I was just curious what most of you guys do for hosting projects that come your way. In the not-so-distant future I’d like to move from on the side work to more full time design, and I’m kind of struggling with what direction to go with a hosting solution.
Do you typically just have the client set up their own hosting and you take it from there? Or do you resell?
I’d be interested to know what people do as well. I recommend my preferred host and offer my clients technical support and assistance in purchasing the account, selecting the domain name, setting up ftp, emails, etc…
I prefer this because:
1) I’m not an ISP. It’s not my core business and letting my clients know this helps to define boundaries. By helping them with setup I get to know more about their company, spot potential future opportunities and get paid for my services.
2) My client is not paying a markup for the same service they could get elsewhere. This leaves them with more money in the budget to spend on things they really need, such as email marketting, pay-per-click campaigns and new websites – all of which I’m happy to help them with :)
3) I’m not saddled with technical support and password reset requests. My preferred host is available 24/7 if there is a problem with a site. I need my beauty sleep! (No really, I do).
4) Some clients are great – and you want to work with them over and over. Others, however are not so great (be honest, we have all had one or two). By not reselling hosting I’m free to walk away from the clients I don’t want once the site goes live (or soon after). The clients I want will already have plans and opportunities for new pieces of work, which is far more intesting and fruitful than sending a quarterly invoice.
5) On the other hand, some clients might not want to work with me. Don’t get me wrong I love repeat business – just as long as it is based on the client liking the work I do for them. I want to get business because I’m good at what I do. I don’t want to get business because I have access to your website, can change your root password or know how to configure your inkjets to only print in Shocking Pink!
I’d say those are excellent points Dave. I really do think your #5 has clicked with me more than the others toward remaining out of the picture and just directing the client to a host I’m happy with and familiar with.
Another point I can think of is it seems like I’m being really up front with the client to just show them the cheapest way to get what they need rather than trying to swipe a few more bucks a month out of them for providing the same thing.
There are a few upsides, depending on what you want to do, but it seems like the cons outweigh the pros.
Dave does bring up a lot of good and valid points…
Personally, I have found that I prefer to do the hosting myself if I can. I do charge for it, but that is usually nominal compared to the actual design work it’s not a big deal. I just like knowing exactly the environment I’m going to be working in and having full control over that.
If something goes sour with a client, it’s usually not that big of a deal. I’m more than happy to burn a CD/DVD with all the files form the website, including databases, and mail it to them and delete it off my server.
I definitely avoid owning their domain names though.
I would say a good way to make some extra money out of a client’s hosing needs would be to join some affiliate program with the host of your choice. But becuase commission is normally so low is it really worth it…