MonicaH

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I manage sites for 25 or so clients. I host all of them at WPEngine. Not cheap, but very, very, very reliable and helpful.

I hate to have to manage my vendors, making sure that they are doing what they are supposed to be doing, making sure that they aren't down, etc.

For me, with vendors like hosting providers, I want them to be like dialtone (back in the landline days). What do I mean by that? Well, you never had to manage dialtone. You never had to wonder if it was working. You never had to call the phone company to check on them. It. Just. Worked.

WPEngine has a lot of other virtues too, besides reliability.
I do exactly the same - about 30 clients on WPEngine. In fact, at this point I won't take on a web design/dev/maintenance client unless they're on WPEngine (I'll migrate them for free to make that happen). I now set up new clients on a transferable install so when their site goes live I transfer hosting to them and they own the hosting account - but I still have access to it in my main account. That takes care of the issue @Tony Wang asked about while still keeping everything in one place for easy access for me.
 

Tim Colling

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...In fact, at this point I won't take on a web design/dev/maintenance client unless they're on WPEngine (I'll migrate them for free to make that happen).

Same here.

By the way, we use MainWP to manage our client sites and we're very satisfied with it. What software do you for that purpose, if any?
 

Tim Colling

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I now set up new clients on a transferable install so when their site goes live I transfer hosting to them and they own the hosting account - but I still have access to it in my main account.

In my case, we require that clients allow us to continue managing their sites for a monthly fee, so we only use transferrable installs as "free storage" for website versions that we have replaced or for clients who are no longer with us (but there are only a few of those ;) )
 

MonicaH

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Same here.

By the way, we use MainWP to manage our client sites and we're very satisfied with it. What software do you for that purpose, if any?
That's a new one for me. I use ManageWP.Orion - been with them for 5 or 6 years and am very happy with it. I was a little concerned when GoDaddy bought them but so far it's been good. It looks like both tools do many of the same things.
 

MonicaH

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In my case, we require that clients allow us to continue managing their sites for a monthly fee, so we only use transferrable installs as "free storage" for website versions that we have replaced or for clients who are no longer with us (but there are only a few of those ;) )

I've gone back and forth on this. Over the past 11 years I've only had a few clients leave (or I "fired" them!) and they moved their site to whichever hosting platform their new "web person" recommended. If I'm not actively managing them, they can't stay with me.

For the rest, I've always managed their sites on an ongoing basis - but I've never charged enough to make that worthwhile. Some of my older clients are still paying less for WPEngine hosting AND my maintenance than it would cost them just to get hosting (head smack). Then there's the issue of chasing payments from those who refuse to set up autopay. And, finally, most of my clients are on a "subscription plan" for other services (blog posts, email marketing, local SEO, Google Ads, etc.) so it feels wrong to charge for site maintenance on top of that - they figure it's baked in already.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that I finally decided last year to take the easy way out and set up new clients on a transferable install. It takes me out of the middle when it comes to billing for hosting. And there's no confusion about what they're paying me for on a monthly basis.

Having said that, I'm still open to other options - I'm just now sure of the best way to set things up ...
 

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