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Success. Got first client - what to do with hosting?

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by seoactive, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. seoactive

    seoactive Regular Member

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    So i finally got my first client on board. She is completely new to (anything to do with the internet) and looking to get a 10-20 pages website up about her business. She needs everything from hosting + web design + email address creation / forwarding + voip - just everything.

    She has no idea how to forward email, setup on her outlook etc. So yeah.. pretty much everything needs to be done by me - which is definitely ok.

    So I got myself a reseller hosting account (thought that it will be useful for future clients anyways - since each client can have his/her own cpanel / ftp without interfering one another). I figure it will also be ideal for me, so I can charge my client premium for hosting as well (i dont think she even knows what hosting is and why she needs it)

    My question from here on is:
    1. Whats the ideal way to collect payment for hosting? Should I give her my paypal and tell her to subscribe using paypal/credit card?
    2. Should I make a website and act like i own a 'hosting company' too so it looks big? (not that hosting is my bread and butter but maybe it gives the more confident)?
    3. Should I go with whitelabeling my hosting and perhaps using a private DNS? How does that work?
     
  2. carlikito

    carlikito Regular Member

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    Keep it simple for now, send her a paypal subscription link and call it a day.

    If you have a business website, just add a page that mentions hosting services. That should make you "Big" enough.

    Also try not to give your clients access to Cpanel as they will mess it up and expect you to fix it for free.
     
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  3. WontoN

    WontoN Newbie

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    Truth :)
     
  4. tnhomestead

    tnhomestead Regular Member

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    If you can handle the 24/7 support, security and all other demands of a hosting company go for it. If not think about just referring them to a hosting company and collecting an affiliate fee.

    This also saves you from support calls at 2.30 in the morning!
     
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  5. ice41

    ice41 Power Member

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    Completely agree.
     
  6. download

    download Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Yep, this is a pretty good option as well.

    I believe quite a few affiliate networks offer a Godaddy referral offer which pays out very well for a one year purchase.
     
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  7. Jeevs

    Jeevs Supreme Member

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    Prefer sending her over an affiliate link....no head aches after that whatsoever.
     
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  8. GuinnessMan

    GuinnessMan Junior Member

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    I own reseller hosting accounts with Namecheap. I have many clients making regular payments for hosting. No one complains unless something doesn't work, something only stops working if you/they mess with it. Never have I had a client who has even tried to gain access to CPanel let alone be able to figure out what it is.

    When you buy the resller hosting with Namecheap, they ask you if you want private DNS and you can assign a domain to it. Then you get ns1.domain.com and ns2.domain.com all ready to go. It's easy to create packages to sell to people through WHM. You just pick how much bandwidth and how much storage each package gets and then create the account. Gives them their own CPanel, just like shared hosting. If you're really looking for automation you can get a package that includes WHCMS which is a provisioning and payment gateway so people can pay and get their hosting credentials right away. I don't use that because I'm not looking to be an all out hosting company. Easier to just create a page on your website, paste in the PayPal subscription link and send clients there (you can also get an email link for subscriptions too).

    For support I lay it out on the table. I support their web hosting and their email, anything else and they are directed to the Namecheap forums and if I have to respond (beyond web hosting and email) I charge a maintenance fee. This allows me to push my $50-$100 a month "Upgrade and Stability" service where I update plugins and WordPress and maintain backups for them. Namecheap also supports them through live chat, even though they are running on my reseller account.

    On top of all of that, if a client is going to blame anyone, it's you. Doesn't matter if you run the hosting or not. I used to do the Hostgator affiliate program and people would still call me. I sure sounded like an idiot when I told them, oh that was only my recommendation. YOU own your hosting with Hostgator - call them.

    Also - why should Hostgator get all the residuals for my measly one time commission of $50-$125 per client? Hostgator's affiliate support is also BALLS. I'm sure others are better but, having to go through support to get your money when they do owe is a joke. Waiting 3 months to get it is another joke.

    Finally. When you have people on autopay for $7-$10 a month, they tend to forget. So, if their business goes under they might forget about the recurring charge. Not saying you shouldn't be honest with the client - if you notice their domain is down you should tell them - but if I have a client who's done with services and really isn't going much farther at the time, they fall off the radar after a half year or so. Why should Hostgator get that?

    It's all about contract, full disclosure and planning. Keeps your headaches down and profits up.

    Excuse typos and run-on sentences. Stream of consciousness quick reply. Trying to participate more. :)
     
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  9. youtalkmedia

    youtalkmedia Senior Member

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    I am actually doing the same thing, I get them to sign up to paypal auto payments with their cc. I then send them an invoice for every payment they make.

