Website Hosting and Support

Hosting

With the exception of our specialist political content management system, our developments are hosting agnostic and you can choose to retain your existing web hosting partner or to use a new provider of your choice.

The specification of your project will determine whether your system can be hosted on a widely available virtual host or requires a dedicated server with more control over the system configuration.

If you choose to host your project with us, we will serve your web site from our own HP servers in the UK. We will discuss with you at the start of your project whether it is most appropriate to host your web site on one or more dedicated servers or alongside our other projects.

Our most basic hosting setup includes redundant database, web site, email, and domain name services shared across four servers located at the Custodian Data Centre in Maidstone, Kent and one lightweight virtual server hosted elsewhere in the UK. Our hosting and support rates are competitive at around £240 +VAT per year for a straightforward website.

Custodian are a winner of the Green Data Centre accolade at the Datacentre Leaders Awards, and take both their uptime and availability and the environment seriously.

All of our servers in Kent are protected by Custodian’s Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) mitigation service which can withstand attacks of up to 800 gigabits per second.

In preparation for the expected exhaustion of IPv4 Internet addresses within the next few years, our hosting is now IPv6 ready.

Support

If your website uses third party libraries or software, we’ll keep it running on the latest releases free of charge as part of your hosting and support contract. This makes it easier to add new functionality to your website when you need it, reduces your risk of security breaches and means the software runs as responsively as possible.

All of our servers run on the latest release of the Ubuntu Linux distribution. This includes the latest version of the PHP programming language, PHP 7, which offers significant speed increases over earlier versions; and version 5.7 of the MySQL database engine, which has more robust error handling than previous versions.

We back up all of your page content, imagery, and uploaded files along with the code for your website every day and keep these backups for at least six months. Once a week the most recent backup is sent off-site to our second UK server location.

Secure Certificates (SSL/TLS)

All of our websites are now served securely over HTTPS unless there is a good reason not to. This guarantees a secure end-to-end connection between the website user and our servers, protects against eavesdropping and tampering and keeps your users’ browsing private.

To provide this service free of charge we use free SSL certificate provider Let’s Encrypt and a technology called Server Name Indication which removes the old limitation that each different HTTPS website had to have its own IP address. This does mean that users with very old software (particularly Windows XP) might see warnings about certificate mismatches when visiting your website.

If you have any concerns about this and would like to discuss plain HTTP hosting or paying for a commercial SSL certificate and your own IP address, please get in touch.