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    Guide to Website Hosting

    by Iain Thomson Project Lead

    Given the number of websites we have developed over the years we often get asked by our agency clients about different hosting arrangements they can offer. This guide looks at the different things to look at when planning the best hosting requirements for a client.

    Types of Hosting

    There are several different types of hosting that can be offered including; shared, cloud or dedicated. A shared site can be the cheapest option and is fine if the capacity needed is fairly low but the downside is you’ll have to share this with other people. Cloud gives greater flexibility although you need to ensure you have enough capacity to maintain your site and not run out of space. Finally dedicated servers mean you have your very own server for your own use and not shared with other companies, this gives you greater control but you need to ensure you have the relevant capacity and resources to maintain the server.

    How to decide which is right?

    To help understand what option is best for you as an agency as well as your clients it’s important to look at several different factors. Firstly how much server resource is their current website using and what their current disc space and memory usage is? Secondly you’ll need to find out what kind of CMS the client is using, be it WordPress or a more robust eCommerce platform such as Magento. Thirdly you’ll need to look at what the bandwidth of the website is in terms of how much traffic and usage it gets to allow for enough server space to cope with the demand.

    Separate Email Hosting

    Hosting your client’s website and email on the same server may seem a common sense thing to do but issues can arise if the server goes down and therefore this would impact both your website and your email at the same time. We’d recommend using separate servers for both uses to help spread the risk of any downtime.

    Managed Service Providers

    When look at the options available to your agency and your clients you should ensure you have a Managed Service arrangement which means your hosting provider is responsible for any downtime to the operating system and control panel being used to host the web or email servers. Then either you or the client are then responsible for application be it WordPress and it’s subsequent plug-ins. This means the main technical elements of hosting a site are taken care of and you as an agency can simply focus on optimising the site. Also ensure that your hosting provider has clear Service Level Agreements in place to allow for clear checks and response arrangements if there are any issues with sites they manage on your behalf.

    We hope this has provided an initial view on what to consider when looking at your clients hosting options for the websites you build for them and the resource and technical requirements that need considering. If you have any further questions on hosting or general web development requirements feel free to get in touch on [email protected] or tel: +44 (0)161 398 0303.