I have my own VPS running Debian Linux and serving several Web sites.

I have no trouble to manage it on my own, as I am a self-taught Linux expert.

However, I am afraid that the data will be lost in the case if I die.

As such, I think of inheriting my bank account and my house to a non-commercial organization which could preserve my sites.

I host at Digital Ocean. They don't provide managed hosting. But in the case of my death managed hosting is necessary. Can we order managing hosting separately from the VPS hosting itself? Who provides managed hosting for hosters (such as Digital Ocean) which themselves do not do managed hosting? Will ordering managing hosting separately from the hosting itself increase the price much? (how much?)

I know that moving from one to another hosting provider with restoring all server functionality is difficult. (I did it twice.) Maybe, there is an easy way to move from one VPS to another one? (I don't know an easy way.)

What can I do in this situation?

2 Answers 2


What you re talking about here is succession planning and is more than simply web hosting but as this is a Pro Webmasters Q&A portal I will stick to that aspect of it. In answer to your question of if you can purchase managed hosting separate to the VPS hosting the answer is that it isn't practical as most managed hosting providers combine VPS hosting and managed hosting under one service. If you are concerned about what will happen to your customers hosting services in the event that you die one option would be to come up with a plan with another company that offers the same services as you and work out with them than on the occasion of your death your company is left to them so that they can continue to provide services to your customers. Whether they choose to simply manage your business for you from that point or whether they simply contact your customers and transfer them over to their own services is a matter to be discussed with them. I have not seen any non-commercial entities out there that would be able to do this for you as by definition what you are doing is a commercial endevour and I imagine there would be regulatory compliance issues with a non-commercial entity carrying out a commercial enterprise. This is one of those questions that is best discussed with a lawyer and dealt with at that level due to any legal issues that may arise with estate law in your jurisdiction.

As an idea on the way I have this same succession planning setup my will states that on the occasion of my death ownership of my company passes to my son who is currently underage. If I should die before he becomes of age my will states that the executor of my estate is named trustee of the company with the authority to appoint a director of the company only until the time my son reaches the age of consent at which time the decision of what to do with the company becomes his, but at all times ownership of the company remains vested with him.


Put simply, there's no real alternative for what you're looking for that isn't going to up your costs quite significantly. Yes, you can hire a third-party source to manage the server (PlatinumServerManagement and BobCares are two that come to mind, although I think the first only handle cPanel systems) - but, it'll at the very least be a fairly substantial cost increase. These services are designed for people who need a VPS, can't manage it on their own, and who buy it from a provider not offering Managed services.

The other option would of course be to move your VPS to a provider offering managed services. This will with all likelihood wind up costing even more. The main cause for this is that the provider will (in almost all circumstances) want a panel such as cPanel or Plesk on there to automate a lot of the backbone administration work. This, in turn, invokes a licensing fee that gets bulked into their pricing. Averages of ~$50/month for a fairly lean, managed VPS is not uncommon.

There's also the case of whoever winds up managing the system for you actually getting to know that you have passed.

If you do not have anyone you trust to do this within your own network (as that would likely wind up the easiest option), I'd reach out to a few managed providers and post the scenario for them. I could see a provider working out a deal where you essentially pay a management fee upfront (for, say, three months) that covers their managerial work for that period of time, in the future. It still falls on you trusting their word, them doing what they promised and not having been bought out by seven other companies, who reverse the decision.

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