1. What was your first hosting company and what kind of service did you provide to your customers?
You mean the first hosting company I've used myself? Oh, that was a long time ago but I believe it was a very popular Swedish company called Loopia. It's still one of Sweden's best as far as I'm aware. It was very fast but expensive shared hosting and it didn't come with MySQL, which was very disappointing since I had to build all my stuff flat-file.
Anyway, it didn't really matter to me since I did just hobby stuff back then so it's probably not relevant to this discussion. I later signed one of my clients up with the same provider and he never had any issues with it. But we're talking shared hosting now so let's move on.
2. Were you using a reseller package or were you buying individual hosting packages as needed or were you letting the customers deal with these type of services?
At the time, I let clients deal with these kinds of services, except for the one exception I mentioned above where I signed him up.
3. Were you trying to make some money providing these services?
No, I was not.
4. What was included with these services, were you in charge of the backups and restores if something would happen to the site like a hacked site?
Can you guys share your experiences as to how you guys are handling hosting and may be domain services for your clients?
I have a policy (I hate the word but there's no better way of describing it) to not offer hosting services to my clients, or handle hosting for them. That is strictly their business to take care of. I'm run a web production business—producing stuff is what I do, not hosting it, for practical and financial reasons.
Practical: I don't want to have to deal with support. Website maintenance is enough hassle, I don't want to add email/FTP/you-name-it support to the list.
Financial: It doesn't make financial sense to me to offer hosting packages. At my regular hourly rate, if I get a few phone calls per month regarding email accounts, I really wouldn't make any money from it—if you want to look at it that way.
I love doing server administration, for myself, and I hate support so most of all I guess it's a matter of wanting to do it or not. I don't, so I don't.
I guess if you're really a full-service agency it can feel great to offer it all to your clients but my business does production-only. That said, there are no rules set in stone so of course there are exceptions. I think I host three client sites right now but they are loyal and reliable, and won't give me any trouble. They're people I've known for a while.
Same goes for domains—I don't handle those for client but there are exceptions. I hold on to a few domains for one client, and I've registered a handful as a gift to another client.