When buying a car today, most people make the assumption that the air conditioner or power steering comes standard. At some point in the evolution of the car, these features became so commonly requested, they became part of the standard package. Most people make an assumption that when a website is built, the hosting services just comes standard. However, you’re using the wrong analogy if you think all hosting is the same. Hosting seems to have become a commoditized service and really, it’s far from it.
Hosting services should be based on the purpose of your website. If you capture sensitive data from site users, your hosting and server needs are different than a site that simply displays non-critical content. Hosting is not “one size fits all.”
There are two main components to hosting your website:
1. The physical server and additional hardware and software.
2. The team that manages the server and keeps it running smoothly.
There are many different hosting options; some where your site is hosted on a server with other websites and some where you own a server and only place your site and applications on it. There are different size capacities a server can hold. These variables do tie back in one way to the car analogy. In the same way you consider two door vs. four, navigation systems vs. no dash systems and so on with a car, you can determine which options for hosting are right for you.
The second component for hosting is the team managing the server. It’s important to understand what services are available for the management piece. The options are expansive and come in various forms. Some don’t include much beyond placing the site on the server and simply letting it be live, while others include monitoring the website hourly, regular server checks and daily backups.
So how does Spindustry Digital compare? First, here are two types of hosting services you can probably imagine. Amazon, Rack Space and WordPress, to name a few, all offer hosting services. Most initially are bare bones and the things you might expect to be standard (remember that power steering?) may not be included. Down time is realistic. The other end of the spectrum would be financial services hosting solutions. Most have strict security of who can access the server, are doing frequent checks looking for any suspicious activity and have fail-over servers ready in case an issue arises. As close to one hundred percent up time is key.
Spindustry Digital’s hosting services align much closer to the latter example. We are a boutique hosting provider, where only sites we build are housed in our shared server environment. Since it’s our code and our servers, we control what’s going on, which makes it easier to troubleshoot if an issue arises. We partner with LightEdge Communications to co-host our servers, whose hosting center requires hand scan check in, multiple connections to the Internet and can withstand the most powerful tornadoes. We are strict on monitoring our servers, executing monthly updates and just keeping a close eye on them.
Our support staff completes daily checks on all servers we manage, which includes Spindustry servers, as well as client servers that we assist in managing. A lot of hosting companies skip the manual daily checks, as it takes time and most of the time, everything looks normal. So why do we check? We’ll know right away if something seems askew. Since we are monitoring activity so frequently, we know when something isn’t right and we can react immediately if there’s a problem to fix.
Think of this way: if you go on vacation and leave your home unattended for a week, someone in the neighborhood may or may not notice if something appears out of the ordinary. An automated alarm might notify someone that there are issues. If you go on vacation and ask a neighbor to check on your house daily, they’ll notice more quickly if something is wrong. That’s the kind of service we offer because we know hosting is more than a place for a website to sit.
Whether you’re preparing to build a new website or you’re auditing your existing one, make sure hosting is on your list. Make sure to discuss what comes “standard” in a provider’s hosting solution. Ask questions. Find a solution that fits your specific needs.
If you’re in the process of looking for a web developer to build your website and host it, we’d be happy to discuss our development and hosting solutions with you.