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  1. #1

    Reseller hosting or...?

    I have a client that I would call my 'primary' client, and as such he gets some leeway with me. Sunday he called and wants some new business venture of theirs to have a preliminary site up by Thursday so they can sell the idea to their initial prospects. All fine & dandy. Now the present issue is that this morning he decided that it's time to get a new/different webhost for this venture. A bit of background...

    Now this client has close to a dozen websites spread out over various hosting facilities that he's randomly found over the years. Ie, he's the sort that will pick the first or 2nd google result and call to give credit card details and let whoever is doing his IT at the time sort it out from there. So at this point he's got close to a dozen different sites (mostly focused around 4-5 business that revolve around their 'core' business) spread out all over, and it's a pain to administrate when issues arise. Needless to say the randomness with which he does his IT decisions (he doesn't understand that web hosting isn't the same as buying off the shelf software for MS os's) is part of the reason for the randomess of the results he's gotten. I've slowly taken over more & more of the out-of-office IT related activities for their companies as a result, and have at least kept things stable the last year or so.

    So for this new venture they're doing, I also want to get hosting I can eventually move all of his sites to (over the next couple of months). I think what I want for him is something equivalent to a reseller account somewhere that offers good support and acceptable uptime, because none of his sites generate incredible traffic counts or bandwidth counts, but it sure would be nice to have them consolidated into a single location that I can administrate them from. Most of the smaller sites can be moved as easily as ftp'ing things into place, doing a bit of quick database work and then moving dns, but one or two sites have enough traffic and custom rolled php so that will take a bit longer.

    So the difficulty comes because I need to find something by this evening, get it up & running with a domain currently registered (dns) at godaddy, and have it be something I can migrate the rest of his sites to over the next 2-3 months. I do *not* have an LLC for my personal business so I don't want to resell hosting to him (I'm assuming that the liability isn't worth it for my dba status) but I do want to find something we can have dozens (maybe 50 eventually?) of sites hosted under. Typically I see this advertised by hosting companies as reseller accounts.

    And I'm relying on info gathered here to supplant my decision making, as I did my last round of looking into hosts several months back and garnered a short list that I can't post here because of my new account status. So I'll just name them:

    wiredtree

    rackspace
    slicehost
    joyent

    (these next 3 I have reseller hosting specifics from)
    mosso
    a2hosting
    mediatemple

    bravenet
    dreamhost


    More or less in the order that I perceived them to be at the time. Mosso is one of the ones that specifically lists reseller hosting, but I'm reading mixed things about them here and elsewhere on the net. Wiredtree looks interesting, but I'm not trying to move his sites to a single facility with independant plans per site, so input from this point would be appricated.

    Thanks to any who read & reply.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Atlanta
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    624
    If you just want a reseller account, I would take a look at the offerings of hostgator or downtownhost. It seems to me that either would satsify your needs, and they both have a good reputation.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    1,528
    If you select a 'traditional' reseller account, then all your sites will be hosted on one single server.

    You should have a look at H-Sphere reseller hosting providers. One single point to manage your account, but your sites will be spread among different servers. So, if there is a server problem, only some sites/services will be affected.

    Some H-Sphere providers that have good reputation : Eirca, Cartika, Fluid, Jodohost, Dynamicnet etc.

    Finally, I would advise you to register a business and host this client on your own - having 12 sites from the beginning is very good and profitable. You can charge more than a normal host, since you will responsible for webmastering the sites etc.
    Antonis Adamakos @ FuzzFree :: Fully Managed Web Hosting, Development, Online Marketing

  4. #4
    Well I have a business license, just not an LLC. I'm not sure what the liability risk is of hosting people's businesses without any indemnity from problems should they arise?

    Ie, I don't want my personal assets up for grabs if a hosting company does something entirely out of my control.

  5. #5
    Actually I'll clarify that a bit, certainly the idea of reselling hosting (and generating income from that) has been on my mind, but since he has decided that what he needs is to have a new host NOW, it doesn't really leave me much time to change my business structure. And as stated I have no idea what my liability is should things go awry with hosting, so I'm not sure it's something I'm prepared to do yet. However if the vast majority of the resellers here are operating without LLC/LLP etc style structures, I'm certainly open to hearing more...

    And I've perused the sites mentioned so far. Both hostgator and downtownhost seem to offer decent pricing, I haven't yet had time to do more in-depth searching to find out what their potential issues are but I have no reason to doubt dvduval's input.

    Eirc, Cartika etc also seem competitively priced but the only thing that I know about H-Sphere is what I've read here (regarding them using whatever H-Sphere is to upsell other services or something along those lines).

  6. #6
    Hostgator has the best reseller hosting I've worked with. When it comes down to supporting your clients you need quick support, and they've got the best low cost support out there. Signing up and getting going should be quick as well.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by broadstreetstudios View Post

    Eirc, Cartika etc also seem competitively priced but the only thing that I know about H-Sphere is what I've read here (regarding them using whatever H-Sphere is to upsell other services or something along those lines).
    Hello, to clarify, hsphere is no different the other control panels go as far as "upselling" other services.

    Most providers will offer things like ssl certs, domains, etc for an additional fee. Other reseller providers will offer things like exchange, or high end spam appliances or VPS or dedicateds - again for additional fees.

    Where hsphere differs from other providers and panels is that the ability for a reseller to resell all of the above options are integrated into 1 control panel. If you do not want any upgraded services, dont buy them and dont include them in your plans for your customers.

    other then that, the clustering, multiple platform support and central managability should be present alot of value to a company like yours with your requirements.

    hope this helps...

  8. #8
    I was just going off of what I read here in the other threads that popped up in the first page or so of my forum searches. Thanks for the clarification.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by broadstreetstudios View Post
    I was just going off of what I read here in the other threads that popped up in the first page or so of my forum searches. Thanks for the clarification.
    all good !

    best of luck with your search....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Ferenginar
    Posts
    4,156
    broadstreetstudios,

    If you could consolidate all the shared hosting packages into a single resellers account, what's your budget?

    Do you have any preference of control panel? cPanel, DirectAdmin, Plesk, H Sphere, InterWorx, etc.

  11. #11
    From what I'm seeing a budget of $80-120 should suffice, barring any of the 'extras' that I'm seeing advertised from the various hosting companies. I think most of the sites are currently using shared SSL that comes with their hosts too, so while that might work once everything is moved I think at some point we'll get individual SSL per to keep people within the same domain (people occasionally call wondering why the site changes for the carts etc).

    I don't really have any preference of control panels, I've used cPanel, DirectAdmin, Plesk and a few windows based control panels. I'm also weighing the importance of shell access against the benefit of the decentralized hosting solutions that don't seem to allow shell access for one reason or another.

    Also btw, I've just made a few changes at one of the client's existing hosts to support his new site so that I can actually take a bit to do the migration. He has a tendency to be impulsive in his decisions and thankfully I was able to talk him into a more manageable workflow to avoid making a mess. At least the ball is rolling finally on the migration for all of his sites...

  12. #12
    Btw thanks to all that have replied.

    I would edit my initial post to amend the timeline for this, but it seems only recent the most recent posts are editable.

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