Big News for Hosting Customers
Website hosting - it's a complicated business. And since becoming self-employed nearly 5 years ago, it's something I've dealt with on a daily basis. Keeping all my clients' websites online 24/7, ensuring the smooth running of hundreds of email accounts, multiple databases, backup schedules, security and more is no small task.
It's also one which has resulted in plenty of stressful 'behind the scenes' activity - hard drive failures, software failures, global security threats, Chinese and South American hacking attempts. And no, I'm not exagerating.
So why bother?
I've always tried to do the best for my clients - whilst at the same time trying to build a stable business through difficult economic times through which I can provide for my growing family. Hosting websites has provided some of that reliable financial platform on which to build my business.
Offering a reliable hosting service as part of my business has provided peace of mind to my clients and ensured that when there's been a problem relating to their website, they only have 1 number to call to find a solution.
And this is the same service I want to continue to provide, just without the headache of server updates, security patches, hardware and software monitoring and all the rest of it.
A solution is at hand
A few weeks ago I was at a DotYork meet up in York. A social gathering for web developers, designers and anyone vaguely interested in the internet. Giving one of the talks was a guy called Matthew Bloch, from a company called Bytemark - a website hosting firm based in York.
I'm pleased to say that a few weeks later, I've just agreed to transfer my hosting platform to Bytemark and contracted them to monitor the server, provide ongoing maintenance and support and generally look after things from a technical point of view.
This is not an instant change - it'll take a few weeks for the transfer to be completed, but the expert team at Bytemark will be handling all the technical stuff, ensuring the transition is as smooth as possible.
What does this mean for clients?
Well, not a lot on the face of it. All current website and email settings will remain unchanged. Downtime during the transfer will be kept to an absolute minimum (we're aiming for less than a minute at the sharp end of things).
Behind the scenes is where things change. With Bytemark managing the server we can be certain of a quick and expert response if things go wrong. But because of their involvement the chances of things getting to this stage are minimal.
The server will be automatically monitored 24/7 with faults reported directly to a team of engineers who will aim to solve the problem before it escalates, and hopefully before it becomes apparent to end users.
What does this mean for me?
It means I can sleep easy. I can go on holiday without 'server failure concern'. I can go out of mobile signal without worrying. I can ask a team of experts to help me when I have a technical problem beyond my ability. I can rely on expert advice and the care of a team of engineers who's job it is to keep us all 'online'.
Unfortunately, it also means a large increase in monthly cost to the business - something I'm intending will not affect the hosting fees I charge my clients. I think it's a worthwhile price to pay for a bit of peace of mind and a solid platform on which to continue to build my business.
And the best bit...
My server will be in York. Having hosted sites in various places around Europe, I'm really pleased to be able to say that very soon all my clients' data will be only 50 miles away - the internet has become local again. If you're interested in knowing any more about Bytemark's York data centre you can click here to view the York Data Centre Specification.
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all those who have trusted their websites, their email accounts - the public and online faces of their business to me over the past few years. I value everyone's custom and look forward to continuing to provide a reliable, cost-effective and efficient service over the coming years.
If you have any questions regarding the transfer, want to know more about what's actually involved in hosting or anything else, feel free to call me on 01947 878108.