There are several types of hosting available to busness owners when they wish to host their website. Below are the most common methods and then we cover some of the technical items, in non-technical words, so that you can choose what is best for your business.
Note: The prices below are not Fawkes Digital Marketing prices. They are noted here to educate and inform what the industry best practice prices are.
Managed hosting means we take care of the server, perform updates as required on your website, daily backups, and make certain performance levels are always kept.
When it comes to your website you want the highest level of uptime possible. For over 10 years we have maintained a 99.999% website uptime for our clients.
We make a dedicated email Microsoft Exchange compatible mail server available at your domain name.
Every website includes SSL an SSL certificate to give trust not only to your customers but the search engines as well.
We use a combination of hardware and software firewalls. These firewalls protect from hackers and malicious users trying to get into your website.
All of our websites are constantly monitored for infection from malware and viruses. In the event an infection would incur we remedy and fix it on our dime, not yours!
Many sites have a need for even greater system uptime. This is when we deploy and utilize CDN's so that the performance of your website is even higher.
We perform daily backups and each is fully encrypted so that all of your data is kept safe and secure.
We monitor all servers and websites that they are running and if there is any issues we will typically know about it and have it fixed before you even knew there was a problem.
There are some key factors to know beyond the types of hosting options available to you. The first one is what is managed hosting and why your business needs it. You have a desktop, laptop, tablet computer, or phone. Each week, month, or quarter you will receive updates. These updates fix bugs as well as security vulnerabilities. That is what managed hosting takes care of at a high-level. You will get all of these patches and fixes installed in a manner that will normally not affect your website. You may wonder why we say "normally ot affect your website." The reason we say this is a webserver is a computer just like your computer. Some updates require a server to be rebooted. This has the potential of affecting your website for a few minutes each time. There are ways to reduce this downtime with features like content delivery networks (CDNs) which also can provide you with performance improvements as well. We cover CDNs a bit later.
Beyond making certain your webserver and website is patched and updated management also means that your website is being backed up on a continual basis. This is typically daily or even hourly for those that need that type of backup.
Uptime is how often your server is down. This is for any time that is not scheduled. Down meaning your website is not available for people to use. This is bad. Fawkes Digital Marketing strives for, and has exceeded 99.999% uptime since 2013. The information below is how long your website is not available for a customer to visit.
Daily: 1m 26s
Weekly: 10m 4s
Monthly: 43m 49s
Quarterly: 2h 11m 29s
Yearly: 8h 45m 56s
Weekly: 1m 0s
Monthly: 4m 22s
Quarterly: 13m 8s
Yearly: 52m 35s
Quarterly: 1m 18s
Yearly: 5m 15s
Email is critical to any business. The worst "First Impression" for any online experience is showing your email as @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, @outlook.com, or even @aol.com. Not that these services are bad. They're actually quite good. The problem is if you own your own domain.com you already have the ability for your own email@example.com. You just need email. Companies often will signup for a professional Gmail (not @gmail.com) or an Office 365 email address but not everyone needs those. For those that just need email then your web host should give you access to have email.
Your email should also be a separate server so that your email doesn't slow your website.
SSL or now TLS certificates are the green padlock in your address bar. On many browsers it's no longer green but it is still a padlock. Every page of your website needs this certificate. It not only protects you but makes certain the information is encrypted from prying eyes between your customers computer and your website.
There are two types of firewalls. Your solution should use both of these solutions. The hardware solution is a dedicated computer that protects your website. The software solution is a plugin/part of your website that protects your website. The hardware solution is managed by the company you are working with while the software solution is controlled by your webmaster. Your webmaster should be familiar with network protocols and ideally be certified in how networks work so that you are protected as much as possible.
Viruses, ransomware, and malware are becoming more mainstream and protecting your company assets and the information of your customers and potential customers needs to be at the front of your mind. A simple attack from a hacker can bring a lot of bad press and potentially put your business out of business. This is why we believe every website should have a constantly running solution to protect against such threats.
A content delivery network or CDN gives you a few advantages:
A backup is an exact copy of the files of your website and the database that is storing the information. All of the services above will give you sometype of backup. This can be from monthly to every minute depending on what you've signed up for and the needs of your business.
Great, you've backed up your data. Beyond backing up though you need to be able to test the backup so that if you ever need to restore the files you find out that the backup actually worked. We've seen all too often people put "blind trust" into a backup and later found out none of those backups were good. This is why we always perform a monthly restore, to a test server, of every client to verify that the data is correct and working.
Now that you've backed up and tested the restore process you're almost there. The next level of a backup you need to be aware of is making certain the infrmation is off-site and the data is fully encrypted so that the information is available to ony you and your organization.
It is never good when your website goes down. This may not be because of your website but your web server going down. You need to monitor both at a minimum of every 5-10 minutes. If your business needs to be highly available this can drop all the way to once every minute. If there is any issues you need to be notified on multiple channels (email, phone, text message, etc.) so that you can address and fix it. A good monitoring system will get the site being worked on before your customers are even aware there is (was) a problem.