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More than half of the applications I make for clients require a server setup with apache and mysql. What is the easiest way of shipping a server so that the billing of the server goes to them or so that they can set the server up locally/ in their own server if they want to?

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VPS

There are various solutions to this ("shipping a server with the setup"). The one I predominantly use is a VPS solution where:

  • I set up the VPS server through a host. Usually with the following:
    • Ubuntu/CentOS (or another flavour of *nix), maybe even Windows if required
    • Apache/Nginx (Web Server)
    • PHP & SQL

With the particular host I use, I was allowed to take a snapshot of a base server that allows me to simply deploy a server with selected resources - harnessing that setup (Exactly what you want as a server setup). From here, I simply bill the client appropriately. Keeping in mind the potential maintenance that you may need to carry out on the server could also/should also carry a surcharge.


Recommending Hosting

Alternatively - you could recommend hosting to a customer, listen out the pros & cons between them will also help keep the customer satisfied. From here - let them purchase the hosting - guiding them through the process is a must! Ensuring everything they select/input is correct and adequate enough to run the applications you design.

Research for this isn't necessarily required, but can go a long way in the clients eyes. There is no shortage of hosts, so the choice is yours!

Note

One thing to note; Shared hosting isn't always the best solution. Users are thrown onto overcrowded boxes which is highly evident in performance.

This is usually why I sway customers from shared hosting to VPS hosting where we are in complete control. Along with a comparable pricing model.

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