Charging for servers

As consultants do you charge extra for the servers, or is that included on the price? For how long?

If it is, how do handle situations where the clients decides to leave or the contract expires? Who has control over the server and who keeps paying it?


PS: It would be nice to have a category for the Playbook.

I usually base this decision on the longevity of the product. When I build a marketing or short-term use site/app, I usually bundle the cost of Heroku, monitoring, etc. into the contract just because the amount of time I would have to spend helping the client get their own Heroku account set up isn’t worth it.

For most of my clients, where I’m helping them get their MVP (initial product) built and then may or may not have an ongoing relationship, I invest the time to help them get set up on Heroku themselves. I explain this as they should “own” their own resources, and be able to sever their relationship with me at will.

For clients who want me to do their monitoring for things like uptime, exceptions, etc. I charge a monthly fee for them to get hooked into my accounts and for me to pay attention to their outages, etc.

If you are paying the bill for a client’s resources, make sure they are paying in advance for the resources (you shouldn’t be giving the client a loan in the form of server time), and that you start notifying them well in advance of the termination of your contract that they need to renew. If they stop or are slow at paying and you have to pull the plug, sometimes clients will blame you for the outage even though it’s their delinquent behavior.

That’s my two cents.

1 Like

There already is one!

I changed the category of your topic to it.

Almost everything we build is deployed to heroku. It usually starts off on our account for ease of setup, and then get’s transferred to the customers account as soon as it’s convenient.

We prefer to have our customers own the actual account for the server setup and so we don’t charge for it, they pay directly to Heroku.

I know this is an old topic, but If you’re interested in owning the server and offering managed support, we’ve been dabbling with this with a few clients. It’s a hard line to draw, but a clear service guide / service level agreement document can go a far way.

Normally, for pretty cheap (2x the expenses, or roughly 3 hours worth of our time / month) gets the client no guaranteed SLA besides a response time on our part. YMMV with this, but Managed Hosting goes a long way to clients that know nothing about technology, but is a hard sell for clients that want to do-it-yourself. Think of it like the recent Radioshack rebranding - DIT Do It Together.