Great question. Today’s do-it-yourself web world offers many ways to host and manage a website at very little cost. In many cases such hosting options work well and don’t suffer security or other issues. The problem is that when they do the results can be catastrophic to your business. To make matters worse, most economical providers have limited (if any) direct support resources to help you. And in the event that they do have resources, the cost of emergency help may well exceed what it would have cost to have managed hosting from the beginning.
In addition to security risks, modern websites have many moving parts like the core platform and plugins which require updates and periodic fixes. The right managed hosting provider will proactively address these requirements preventing your site from breaking unexpectedly due to an internal error.
Cyberthreats are a part of daily life. Every day, thousands of attempts are made to hack into websites or take them down in what are called Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks. In many cases DDOS attacks are designed to paralyze or occupy one aspect of the business while another is attacked, and in some cases the motives aren’t clear. Any website may be subject to such an attack, and your website may become collateral damage even if the attack was actually aimed at another site. This problem is particularly acute with large, economical hosting providers, where thousands of sites are hosted on the same server.
Keep in mind that if your business stores confidential customer information like names, addresses, dates of birth, or credit card numbers, your site becomes more of a target, and your obligation to protect that data is higher, both ethically and legally. In some cases you may not even know that your site has been hacked, if the hackers’ goal is to get in, steal the information they want, and then get out.
Optimization and Scaling
Looking at more positive scenarios, if your site suddenly experiences a spike in traffic due to an unexpectedly successful ad campaign or “going viral”, it’s important that the hosting provider can scale so your site doesn’t go down when it’s at its most profitable. On an ongoing basis, it’s important that the site is routinely and proactively analyzed to make sure that it’s running quickly and securely.
Managed Hosting Keeps Your Site Running
Managed hosting addresses security and performance by making sure that people and processes are proactively addressing your site’s needs and security. Specifically, our managed hosting service offers the following:
- Daily backups
- In case something goes wrong, we can revert to a recent backup
- Free malware removal
- Auto-healing technology
- Instant-scaling technology (if your site goes viral, we can handle the traffic)
- Advanced caching included to help speed up the delivery of your website
- No sites share resources
- This means that an attack on one won’t take down many sites
A Live Person to Help
In addition to all of the services above, Ashford Creative assigns human personnel to address complex or difficult problems. So if your site runs into problems, you can rest easy knowing that help is just an email away, and a live person will get back to you.
The Cost Difference Often Isn’t Significant
In reality, managed hosting doesn’t cost that much more than shared hosting. Oftentimes the difference is less than a few hundred dollars a year. For many ecommerce or lead generation sites, the savings would be wiped out in an outage that lasted just a few hours. The peace of mind that comes from knowing that your site is safe and up-to-date is often worth it!