Reseller, clustered or shared that is the question...
The service I'm offering
In a nutshell: I've started a company which allows new business to get themselves a cost effective content managed website. The platform I'm building the websites on (WordPress) is scalable so if their business takes off, we can easily add pages and other services like e-commerce.
Like their website, I'd like the hosting to be scaleable. If, for example, their website starts getting several thousands hits a day, I need the hosting to cope with such demand. I'd also like to offer hosting as a separate package.
The solutions I've looked into so far...
1) I've considered re-seller hosting, but most of them offer "Unlimited" policies. In my experience, this often means poor customer service and a SLOW hosting service. We will be controlling everything, so there's no need to have a re-seller package in place. I'd also like to control everything via CPanel and most of them have horrific custom control panels.
2) Clustered-hosting is very new to me. In the past I've signed all of my customers up to TSO Hosts on their shared hosting. TSO Hosts offer a fast service and their customer service is THE BEST i've ever experienced.
TSO Hosts offer a clustered-hosting package which looks pretty good. I was thinking of assigning 20 websites per package. Each hosted website on the package will get the following per month:
5GB per site for e-mail storage and storage.
50GB per site for bandwidth.
250,000 dynamic file requests per site.
I understand that some of the sites won't be using this much bandwidth or storage, but I thought it would be fair to give them a figure so they know what they are buying. It also means I can work out how much profit i'm making per site.
3) Shared hosting is my third option. I would create a new account per customer and give them exact figures for how much storage etc they would be getting. The only problem with this is not being able to manage everything in one place and they could quite easily find a competitive rate to beat my pricing.
So what's my question?
I'm curious to know what experiences you guys and girls have had with offering the same type of service and what you'd recommend I do. Do I opt for a clustered service, or is it best to buy a package per user. It's a tricky one!
The lower RAM offerings of VPS providers don't offer the performance of a good shared hosting provider. If you don't have the budget now for high end VPS, you're proabbly still better off with the shared hosting hybrids like Cloud or Clustered.
Cloud Hosting's disadvantage is that you are packaged in like everybody else. With a cloud, your account is distributed amongst several different other accounts sharing the same server.
Clustered hosting is probably the most easily scalable as you can separate each of your services among different servers. Depending on what needs more power, you only upgrade that portion.
Shared hosting is not very scalable. You basically jump out of shared hosting into a VPS or dedicated when you need more power. Extra steps.
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