Why does bluehost not allow multiple SSL per account?
Just wondering, because when I asked bluehost support via chat/ticket they never gave me a straight answer, and I don't want to keep asking them the same question if they are just going to give the same answer. They just kept insisting that you can only have one SSL cert per account, and that it needs to be the main account. I had to have them make one of my addon domains my primary domain for my first account because of this issue. Right now this isn't exactly a deal breaker for me that I need to setup a separate account for sites that need certs, but I am in talks with multiple clients about launching ecommerce sites for them. If things go well and word of mouth spreads this may lead to a lot of ecommerce business. I understand that I would need to purchase 1 cert for 1 domain, so if I had 5 stores I would need 5 certs. I am not trying to share 1 cert across multiple domains like I have seen others here post. I would really just prefer to have all of the domains that I manage be under one account, so that management and tasks like backups are easier. Also, this makes it a pain if one of my current clients who does not need a ssl cert currently, decides later on that they need one. I would then need to introduce downtime to move them onto another server just to fit with this policy. I know I can give the client a bs reason for the downtime, but I really try to avoid it when possible.
Is this a technical limitation of bluehost's system, or just a bluehost policy imposed limitation? If it is just a policy maybe I can find a way to work out a deal for maybe more money, and if it is a technical limitation does anyone know any hacks to get around it? Again, money isn't really a huge issue as my clients pay me for my hosting which I obviously mark up, but if business really gets booming and I start managing 50+ websites I can see where this could become a big website management issue.
Again I am just wondering because so far my experience with bluehost has been good, but resolving this issue would make it excellent. Otherwise, I am wondering if I should start considering other hosting options later on as my company and clientele grow. I would hate to move to another host as I really like bluehost and the support community in these forums. But, I was under the impression from my initial dealings with the sales people that got me to use bluehost that I could manage all of my domains with one account. I guess I neglected to think about the ssl issue, which has a potential to become a deal breaker later on, but for now I can live with it. Any thoughts?
If money really isn't an issue, then the answer is pretty straightforward: open a new account for each domain for which you need an SSL.
It may be convenient to manage all your domains from one account, but since a lot of the limitations on a BH account apply to the entire account, like number of files, number of outgoing emails per hour, etc., having all your domains on one account might prove to be a huge problem, anyway.
There's also the "all your eggs in one basket" problem. If one box experiences a failure, and it happens to be the one with all your domains on it, do you really want to be getting calls from all of your clients simultaneously?
Or if BH even accidentally determines that one of your domains is violating the TOS, like if they think you've got copyrighted material on there, or that one domain is infected and is cranking out spam, they'll suspend your entire account, not just that one domain.
Spreading your domains out over multiple boxes might be a smart move.
Without reading both of your posts, I would assume it would be because you need a dedicated IP for an SSL certificate (the cert needs to be linked to a certain IP) and you can only have one dedicated IP per account.
Thanks for pointing that stuff out, I guess I hadn't really thought of it that way. Having multiple accounts wouldn't kill me, but it would lower my profit margin by quite a bit obviously. I was really hoping to build up a lot of residual income using this strategy since my hosting costs are fixed but what I charge my clients goes up with each client due to the fact that I am charging them for hosting when it costs me nothing because it was already paid by my first client. I guess it was too good to be true, and I will just have to live with the markup I charge on top of the bluehost hosting price rather than the markup on top of $0. Maybe if I grow I can negotiate a better deal on the bluehost affiliate program for people I sign up to offset my loss in profit...
Before starting my own consulting company recently, my background has been corporate IT environments where servers are load balanced and clustered so if one box or network link goes down the end users don't notice so the eggs in one basket thing didn't apply. I guess I had just assumed that they had redundancy built into their environment. All of the other shared hosting limitations like number of files/outbound emails, worrying about if one of the domains is infected thereby causing my entire account to violate TOS, etc. are all new to me and I guess I neglected to think of them as possible problems. Although I would still really like to centrally manage all of my accounts to make my life easier(while at the same time more profitable), I appreciate the issues that you brought to my attention and it makes this slightly less painful. Thanks for your input.
Just out of curiosity, anyone else doing the same as me playing middleman - do you have any tips for a new guy like me? My background is systems and network engineering (Microsoft + Cisco/Foundry) which I still do for local clients, but I picked up on the web design/hosting part because times are rough and I am trying to explore all ways my company can profit. Generally I have always just built the infrastructure for web guys to use, so this is mostly new to me. Although I am familiar with HTML and programming in various languages from when I completed my degree program, this is the first time I am doing it professionally.
Anyway thanks for the feedback.
Yeah but I am also unsure as to whether or not One dedicated IP per account is truly a technical limitation. Think about how many dedicated IPs they have pointing to one box. For example, I am sure the box I am on has many customers who have one unique dedicated IP each on the same box, why is it impossible to have two? I would have to assume that they don't want to run out of IPs to give out which is why this limitation is imposed.
Originally Posted by Eriksrocks
Oh well I am still happy with bluehost so I guess maybe I'm just nitpicking as we don't live in a perfect world.
Right now, you can't have more than one dedicated IP on one account. It is the way the systems are set up, each hosting package has ONE ip.. and thus is limited to ONE ssl. SSL's HAVE to have one ip.
If you are being the middleman, you should DEFINITELY look into becoming an affiliate.. its free to become one, and you get 65 bucks per signup .. that should pad your profit margin a bit.
Also, redundancy is a big operation, with clients coming and going (if you read matt heaton's blog 400+ signups a day).. there is a LOT of data coming in and out.. Imagine if all of those people decided to upload a few gigs to their account, thats just under a tb of incoming traffic for only the new signups.. not to mention the nearly a million other domains hosted with bh.. any redundant systems would simply too big of a task to undertake dealing with that much data.. Sure big sites need redundant servers with load balancing, etc. but for the admins, its probably tough enough trying to keep 400+ accounts on the same box balanced ..
Adding to what Early Out said.. If you are letting your clients run their own scripts, it's definitely wise to keep them separated from the rest of your flock.. People's own scripts are nearly always subject to security flaws, and you wouldn't want one persons bad script affecting your entire business. Plus I would stay away from 50+ sites on the same account, you'll be getting CPU exceeded left and right if you use PHP.. Not to mention, you'll run out of databases with a quickness doing that 100 db's is the maximum..
There is my two cents.. Plus you're in networking? .. thats what i'm going to school for right now..
I'm already an affiliate because of the fact I had to make separate accounts. Anyway clients have no access to cpanel, I just give them logins to backend interfaces. Even then, I limit what they can do by removing a lot of the options available to them. This is why I can charge a markup because I do EVERYTHING for my clients who are mostly small business owners.
As far as networking, to get practical experience I highly recommend you download GNS3 if you do not have access to physical Cisco hardware. Instead of emulating an IOS like boson and other emulators, it emulates the cisco hardware like a VMware for Cisco. You do need to supply your own IOS images, which you can get if you have a cisco login or from one of those bittorrent sites. Plus, GNS3 is open source and runs on both windows and linux. Good luck.
Tags for this Thread