Let’s talk about hosting and security…
If your website is mission critical, then you’ll want to make sure your site is secure to protect you against hackers, it will also help increase trust in your organisation. The first step is to have secure hosting, but an often forgotten part of keeping a site secure is making sure all software is up to date. This is because most website owners don’t have the time to do the maintenance, which is why we take it on ourselves to maintain every site that we host.
Weekly Software Updates
WordPress is an ever evolving platform. Features are added all the time as well as security fixes and that means regular updates to the core WordPress files. Most developers will release updates to themes and plugins to take advantage of new features, or to make sure they stay compatible with the core code. Whether it’s core WordPress updates, theme updates, or plugin updates, we have you covered.
Keeping WordPress up to date is so important. A hacked website is no longer just about having your site defaced, although that’s bad enough. Malware is increasingly used to try and hijack your site, distribute SPAM, steal your customers information or sent them to malicious sites. If any of these happen to your site it’s bad for business and it’s bad for your Google ranking. Many updates will be security fixes that you’ll want to implement right away, but do you have the time to keep in the know about each new security threat, and what about when something goes wrong? Managing updates is one of the most time comsuming jobs for a webmaster.
We’ll keep your site up to date for you, applying updates soon after they are released. Some will be applied straight away, but sometimes we will hold fire on an update if it is not a security patch, to make sure it is a stable release.
Downtime is guaranteed on every website and most of the time it’s minimal and acceptable, but knowing when your site is down can make a huge difference to you. If your site is critical to your income, even if just to capture leads by means of a contact form, then downtime can can have a serious impact on your business.
Uptime Monitoring is also shown in your monthly reports so you can see how well your hosting is performing, if there are patterns to the downtime, and if these periods of downtime occur when your customers are most likely to visit your site. You can then talk to your hosting company about why your site is down when you need it the most. Perhaps they have routine maintenance at the worst time of day for you, which can happen if your hosting company and customers are in different time zones. Maybe you get a peak of traffic which exceeds your bandwidth. If you know the site is going down when you have an increase in traffic then you know you need to increase your hosting plan, and your hosting company will work with you to provide the service you need.
When we monitor your downtime, we’ll receive an alert if your site is down for longer than an acceptable blip, and we can investigate straight away, so your site won’t be down for days without anyone noticing. And if you are on one of our hosting plans, we can spot trends and make recommendations if there are any problems.
One of the most important features of a website is a reliable backup, some would even call it the cornerstone of good management. If a plugin breaks your site, or you are unfortunate enough to be hacked, a recent backup will save you a lot of time and frustration. Most hosting companies will take a backup of your site each day, and they can often get you back up and running (no pun intended) without any problems, however with some it is an extra cost. Having an offsite backup can be a life saver, especially if you are moving hosts, or have had problems restoring your site in the past. No-one ever wants to be in the position of needing extra backups, but when you are, you’ll realise it’s the best decision you made.
Every site we support is backed up every single day to help get you back up and running quickly with minimal data loss. To keep the stress on your server low, we use incremental backups which are more reliable, and we store backups offsite on Amazon servers.
Security is such a hot topic on the web and no wonder with so many people trying to cause trouble whenever they see a vulnerability. We regularly scan every one of the sites we care for with industry leading tools from Sucuri to check for malware and known vulnerabilities, so you can have peace of mind that your site is clean, and that we have clean backups to restore from if anything goes wrong.
You’ll want to know how much we are doing on your site and what value you are getting out of our service, that’s why all our customers get a report every month to keep them in the loop on everything we’ve done.
We’ll also include the amount of traffic your site has received in the last calendar month so you can see what affect your campaigns, SEO, or advertising is having on your website traffic, to see where your efforts are best sent.
As A Bonus…
Our maintenance plan includes 3 hours of technical support and content changes that you can use throughtout the year as you need. This is often plenty for most customers, but you can also purchase more time at a discounted rate or go on a retainer for a monthly allowance of time.
Do I need website maintenance?
You don’t, and you are welcome to host and maintain your website on your own or through another party, but you do need to log into your site every week and make sure you keep it updates and scan for malware. This is often the first time that is forgotten about when time is not on your side, which is why we offer to take care of your site for you.
WordPress accounts for a huge proportion of the internet, which makes it a good target for hacking. Most hackers target sites with out of date plugins as there are plenty of those around. Make sure yours isn’t one of them.
What's NOT included?
We can’t include everything in our plans, and there are some areas where we would advise you work with a specialist in that field, so here are a few things that are not included in the monthly fee.
- Changing plugins – If one of your plugins is no longer supported by the developer, or develops a conflict with one of your other plugins we can help investigate and come up with a solution, but this will be an additional cost.
- Cleaning a hacked site – So far none of our client sites have been hacked whilst on our maintenance plan, but if yours ever did and we couldn’t fix it with one of our backups, (if there is a deeper issue on your hosting server for example), then we would refer you to a professional site cleaning company.
- Emails – We don’t recommend keeping your emails on the same server as your website, far better to have dedicated servers for each purpose, therefore we don’t offer email packages. The folks at Microsoft 365 and Google Suite offer a great service so we recommend them.
We will always try to help you find the best solution for you even if we can’t provide it ourselves. If you want to know about something specific, get in touch and we can let you know if it’s included or not.
Do you offer hosting and maintenance separately?
We will do our best to maintain your site no matter which hosting you choose and will keep you informed of any tasks we are unable to perform.
We are more than happy to host most websites but we do insist on maintaining all websites on our servers. This is to protect all our customers and the server itself from cross contamination, as you don’t want your site on the same server as a hacked site.