Web hosting and email systems generally are a minefield of mysterious
systems, settings and companies with most people not knowing what they
have with who.
It is our continued mission for 2019 to try and make things easier to understand and where possible save clients money.
What is hosting?
Hosting is a very generic term for a multi-part complex system the internet uses for making data and services available.
To help, we shall go over the different parts of common hosting allowing you to gain a greater understanding of what there is and how we have started to structure our packages.
Domain Registration / Domain Name
A domain name is a friendly reference or name to identify you or the services you want to make available on the internet.
Other than being the name of your service, this domain name has one setting which is to point to the domain name service which is the holy grail of your domain.
Domain Name Service (DNS)
The name service of hosting is one of the most important features, but many do not know it exists.
This service is basically one big list, a bit like a telephone directory where you look up a name to get a telephone number. In our scenario you look up addresses like www.strobe-it.co.uk or @strobe-it.co.uk and your computer gets told where and how to find them.
Without this service, the internet and users could not find your website, email system or other services.
To make web hosting work there are a few things that get bundled together, and none of these things actually provide the website; they just give you the system to make a website possible.
Some things that are bundled are: –
- Storage on a server to store your web pages / application
- Database so that web applications can store information like logins or dynamic content for websites
- Backup to keep the storage and database safe and secure
Most people use the above systems to upload HTML files or web applications like WordPress to generate a website.
Email is a separate service generally, but due to it’s ties and reliance on Domain Name Service to work or publish additional security information it is a sub section of hosting.
Content Delivery network (CDN)
A content delivery network is a geographically distributed network of servers.
The goal is to provide high availability and high performance by distributing services relative to end-users.
Looking at a website, you might host this with one company; but have a CDN with another. The CDN will serve the website to clients using a cached copy making it faster and reducing the load on the original files located with your web hosting company.
Due to this way of working, if your website goes down clients can still access your website due to the CDN.
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate
SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organisation’s details.
On a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol for secure connections from a web a browser.
SSL is used to secure card transactions, data transfer, logins and more recently is becoming the norm for all sites.
Web Application Firewall (WAF)
A Web Application Firewall helps protect applications by filtering and monitoring traffic between a web application and the Internet.
WAF typically protects web applications from attacks like cross-site forgery, cross-site-scripting (XSS), file inclusion, and SQL injection, among others.
How is our packages changing?
In the past we have had a flat fee for web hosting which included Name Service and Web Storage.
As time and technologies have improved, this package is hard to explain as well as not providing clients with flexibility.
To address this we have been working for many months on better backups, CDN and security offerings for hosting. And we now finally have the infrastructure ready for the new generation of technologies.
To make this as simple as possible we now have three main components: –
- Domain Registration / Domain Name – 1+ year(s) registration
- Domain Name Service – Monthly service
- Web Hosting – Monthly service that includes web space, 150 MB MySQL database, 10GB Backup, CDN, SSL Certificate & Malware scanning.
Having our hosting split into these sections allows us to be flexible and enable clients to have what parts they want with us and which parts they do not.
On top of this we will start offering the ability to upgrade protection which introduces more regular malware scans and web application firewall.
And finally; to compliment the options we will have a couple of security packages you can purchase which include CDN, SSL etc that you can combine with other companies web hosting.
When we hear you say; well we are migrating to the new systems over November.
With the updated invoicing and pricing hitting existing clients on 01/12/2019.
Before then we shall be writing to all current customers linking to this article and explaining the pricing in full.