Managed web hosting
Although technically you don’t have to host your site with me to have a site designed, it does cut down the effort required (and hence cost) in maintaining your site. Web space comes in smaller packages than you would get from a bulk hosting provider, starting from 500MB, but comes with the benefit of my managing it on your behalf and is also “professional” space, free of the restrictions that apply to many “free” web accounts you get from your supermarket, broadband or telephone provider. My sites are hosted with leading independent UK hosting provider Sub6.
Almost all of my web clients have no wish to get involved in server configuration, and I handle all of this for them. But if you wish to retain control of the hosting and set up service level agreements and such like with the hosting company, you are welcome to set up your own arrangements with a provider of your choosing. You then just need to let me have the access codes for the web space so I can manage it on your behalf.
Service Level Agreements
There is no formal service level agreement for my web space, and whilst it is extremely reliable, 100% uptime cannot be guaranteed. You should take with a pinch of salt the claims of any hosting providers who claim they can provide 100% uptime as it is not physically possible (even though some might claim to, there will be lots of small print) 99.5% is more usual and easier to achieve. However:
- I use the same servers for my own web sites, so I need reliability for my own purposes
- Sub6 take site backups daily so there is usually a recent version on hand to restore, in a worst-case scenario
- I have access to different hosting companies so that I can choose the best one for each client and also move sites between hosts if there are any serious problems, and
- I am automatically notified (via an independent service) within the hour, by email and to my mobile, 24 hours a day, if the servers are unavailable.
Domain name registration and domain name hosting
Don’t forget I can register, host, and maintain your site’s domain names for you – this includes not just the formal registration process, but finding a suitable name, setting it up correctly to serve your web site and employee emails, setting domain-related ISP spam filters, forwarding to Gmail etc. (if required), acting as Administrative Contact to deal with all the “paperwork” from Nominet or ICANN regarding ownership details, “site is live” monitoring and any other little domain name maintenance jobs. If you choose to register your own domain through a service such as register.com, please note that in my experience, this can cause problems down the line with email redirections falling foul of internet email relay security settings, requiring special DNS and MX zone tweaks and so on… it’s usually less hassle in the long run to get me to do the registration and hosting all in the one location – your call though.