What is it?
For your website to be available 24/7 worldwide it must be stored on a computer or network that is intrinsically reliable and has a robust connection to the internet with guaranteed bandwidth. It is not hosted on machines at our Oban premises as we only have a standard broadband connection to the web.
We create our clients’ websites here then upload them to state of the art servers in a brand new data centre with cooling systems, high-level security and fire detection/suppression systems and power back-up capabilities to ensure that in the event of a power cut, customer data remains online and available. There are knowledgeable support staff on duty here 24 hours a day, with engineers either in the building or on call. Building security systems, automatic data backup systems and multiple gigabit connections to the main internet backbone complete the picture.
Why is there such a range of products advertised?
Obviously this all costs money, and this is what you are paying for when you pay hosting charges. In addition, our charges cover maintenance of the registration of your domain name plus our personal support. You may wonder why some hosting is advertised at £2/month or less while a dedicated server can cost you up to £200 per month. You may ask, what is a dedicated server? Do I need one? Is the hosting Webcraft offers good value?
Well, a dedicated server means yours is the only website on that server. That means you are not only paying for your own physical machine, you are also paying for all the ancillary facilities in the data centre plus support for that machine. You only need a dedicated server if your site has a large amount of traffic.
Most of our clients’ sites are hosted on servers that host many other websites on the same physical machine. That allows us to keep costs down and offer a huge range of features without compromising the performance of your site. Because your site does not have a whole physical machine to itself we are able to offer comprehensive hosting and support packages for between £10 and £15 per month.
Is ultra-cheap hosting worth it?
We think our hosting is exceptional value for money. Occasionally though a potential client says they have been offered hosting for a much lower figure, so how is this possible? Well, the data centre may well not even be in this country, it may be in the US, with all the hassle that the time difference can cause and expensive support issues if you need to phone them (assuming this is even possible – support is often through a ticket system only). In addition there will usually be many more sites on each physical machine, resulting in reduced performance. There may be no database facilities, or limitations on data storage and there are often restrictive monthly bandwidth limits. As with most services, you get what you pay for.
Occasionally and reluctantly we build and maintain sites that are hosted elsewhere. We cannot offer any performance guarantees in this case, nor can we guarantee that your web server has the necessary facilities to run all the features you may want on your site now or in the future. Overall, our advice is to always let the company responsible for building and maintaining your site host it for you as it will make it much easier for them to support and maintain it.