Topic: Web/server hosting

Hey gang.

Since my last real posts, I've made the jump to being a self-employed web developer. Thanks for all of your advice, and it definitely is the scariest, hardest environment to be working in. But I love it so far.

Anywho, a local design firm, has contacted me about doing some regular work with them, and asked me about becoming their web hosting partner. Right now, I use site5, a great web hosting company for most of my clients. I just set them up with their own plan, and off they go. Then I manage things in their plan. Considering the number of sites that would be transferring to said hosting environment, I don't know if a shared business hosting account would work for their 100+ websites.

So my options are:

1. Buy some boxes and find a colo facility, and run all the hosting myself.
+ Details custom Configuration
- Dealing with hardware
- server setup
- Hardware costs ($$$)

2. Rent server(s) at a place such as serverbeach or the like, and do the same.
+ Detailed custom configurations
+ no dealing with hardware
+

3. Get a business hosting plan at site5 or some other host, and get ready to have 100+ websites on it.
- not as configurable
- other companies on my machine
- possibly not having a client panel for each client to manage their own accounts
+ hosting and admin is usually set up for me as I go


So what would you do? I'm leaning towards #2 right now.

Re: Web/server hosting

If you're savvy at server administration, then 1 or 2 seems most ideal for you.

What I would do is completely different. I prefer server administration go to someone else. (I'm not talking CRON jobs and Apache conf, I'm talking security, hardware care, etc.) It just makes my life easier as a webdev not to have to worry with that stuff. And most of the times I've had to weigh it, the cost of a managed server isn't that different than a colo or unmanaged server.

For the record, I'm with 1and1 and I'm significantly happy to be there.

Edited: Because I can't type.

Last edited by David Russell (2006-08-09 11:38:03)

Re: Web/server hosting

AJ -

ajp wrote:

Anywho, a local design firm, has contacted me about doing some regular work with them, and asked me about becoming their web hosting partner. Right now, I use site5, a great web hosting company for most of my clients. I just set them up with their own plan, and off they go. Then I manage things in their plan. Considering the number of sites that would be transferring to said hosting environment, I don't know if a shared business hosting account would work for their 100+ websites.

So my options are:

1. Buy some boxes and find a colo facility, and run all the hosting myself.
+ Details custom Configuration
- Dealing with hardware
- server setup
- Hardware costs ($$$)

2. Rent server(s) at a place such as serverbeach or the like, and do the same.
+ Detailed custom configurations
+ no dealing with hardware
+

3. Get a business hosting plan at site5 or some other host, and get ready to have 100+ websites on it.
- not as configurable
- other companies on my machine
- possibly not having a client panel for each client to manage their own accounts
+ hosting and admin is usually set up for me as I go


So what would you do? I'm leaning towards #2 right now.

#2 would most likely be the most reasonable solution.  #1 is rather difficult in that you wouldn't have the multiple connections to the Internet to protect from your one connection going south and killing 100+ websites, or losing power for an extended period of time and killing those websites that way.  #3 is risky in that you have no control over who is sharing the machine and thus could hose it and paralyze your 100+ websites.  Definitely look seriously at #2.

That's my 2¢.  :^{>

Honored to Serve for Him - Tom ('Mas) Pickering <)><

Re: Web/server hosting

Try these guys for option 2.  We are very pleased with their levels of service and support.  Email me for a sales contact.

http://www.dedicatedhosting.com/

Re: Web/server hosting

site5, do it now or forever be unhappy. smile
seriously they are good and reasonable.

[witty scriptorial reference here]

Re: Web/server hosting

I've always heard good things about site5. I don't use them but alwasy see good reviews.

What we do is run a VPS. A VPS is nice because you still get root access and get all the comfort from a managed solution.

My biggest recomendation is to invest in a off-server backup plan in addition to everything else. Even though your servers are hardware gauranteed.. that doesn't mean that you'll be able to recover your data.

My current host doesn't support it, but I would love to offer 3rd party branding on support. Meaning that our clients can log in to a help area that would be branded by us, but use the support team of the actual host. It was really help smaller problems that I spend an hour or so on.

The final thing I can think of offhand when dealing with VPS or Dedicated boxes is that I would recomend hosting froma company that owns their own datacenter. I can't tell you how many times I've needed a hard reboot and 10 minuted later a tech is on the server floor doign the reboot. Other 3rd party places may make you wait forever while they put in a ticket to have someone else go reboot it.

I dream with an XML intereface

Re: Web/server hosting

According to many threads at Webhostingtalk, Site5 has been experiencing quite a bit of downtime lately.  I can not personally vouch for how the service has been lately, as I left over 8 months ago.  What I can tell you though, is one of the reasons I left was downtime.  Also because they suspended my site for using 80GB of bandwidth (there offer is 500GB per month).

One thing I know from being a Web Designer, is that when a clients site is down... They will call you first!  Choose the company you use for hosting clients carefully, because if there are problems, it will reflect badly on you.

At this point, I think your best bet is to get a Reseller Account from a reputable company or getting a VPS (Virtual Private Server).

VPS:
PowerVPS has great support and good uptime and fair prices.

Reseller Account:
HostRefugee, Acunett and WebOnce all have great support and uptime.

None of the above companies are really "budget" web hosts.  They charge more for their service, and in return provide a more quality service and better support.

With your clients in mind, wouldn't you agree Quality is better than Quanity when it comes to hosting?