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In the past, whenever I had a client who needed a website (usually simple PHP stuff), I always pointed them to a shared hosting provider to host their website.

However I'm always running into compatiblity issues, like different versions of PHP (5.2, 5.3), or sometimes they don't even have database with their hosting, because they picked a really terrible hosting company.

Personally I'd prefer to use Ruby/Rails, but there isn't any cheap, or even comparable in price, option for shared hosting, at least over here. I usually need to just create simple websites, either static, or something WordPress like, or e-shop with PrestaShop.

What I'd like to do, is to offer my clients to host their websites on my VPS. I'm already hosting some of my projects on Linode, so getting an extra instance to host couple of small websites shouldn't be a problem. That way I could have much easier time managing their websites, and also offer them some services their shared hosting can't.

The thing is, I'm not sure if this is a good idea, as all the responsibilities would fall on me, instead of the hosting company.

Do you think it is a good idea to try to manage 20-50 websites on my own VPS instances myself, instead of delegating each client to a shared hosting? When would this be a bad idea? Am I missing something important?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You are missing the most important problem. The legal issues. Ask a lawyer in your country which legal problems you run into when someone hosts illegal content on your machine. This should be a lawyer familiar with international laws and Internet in special.

And the answer "Oh, I do not need that, I know that ..." is not acceptable. You have to verify this by an expert in legal affairs.

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This would be a bad idea whenever you don't know what you are doing. If you do have some sysadmin skills and are eager to acquire even more, it might work out. Expect pitfalls, though. Some of the problems would not stay hidden from your customers too - so only do this if you are confident that they would accept downtime and issues.

It would also be a bad idea if your hoster is a bad choice and will give you headaches either due to downtimes, performance or feature problems.

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