|Purchasing Hosting for Clients|
What is the right way to do it?
I have just completed my diploma in Website Development, and it is sitting on my wall, and I'm proud of it. But something came up during the course that in hindsight I should've asked my teacher, but didn't.
During the course, we had to find a charitable client and build them a website. The organisation our group chose had been wanting a website for some time, but had little knowlege of the internet. They had internet access, but their level of experience would be best described as 'casual surfers'.
When it became time for them to purchase web hosting, I told them to sign up to hosting at a web host I had used in the past. I figured that if I signed up in my name using my credit card, their site would legally be my responsibility. Whether that is true, I don't know. But I wanted them to sign up.
So I get a phone call - What do I fill in in this section? Do I need this item? The form won't submit! It doesn't like my username! What do I do now?
In the end, they came to my house, and they had me fill out the form with their details with their permission, while they watched me.
There has to be a better way to purchase stuff for clients. What's the right way to do it?
If you intend doing websites for many clients, the best route would probably be to have a hosting reseller account- you basically buy x amount of space/bandwidth and then resell it to your clients, charging them a reasonable fee for doing so. This way, it's easy for you to set it up for them and you can make some money along the way...
Becoming a hosting reseller has its ups and downs. I own a hosting company myself (not a reseller, we have a data center).
The thing with reseller hosting is that you are ultimately responsible for your users technical support. While reseller hosting is inexpensive (our accounts start at only $24.95 per month - 3000mb space - unlimited domains - unlimited databases - plesk control panels)It can still be difficult to manage if you dont want to provide the support.
So what alot of webdevelopers do is develop commission accounts, where they refer users through a "affiliate system".
While some hosts provide a one time payment for the referrel, this is not the most profitable for you. So look for a host who provides monthly residual payments for hosting accounts you set up.
We do provide the residual type as well, plus all of our resellers get discounts on ALL hosting related products we sell for instance SSL Certificates, Dedicated IP's, SEO, so that you can make profit on the sale of these items as well to your custoemrs.
Look for a host with a good round feature list, and one that will provide you with recurring residual payments, you'll be most happy with them
|The thing with reseller hosting is that you are ultimately responsible for your users technical support. While reseller hosting is inexpensive (our accounts start at only $24.95 per month - 3000mb space - unlimited domains - unlimited databases - plesk control panels)It can still be difficult to manage if you dont want to provide the support. |
It really depends on your client base. All of my clients are non-technical, meaning that they don't mess with their website at all. (None of them have ever requested an FTP account.) One of them uses an Exchange server, so they run into email problems every so often, but that's when I utilize my reseller's tech support for answers. Aside from that, the most "technical" help I have to provide is occassionally setting up a new email account or retrieving a password.
Even if you have to pay a little more money, I highly recommend avoiding resellers who provide "email only" tech support. Also, Windows resellers are a lot more expensive than Unix/Linux.
One advantage to being the front line is my clients know they don't have to deal with tech support themselves, that they can take a minute or so to call me, rather than spend twenty on hold. This is why you can charge more for hosting.
It's not a huge profit, but the money I make on hosting covers not only my reseller cost, but all of my other utilities as well (phone, fax, internet). So if I have a slow month, I know my fixed costs are covered.