You’ve landed a client, built their WordPress site, completed the testing, and now it’s time to wrap up the project. But first, someone’s gotta pay the hosting bill (ideally, the managed WordPress hosting bill).
While there are a few different ways you can take care of passing site ownership to your client, the best option depends on how you structure your business.
When it comes to handling the hosting bill, you can:
- Handle all the payments yourself
- Manage your client’s billing information
- Let your client take care of everything
So what’s your best option? How do you really choose the optimal billing process? Let’s dive into the details and find the best solution for you!
Handle the payments yourself
So you’re working away on projects and decide it’s easier to keep track of everything yourself. Your first instinct might be to handle billing from your own accounts. It’s a relatively simple workflow where you bill your client for everything (including hosting). After you’ve been paid, you pay the hosting bill from your account.
Is this the solution for me?
This means that you take on more responsibility and have to add another task to your recurring to-do list. You’ll be in charge of follow-up emails and managing your client’s account, so keeping a schedule and staying organized will help you succeed here. Afterall, you don’t want the client to fall behind on payments or to accidentally spend your money on their hosting – that can take a big hit out of your bottom line if a recurring payment sneaks up on you.
While paying the bill yourself keeps everything in one place, it can be complicated when you pile on multiple clients. The real value is being able to move quickly. You, as the designer or developer, can get it done so you can move forward and have the site go live.
Overall, I would recommend this option if you know you will only be working with a few clients for the foreseeable future, or package your services in a way that protect’s your bottom line.
Manage your client’s billing information
So you don’t want the liability of using your own accounts — I don’t blame you! You know exactly what the right hosting plan is for your client and they don’t want to stress over the technical stuff. So, you get the billing information from your client and just take care of the rest. Not a bad client experience, huh?
Is this the solution for me?
This solution will cut out the middleman and give you more control over the hosting details, but it isn’t exactly a time-saving solution for you as the designer or developer. Not to mention, you’d have to handle your client’s credit card information and login credentials, which is definitely not the most secure way to do things.
If you decide to handle their billing information, it’s important to make sure you have your client’s information under lock and key! Afterall, it takes a lot of trust to give someone your password.
I’d recommend this method if it’s a one-time exception for your grandma’s website. Other than that, it’s really not the best idea to directly handle your client’s credit card or financial information.
Let your clients take care of everything
So you’re working on the site, but you need your client to go buy the hosting. They have to make an account, pick a plan, select features, pay the bill, and make sure everything’s on time. You walk your clients through the details and all you have to do is ensure they’re making timely payments.
Is this the solution for me?
This takes the bank account stress off your plate entirely, but for you as the designer, this gives you a little less control. You don’t have to worry about transferring money or securely managing all the private information from your client, but there’s certainly a lot of work at the beginning to help your clients get started.
Your client is going to have a million questions:
- What plan should I choose?
- What features do I need?
- When do I need to make the payment?
- Will it bill me automatically?
- The list goes on and on…
Being there to answer questions that come up at any point is really important, as your client will likely come to you with any problems. This also puts a little gap between you and the hosting provider should issues come up.
However, as a designer or developer, your time is much more valuable spent doing your best work rather than hand-holding your clients through a process they don’t want to deal with anyway.
I’d recommend this option if you know your client has experience with hosting and know what they need to get the site up and running.
We’ve looked at options that save time, money, and stress on your part, whether it be by offloading the responsibility to your client or taking care of everything yourself.
Want more control and less day-to-day with your client? Then, handle the billing yourself. Another option to reduce money out of your own pocket is to take care of the payments with your client’s account. If you simply don’t have the time, then you can always ask your client to manage the bill themselves (but don’t forget that this may result in more work in the long run).
Still not sure what option best fits you? Take a deeper dive into each of these options and discover more tips and resources to help you manage money like a pro.
But there’s one option we haven’t explored yet, and it could be the best option for your business.
With this free guide, we’ll discover even more tips and resources to help you manage your client’s money like a pro! While there’s a lot of pressure and liability when it comes to managing other people’s hard-earned cash, this ebook will help you discover the hands-off way to handle your client’s money and how to save a little more for yourself, too.
Discover an all-new option that gives you more control, saves you time, and a truly hands-off option!
This article was originally published 7-3-2018. It was last updated 3-17-2019.