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What is website hosting and maintenance?

Hosting - General explanation

Firstly, what is a server?

Definition: In computer networking, a server is a computer designed to process requests and deliver data to other computers over a local area network (LAN) or the Internet (WAN wide area network).

A computer known as a “server” usually with a fast connection to the internet (Tier 1) connected 24/7 365 days a year that your website files are stored and served on. Commonly with at least one (back-up) computer (server), usually many, in various geographical locations. Your server is connected to the Tier 1 aka T1 (commonly known as the backbone of the internet). The location of your website files on this server is assigned a Domain Name Server address (DNS) address to make it available by anyone on the internet typing in your domain name.

In summary
Hosting (AKA website hosting or Web hosting) is the business of housing, serving, and maintaining files for one or more websites. You rent space on a computer to hold and serve constantly your website.

Additionally, usually included services such as regular back-ups are part of what is referred to as maintenance. Protecting your files from accidental loss and malicious loss or corruption by such things as internet viruses etc. Also part of maintenance is keeping your serving software up-to-date so that it doesn’t become redundant or too slow to effectively deliver your website on the internet.

More simplified explanations…
A beginners guide to web hosting
How website hosting works in plain english

We choose a level of internet service provider that meets stringent requirements to serve our websites.

In the interests of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) we choose (where possible) UK data centres for serving UK websites and USA data centres for serving US websites etc.

Technical Details

A typical set-up.

AMD Opteron 3250 2.5GHz quad core

8 GiB

100GB free remote backup space which is set up using either NFS, rsync, or Samba.

Can you afford this run to failure culture? The design life of all electrical equipment requires maintenance!

Use a dedicated hosting service
If you want a fast, reliable, constant connection to the internet.
If you don’t want to handle checking your backups, analysing failures, seamlessly expanding your storage and upgrading your equipment to keep up with modern server and internet standards.
If you do want telephone support or you need to restore data and/or report a problem easily.

What is Maintenance?

Maintenance falls into two catagories

Server Maintenance Maintenance is making sure the site is running correctly and being served quickly. Constantly providing security updates, performing technical checks, updating internal coding as applicable and adding new features if it improves or maintains your site’s operation and performance.

Website Maintenance Websites need to remain fresh, with new content, blogs, features and graphics that keep users returning and engaged. A website that changes frequently is thought to be ranked higher by search engines.

Website hosting services and design agencies offer different levels of maintenance. Usually their chosen level of service is packaged in a monthly or yearly hosting and maintenance charge.

Website maintenance services include debugging, programming, upgrades & updates, management of your data, interaction with any 3rd party plugins and code snippets and measures for protecting e-mails and online forms from Spam and auto Bot submissions.

A website maintenance contract could include the following:-


NOTE: Typically these are for customers paying for a degree of service they require for their large businesses or for smaller customers with a heavy reliance on the web and therefore need to update and add to their content with more regularity.

For medium and small businesses there’s not such a need for a website maintenance service. They may be more prudent to pay for maintenance updates as and when required or combining it with a lower level website maintenance contract.



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