    If you are doing small businesses, I suggest you buy a pack of IP's along with your hosting plan. It is good business to put each business onto its own dedicated IP. I do this for my clients, explain the benefits, and they always get excited, (mostly thinking they got the perfect person cuz "I know so much about web development") I actually got 2 extra client this way by convincing them that if they don't have a dedicated ip, their website is vulnerable.
     
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  10. vishalgmistry

    vishalgmistry Regular Member

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    1. Whats the ideal way to collect payment for hosting? Should I give her my paypal and tell her to subscribe using paypal/credit card?
    i would just ask for cash :p but if doesn't work that way paypal subscription should be fine with her.
    2. Should I make a website and act like i own a 'hosting company' too so it looks big? (not
    that hosting is my bread and butter but maybe it gives the more confident)?
    why complicate things for you ? keep it simple silly. if you do that more work at your end.
    then WHMC shits, extra hole in your pocket. stay away from nulled script.
    3. Should I go with whitelabeling my hosting and perhaps using a private DNS? How does that work?
    that does sounds cool but i think you are not in a position to do that right now.

    i just let my client's signup at justhost or hostgator under my affiliate link and let them have their username/password so they don't get on my balls for any shits happens to their cpanel. it's just peace of mind for me.

    if you were planning to get google application account for email management then sorry but they have stopped free signups. try Zoho it works the same way as google.


    Good Luck With new Client. :)
     
  11. Pollux0R

    Pollux0R Registered Member

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    Congrats on your first client, little that you know there's actually thousands of new businesses opening everyday in the USA. So there's a lot of web design prospects out there :)
     
  12. seoactive

    seoactive Regular Member

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    Can you elaborate a little more on this? To be frank, i am not quite familiar with the benefits of putting them into a dedicated IP as well. (Unless its SSL, of course). Thanks
     
  13. seoactive

    seoactive Regular Member

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    I totally agree with what you said above. If anything goes wrong, the client comes looking for me either way. Going thru live support? Yes, thats possible - but i am not too sure if they know what to even 'ask' at the first place. All they will say is "its not working". The support might ask for their domain, username etc. where she might have trouble finding etc. In theory, i dont think it will work out too well.

    I would prefer to charge them premium for hosting that includes support. Not only that allow me to make another $50 or so, per month, but I feel better when I spend my time helping them as well.
     
  14. seoactive

    seoactive Regular Member

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    bump. looking for more inputs. thanks
     
  15. tristangemus

    tristangemus Regular Member

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    If you're looking to save the headache, just get them to sign up as an affiliate. You're a web designer not a hosting company. What's ten bucks a month gonna do? Maybe break even on the reseller and deal with hosting technical stuff.
     
  16. seoactive

    seoactive Regular Member

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    I see what you mean, but from my experience, a lot of people go back to the 'designer / developer' whenever issues arise or even for the smallest stuff such as creating a new email address for them. In that case, they EXPECT you to help them out at no cost. If you dont, then they consider you as not doing your job.
     
  17. GuinnessMan

    GuinnessMan Junior Member

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    Exactly. $10/mo = $120/yr for 1 client. Overtime that adds up. Hell...charge $20/mo and put some emphasis on support. Residuals are great because TYPICALLY they don't call you and when they do it's really basic stuff. Set up an email or connect their iPhone to their email. Both are simple "send a link to a walkthrough" fixes. Sure you get some shit on your plate, but if you handle all the setup on the front end you mitigate any future problems.
     
  18. Pollux0R

    Pollux0R Registered Member

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    Good job, now you just need to scale :).
     
  19. seoactive

    seoactive Regular Member

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    Just met my client again yesterday. She was asking which hosting company we are planning to go with. I said I will do some research and see whats best for her - since I cant tell her she will be going on a reseller plan - what should I say? Any suggestions?
     
  20. nerfsmurf

    nerfsmurf Junior Member

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    I would just tell her that you own your own hosting servers via Hostgator (or what ever host you use, if you use re-seller hosting). I'm kinda in a rush so I don't see why you cant tell her she will be on a reseller plan. You could add the hosting + maintenance fee together so its like 20 bucks for hosting and 1-2 small modifications to the site monthly, etc etc.

    As for the payment, I am not sure either. I need to figure something out as well, I am going to sign up my first client soon. Owns some computer shops, don't know if pay pal would be the best thing to do. I think I will try freshbooks. It e-mails them an invoice monthly/weekly/whatever. I think its free if you have a small amount of clients, but the payed version let you add/manage more clients.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013