We primarily offer internet support and maintenance services. That includes
domain name management
small programming tasks
technical assistance with existing web sites (including help with DIY internet projects)
small, low budget web sites
Competitive web hosting
Because much of what we do is down to what you need it's not possible to give a comprehensive scale of charges. Everything is tailored to your need. Clearly you need to have an idea of cost before you committ. Our charges start at £15. That's sometimes sufficient to cover a simple fix or a few minutes independent expert advice. It is sufficient for us to gauge the scope of the task and give an estimate of time and cost and advise on your best next step.
Domain name management
For UK domains we charge £15 p.a., this compares well with major providers like 123REG who charge £11.99 plus £4.99 for domain privacy. (Other domains, cost a little more .com are £24p.a.) We include our own version of domain privacy such that we handle the spam emails and scam phone calls (A new registration can attract up to 100 phone calls offering a variety of related services in the first week after registration). Our fee also includes undertaking the configuration tasks rather than expecting you to do them yourself using a sometimes "challenging" control panel.
Our domain name management includes undertaking DNS or Nameserver changes. For changes to be undertaken at no cost we require 2 weeks notice of changes and a mutually convenient switch-over time, otherwise a charge of £15 per domain is payable.
We charge £15 for releasing a domain name to cover the time involved in administration and communication.
We strongly advise against holding your domain name with the provider of your web site or web hosting
It's otherwise known as "Putting all your eggs in one basket". Holding the name in the same place as the web hosting or with the web designer is a risk. If the name is held independently, in the event of problems it's simple to change the nameservers or DNS records to route email and web access elsewhere.
That said we manage many domains and the associated services, isn't that risk? No there are mitigations in place, for example we never hold the domain name and hosting with the same provider, a trusted third-party has the logins to the domain name management interface.
Having been doing this for over 20 years I've plenty of experience. Almost every time I've transferred a domain name to someone else's control they've not completed all the associated tasks. In a couple of cases that has led to a domain name lapsing.
Small programming tasks
Advice and consultancy
Our advice isn't the usual self-serving "give us control of everything and let us rebuild everything from scratch". We are only interested in small tasks with a focus on getting it right. For larger tasks we will advise on the best approach for you to take, that might be a recommended third party or even a DIY approach.
One familiar problem is with providers declaring that a problem you are having is not related to their systems: it's your broadband router, your ISP, your home network, your PC. They may be right but sometimes they're just "passing the buck". Wherever possible we aim to "own the problem", yes it may be your ISP but we'll do the legwork to try to determine where the issue lies, why we believe that to be the case. That gives substance to your report to the provider where the fault lies or puts the focus on the weak link.
We can provide references from former clients who will attest to our independence.
Technical assistance with existing web sites (including help with DIY internet projects)
We were building web sites 20 years ago when the technology was a lot more challenging. Modern tools mean building your own site is quite possible. Ideally you'd start by asking our advice on what tools are best suited. When you tackle a DIY project at some point you'll hit a brick wall, you can't work out how to implement a feature you want for example. We're happy to advise and/or fix.
It's becoming much more important to have a security certificate for your web site (showing the little green padlock).
That used to require an additional annual fee ranging from £50 upwards. The free certificates may not be appropriate to your needs, in which case we can advise . Free certificates are now widely available but implementation of them isn't always straightforward.
Google is starting to give higher ranking to secure sites, at the same time web-browsers are starting to flag up "insecure" alerts on sites without a security certificate.
The more expensive security certificates are harder to obtain, requiring a higher level of proof of ownership. The most expensive, used by major organisations like Banks will show green text next to the padlock like "HSBC Holdings plc". For the vast majority of web sites the basic (free) certificate is good enough. It simply means that traffic between the web site and end-user is encrypted so it can't be intercepted. If the only interactions are users requesting web pages the value of interception is trivial. If users can input data, even something as simple as a search query, that may be more sensitive but still the encryption should protect it and the value of any interception is small. It's only really when we come to things like financial transactions that security becomes critical. In that case even a high-grade certificate won't be enough to satisfy the banks. They will ask searching questions about your entire IT infrastructure and may want to examine aspects of it themselves.
Adding a free certificate is not difficult but it may not work. The main problem arises if the web site uses any insecure components. Identifying those components and fixing the problem can be quite difficult. Even for free certificates you should expect some implementation costs.
Small, low budget web sites
We normally advise using a professional designer and can make recommendations but if you have an urgent need for something straightforward or your requirements are basic we can help. An urgent one-page site including a year's hosting, a domain name and an email address need only cost £100. That can include the green padlock and can be responsive (adjusts to fit different screen sizes).
Competitive web hosting
There are thousands of web hosting services at costs ranging from almost free to ££££. How do you choose?
You'll not be surprised to find that cheap hosting comes with problems. You can expect to pay more for a raft of benefits including high availability, fast response times, good support, free security certificates, generous storage, high speed internet connectivity, regular backups etc. We aim to scope your requirements and provide a package that addresses them all and allows some scope for future growth. Explain in your terms what you want and we can either offer a bespoke package to suit your needs or advise on a suitable provider. Prices range from a few tens of pounds to a few hundred. We don't just source the package and leave you to work out how to use it, we help understand and configure to suit your needs.
Sometimes a feature of a web site will unaccountably stop working, we will find out why and propose a remedy. Usually the cause is straightforward and the cost of investigation and fix only a few tens of pounds.
More demanding tasks include recovering web sites that have been vandalised or deleted from the internet.
In one instance we recovered a complete online database where the original developer was the only one with the login credentials but it was proving impossible to find him. Not only was the content in need of updates but also the hosting package and domain name were registered in his name, under his control and due for imminent expiry. They had no backup of the data. We used a program to automate thousands of enquiries through the public web site interface, capture the responses and convert back into a database. That was slow and difficult but the alternative would have been to copy all the data by manual lookups and input taking many weeks of tedious work. The new system includes the ability to take off-site backups! The recovery cost a few thousand pounds but the recovered data was worth tens of thousands to the client. More commonly recovery tasks are in the low hundreds of pounds.
As with some other services we can only give a realistic estimate once we've understood the scope of the task.
Laser Technik Ltd is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 09117428. Tel: 0114 299 8285 [permanent answerphone, will alert us by SMS]