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  1. #1

    Is reselling hosting worth it for fewer than 10 customers? Affiliate program better?

    Hi. I have a few web design clients that I'm currently hosting on a less-than-ideal host - cheap and tolerable but too many small headaches. I'm trying to decide if I should:

    1. move to a reliable reseller like Site5, HostGator... and move my clients there.

    or

    2. set up my clients through an affiliate program where I either get an up-front commission or an ongoing residual, and wash my hands of hosting all together.

    3. go with a host like VarHosting that offers blind support to the end customer and leave me out of the loop.

    Thanks in advance for your input.
    Last edited by Adam12; 05-02-2005 at 08:33 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    855
    10 customers it is a good number to start a hosting business if you have time. You can rent a VPS and try to promote your business a bit. The 10 first customers are the more difficult to gain.
    .:. Enterprise SAN Consultant .:.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    West Yorkshire
    Posts
    1,357
    I think it depends on the commitment you want to put in to this. In point 2 you mentioned washing your hands of hosting altogether. If you prefer that route then an affiliate system would work.

    But if you feel you have the commitment and want to continue then I would say 1 or 3 would be the best option depending on what amount of time you could put in to it.
    -- Matthew

  4. #4
    you may choose a small and cheap reseller package and start your hosting company.

    after all, you will get extra money for 10 sites per month..

  5. #5
    Adam,

    My advice would be, if you are planning to start a hosting company, you have a good start to your client base. However, if you have absolutely no desire/intentions to start a hosting company, find one with a good affiliate system.
    SuperWebHost.com, a Digitally Justified Company
    Celebrating our 9th year in Business

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  6. #6
    Thanks for the advice. I'm still on the fence. At the moment I'm basically selling web pages - I get the account and source the work to one of a few programmers I have an agreement with. I thought that since I have a few clients and hope to get more, why not profit from the hosting. However, as you all know, it's not just a cut-and-dry thing where you sign them up and forget about them. When the server goes down, they call YOU! So I have a couple more questions:

    Which, if any, hosts would you feel comfortable paying a year up-front (eg. Site 5's price is $20/mo if you pay for a year)?

    If I go the affiliate route, which is the best? (I may start a new topic with that question).

    Thanks again.

  7. #7
    Originally posted by Adam12
    Which, if any, hosts would you feel comfortable paying a year up-front (eg. Site 5's price is $20/mo if you pay for a year)?
    Thats an easy one for me. The answer is none. I've been around long enough to see highly regarded companies go south in support and service in less than 6 months. I would have to have had another account at a host (first hand knowlledge of the host) to pay a year upfront.

    If you are successful in your design business and have a constant stream of work coming in I would not worry about the hosting side of things. Design hours are going to pay you more than hosting support hours.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,750
    Myself i would go for a low end reseller, And take it from there.I wouldnt go for VPS straight off as your venture might fail. Remember its a commitment too.

  9. #9
    Since I don't plan on billing for hosting separately, I'll likely charge one price for site management, updates and hosting, could I do a shared hosting plan somewhere and keep it all under one roof? If I get more clients, I could either up grade to a reseller account or move my clients elsewhere. Does that make any sense?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,192
    Originally posted by Adam12
    Since I don't plan on billing for hosting separately, I'll likely charge one price for site management, updates and hosting, could I do a shared hosting plan somewhere and keep it all under one roof? If I get more clients, I could either up grade to a reseller account or move my clients elsewhere. Does that make any sense?
    I would just go reseller from the start
    Ankit Gupta - Cernax Hosting
    "We're always second in the industry, the customer comes first."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Colorado, USA
    Posts
    812
    I would never start a business on a low-end reseller account. Just shoot yourself in the foot if you want pain. In the very beginning it is important to prove uptime and service. Risk it because of saving a few bucks is kinda stupid.

    The number of clients you have is perfect for a reseller account. Just leave enough room for growth and add a second reseller account or upgrade the existing one. Don't move clients too often. They like stability and uptime.

    Christoph
    Web Hosting Resource Kit - Web Hosting Reviews & Hosting Tutorials

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