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[web] How do freelance web dev's handle hosting and things?

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When you have customers who have no clue about uploading files through ftp nor any interest in learning how, what do people do? ;o

The content management systems out there seem too technical...most people don't want to be bothered with that stuff. At the very least, they want to be able to fill out some fields and have their site update to how they want it. O_o

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I recommend hosting services that meet the needs of the client in question -- unless there's a special need that rules one or both of these out I normally suggest NearlyFreeSpeech and DreamHost -- along with the other paperwork they receive they get a simple explanation of the services they need, and the prices they will be incurring from each of those hosts.

I offer setting up the website as part of my service: The client registers with the host in question using a temporary password (I provide instructions for doing so, and for geographically local clients can help them in person if desired) and provides me with the password. I upload all the files, do any necessary configuration, and then recommend the client change their password, for which I again provide instructions. I provide basic instructions for working with the files in future as part of the paperwork to the client, but suggest they either return to me or find another developer for any significant changes.

If the client is after something they can update often they should be using a CMS or system such as WordPress that allows simple changes (such as new blog entries) by logging in to the site; the client therefore has little need to actually edit files. If the CMS is too complicated for the client you need to choose a different CMS or customise to make it appropriate for your usage.

I also offer the additional service of keeping any software (cms, wordpress, etc.) updated at a slightly lower hourly rate, along with an explanation of why this is a good thing to do.


This is just how I operate personally, others might do things differently, and you need to find a method that works for you and that clients will be happy with.

Does that help?

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In addition to that, I also know of freelancers who maintain their own servers and rent shared hosting to their customers. But you need some sysadmin chops to do that of course.

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