It’s one of those things you always ‘meant’ to do but just didn’t get to it – since it’s not your strong suit. And now your website’s down and there’s no clear path to recovery.
What are we talking about? Website care – you know, the stuff you don’t think about because you assume your provider is on top of things.
A Website Hosting Nightmare
I was perusing my Facebook feed and in a group I follow was yet another unfolding crisis – a designer’s client had a website down, due to some sort of hosting issue. The website was down, backups were not available and everyone was in panic mode.
Sadly – I’ve been there myself. The company I’d hired to run my servers (in 2009) had a catastrophic hardware failure, taking down all of my client sites as well as the server backups. It took a full three months to recover from that debacle, but I did learn an extremely valuable lesson. Backup. Backup. Backup. Offsite. Offsite. Offsite. Always.
What is Website Hosting?
Website hosting is – in laymen’s terms – where your website “lives” – akin to an apartment. You pay a regular fee to have the files which comprise your site reside on a server somewhere, and when someone visits your site (requests your files) they’re delivered to the visitor’s web browser, provided your server has sufficient resources – i.e., bandwidth, CPU allocation, etc., to do so.
“El-Cheapo” Hosting vs. adequate hosting
Often, when your site is developed by a freelance or DIY provider, you’ll end up on low-end hardware and sharing resources with hundreds if not thousands of other websites, all competing for the same storage, bandwidth, and CPU power to serve up your website as it’s requested. This is of course not ideal, and while it may work sometimes if your (or any other) website on the server gets a traffic spike – performance suffers, or in the worst-case – all of the websites go down simultaneously.
A Step Up
Professional website developers utilize premium-grade services and upgraded hardware, often with redundancy built-in, so that if your hosting experienced an outage in one location, it’d still be able to deliver your website from another location. Of course, not everyone needs this level of service – but it’s available to those that do. You’d typically find this in busy e-commerce applications.
For everyone else, simply having a dedicated server with ample resources and a bullet-proof backup regimen is enough. You can find this in most upscale web services, including ours. And website care is very affordable these days, offering you a margin of peace. Just another thing you really don’t have to worry about. 🙂
Got a question about website care, backups, security, or hosting?
Reach out and I’ll point you in the right direction. — Ken