This post was written by Markus Stefanko

Hosting does not equal hosting

It’s not easy at first to explain what we exactly do, as it feels so natural on our end. But also due to the choice of words that you have to underline and expand upon on.

For example hosting a website. Nowadays it has become equal with signing up a domain on Godaddy for 10$ bucks and uploading your WordPress yourself on the limited shared server. There, you have it, you’re left alone with it, now go figure out the rest.

So traditional website hosting consists of :

  • you get a space
  • and are left on your own
  • you are one of a million customers and thus support doesn’t really take you seriously ( speaking from experience here )

Whereas the services we offer are so much different as they fall into a managed category; but managed hosting solution just doesn’t cut it – it’s more of a website caretaker. Because we take care of the things the client shouldn’t have to take care of :

  • website installation
  • database configuration
  • email connections
  • Domain and DNS setup
  • content adjustments
  • selecting the proper plugins
  • security installations
  • periodic up-time checks ( and fixes )
  • keeping the CMS system and plugins up-to-date
  • adjusting the website to the client’s wishes
  • setting up cloud services vs local services based on the customer’s needs
  • distributed content delivery network setup so the content is delivered from the closest location to the visitor
  • configuring micro-caching solutions like varnish or nginx reverse proxy
  • keeping track of intrusion attacks of which there are maybe 80+ per hour at times ( did you know that? )
  • and constant improvements on the client’s website to guarantee the best possible results

Are all of these services included in our monthly fee? No, some of them require an hourly agreement but are relatively quickly done since we’re actually familiar with the website.

The alternative being of hiring a separate developer who will need to spend time in getting used to the website, getting access to the properties, setting up their own environments, getting schooled in the process and then getting everything explained by the client in little steps – what a big waste of time.

Could the client do all of these alone? Most, yes, after investing a week or a month in getting to know these. And then probably give up with some mid-way and hire somebody else to do it. Whereas we are actually experienced with these, as we do them on a regular basis.

For example getting set up on Google apps is easy, but what about the SPF and DKIM authentication records? What’s that you say? Specific email records to prevent your emails from ending in the junk folder and having a negative impact on your business. Never heard of it? Us neither at some point, until one of our own domains started ending up in the Junk folder and a solution had to be found. Within a day all of our clients were upgraded and it’s situations like these where experience comes into play.

We have clients who question our services, and it’s good that they do; as we take them for granted. But as we also work with other providers that our client’s have chosen, it’s easy to make comparisons in our offerings. E.g. 5 days response time for a website downtime? Unacceptable. Or partner websites being down due to database crashes for months? Business damaging.

So in the end it comes down to this : We take care of the client’s website, so he can set it and forget it, but trust that it’s going to be there whenever it’s needed. What would the term for that be?

It’s called IT department in big organisations, and it starts with at least one person at an IT professional’s full-salary; and extends to 10 people to cover 24/7 shifts.

Why doesn’t your website have one – at a split of the minimum cost?

by Markus Stefanko