Can your web hosting cope?

There are so many web hosting options available that it is easy to become confused. This then leads to the temptation of picking your provider either based on how (in)famous they are or how cheap they are.

Can your web hosting cope?

There are so many web hosting options available that it is easy to become confused. This then leads to the temptation of picking your provider either based on how (in)famous they are or how cheap they are.

There are so many web hosting options available that it is easy to become confused. This then leads to the temptation of picking your provider either based on how (in)famous they are or how cheap they are.

We’ve used a fair few different hosts over the years and seen some go through growing pains that have been too hard to bear. We’ve had to rescue people who have found their hosting just cannot cope with what they want or need to do.

spikeWe also know that sometimes “ok” is not good enough. Especially with some of our more significant clients. A good case in point last week – a restaurant that we host a website for found itself on the front page of the Daily Mail, and sadly not for the right reasons.

Because we like our sites to run nice and fast, we use something called “caching”. That means pages are pre-built and compressed ready for visitors before they even arrive. This reduces bandwidth and increases speed but also has the added benefit of reducing the impact of a spike in traffic.

So when four times the usual number of daily visitors decided to have a look at the website, the database and WordPress set-up barely batted an eyelid. Our Google Analytics report looked pretty impressive though.

There’s still a lot more bandwidth and processing power being used during this kind of spike, but we do like to over-specify our set-up. Although our clients’ websites share the resources of our server, the server is dedicated to our clients, not shared with any other hosts.  This means we can make sure we have huge reserves of capacity for our clients without having to worry about what other people are doing.

Which is why we can only provide the best WordPress support to our clients on our server, because we have full control over the whole system and know what is happening.

Which hosting company should you use?

If you’re looking to have someone build a website for you, say us for example, then it’s always best to talk to them first about hosting before buying. Like us, they may want to encourage you to let them look after the hosting.

If you are building your own site, or are being expected to arrange your own hosting, then we can highly recommend SiteGround. Probably the best hosting around, from shared to dedicated servers. Performance and support are both great, prices are excellent.

Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket

One final tip – we prefer to spread our requirements across different suppliers. Our domain registrars, web hosts and email hosts are all different companies, running on different infrastructure. This makes it much easier for us to move providers if there are problems. And we don’t keep our website backups with our web hosts either – just in case.

 

But don’t worry – our web design packages include hosting!

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2 Comments

  1. Matt Rhys-Davies on March 2, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Hi Jonathon,

    For really intensive spikes, do you build out into the cloud on the fly, or as you limited to the resources of the dedicated box you’re on?

    Purely out of interest, as I’ve scaled both horizontally and vertically and find challenges in both.

    Cheers,
    Matt

    • Jonathan Gwyer on March 4, 2015 at 3:45 pm

      Hi, Matt,

      We’re limited to the dedicated box, although we do totally over spec it for what we need.

      One thing I mention in the post, which I may expand on in another thanks to some “fun” I’ve been having moving a new client away from their current host, is keeping our nameservers separate.

      It makes it much easier to move a site over to another server / host at a moments notice. Especially as we keep all our backups separate too.

      Most of our clients don’t justify it, but we’re using a CDNs a bit more now.

      It’s all part of the fun!

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