Setting up a Hosting Option through Deamhost


#1

Hello,

Sorry if this has been discussed within the forum. I’m looking to leverage Dreamhost as a hosting solution to my clients. It will start small but will grow as I start to leverage Dreamhost more and more and/or migrate clients from Rackspace.

Ultimately there will be clients of various sizes. Anyone who needs a higher usage system will most likely get their own VPS or Cloud. So in the context of this question, unless you have some feedback on larger clients as well, I’m more looking at smaller sites (HTML or Wordpress).

I’m interested in suggestions on what the best way to set this up with two things in mind, profitability as a business, and degree of separation/security, and performance for clients:

Options as I see them (in no particular order):

  • Just create Share Hosting or Wordpress Hosting accounts per client. No ability for profit on hosting, would just resell hosting service as to put margins on it the client could just open the account themselves.
  • VPS: Go with a VPS structure. Start with a $15/month account and expand over time. Unlimited Domains is nice, opportunity for up sell there for client domains, and could charge clients per year per hosting site and make a profit off of VPS expenses. More cost effective than dedicated servers, but less performance and no root access, if needed. Conceivably this means would have to scale through the VPS account levels faster… Not sure if the difference between VPS and Dedicated is really noticeable in Dreamhost.
  • Dedicated Server: Same idea as VPS, start with a lower package and migrate as neccessary. Provides more control and more performance… but again not sure if it’s measurable in comparison to VPS.
  • Cloud: Ditch the Shared Hosting and Server options and go to the cloud. Root access like Dedicated Services. Scaleable without having to “Migrate” to new/larger Dedicated Services. Not sure if performance has a measurable difference between Cloud and Dedicated Servers.

Again, I have my own opinion, just looking for feedback on what people have used. What’s the most cost effective option that provides a good return on investment with appropriate access/performance?

Thanks!


#2

My advice to you, is have the customer own their own dreamhost account. Do not try to own their hosting. For one its not profitable, and for two when they aren’t your client anymore it doesn’t waste one drop of your time (that you’re not getting paid for.)

Additionally it doesn’t put you in the middle when some dreamhost email server gets blocked somewhere.

If you want to make some kind of profit off the customers hosting then use the affiliates/rewards links from dreamhost. Frankly tho deals that are profitable to you thru affiliates/rewards cost the customer more.

To make a profit charge for your time, either by the job or by the hour.

Let’s me paint the all-to-often picture for you. Some time unit down the road customer stops paying you. They want more work, but you want them to pay for their hosting first. -Or- you cut them off for non-payment and they trash talk you for letting their site go dark.

Charge for the time or job, but don’t try to own the customers hosting. Let the customer have their own relationship with dreamhost. The customer can grant your account access to theirs, so there is no need to keep track of multiple panel logins.

That anywhere close to what your own thought were?


#3

Sorry didn’t get a notification there was a response to this.

Yup I know exactly what you are saying! It’s the model I’ve been employing for years. Was looking at hosting as a potential for added revenue but was unsure. It appears the potential for revenue could be more through some cloud offerings or accounts where you get volume discounts internally and still charge the same to the client, or a slightly lower cost if you want to be competitive, to the client. You do run the risk of being the first line of defense for any issues however as you mentioned. Is the risk worth it… probably not without the volume.

Food for thought at least! Thanks!