Advice on Multisite options

Hi - I have looked at your Prosites plugin, and your WHMCS plugins. I would appreciate your advice on something I am planning.

Currently my idea is this - I will have a membership site for sales, but the product I will supply to each of my paid members is their own separate cPanel account inside my Hostgator Reseller account, pre installed with WP and a collection of premium plugins and themes.
The main reason I am thinking to give them their own separate account is so that it is truly their site, and it is up to them to manage it and deal with problems, not me.
However - I do see the advantages of using your plugins and simply selling them their own site, in terms of being able to manage their sites and charge them for various features, and advertsing etc.
But - weighing it all up... since I do not have an organised team for support and troubleshooting, (just outsourcing and a couple of assistants)... it still seems to me a much easier system to give members their own site, (and provide paid support), but not be responsible for what is entirely their own website.

I am not a developer, but I do have experience running my own BP site and WPMU site... and this has if anything discouraged me from wanting to manage such thing.

I would very much appreciate your feedback as to any issues I may not have considered. Or perhaps your plugins make it as problem free to manage sub sites as it would be to support external accounts ?
Any other comments on the difference between giving members their own blog on a network managed with your plugins, and giving them their own separate WP installation... would be much appreciated.

Thanks - Dan V

  • Mark Wallace

    The one thing I think you may be over looking is that people with their own c-panel will need just as much help if not more. With Wordpress you can limit them to WordPress. With c-panel, they can get themselves in a real mess. So I think you will need to provide even more support by providing them their own c-panel accounts. I too am with hostgator, love their support. If you cannot match their level of support; I would consider their affiliate option, and also offer packages through Prosites plugin until you get a support staff. Hope this helps

  • aecnu

    Greetings Dan,

    I think similar as to what MTB1701 above has mentioned.

    At least with WordPress and Pro Sites you can basically lock them down in what they can and cannot do.

    If you want to make support even less of a problem, then use the Easy Blogging plugin that will make it even easier and further limiting what they can do or cannot do.

    Last but not least on this subject, by network activating as many plugins as possible, you prevent the end users from having to deal with any aspect of the network activated plugins further limiting potential support needs.

    Concerning host gator support, it is OK, but they have not been able to stop the literally ten of thousands of security breaches they have been having and the replacements of index pages from hackers and not a single site was WordPress on our few hosted domains with them, they were all plain html!

    I used to offer limited free hosting on their servers, a few of those turned paying, and totally dumped the program because of this exact thing and retreated back to my own (to date since 1998) un-compromised servers and clients.

    As a matter of fact today they (Hostgator) sent me an email about a site that was hacked that the domain is not even pointing at their servers! I have no domains pointing at there servers now. Meaning it was done some other way then hacking the site because there is no domain going to it.

    Last but not least on this subject, though hostgator and a slew of others claim unlimited bandwidth and disk usage, they do get away with it because it is true - they limit by number of files in which they would not disclose when I called them on it how many files.

    Thank you both for being WPMU Dev Members!

    Cheers, Joe

  • Mark Wallace

    Thanks for the info Joe
    I did not know about all the security problems there. I did press them really hard about the unlimited bandwidth and disk usage. I made them send me an email for future reference. It says I get unlimited disk space, but they will only provide backup support for 100,000 files. Last I checked I was up to about 23,000 files and my primary domain is only about 10% done. I truly don’t understand bandwidth yet. I am concerned about this because I have a couple people helping me translate my websites into mandarin, and helping get into China’s social networks for marketing. What is the best way to learn about bandwidth? For example I can get 10T bandwidth. That doesn’t tell me how many people can visit, or how much they can upload, download, or if my own database backups will effect it. Can you shed some light on this or should I open another thread? Also thanks for the easy blogging suggestion; I will be looking into that as well. Also where did you learn all this PHP engineering? I cannot find a school for it at any local college. Thanks Joe

  • Narada

    Hi - thanks for your replies.
    I am still thinking of ways to avoid support all together -
    and MTB1701 has made me look again at being a HG affiliate and that way using HG as support for all tech problems.

    Very interesting your comments on HG security as one of my WP sites has had endless problems since soon after moving to HG. Timthumb seemed to be part but not all of the problem.

    All the best ~

  • Moonworks

    @MTB1701 - This is a very simplified example of bandwidth, but it explains pretty much what it is.

    If you have a page with 4 images and text on, and the images are 25kb each, then your page will be using just over 100kb every time it is loaded. A little over, because of the text.

    Remember that that is 100kb every time the page is loaded, refreshed, etc and you should include all images in the calculation, including all header and footer images.

    As I said, that is a very simplified version.

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