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Resell Hosting for Clients- Do you have Good/Bad Experiences?
I'm considering doing hosting

 10:57 pm on Jul 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

A company I'm considering offers $17/month plus a onetime $10 setup fee and I can resell hosting (costs me wholesale $3.95 per 20MB hosted domain and I can mark it up to whatever, with my own dns server names, and they stay in the background.

Does the above seem like a decent deal. It's with a company that will remain anonymous.

Anybody have suggestions, good or bad experiences with certain companies?

I'm much obliged for your input.

[edited by: martinibuster at 12:03 am (utc) on July 8, 2002]



 11:27 pm on Jul 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

martinibuster, for one reason or another it's generally better to stay away from opinions on specific hosts, but with reselling altogether you have to figure on how much support you're willing and able to give.

Plus, with any host look at how much is charged for any extras in case they're needed. I'll tell you right now that if it's the normal setup with Webalizer stats that hosts have, they're really lousy. The free extreme tracker is better than that.

$17 for your account plus $3.95 for each account resold is not such a cheap deal. I won't give any comparative figures because it would definitely not be a good idea for that to start, but I'd shop around some more to compare features and prices.


 12:08 am on Jul 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi Marcia,
Thanks for the input. I will shop around a little more.

However, what resources are there for judging a host who can set me up as a hosting reseller?

(Epinions perhaps? I'll give them a try.)


 12:11 am on Jul 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

$17 for your account plus $3.95 for each account resold is not such a cheap deal.

It's not, but in hosting as in almost anything else price shouldn't be the only factor considered, or even the most important (and I realize, Marcia, that you weren't saying that it is -- just emphasizing the point).

Customer service and tech support are far more important, especially when you're going to reselling someone else's services. The performance of the company you're reselling for will directly be reflected on you -- most of your clients won't accept "it's not our fault" as an explanation.


 12:22 am on Jul 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

martinibuster, imo it's probably best to check them out with one account only to see how their support is, check downtime, and also see what's in that control panel. Even with Alabanza they're not all the same, and those are the best I've seen from my very limited experience with them for budget prices. It's the reseller programs that differ.

>Customer service and tech support are far more important
So true, Jay. Basically you deal with the people and as intermediary with the host. So if there's a problem and you're not getting a response you're the one who has to answer for it.

But price-wise that's *expensive* for what they're offering compared to other deals around that are cheaper, so without any idea of how a company is it's all a pig in a poke anyway.


 2:13 am on Jul 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hey all,
very helpful input! I feel much better wading into this. :)


 9:37 am on Jul 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

that information was just about spot on. good job.

if you go into hosting, prepare to spend a long time working for very little profit. only the big companies with big advertising budgets will make a good profit from hosting. there is just too much competition from small timers.


 5:06 pm on Jul 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi Crazy_Fool,
I mainly want to do the hosting as a service to my web design customers, not as a business in itself.

In the short run, it'll pay my hosting expenses plus an extra couple bucks. In the long run I figure it should develop into a regular revenue stream.

The way I see it, why give this business (hosting) to someone else when I can bite a chunk off for myself?

If anyone sees a flaw in my logic, PLEASE let me know... :)


 8:49 pm on Jul 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

If anyone sees a flaw in my logic, PLEASE let me know...

Well, I'll only toss in this: depending on what your relationship with those clients is now, it might create more work for you. Depending on the reliability of the hosting provider, it could reflect negatively on you.

But in general I think it can be a great idea. My company has been hosting our design clients for years, without making any effort to pick up what we call "retail" hosting clients, though we've still stumbled across a few -- or they've stumbled across us.

In addition to the financial reasoning you've expressed, it can help simplify things that all or most of your design clients are hosted in the same place, so you don't have to deal with small differences between them (where do the cgi scripts go, what is the document root, etc.) and can help even more if it means that you have full access to their accounts and perhaps root access on their server (depending on their needs, and your own technical expertise).

And there are always design clients who expect you to be able to handle hosting for them anyway, so this is the most direct way to do so. And, since you're not trying to compete with the thousands of small hosting companies out there in the "retail market," you can actual set your prices at a level where can make a little money.

But there are so many horror stories in the hosting world! Be very careful who you hook up with... check references, put one or two sites there first for a few weeks to see how it goes, etc. I could probably name just off the top of my head two dozen small hosts that were operating a year ago and aren't around any more -- so while bigger doesn't equal better, be cautious of "too small" and "too new."

Probably the most commonly screwed-up area among small hosting companies is billing, so keep a close eye on that.


 10:08 pm on Jul 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

Be very careful. Hosting clients is a great idea only if you don't damage your reputation with hosting problems or your profit dealing with the problems.


 11:25 pm on Jul 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

If you really are going to host a few clients you would be far far better off with a dedicated server. You can get several gigs, etc these days for about $100/mo (depending on the company of course) plus you have root access. Customer service is generally better for you also since they tend to take dedicated server clients much more seriously (in my experience). Your experience will vary obviously depending on who you go with... shop around.


 1:13 am on Jul 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

If you really are going to host a few clients you would be far far better off with a dedicated server.

In my opinion that's only true if, first, you're comfortable with running a server and have the time to do it, and second if you'll have enough clients that paying for individual resold accounts wouldn't work out better.

And personally, I've never seen a $100/month dedicated server deal that I'd put my company's reputation on the line with... or on which I'd put a site belonging to anyone I like.

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