Shared Hosting or VPS Hosting

Hello Everyone,
I have a small webdesign business that I work in my spare time. I’m currently hosting roughly 10 websites. I’m looking to moving to a different hosting provider, I want a good hosting provider that is primarly based in USA with servers. Should I go with a VPS offering or would Shared Hosting be good enough?. Does hosting plan affect email, I need my email to be solid, I can’t afford for my clients emails going into everyones spam folder becuase of the IP address their coming from is on several blacklists.

I would suggest a reseller package, so each site has its own cPanel and FTP login. Start with shared hosting, then you can upgrade later if you find it is struggling. I am not sure who to recommend in the US. I am in the UK and have a London based web host. Good shared hosting is often better than a poor VPS.

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I wouldn’t go the VPS route unless you have a need for it. In many respects, I agree with @Flashman. A reseller account is better, just in case your client has a need to move away from your service and pass the maintenance and upkeep of the site to someone else. One of the big problems when web design companies try and lock their clients to their services is when some sort of dispute arises. It limits both your client’s and your options when it comes to dispute resolution - so best not to go there.

If you don’t want to use a formal reseller package, which normally involves the use of extra management software, you could simply open an account with a good, reliable hosting company (I use Namecheap). You would then set up each client’s domain on its own hosting package that best suits their individual needs. The advantage of this option is that you, as the account owner, have direct access to all the cPanels from your account page without you having to remember individual cPanel login credentials. However, your clients can if they wish have direct access to their individual cPanel and webmail interfaces.

The reason I like this option is because not all websites have the same needs. Some may require a unique IP address, some may want a custom name server (particularly important when trying to give respectability to a domain and its email addresses). Some may have a need for multiple domains whilst others may only want to host one domain. Some may want US data centre hosting whilst others may prefer UK hosting. By managing a series of individual hosting accounts, you can customise everything to your client needs, whilst giving you easy and quick access to all the accounts.

You also have to think about domain and hosting expiry. Not every client’s hosting or domain will expire on the same date. This could leave you with a number of abandoned sites, but you will still have to maintain the full hosting package. By keeping all the domains separate with their own hosting, you can simply let abandoned sites disappear without having to pay for a larger hosting package to keep the remaining sites up and running.

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Going the reseller route is probably cheaper and easier to manage, as long as you maintain a decent number of client sites. If you find yourself getting down to say 3 or 4 clients you might find the costs hard to justify, unless you charge enough for hosting.

The biggest issue I have found is not bandwidth or performance, but storage space. Most typical Blocs sites are pretty small and light on resources, so I could easily host 100 on a single reseller package. The big issue though is email and how much space they take up, so you should set strict limits on that or charge a suitable figure to cover heavy users.

I found myself caught out on this a couple years ago after doing a small budget 4 page website for a startup and charging a basic fee for hosting with email. Six months later they came back saying they had taken on about 8 interns that all needed email accounts. Needless to say, they were spending their days sending heavy videos to each other by email and pretty soon it was getting ridiculous.

Make sure you think about storage space per user for email as a priority. If the client wants to use gmail rejoice and be happy if they would rather use Office 365 because it all means they are not using your resources and you can point them elsewhere for tech support.

Above all, you don’t want to find yourself acting as unpaid tech support every time they change phone and need help setting up their email client. I am in the process of drafting new terms & conditions for my own website and looking at all of this much more closely.

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This is all really good stuff, I appreciate all the advice :+1:t3:

Also worth pointing out that with a reseller server each client can also have a tailor made package with further options like individual php or mail settings inside cPanel.

The one you absolutely want to avoid though is a single account under your own name with a single login used for every website. That’s fine right up to the moment one wants to move away or gain access to the server. Suddenly you find yourself confronted with a situation where you cannot grant them access, because they are alongside everybody else.

I’ve had this happen a few times bringing clients over to me and it has always created problems. It makes the developer look churlish & amateur and likely breaches terms & conditions of the web host as well, so you could find yourself kicked off with little warning.

That is why reseller hosting is generally more expensive than basic shared hosting, but allows for greater flexibility, enabling you to set parameters for each domain without affecting others.

I think the solution suggested by @hendon52 is also perfectly reasonable, though possibly less efficient. I don’t know because I haven’t tried it.

I really don’t have anyone that uses email hosted on my servers except for myself, but I can defiantly see what your talking about.

I think I’m going to go with SiteGround Hosting. They have reseanable Reseller Plan pricing and they have datacenters in the USA that I can choose during setup. Thanks for all the advice guys…

You may have a little learning curve with a reseller server to set up the packages and individual accounts, but then it becomes easier. Just take it slowly and create yourself a little To Do list that you follow. There are automated ways to do it all but they cost money and hard to justify on a small number of sites.

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@hendon52, that was so cool of you to reply with such thorough information.

I have found that their Servers are in the US, but often their Tech Support are in Countries where their English is difficult to understand. It’s so frustrating when you have to call back as ask for US support, that is if they have it. I have been lied to so many times, saying they do not have that option. Later you call and you get someone from the US. If any one know a Hosting provider that is 100% US, please let’s hear it.

Now, VPS hosting is more like having your own place. You get dedicated resources and more control over your setup. If your site’s growing or you need specific software configurations, this might be the way to go.

Speaking of hosting, I recently stumbled upon a provider offering offshore servers. It got me thinking about data privacy and jurisdiction—important stuff, especially if you’re handling sensitive info or operating in multiple regions. Has anyone here tried offshore hosting? I’m curious about your experiences and whether it’s worth exploring for certain projects.