Tell me about the potential pitfalls of hosting websites for smalltime clients?
December 6, 2011 12:55 PM Subscribe
I'm a graphic designer who does a bit of freelance web stuff, but I’m by no means a web developer. I’ve recently started building teensy (a few pages, a blog, a basic paypal shopping cart plugin) Wordpress sites with customized themes for some tech averse self-employed/freelancer friends. I'm considering offering to host these on my web space for a small fee. What could go wrong? A lot of things, I'm sure... I just don't know what. Have you hosted multiple sites for other people on your web space? If so, what do you wish you'd known going in?
posted by 100kb to computers & internet (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I know my way around PHP myAdmin, etc and I’m comfortable with setting up and basic troubleshooting of Wordpress installs (in an amateur-unfriendly environment at nearlyfreespeech.net). I can't write an .htaccess line off the top of my head, but I know how to google up what I need.
Some friends/clients of mine don’t have the skills to move beyond Wordpress.com, but want more functionality and have a bit of money for a redesign. But they don’t want to pay $10/month forever, when they need only a teensy bit of bandwidth. So I thought I could package X years of me babysitting their site into my initial design/setup fee. From their perspective this would make the whole issue of setting up a new website a LOT simpler and less daunting. They give me money, site goes up. They don't have to ever know what DNS is.
The plan is to have all of the sites on one nearlyfreespeech.net account, their domain names secretly redirecting to subdomains, each with a separate database inside my SQL process. However I’m also considering Dreamhost… for the one-click Wordpress updates, mostly, because updating the Wordpress core on nearlyfreespeech is a pain and requires lots of permissions-fiddling.
How can I make sure the sites are secure and my clients don't drive me crazy? Should I move to Dreamhost? Nearlyfreespeech is cheap, but offers minimal-to-zero customer service... what precautions against catastrophe would you recommend in this situation? Should I have the sites backed up somewhere else? My plan so far is just: clients would have posting but not admin privileges on their own site, no FTP access for them except through the wordpress upload interface. Is there something I'm missing?