Do you commercially host your clients' websites?

Rob
Rob used Ask the Experts™
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Hi,

I'm setting up a site for a client, albeit my first.  They're a small, one man operator.  

My question is, do you commercially host your client's websites and onsell the fees or do you recommend a host and have the client sign up themselves?


Given I'm also a single entity, the thought of rebilling constantly is a hassle.  I'm also concerned with on-going support for the client and what happens if I'm unavailable.

Cheers,

Rob
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Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014

Commented:
I never host my client's sites.  I always use commercial hosting.  Hosting is a full time job, even just the security for hosting is a full time job.  I get them to sign up with their own credit card for their domain names and hosting.
RobOwner (Aidellio)
Most Valuable Expert 2015

Author

Commented:
Thanks Dave, I wouldn't dream of hosting it myself. Apologies for the badly worded question, as I'm referring to commercial hosting
Don't talk to me.
Commented:
Yes, we host our client sites ourselves on accounts we control at an ISP and charge them annually for "hosting and maintenance" to make a small profit on the service.  When we were small (three clients), we had a simple $9.99/month shared hosting account and as we grew, we upgraded to a VPS, then a single dedicated box, and now have two dedicated servers and a MySQL VPS for our database needs.  With more than 20 clients and 50+ sites, the "hosting and maintenance" makes us a very small profit while keeping the fees in line with what they would have to pay if they did it themselves.

Given I'm also a single entity, the thought of rebilling constantly is a hassle.

As far as rebilling goes, look into invoicing sites like Harvest to automate it and just wait for payments to roll in.
Brandon LyonWeb Developer/Designer
Commented:
Never let a client host it themselves. In my experience they forget to pay the bills, don't care, wonder why, don't understand the tech, don't keep contact info up to date, lose track of logins, etc. They're paying YOU for a website. Send them invoices before it's time to pay their fees but do pay for it on your card. They would rather pay you than pay someone else.

If for some reason they do forget to pay or try to steal your work, then you have control of the server.
RobOwner (Aidellio)
Most Valuable Expert 2015

Author

Commented:
Great advice, thanks.

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