At the HDAs it gave us great pleasure to announce recently, that we’d teamed up with Nimbus Hosting, true masters of their field.
But what exactly is”their field”?
We caught up with Matt Cooper, Account & Marketing Manager at our Headline Sponsor, to chat all things website hosting.
He told us why making the right decisions about where you host your website can transform your business.
A Few Minutes With…..Matt Cooper of Nimbus Hosting
Why is website hosting important?
As a digital agency, or even a website owner, exactly where you host the websites you’re developing is a big decision. Although hosting is something that is almost background noise in the creation of a website it can have a huge influence on the speed and security of your sites and therefore your clients.
How can hosting help with site Speed?
Speed can often be considered the most important factor for your websites as it is a factor that directly affects the users. Although hosting is only part of the equation when it comes to speed as the way a website is built will have a far greater effect on the way the site performs, a responsive server will definitely contribute to the speed of the site. In a shared hosting environment, sites can be sharing server resources with hundreds, sometimes thousands of other sites which can limit the level of control you get and when one of these sites becomes greedy it can cause reliability issues.
How is security maintained and monitored?
There are so many factors to consider in terms of security and your clients are relying on you to make sure their website and data is stored in a safe secure environment. It’s important to look at who has access to the server, whether back-ups are included and managed, where the data is physically stored and the level of security that the data centre has.
It’s also essential to know exactly who is responsible for which parts of maintaining security and who the maintenance of security patches and updates of the CMS that the sites run off.
What’s the depth of the support?
When it comes to your customers and the digital campaigns that you’ve created for them, you want to ensure everything is running smoothly infrastructure wise. Many will assume that going with a large hosting company will be safer, as there is a safety that comes with size and although this makes sense, it’s not always necessarily true. One of the challenges that the bigger providers struggle with is that every time you contact them; you’ll likely be dealing with a different person and have to explain everything every time, instead of someone who knows your business and projects already which can be much more effective and time saving, particularly when working on campaigns or to deadlines. Responsiveness is likely to be a huge factor when deciding who will host your client’s sites, make sure you to find out how different hosts compare in this respect by dropping their tech support a line to see how many rings before you get through, and check out their online reviews at multiple places such as Review Centre and Google Reviews.
Do I need to be thorough about the Service Level Agreement?
This is the boring bit but the most important parts to look for within a Service Level Agreement is the uptime guarantee, no hosting provider can absolutely guarantee 100% uptime, it’s just not realistic, but look for a hosting provider that has a near perfect uptime promise. Keep in mind that you can ask for proof of their uptime as all decent hosting providers will have a record of their monitoring.
Another thing to consider is the hardware and technology that the company invests in. In this respect you really do get what you pay for so make sure that whoever you choose to partner with is staying ahead of technological advancements and using the best hardware and redundancy options within their infrastructure. Most hosts will have a service status page, and most decent hosts will also have a history section on this so you can check out previous network/hardware incidents. Be wary of any which have no history despite reviews/their twitter account alerting to some.
How flexible can they be?
The nature of your business is improving your own or your client’s web presence which can often mean making changes, fixing issues and having to upgrade their hosting needs, sometimes at a moment’s notice so you need to have a web host that not only make this possible but liaise with you to make the process as seamless as possible. If you need short term solutions would this be possible or do they only offer annual billing cycles?
Where your sites are hosted is an important decision not just for the agency that is working on the site but for the sites owners. Cheap hosts may save you some money to begin with but they may not be reliable which can severely harm your business in the long term. Make sure you choose a host that you trust and can handle the needs of your business.
At Nimbus we specialise in hosting for digital agencies. By creating managed hosting solutions that allow you to get domains and websites up and running quickly and easily, scale packages to suit your immediate needs and provide accessible support and advice, we pride ourselves on building dependable hosting partnerships for agencies.
For more information about Nimbus Hosting and the services they offer, click here