i started with my first webspace back in '96 (yes, i know that was a *looong* time ago in web terms).
and then in '98 i started to host sites, due to the increased requests from folks (and businesses) i was doing IT work for...
and no end of headaches did i get, i can tell you, so i ditched the whole can of worms just after the bubble burst on the web craziness of the time.
things have moved on greatly since those bad old days of the new web frontier and a couple of years ago i trawled around for a new hosting solution, for personal site development reasons, based in the uk.
it's been a hit and miss affair, but i was after a specific set of features, such as the ability to host and maintain mailman email lists, have some ODBC / SQL database functionality, etc - but my overriding concerns were
they asked me if i wanted to become a reseller, but i declined graciously
but if you're stuck, are not web-hosting savvy, or simply want a cheap as chips solution, they fit both criteria, being very helpful, very fast and (more importantly) speak plain english, not techno babble.
hope this helps
and they say technology will save us...
I think if you scratch anyone that hosts websites on a regular basis they will all have a favorite host company.
Looked into doing my own hosting a long time ago, and came to the conclusion that it was far too complex and expensive to set up and could not be about to ensure 99.999% up time. Then I thought about being a reseller and thought why should I be on hand to sort out problems when all I got out of it was a few quid.
I do what I know best, website design and all that goes with it. Now I do not even add a mark up on hosting, I make a feature out of it. I can almost guarantee my hosting to be cheaper than any one elses.
seems we had similar experiences, a reason why i thought i'd start this thread up
it was far too complex and expensive to set up and could not be about to ensure 99.999% up time. Then I thought about being a reseller and thought why should I be on hand to sort out problems when all I got out of it was a few quid.
i remember it was a hair or teeth pulling exercise when it came to parting with my hard earned ca$h, finding the right set of features, not too much of a tech learning curve (all i wanted was the facilities i needed for my own personal interests and projects) and good support when i needed it, without being charged eternally.
i guess quite a few on these forums will have access to hosting and maybe even do it themselves, but for those (like us) who want the ability without the responsibility of learning or buying into a whole new industry, technology and culture, having options presented from your peer group can only help to make more of us better accomplished to embrace the new digital world we're living in, where we use these tools as creatively as we desire.
i like this part especially:
I do what I know best, website design and all that goes with it. Now I do not even add a mark up on hosting, I make a feature out of it.
I have asked this question on another entry but have not had a useful answer yet. You have experience of my problem and hopefully can give me the right answer. At present I am designing websites but all of my competition are offering hosting and as the customer wants an all in one package I am having to consider a reseller package.
My web design contract deals with the normal stuff for the designer ie copyright issues, but if I offer hosting I surely must get them to sign some sort of contract dealing with the rules that the reseller company would be wanting me to agree to. To put it more simply, everything is fine whilst I am in charge of their site. But what happens when they decide to use a 'friend' who will design a new site and they now wish to upload to the hosting package that I am supplying and the website content is not acceptable.
Or what if the company offering the reseller package goes bust, all of your hosted sites and e mail go down and the business you offered the hosting to takes a court action against you for loss of sales. All reseller companies do not want their name given to the end user.
This just looks like a legal nightmare waiting to happen. But from what I can understand so far all designers offering hosting as a reseller have nothing in writing to cover themselves.
Interesting comments. My annual contract with 123-reg expires soon and as my site gets more popular I'm getting very close to the rather poor value for money bandwidth limit, which to be fair wasn't and issue initially. So, I will be shopping around, guess a lot of you have been thought the pain of finding the best value, fastest speeds, most reliable, least agro, easiest switch over etc etc...
I have been using Freehostia for a few yrs (their banner-less free service, as I have a mindlessly simple site) .. http://www.freehostia.com/ .. they have extensive video tutorials for training, provided truly excellent, accurate, and very speedy assistance when I had problems getting things to run initially, they seem to have all the software add-on bells and whistles anyone could want, and seem to be extremely reasonably and fairly priced. Have no complaints whatsoever.
PS .. check the bottom of their home page for their re-seller program(s) .. to quote " Reseller Hosting Automation: you sell, we provide the 24/7 support!
Set up your own hosting company with a few mouse clicks. ResellersPanel's free reseller hosting program offers complete automation for your hosting business..."
PPS .. I have no economic interest in this company, nor am I a 'hosting reseller' of any kind .. just a user
As I said in my reply to your question in a previous thread, a reseller package is not necessarily the way to go. If you buy a long term, unlimited hosting package, you can host as many domains as you like, and (in answer to Brian's question) you won't be faced with bandwidth problems either.
The advantage of this solution is that your clients will not get access through a normal control panel - they come to you to make changes. This prevents them from uploading any old site that a freind may produce for them. This helps in overcoming the web host's terms and conditions issue. It's you that has a contract with the web host, and it's you that will have responsibility for complying with their terms and conditions. Because you maintain total control over your web sites, there is no need to have hosting contracts as such that mirror the terms and conditions of your webhost.
My view is that if you're serious about designing websites, then the provision of a hosting service can be a great asset. Our own company offers client's one year of FREE web hosting when we create a site for them. The renewal cost is due and payable every year thereafter. There is no real hassle in providing this service if the host you choose provides you with the level of support you need.
The key is to find a host that gives you unlimited everything (including domains). If you buy this service for your own business website, you have it for all your clients at no extra cost - so why not use it as a marketing tool.
Like any business, web design is a multi-faceted business in which clients expect you to be able to help them get through the technology and the minefield of hosting products. To say "it's too much hasle" is like a car mechanic saying he doesn't want the problem of oil dripping on the garage floor.
The percieved problem of a web host going bust is a real one, but is a problem that must be faced in any business. The best way to mitigate this eventuality is to select a large, well established company that charges a realistic fee for service. If you go for cheapies or even free web hosts, not only will you be limiting the functionality of your web sites, but you will be making yourself more likely to become the victim of host going bust.
Thanks for that, I understand now. I have a facility like that now but as it is not called a reseleler package I just presumed I should not be sub letting space. I will take a look at other companies and see if they state it is acceptable in their terms and conditions. Can I offer web mail on this system as well? and what do you put in your contract for the customer to sign?
You should find that any host that sells you an UNLIMITED package where you can host multiple domains, fully expects you to be hosting several domains which may not necessarily belong to you. Therefore, they are unlikely to impose any conditions that stipulate that you must be the owner of a particular domain.
What their terms and conditions WILL state is that YOU are responsible for what goes up on their server. If you are maintaining the sites and preventing your clients from gaining access to the webserver directly, you're very much in control of the whole shooting match.
As for the contractual stuff, we don't issue a contract for hosting. We issue a contract for website development that INCLUDES hosting on our server space. In our case its an OPTION that is offered free for the first year, and one that can be continued for succesive years at a fixed price. However, we do stipulate in our general terms that the client will not have an independent hosting account, but will be able to order new facilities, email addresses etc. through our company at any time and at no extra cost.
Our clients have the option of using webmail (Horde) or pop3. We just supply the client with the login information for each email account he wants, and provide him with a URL through which his password can be changed. It is then up to the customer if he wants to use his email client or the web-based email facility. If he sets up a pop3 account in his email client, this will download all his email into his computer every time he starts the email client (Outlook etc), However, if he's away from home, all unread mail will remain available for viewing through the web interface.
We can also have email addresses link to other email addresses (forwarding) or we can set up email aliases. Aditionally, we have the option of creating autoresponders on some of the email adresses.
The only thing that our clients can't do is to log into the web host's control panel and make changes to the site himself. He can only do it through us.