The answer is one of both philosophy, practicality, and skill set.
So many developers/companies will hold their customer’s sites hostage when the customer goes another way. We believe and write our contracts such that once the customer pays for their site, it is theirs. When we host people, we have the power to hold them hostage. That’s just not cool, especially when someone else has to come along and steal a website or recreate one that the customer has paid for (we have seen that before, it’s costly).
We are not set up to handle doing monthly or yearly recurring billing without sending out an invoice. It is already hard enough to get people to pay invoices, let alone small ones that should be handled as recurring automatic payments. It’s just a PITA that is not worth the effort and expense to write the invoices, send them out, track them down, process the payments (manually if by check) and then pay our accountant to track each of those payments.
We are not top-notch server guys. Yes, we have skills but we don’t consider ourselves to be the type of guys who could do everything with a server and so because our skill set is not there to handle all of our customer’s requests it just doesn’t make sense to bring this kind of responsibility in house. We don’t want to be held responsible when the hosting account (server, os, whatever) gets screwed up. If it is our fault, of course we will own the blame, but we stay away from this stuff as much as possible. We get the “holy shit our server’s down what is wrong with you” phone calls now, but because this is typically 99.99% not our fault or the result of something we have done, we have the opportunity to deflect/defer to the hosting company. This is beneficial to our customers because we have amazing support people we can talk with, help troubleshoot the problem, and then get the customer’s server back up and running. If we were to host all these websites, the blame would always be pointed at us.
If at some point in the future we find a hosting reseller product that had the following features, we may consider bringing the hosting in house.
- If the customer can have full shared-hosting-level control of their hosting environment (i.e. FTP, DB, admin, etc).
- All the support questions and issues get pushed through to the people we are reselling for.
- The monthly/yearly billing was handled automatically through the reseller.
Until then we recommend finding a reliable hosting company to hold your website, we can recommend a few.
- If you have a low-traffic website (below 10,000 visitors per month) then you can do well with Dreamhost – use the code SPOTTEDKOI for a great discount!
- If you have a higher traffic website – or one that runs resource heavy scripts then you should be looking into hosting with Media Temple, Liquid Web, or RackSpace.