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  1. #1

    Web design firms & hosting?

    Is it a good practice to offer web design and hosting to a company at the same time? Or do web design firms usualy just sell the design and give them suggestions/recomendations on hosting companies?

    In both ways I can see a positive and a negative.

    Offering design+hosting - More profit from hosting & easier for the customer. But, if the site goes down, it reflects on your totaly design firm image

    Not offering design+hosting - No grater profit, harder for the customer and increased workload.

    Im contemplating starting a design firm in the distant future and was wondering weather it would be a good idea for me to offer hosting with the designs, or totaly forget the idea.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Being able to install that pear library / perl mod / whatever you need yourself right now... priceless
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  3. #3

    Re: Web design firms & hosting?

    Originally posted by smoove.

    Im contemplating starting a design firm in the distant future and was wondering weather it would be a good idea for me to offer hosting with the designs, or totaly forget the idea.
    Well ...

    you could potentially set up the Design firm as a DBA and position it as a seperate entity. That way if something goes bad on one end, the other's rep isnt automatically trashed

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
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    3,109
    Nothing wrong with doing both but understand that running a Hosting business has more responsiblity. Having done both for many years now, the Hosting side has provided a more regular income than the Design business. There will be Clients though, that appreciate getting both Services from one company and that always helps with the bottom line.
    PotentProducts.com - for all your Hosting needs
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  5. #5
    There is a market for design+hosting firms, but you need to maintain good repo for tht... and its not tough.. just outsource your server management to a company like touchsupport.com and you can concentrate on design part...

    That way you can provide both services + quality + earn more profits..
    Wholesale Domain Prices for Retail Customers - Rushtoweb.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Northern VA
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    My perspective is that it doesn't do anything positive to your rep if you're a great design firm and take on web hosting and do a mediocre to poor job of it just to add it as a feature for your customers. You'll only lower your esteem by providing poor web hosting and some won't care how good the design was.

    It's probably better to partner with a good web hosting company than try and take on a layer in the OSI model that is unfamiliar and highly competitive.
    Rich
    WebsiteMaven - Web Hosting Reviews, Guides, and Advice to Build and Promote your Web Site

  7. #7
    What about letting other companies support my customers?
    Heard a few people doing that.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    771
    My 2 cents:

    When I started in this business in 1998 I did nothing but cheap and easy FrontPage built websites ACK ACK!! I did all my hosting with softcomca.com and let them handle the hosting and I handled all the support. This was nice because there was no headache (so I thought) this way. After lots of downtime and slow support back then I decided to become a reseller and have my own space.. that lasted about 15 days and I got my first dedicated server.

    When I got my own server for the first 6-8 months the only customers on the box were My customers and each month the bill came in and squeaked by. I had lots of disk space so I figured I would sell it off to those wanting to build their own sites (people I knew) and that grew..

    I stayed there for a long time (maybe another 8-10 months) and then switched from focusing on design as the main income to hosting as the main and design secondary. This has worked great because hosting is a monthly income and no worries if and when the next website deal will come through.

    We keep our design site and hosting site separate, in fact everything, emails, phone, office and staff are separate.

    I think there is no down side to doing both Unless you start giving poor service to one of them just to make more money.


    Robert
    Light travels faster than sound, which is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    India
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    It seems to be alright to provide the website hosting as well as the website design at the same time. This will have a good impression on the clients as well. Coz you can see many designer today letting the clients go around and search the hosts by themselves or even the recommendations provided by any designer are looked with some suspicion whether or not that host will be good or not. This is because these recommendations are at times indulged by affiliate commission.

  10. #10
    Hi smoove,

    The business model you are outlining is one that is becoming ever more popular amongst designers. However, the critial factor is the reliability of the service you are receiving. As a designer, you want to focus on your core competencies, rather then dealing with alot of support related to service interuption.

    Adding hosting options to your portfolio will add the all important streamed revenue to your bottom line - however, make sure the provider you choose is one that can deliver - otherwise, you will not benefit from adding this offering ....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Long Island, New York
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    The vast majority of my resellers are indeed web design firms. They find that it allows them to keep in constant contact with their design clients, and form a relationship over the long term. They are also able to charge fairly decent prices for the hosting itself, and the clients are willing to pay for it because of the trust issue involved with working with a known entity.

    The design firms also like the fact that they never have to worry about server administration, uptime, or availability. Works out great for everyone.
    TWSites.com - Business Web Hosting Solutions & Server Management Since 2003

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