Question

Safely reselling DO in a world full of spam

  • Posted October 15, 2014

I’m a WordPress developer and have decided to offer managed WordPress hosting to my customers. I wanted to do this using DO droplets so when checking to see if reselling was OK with you guys I saw the following post:

https://www.digitalocean.com/community/questions/dmca-reselling

Especially pertinent to me was this paragraph from moisey’s answer:

“There is no specific number of DMCA or abuse complaints or a daily rate it is on a case by case basis and we are also trying to establish and understand the overall legitimacy of the customer. Is is that they are reselling and just have a few bad apples or something more systematic.”

Until I read this, I hadn’t actually considered this aspect of what I was planning. It is a bit disconcerting to imagine building up even a tiny hosting business that consisted of a few dozen droplets, each with multiple customers, and have one bad apple get every droplet, and every customer’s WordPress, shutdown…and that’s why I’m writing this :)

While I hope for minimal problems in this area, the briefest of investigations at webhostingtalk.com revealed that spammers routinely test every hosting service they can find and I shouldn’t expect to be an exception to this rule. I have a couple of questions in regards to lessening the chances of spammers trying my service:

  1. Is it OK to tell my customers I am hosting their WordPress sites on DigitalOcean? What about saying something along the lines of “we have partnered with DigitalOcean to provide this hosting”? Mainly, my thinking is that a spammer may not know if I will tolerate spam but there’s a very good chance they will know that DO won’t.

  2. Would it be acceptable to make my customers agree to the exact same TOS, DMCA Policy and Privacy Policy that I agreed to when opening my DO account?

  3. While I fully intend to decisively deal with any complaint of any nature both immediately and to DO’s complete satisfaction, that’s taking action only “after the fact”. Is there anything, ANYTHING, I can or should do in advance to establish legitimacy in DO’s eyes and lessen the chance of a “bad apple” (or even a few bad apples) causing all my customers a problem?

TIA

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Hi,

One key point the moisey mentioned is that we would contact you before taking any automated action against your account:

If you have, then if they continue you’ll see a few tickets from us where we will be asking for more information as to why the account is generating a lot of abuse well before anything is actually done.

We have a number of users who provide similar services on top of our platform, so we understand the difficulties that you might face. We like to build up a relationship. If you respond promptly to any tickets opened up, we’ll be able to work with you on these types of things.

As to your specific questions… Of course, you’re able to tell people you’re hosting on DigitalOcean and having them agree to our Terms of Service seems like a reasonable step. When it comes to establishing legitimacy, the best advice I can offer is to build some history with us.

If you want to contact someone with more specific questions about your business plans, feel free to use the contact form.