate per year, you could very well just keep the hosting account and let your clients’ sites stay there, making a little profit on the side. Even if they get another web developer, there’s not reason the site can’t stay right where it is.

This is true. I will have to look into it further before making a decision. Thanks for your valuable input.

Personally, I say ‘yes’ to the offering the service, at least if you are developing any websites you can guarantee they will work on your server, you may have alsorts of issues using the clients current site (missing packages etc).

I’d say give your clients some options. There are some people just need an expert to develop the web, after that, they want to control back.

There are some people want the all-in-one service. You can give full service if there is such customers.

Giving away their own control panel is to ease your burden. Or else, you will have to manage all simple minor thing such as create a new email account.

Before moving to this, you need to earn good experience. So I will suggest you to have good exp.


I definitely recommend hosting your clients.

As others mentioned it’s not that hard to do and the recurring income is very nice especially when work isn’t so frequent.


There are several reseller accounts which can be used. Some of them can offer you a help with supporting your end users. So if you are dealling with such kind of account that would be really great for you.