Hosting WordPress websites is a lot of work. If you’re here, you already know that.
From dealing with plugin conflicts to server issues and load times, it may feel like a losing battle.
If you’re a website designer, you probably started hosting websites thinking it would be an easy and natural addition to your existing skillset. You already designed the website, so why not make some extra cash hosting it?
At this point, you may be considering whether it might make more sense to sell your hosting clients. Below, I have put together a handful of questions you can ask yourself to determine whether or not it would make sense.
What are your primary skills?
What are you good at? What are you not good at?
Obviously your main skill is design, and that’s great! It’s what makes you unique or, more relevantly in capitalism: valuable.
But what about website hosting? Dealing with urgent problems? Managing scared clients? Troubleshooting technical problems under pressure?
These are all requirements to doing a good job with WordPress website hosting.
If you lack these skills or – more crucially – desire to perform these tasks, you may want to start looking at other options.
Where are you passionate?
Do you enjoy hosting? Or do you get a sick feeling in your stomach when you think about it?
Try this. Imagine you got a new cold call, and a potential client says that the only thing they are looking for is website hosting. How do you feel?
Are you excited, or do you feel upset or annoyed?
Is this a service you are providing because you enjoy it, or is it simply because you can?
When running a business, it’s critical to focus on the things you enjoy and are good at and to never provide a service just because you can.
For example, I absolutely could help my clients set up printers, manage their personal computers, and set up their Outlook for them.
However, for a number of reasons, I loathe doing those things. And if I did them, I would quickly get burnt out and grow to hate my job.
So for both my own well-being and the good of my business, I do not provide them.
If the thought of website hosting makes you groan or become frustrated, you should consider focusing on the things you do love.
Is it profitable?
As a designer, you no doubt like to focus on feelings and connections. But if you’re also running a business, you have to pay attention to some cold, hard facts as well.
So the question is: are you turning a profit with your hosting?
You need to calculate more than simply your revenue for this. How much time are you and your team spending dealing with hosting? What are your actual server costs?
You need to add these things up to determine whether it makes sense.
Even if you’re the only one in your business, your time is still valuable. If you’re only charging someone $20 in a month to host their website, but you’ve already spent 4 hours dealing with issues, it is simply not worth your time.
Is website hosting distracting you from your core business or even life?
If you’re spending too much time dealing with hosting, it’s going to take your time away from the things you enjoy.
Do you ever feel like you don’t have time to actually design websites because you’re dealing with other issues? That might be a sign that you need a change.
You’re a website designer after all, right?
Or, are you getting regularly pulled away from personal commitments or other priorities because you are putting out website hosting fires? Figuratively, I hope.
If providing hosting to WordPress websites is causing major disruptions in other areas of your business or life, you should seriously consider doing things differently and selling your hosting clients.
Okay, so you’ve determined that you don’t want to keep hosting websites anymore and you’re now thinking about selling your clients to another provider. What next?
Below is a list of things you should look for in a potential WordPress host to buy your clients.
Good service and cultural fit
Do they rise up to your (hopefully) stringent standards of quality? Or are their clients simply a number to them?
A good fit should provide at least the same level of service that you do.
Are they a good cultural fit?
Usually you can get a vibe of the company culture from their website. Reaching out to them and hearing more about what they have to offer can help, too.
At the end of the day, you will want to make the transition as smooth as possible for your clients, and finding a buyer that operates similarly to how you do can make that much easier.
Will they compete with you and steal your clients?
Many website hosts, us included, also provide website design services. Will they steal your clients?
You shouldn’t rule out a qualified provider simply because they provide design services. An honest provider will be willing to establish boundaries with you and ensure that your clients aren’t marketed to for these services and that they will always send their clients to you for any design work.
For example, some of our best clients are actually website designers. We simply stay in our lane and make sure to send our clients to them for any design-related needs. In many cases, the only service we provide is hosting and all other website-related services are handled by our clients.
In that case, we are very careful not to betray their trust and always send our clients to them if anything is requested beyond the website hosting. We’ve even explicitly turned clients down in the rare event where, for whatever reason, the client requested specifically to work with us.
Do they have experience taking on many new hosting clients?
You need to find a provider that knows what they are doing. You need to be sure that the deal won’t fall apart mid-way through and that their service won’t falter during the transition.
Many small website hosts are experienced in adding one client at a time, but wouldn’t know how to start when taking on dozens or even hundreds of new clients at once.
You need to ensure they have processes in place to handle the acquisition of all your website hosting instances at the same time.
The last thing you want is for your clients to feel lost or confused, or to feel like they are being treated poorly or like a pawn in the middle of this process.
It’s extremely important that everything is communicated well and proceeds smoothly.
The best way for you to do that is ask your potential buyer if they have experience taking on so many clients at the same time. Ideally they will have acquired the services of a company just like yours and can speak apples-to-apples about what that looks like.
Hopefully these questions have helped you determine whether you should sell your hosting clients and who to focus on as a buyer. We’re actually looking to purchase WordPress hosting clients and would love to answer any questions you might have an discuss next steps.
Feel free to fill out the form below or give me a call directly at 952-457-4746.