In this article I’ll discuss some pros and cons to hosting client sites. I’ll also share strategies on how to do hosting, but more importantly how to do it with high profitability.
If you’re building WordPress websites you have a really good opportunity to generate monthly recurring revenue by offering to host your clients website.
There are a number of opinions and perspectives on this idea of offering continued service for your clients, but at this point, the only thing I ask is that you be open to what I am going to share with you in this article.
Should you offer hosting?
And here is why. From my experience it is one of the easiest ways to add value and generate monthly recurring revenue (MRR).
There is a catch to this!
You MUST work with a really reliable hosting company. Which in simple terms means, you can NOT use $5 per month hosting plans (more on this in a bit).
Stay with me…I know I just made a bold statement…but keep reading!
The value add…
You may be wondering why I’d say providing hosting as a service ads value to your customer.
It’s actually pretty simple.
In most cases, your clients want to focus on their business and doing what they do to make money. They don’t want to deal with the technical aspects of managing their website and hosting account. They do not want to deal with calling tech support if/when their site goes down.
By you relieving them of that pain and/or concern, you’re adding a ton of value for them.
Here’s the catch, you’ve got to position it that way.
If they’ve never experienced the pain of managing a hosting account they won’t think of it as a pain and just figure they can do it.
More on this in the near future when I discuss building an offer.
Say NO to $5/mo hosting!
I’m serious about this one! If you use cheap hosting, from a company that offers basic hosting support, you won’t profit from this strategy.
Why? Because you will spend way too much time supporting or managing the hosting.
Cheap hosting means more down time, means more complaints about website performance issues. And potentially just more overall issues.
Let me put this in perspective.
You can read my article, Managed WordPress Hosting And What to Expect, to get more granular on this topic, but for now let me give you a list of things that you need from a hosting provider in order to profit from your hosting services.
- Support: for Hosting and WordPress
- Truly Managed: backups, security, hack recovery, caching, etc
- Performance: server resources that meat your needs and adapt
It was at a Phoenix WordCamp in 2008 or 2009 that I met the founder of WP Engine. And WP Engine was a baby at this time, but they were the first truly Managed WordPress hosting provider.
At WordCamp they gave everybody a free hosting plan. So I moved my personal site, chriseggleston.com there. In fact, it still lives on that free hosting plan!
After a few weeks if playing and testing, I signed up for their 10 site plan which at the time was $99/month.
My strategy simplified!
We hosted two types of client sites, (1) small basic sites that didn’t require much and in most cased the clients didn’t even access. The second type, were commerce or large sites that needed more resources.
These basic sites we would host in a WordPress Multisite install. One WP install with up to 50 sites. You can put more than 50 sites in a multisite, but that is where I would cut it off. Then we would spin up a new multisite and build it up to 50 sites.
I charged each of these small clients $30/month minimum. The commerce and larger clients were paying a minimum of $99/month.
In any given year, we had fewer than 20 support tickets. Of those 20, we only had to spend about 15 minutes on average to resolve them.
Most of them were not related to hosting issues at all, but were website specific issues. The ones that were hosting specific, we’d simply create a ticket with WP Engine support and they’d do the work!
I hope you did the math on that!
It only took 1 commerce client to cover my entire monthly cost for hosting. That meant everything else was revenue we got to keep.
The Wrap Up
It all comes down to creative leverage.
The more value you provide, the more problems you can solve, the more opportunity for increasing your revenue.
Just be sure to find good partners so that you’re not increasing your work load along with your revenues.