Web hosting - with client access to their own database / control panel?


Hi everyone,

I have a requirement to do some social media stuff such as Facebook competition apps which would include data entry forms for different clients. Each client will want the ability to log in and manage their own database. It wont be inappropriate to give a client root access and see the other databases for obvious reasons. I'm thinking of taking out a new hosting plan with a company as my current host (1and1) doesn't seem to offer this functionality.

So the plan is basically go buy a generic sounding domain where I can host all my Facebook work on and buy an SSL certificate so it meets Facebook's requirements then basically will need to be able to create and manage multiple MySQL databases and give each client access to their own database either via their own control panel or a link to log into the database directly with PhpMyAdmin. The main thing is that they don't see the other databases.

Can anyone recommend anything? I'm thinking somewhere in the region of a shared hosting plan so that sort of price range rather than full on dedicated or anything...

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I've just switched to vidahost and it looks like you can allow independent access to domains and sub domains. They're quite good at answering questions, maybe drop them a line.
Cheers for the replies guys.

I realised cPanel is exactly what I needed as I've used it before..!
I did a bit more asking around and I've been recommended ezpzhosting as they offer a reseller account at quite a reasonable rate which would mean I could give each client there own cpanel access with there own database etc Reseller Hosting - Web Reseller Hosting Free WHMCS End User Support Free SSL Certificate
It seems a lot more aimed at professionals. I've had my 1and1 account for years without any issues, but I haven't really hosted any new websites with it as it doesn't tend to meet all requirements.
Just ensure whoever you use is UK based and has good reviews, I have a dedicated server with UK2 and I cannot fault them, roughly £98 +vat a month...
Yep ezpzhosting are UK based and the reseller account I'm looking into is only £11.99 per month and would allow me to host more Facebook competitions than I'll ever need for different clients while allowing each client access to their own data via cpanel. Seems ideal and the reviews looks really positive. Think its worth a go!
cPanel for each client sounds like overkill to me. Won't they just want to download a list of people who sign up to their competitions, or is there more to it than that?

cPanel for each client sounds like overkill to me. Won't they just want to download a list of people who sign up to their competitions, or is there more to it than that?


It possibly is, but I needed something that would give clients access to their own database rather than being a root user in the system seeing other databases for other clients. There might be some hosting which allows access directly to each clients database with phpmyadmin rather than having to go through the root / control panel which would give them access to data that is not theirs to see. This sort of setup would probably have been fine but for the price its costing its very reasonable. In terms of cost though its pretty reasonable (about £13 per month with unlimited accounts and SSL certificates and databases) and the service so far has been good.

The competitions have their own requirements so the data collected will vary as each client will want their own custom competition unique to their own requirements.
They'd also be able to get up to all sorts of other mischief with cPanel access like installing software, deleting database tables, deleting databases, deleting their own website ( I wouldn't put it past them). But I guess it depends on how much experience they have.

MODX cloud hosting gives you a front end phpMyAdmin panel, but I still wouldn't trust them with that. And you'd have to develop your site with MODX (no bad thing).

Do they just need the data or do they need to manipulate the data in situ?

Couldn't you just dump a csv file for them to use in excel or to import into mailchimp or whatever they need to do with the data.

It's hard to comment really because you don't say what they need to do with the data.

Yep I get what your saying and it was the same thing I said. The reason is its a big retail group so they have their own data team, so it wont be your standard client who's not as likely to have the type of necessary experience. At the same time it would need to be made clear that having this access will make it possible to cause a lot of damage and disruption to the competition if they break it! I had originally suggested just sending them a database export csv like you suggest. What has happened now is they are feeling quite uneasy about data protection so would like access on a daily basis to move the data out of the database and onto their systems. It would be too much hassle for me as it would take up too much of my time. Not sure how likely it would be that this could disrupt the functionally of the competition. Its basically just Name, Email, Facebook ID and another field specific to the competition being collected.

The main thing was with the type of hosting I was looking to get was it would be possible to give each client access to their own data, directly. I think generally I would recommend against this - but sometimes clients have to have their own way, so at least this setup would be possible.

I have never used MODX but keep hearing about it on the forums - will have to check it out.

Well most hosts will do reseller accounts where you can set up separate cPanels for each client. But I'm guessing you want the competitions based off one site where you have different clients?

You could build a simple front end to the db for each client that just lists the data and have delete functionality maybe.

Anyway just noticed that you location says Leeds, I'd be happy to give you a quick demo of MODX if you want if you're near Headingley at all.

We ended up doing a custom front end for the DB backup. The individual Cpanels will be there in case we need them - although its probably more of a last resort that can at least be an option if it comes to that.

Yep I work in Leeds but actually live in Harrogate. I'll send you a PM anyway as its good to have local(ish) contacts.