We offer fully managed web hosting with a view to hit the middle ground, avoiding the inexpensive but slow and poorly supported while not grossly over-specifying and driving the cost up needlessly. Our aim is to keep resource usage under 50%, when it exceeds that we upgrade.
Each hosting package is tailored to the requirements of the client’s web site so you’re not paying for features you don’t need.
Most commercial hosting providers offer several, sometimes even dozens of choices. Selecting the right provider and the best package for your requirements is a minefield. Do you know how much disk and bandwidth you need. Or how many databases, processor cores, how much memory?
Some hosts seem to make it simpler by offering “unlimited disk and bandwidth”, that’s like them writing a blank cheque. The hosting company have to pay for the disk and bandwidth their clients use so of course they have to limit individual usage. That is commonly achieved by “fair use” clauses in the terms and conditions or by not provisioning the web servers with enough processing power, that means response times are slow, pages take a long time to load.
We experienced exactly that problem in 1993 when we first started building our business. Another client of the same host was consuming virtually all the server resource using a vast amount of disk storage. His content suddenly became very popular and access times for all customers of that host slowed to a near halt. We immediately shifted everything to a better alternative where we had greater control.
Hosting services range in price from almost free to £thousands. A hobbyist or small club website may be adequately served with a cheap host. If a small business were to take the same cheap option they would find it wanting. SMEs range in size and requirements most are likely to be spending in the range £200-£2000 p.a. Our tailored solutions are usually more affordable. The budget hosts are usually very keen to up-sell additional services, we have those options available but only suggest them where we believe them to be something you need.
- Since the mid 1990s we have provided internet services for thousands of clients including HSBC, First Direct, HMRC, Gatwick and the Co-Op.
- Our web hosting has delivered 99.99% or better availability over that period, in most years there’s been zero downtime. Any down-time is usually brief while maintenance work is undertaken.
- To further improve on service availability we now use a global cloud hosting service with distributed data centres. We also implemented a basic CDN (Content delivery network) to further improve response times. Provision and implementation of this was at no extra cost to our clients. We can provide a more advanced option but the cost outweighs the benefit for most clients.
- When free SSL (secure certificates) first became available we implemented them on all our client’s web sites at no extra cost to our clients. Google search gives precedence to SSL web sites, many security products and web browsers now issue rather alarming security alerts to users attempting to visit insecure sites.
- Since we started in the mid 1990s we’ve had to move to newer more powerful web servers several times. That means moving each individual web site, that’s not a simple task. We have always ensured that there was little or no down-time and completed the task at our own expense.
- We implement a raft of caching technologies such as storing the most popular content in fast memory to reduce page loading times.
- GoDaddy and (some of?) its many subsidiaries no longer offer free SSL security certificates. Instead they charge, typically £50 p.a for their own. We provide SSL at no cost (we even offer an alternative SSL to clients who have their own hosting accounts such as with those GoDaddy subsidiaries).
- We monitor server availability from a different server. That makes frequent requests to our main servers, if there’s no response we will be promptly notified.
- We take daily backups, stored off-site. That means in the event of an error, even if you delete your entire website, we can recover it.
- We are alert to the security risks. It would be a brave person to claim absolute security given the almost daily breaches of major businesses and organisations, but we do our best and so far (over 25 years), so good – but we’re not complacent .
- Our support is personal and is handled by an expert. If possible we take ownership of the problem regardless of whether it’s related to any of our services.
- Elsewhere you will likely be served by a so called “help desk” with low paid, low skilled operatives with aggressive “calls per hour” targets and possibly with “challenging” accents or a poor grasp of English.
- We aim to address any issues by taking the task off your hands and simply fix the problem.
- When a “budget” help desk operative can’t fix a problem they may pass it to second level support so you need to describe the issue all over again.
- We won’t try to fob you off by blaming some other aspect of your service like “it’s a problem with your broadband supplier”. If we establish that the fault lies elsewhere then we’ll either work with the third party on your behalf or provide you the diagnostic details you need to get them to fix the issue.
- How many organisations you deal with deliver on a promise to call you back? We do call back.
- If you hold multiple services with us we invoice once a year rather than as the renewal date comes due. That has two benefits, firstly less admin overhead on your part, secondly it reduces the risk of a busy “accounts payable” clerk being tricked by a fake invoice (a problem that’s been with us long before the internet but is being very successfully exploited on-line too).
- If we agree to undertake some work for you we aim to quote a price and stick to it, it will only change if your requirements change.
- Our hosting and domain name costs are predictable. We only increase our costs if our “wholsale” costs have increased or your web-server resource usage has exceeded quota (which is rare). A former client recently (July 2022) told me that their host had just tripled the annual cost.
- When others tell you “it can’t be done” our in-depth understanding of internet technology often enables us to provide a solution. Our extensive experience of several programming languages sometimes enables us to provide a simple fix, or if not we can create bespoke applications (but that can get costly).
- When others tell “there is a solution” but you baulk at the cost we can often find a more cost effective alternative. We use a raft of software, including open-source, which often compares extremely well with some costly commercial products.
- When you call us (0114 299 8285) you will reach a voicemail system. We receive an alert that a message has been left and will respond as soon as practicable, either by investigating the issue raised in the voicemail or by returning your call for more information. Surely that’s better than navigating a call queuing system only to end up listening to canned music for 20 minutes – and then the nightmare of explaining the issue to someone whose aim is to close the call as quickly as possible, regardless of whether they help address your issue.
- All services under our management are auto-renewed. Payment is set up with a backup payment method from a different account in case of any difficulty with the primary payment method. In any case we pay renewals several weeks ahead of due date.