First post to this forum (be gentle with me please)...
Ok - so what am I doing - well I'll tell ya..
I have been a developer for a few years and last year setup my own business providing web based solutions for ... well ... whoever wants them
First year was steady, and we are now just into our second year and I would like to add an additional service of hosting some of the solutions we create for people rather than farming them off elsewhere.
The requirements for each solution could vary considerably, from simple Frontpage Server Extensions to SQL Server 2000, ASP.Net and so forth...
I'm primarily looking for a MS reseller package, but one I have seen recently (and talked to) use a mixture so we would have dual O/S availability.
We are starting of small here, we have mustered currently about half a dozen clients that are prepared to use our hosting service - once this kicks off we'll market it more strongly but the 1st year of hosting will simply be a water testing exercise.
The company I've looked at thus far is DCHosting (dchosting dot com) - it looks as if they could well be a reseller for a reseller - which would then make me a reseller of a reseller or a reseller which at the moment is my only concern as that could presumably raise tech support issues.
Their prices seem reasonable at £500 per annum, an extra £120 if we have the SQL Server 2000 database thrown in - and this was for the dual O/S.
Only additional charges that I've spotted thus far are £5 per client for a better control panel - for the sake of £5 we'd probably do that, I believe it offers the client full control over their account etc.
So, anyone heard of this company? Or recommend any that are equally as good...
I would like a hassle free experience as much as possible anyway...and obviously the ability to install bits and bobs on servers is always an advantage - one of our applications currently uses SA-FileUp (softartisans dot com) - for file transactions, so a company that is flexible is more likely to be chosen. I dont suppose it makes much difference in this day and age but perhaps one native to the UK too, I dont wanna have to phone the States or something everytime I need something doing...
Well I would start out paying monthly and test month to month. You will find that you may have to try a few resellers accounts before you find the right one for you.
The reason 1 plan worries me is because it doesn't give you a clear path for growth. You may grow beyond your current space and bandwidth which you could do in the first few months depending on your marketing strategy. Where does 1 plan leave you?
Your taking on a new adventure if you decided to continue with hosting. You may want to find someone locally that you trust to help you out if your not sure who to choose.
The reason I thought I'd give it a 1 year bash was for a few reasons;
a) small business - currently we have borrow absolutely no money from any lenders and have no debts, the business has been self sufficient and I'd like to keep it that way at least for the next 2 years (I have a wife/family etc)
b) paying the annual sum £500 saves us 2 months worth of £50 - thus £100 - a reasonably small amount yes, but that would cover (nearly) the cost of the SQL Server (£120).
I have no major reasons to go with this company, I have looked at a couple - initially Webfusion (webfusion dot co dot uk), who I had had some personal hosting with for years - they were fine up until a year or so ago when they were taken over/merged and since then their tech support isn't as good as it was - their client charge for the control panel was a re-occurring £25 a year too! Couldn't possibly afford that - not yet.
I would have liked a dedicated box, I have run a single server from home now for over a year, I like the control but more so the flexibility of adding whatever components and bobbins *I* want - but at the same time see the requirement for the resilience/backups and all the rest of it.
I am open to suggestions for other companies to look at - I notice you have one
Here's one thing you have to consider: moving a client's website is a real ordeal. Especially if you are not managing it day to day.
If you are handling everything for the client on the site, then its not too much of a problem. But if they are managing their own site, it introduces a lot of variables you have to work out when moving servers.
You still have to deal with the minor differences in the hosts you pick, and things like forums are tough ... it can take 48 hours for the new IP address to propegate through the internet, and in that time, various customers are accessing either the new or the old site. Best bet is to just close the forums for the duration of the DNS propegation. With your own site, that's not too much of a problem, but with a customer's site ...
My point is that it isn't as simple as just "moving the site" if the current host doesn't work out. I would make sure you go with a host with a good recommendation here from their customers on WHT.
Originally posted by fshagan My point is that it isn't as simple as just "moving the site" if the current host doesn't work out. I would make sure you go with a host with a good recommendation here from their customers on WHT.
The repuation of a company, from WHT users, honestly doesn't lend much help (in some, extreme circumstances, it may).
WebHostingTalk, by default, attracts high-maintenance users.. this is not really a bad thing, but it is a well known fact. (Requests forum, et al)
Currently, WHT represents approx. 0.3% +/- of the hosting industry, and that 0.3%, is a very monetarily driven customer-base, in general.
Often, it's more of a good sign if the company is barely mentioned on these forums.. let's face it, if they've sneezed in the wrong direction, it would have been mentioned here, in a 27 page thread
My point is, use tools like Google to your advantage, as opposed to WHT.. type keyword phrases such as "bad experience with XXXXX.com", etc. This will give you more of a look at the real reputation of a company.
WHT is a great resource for talking about the industry, and conversing with other in it, but as far as feedback, and client testimonies go, you tend to see reviews are either given flipant responses, thus tarnishing the review, or they are over-the-top reviews that reek of spamliness.
Places like WHIR, will give you many resources for starting up a reseller account.. WHT will too, but in most cases it could be more beneficial from a "how not to run a business" p.o.v