There are many ways designers and hosts partner. Some ways are very loose and some are very tight.
When I started as a developer, I did a little research and I came up with a short list of hosts that I felt comfortable trusting with my customers' sites. As part of my services, I would recommend these hosts, and I would set everything up for my customers, no additional fees involved.
Eventually, I ended up purchasing a reseller account. This allowed me to make a profit from hosting, something to which I decided I was entitled since I was putting my efforts into good administration and support. I only used that account for my own customers and personal accounts. I never advertised myself as a host, though I did take on a couple hosting-only accounts local to me. The reseller account allowed me to consolidate everything into a nice, neat package. It made administration much easier.
Today, I have two partners and a dedicated server, and one of the partners is the primary caregiver for the server. Our long-term business plan includes building our own datacenter, and we've timelined milestones to determine when this will be feasible. In the meanwhile, we're very happy with the server and server management quality we've received with DIYHosting. It's premature to give a full-blown write up, but the nature of our designer/host relationship is one where we've leased another company's equipment and expertise while we handle full-blown administration and less technical support. We've given ourselves plenty of time to gain the expertise needed to bring everything in-house, and DIY is both aware of our aspirations and very supportive of them. That's the kind of relationship we have with our host
I think this is fairly typical progression, from a hodge-podge of hosting options, to reseller, to dedicated. The setup of the partnership itself can come a few different ways. We pay $xxx per month for equipment and support, and that's that. For a reseller account, you'd pay $xx amount for a chunk of server resources and an interface to administrate your accounts. Some hosting partners will offer you their shared plans at a discount, you charge full price, and you pocket the difference without any personal expense. Typically, this arrangement can be done in a reseller environment as well. I don't believe there's any big advantage of one system over another; it's all about what works best for you.
The business of business is business; as both have a common business interest, so on mutual interest and relationship both work out for each others, by doing so you are also obliging your customers in greater extent and vice versa.
Regarding price break up, I suggest avoid it as far as possible. The common prices break up creates the chance of bad negotiation; it will pull down you even your bottom line.
Itís far better to offer some kind of gift or some free offer to your client for referral rather than negotiating on price part.
I have clients that already have their own hosting solutions so I'm out of the picture unles they need or want to make a move. I'm in the process of going VPS from reseller status for the slush accounts that need hosting. Since most accounts are unique I have found 1 hosting company will not fit all, hence, cutting any sort of deal is not worth the energy. So I focus on the hosting options that offer the best up time and support which saves me a TON of energy and lets me focus on my art.
Did I answer the question, or do I need another cup of coffee
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Re: What kind of relationship do you have with your host?
Originally posted by Melancon I assume many of you designers use the same host for your clients that inquire about hosting.
I am looking to partner up with a reliable and trustworthy host myself and anything you can tell me is helpful.
1) What kind of relationship do you have with your host?
a)Do you work out of his business, does he work out of yours?
b) Are you the same business or do you just do referrals?
2) Setting up the Partnership.
a) What are some common price breaks / deals you get for referring your clients to a host?
b) Do you close hosting sales on clients?
Thank you very much.
1a: They are their own company and I am as well, so we only work together in the sense that I pay the bills and they keep the servers running smooth.
1b. I have a reseller account, so I maintain my own clients under one account.
2a. That will vary from host to host. Some have referrals, some don't. I'm lucky in that my host is owned by a well respected individual here on WHT, who also keeps a good working relationship and is willing to spend a minute discussing things. I've gotten on chat with him and made some deals outside of his stated plans. So its a 1 on 1 situation here, but also I've been a client of his for 2 years now, so its easier to negotiate, I feel.
I think what you might need is a reseller account. WHT is the perfect place to start looking. Spend some time here and research, research, research. Get the idea of cheap and money out of your head. Go for reliability. You want to provide excellent service for your clients so who cares if you are paying $10 or $20 a month more than the other host, if it means your clients are taken care of. Also it means less or your time taking care of hosting.