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Thread: Need Advice

  1. #1

    Need Advice

    Two years ago, I decided that I needed to find a reseller program that would allow me the benefits of offering hosting to my clients without the amount of time needed to manage a VPS and better pricing/quota that allowed me to be more competitive. At that time I had 3 VPSs and about 40 other stand-alone accounts with a reseller for a large company.

    One of my new clients came in already hosted at Super Green Hosting, and working on her site and dealing with the support people, I got the idea this was the place I wanted to start reselling with. As it turns out, this was the biggest mistake I ever made.

    I got an account with SGH, and started adding new people to that account. (I hung on to the account with the other place, too. Still have it, but they have raised rates again.) The first year was fine, few if any problems. They were "green" so I was able to market the hosting as "green". My clients liked that. They had quotas that allowed me to offer more space for half the price of the VPSs. My clients liked that. My clients liked the cpanel - which is something I didn't get with the VPSs.

    At the end of the first year, I had about 35 people hosted on this account, and the service started to have problems. The server would be unavailable for hours at a time without explanation. My clients would call me, I would call SGH, they would say they were working on it and then I would have to go back to my clients and use the words "I don't know what's wrong" -- which totally destroys credibility when you're in this business. I lost 3 customers over that.

    Three months after that they shut down a customer for spamming, because an email that was sent to him from a LinkedIn form to his comcast address (fwd'd from his domain address) was marked as spam by Comcast. One email. I called to find out wth was going on, and the support person agreed with me that it seemed odd, but there was nothing he could do about it. I lost that customer.

    Shortly after that, I was told resellers could no longer call or use the chat services for support. Ticket only. More frequent down time. No explanation. 3 more customers lost.

    Then SFTP stopped working. I submitted a ticket asking what is going on, no response. Submitted a second ticket, no response. I called, spoke to a nice guy (Jeff), who told me that SGH was in the process of shutting down overseas support and moving everything to the U.S. That was the reason for the delay. He also checked into SFTP thing and told me they no longer offered that service. ????? Seriously??

    My favorite WTH? moment had to be when I lost & reset a password on a domain account via WHM, logged out of WHM and logged into the domain cpanel to be sure everything worked. When I logged in, I got a notice at the top of the cpanel saying I was logged in with the reseller password - and I had access to all the user cpanel accounts under my reseller accounts via a dropdown at the top of the window. WHAT??? Yes, I had used the same password as my reseller account because I was in a hurry and planned to go back and reset it after I dealt with what I needed to... That's just crazy. I don't understand how the same password would trigger that kind of event. I get it if I were still logged into WHM and tried to access the cpanel, but not using the same pw.

    So, in November 2011, I get a notice that SGH is being merged with JustHost, and everything will go through them. Sparing you all the details, it's been downhill since then. I have problems, I submit a ticket, I get a lousy response or none at all. I try to complain, but I get either a canned response or none at all. I'm still hanging on to about 30 customers on that server - but only because I've been giving discounts or a free month every time something happens.

    I do not want to press them for better service or complain to BBB because I don't want them to shut down my account and all my clients with it.

    I want to move these people out but I honestly don't even know where to start with this. I don't know where to go, and I don't know how to get the people moved once I find a place to move them. I am concerned that if I start moving people around, or have to raise the rates above what they are paying now, it will create such an issue that I'll lose far more clients than I have already.

    I need any advice anyone can offer.

  2. #2
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    I think you should start testing a new provider. What are you paying now? What are you willng to pay for the same or better service? What feature (disk bandwidth, etc) are you using now?

    S.
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  3. #3
    I would look for a new host then. Most hosts go downhill once there sold or "Merged". Each company has different things to offer.

    How much are you currently paying. I'm guessing it is a US server.

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  4. #4
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    I would also recommend packing up and finding another host. Do you have backups ready? What's your budget?

  5. #5
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    <<snipped>>

    But mainly you should strongly consider using only dedicated IP address for your new accounts, as anytime you use a shared IP, regardless of anyones good intentions, the IP sooner or later will get SBL listed by someone.... its just the law of averages. Using your dedicated IP will divorce you from the rest, so unless your clients cause your IP's to be SBL listed you should be squeaky clean, but even a dedicated IP can get Blacklisted by an over zealous spam agent regardless of how hard you might work at keeping your IP's clean. It happens to everyone at some time or another!

    Regards!
    Last edited by bear; 02-13-2012 at 08:50 AM.
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  6. #6
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    I love these hokey stories and love even better hosts falling all over them.

    Why wouldn't he just put these accounts where his other ones have been for the last few years.

    Why tell him to find a 3rd host?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacDo View Post
    ...(I hung on to the account with the other place, too. Still have it, but they have raised rates again.)....

    Quote Originally Posted by MacDo View Post
    I want to move these people out but I honestly don't even know where to start with this. I don't know where to go, and I don't know how to get the people moved once I find a place to move them. I am concerned that if I start moving people around, or have to raise the rates above what they are paying now, it will create such an issue that I'll lose far more clients than I have already.
    Quote Originally Posted by Collabora View Post
    I love these hokey stories and love even better hosts falling all over them.

    Why wouldn't he just put these accounts where his other ones have been for the last few years.

    Why tell him to find a 3rd host?
    Because he said that he doesn't want that,unless I misunderstood.

    @OP search for a host within your budget,and the specs you require,try finding a reputable host,and make sure that they can handle the migration of the accounts.

    Best of luck

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by iperweb View Post
    I think you should start testing a new provider. What are you paying now? What are you willng to pay for the same or better service? What feature (disk bandwidth, etc) are you using now?
    With SGH/JustHost, I'm paying about $162 p/qtr for 250GB, with "unlimited" bandwidth - this is not the "$49.95" p/mo they advertise. You only get that if you pay annually. One of the many things you don't know until AFTER you sign up with them. Before all the problems started, I wanted to upgrade to the 500GB/$89.95 p/mo plan.

