Web Hosting Decisions Ahead

Brian  

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with my websites and the ones I host for my clients. I have enough sites that I host between my own, friends and family, and clients – that I think it’s time for either a dedicated server or a reseller hosting account.

The latter is a bit more appealing as far as cost is concerned, but I’m also trying to plan for the future. I figure I’ll be fine with the sites I host. I’m also torn between a smaller company with a more personal experience, and one of the big names like Site5 or Media Temple.

Currently I have my hosting spread out over shared hosting plans with three hosts – Bluehost, Dreamhost and A Small Orange. All of these have their pros and cons. I haven’t been thrilled or let down by any of them, but as much as I’m paying for all of those accounts, I will actually save money by switching to a reseller account with one company.

This will lead to better domain management as well – I’ve been sloppy with that recently with all of my personal domains and my business domains. My customers’ domains are all managed through Go Daddy.

Just curious what the consensus is on reseller accounts, domain management, hosting management and billing services, etc. Comments are much appreciated.

6 thoughts on “Web Hosting Decisions Ahead

  1. I host everything with Dreamhost and so far, so pleased. But if you have clients who need 99.9 percent guaranteed uptime, you will need to look to one of the big boys.

    Dreamhost is not without a few quirks and faults, but they’ve been pretty responsive and friendly to work with.

  2. @ Aaron –

    Thanks for the input – I’ve been pretty happy with Dreamhost over the last couple years. I think they are a little too quick to use humor to cover up their mistakes, like the double-billing I got last week.

    Seems it would be a really fun place to work, but not necessarily the best place to host for business purposes, unless all you care about is the bottom line.

    One thing I noticed with them is slow uploading. It takes forever for me to upload new content to my DH sites sometimes.

    Glad you found your way over here – keep in touch.

  3. I have all my sites under one Grid-Server account on Media Temple. They’ve had their share of hiccups, but overall I’ve been happy with them.

    I considered going with a reseller account in the past, but ultimately I decided it was potentially too much hassle for not enough income. I don’t really want my clients calling me every time they can’t get their email (because they have the wrong settings).

    I’ve registered all my domains through GoDady also. They have a nice feature that allows you to synchronize all your accounts to have the same renewal date, even if you bought them at different times. I like to take care of it all at once.

  4. I also have three hosting suppliers – on 2 I have a dedicated servers and on the 3rd I have one virtual server. My initial rationale was to spread the business risk of one server/company going down/bust – at least all my client's sites wouldn't go down with them. That worked, kind of, until one of my suppliers was swallowed whole by the other!

    However, I'm also looking to consolidate and standardise my platform – less time spent remembering the differing ways each server is setup, etc. So, I'll trade business risk for ease of use and cost savings.

    As for reseller hosting – with my dedicated server that's the game I'm in I suppose. What I charge just about covers the annual server rental charge but it does mean I'm able to 'control' my client's environment and know what can/can't be done when a client asks for x or y. I got burned early on by saying, "yes, you can have this & that on your website", only to discover they were hosted on some freebie account with no CGI or php, etc.

  5. Yeah, you have to be careful with clients that have their own hosting. I have a couple that are with annoying hosts, and it's a pain to design workarounds to meet their specs. I encourage most of my new clients to leave their existing hosts due to either incredible overpayment or lack of features. That's why I'm still tempted to do a reseller account.

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