    For the VPS (my original hosting co), I'm paying about $90 p/mo for 10GB vps w/ unlimited bandwidth. The stand-alone accounts (single IP) are between 10GB & 40GB at roughly $9 to $18 p/mo.

    FWIW I do not have any problems with the original company other than the prices are so high that I can't be competitive with my pricing or hosting plans.

    What I would like to pay is what I'm paying now with SGH/JustHost for the same quota.

    I would also recommend packing up and finding another host. Do you have backups ready? What's your budget?
    @ramdox - I have backups for my clients. But, I also host sites for friends and associates and I do not keep backups of those sites, though I do tell them to make sure they are backing up on a regular basis.

    I think the main point of my post is looking for host recommendations or at least who to avoid, and how to get the sites migrated with as little aggravation for the customers as possible.

    I've never migrated hosting and it seems to me the only way to do it is manually pick up and move all the files, dbs & such. Is there an automated process for doing it?

    Given the differences between all the hosting companies, not everything could be the same. Things like mysql usernames or db names would be different -- how do you compensate for that?

    How much time should I set aside for doing a thorough migration?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramdox View Post
    Because he said that he doesn't want that,unless I misunderstood.
    Hmm...ok. I read it that he has 40 accounts are reseller1, 35 accounts at reseller2 and reseller2 is giving him problems and he is looking for reseller3?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Collabora View Post
    Hmm...ok. I read it that he has 40 accounts are reseller1, 35 accounts at reseller2 and reseller2 is giving him problems and he is looking for reseller3?
    No worries If he was happy with at least one of them,then I don't think he would open the thread,instead he would move the clients to the one he trusts.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Collabora View Post
    Hmm...ok. I read it that he has 40 accounts are reseller1, 35 accounts at reseller2 and reseller2 is giving him problems and he is looking for reseller3?
    Reseller 1 = 97 domains over 3 VPS & about 30 stand-alone accounts.
    Pricey, smaller quotas, no cpanel, better up time, requires a lot of attention.

    Reseller 2 = 45 domains, one "server" or account.
    Price & quota is reasonable, cpanel, service is questionable (shady).

    Reseller 3 = ?????
    Optimally would be perfect mix of reasonable price, quota, bandwidth, with good customer service where I can pick up the phone and get an answer within 15 minutes. And would assist with migration.

  12. #12
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    So I did read it right? My question still stands. why not use Reseller 1 for those 45 domains (instead of the suggestion of one of your customers). You have been with them a couple years and seem satisfied, yes?

  13. #13
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    Collabora, your question is silly. This thread was started for an obvious reason. You're turning into the WHT troll with your ridiculous advice and absolute love and adoration for unlimited big-name hosts -- including the ones that you (wink, wink) resell for. Enough of the shenanigans now, if you don't mind. Some of us actually like helping others.

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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Collabora View Post
    So I did read it right? My question still stands. why not use Reseller 1 for those 45 domains (instead of the suggestion of one of your customers). You have been with them a couple years and seem satisfied, yes?
    I don't mind answering the question.

    I've actually been with the first company for over 10 years. (Yes, you read that right.) The problem with them is that they are charging me $90 for a 10GB vps. (And you read that right, too.) Not one customer on those VPSs receives more than 250mb for hosting and the smallest plan is 50mb. As it stands now the VPS hosting bring me in about $300 p/mo profit which excludes any profit from servicing the websites. The profit from the stand-alone accounts is about the same.

    Frankly, the people that are still hosted with the 1st reseller are still there for one of two reasons:

    1. They like the fact that I take very good care of them and their websites and I answer the phone when they call and do what they need done when they ask me to do it.
    2. They don't know or don't care that there are less expensive, larger hosting plans available.


    I'm not going to move them unless they ask to be moved.

    The domains on the second reseller site are getting anywhere from 1GB to 25GB per domain and I'm charging less for those plans, but making about the same amount of money.

    My budget for a new reseller plan at this time would be about the same as I'm paying for SGH/JustHost = $150 to $180 p/qtr.

    Dedicated server is a great idea, but requires more time & money than I care to invest at this point. Being honest, I'm not actively pursuing new clients. I've cut way back on advertising and taking on new work by referral only. I'm getting older and closer to retirement age than I want to be. I'm not scaling back, but I'm not busting my butt to increase business either.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm looking to let the business fade gracefully into the sunset without selling it off or letting it crash and burn because I still have a responsibility to the people that have been with me over all these years.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacDo View Post
    I don't mind answering the question.

    I've actually been with the first company for over 10 years. (Yes, you read that right.) The problem with them is that they are charging me $90 for a 10GB vps. (And you read that right, too.) Not one customer on those VPSs receives more than 250mb for hosting and the smallest plan is 50mb.
    OK, thanks, that's what I was curious about.

    It seems my question ruffled some feathers. I apologize if it was out of line or redundant. I wish you the best in your search. Judging by your experience I am confident you will find your solution.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacDo View Post
    I'm not actively pursuing new clients. I've cut way back on advertising and taking on new work by referral only. ... I'm not scaling back, but I'm not busting my butt to increase business either. ... I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm looking to let the business fade gracefully into the sunset without selling it off or letting it crash and burn
    Given this information, I'd look at adding a reseller account from a good reseller host. My current preference for reseller hosting is Stablehost and Stream101, both of whom have proven to be excellent.

    If I were you, I'd still migrate away from the EIG host. At very least, complain that you're overpaying. Paying $90 for a small VPS is absolutely retarded -- that's just not even reasonable. What control panel is currently running on there? Given that it's a VPS, it could likely be migrated without much effort, to a higher-quality managed provider.
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