Support & Maintenance - why is it important?
They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure : dealing with issues at the point they arise is far less costly and time consuming than allowing them to become critical before addressing them. But the web is rapidly changing and we have seen many companies struggle to meet new requirements asked of the website and online activities. We will reviewing some of the top changes which you may not be aware of and the reasons you should definitely have a support and maintenance agreement.
All websites should now be running under SSL
In the last couple of years, it has become expected that all websites should run over SSL using HTTPS for security and privacy reasons. Amazingly, a recent study from ahrefs showed that only 1 in 10 websites have what is considered 'flawless' HTTPS setup. Without this, ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks are possible: this is where someone intercepts your communications between you and the server and can either log the transactions, information or possibly even modify your requests as they pass through - while still sending them on to the website you think you are connecting directly to. If you have a content management system (such as Umbraco or Wordpress) you should definitely be running over SSL for these reasons.
Google have actually said they will use SSL as a ranking signal, favouring those sites with it, over those who run regular HTTP. So if you don’t run over SSL, you aren’t just exposing your business and the websites data to risk, but actually missing out on key marketing opportunities. A study carried out in September 2016 found that HTTPS had a reasonably strong correlation with first page Google rankings.
All websites that have a hosting agreement with Simon Antony qualify for a complimentary SSL certificate, as we feel this is far too important to be left as an option.
Keeping software up-to-date
If you run a content management system like Wordpress or Umbraco, keeping this updated is essential. New security vulnerabilities are found quite frequently and when this happens, updates are brought out to fix the problem. However, if you run an outdated version of your CMS, your website becomes very vulnerable.
Attackers will often have ways to detect if a particular version is out of date, to help them optimise their chances of being able to exploit vulnerabilities in the site. Each day that passes without upgrading, represents an increasing risk to your business and any data contained in your systems - there are known and documented cases when compromised sites have resulted in the business folding as a result of fines or loss of business.
All Simon Antony hosting and maintenance agreements include website security patches as a matter of course. We do it behind the scenes automatically so you don't have to worry about it.
Another key metric for the health of your site is the reliability. Have you experienced any downtime where your site has been offline temporarily? How about slow page loads? These are actually the symptoms of not managing something that has already become critical for the site. Our aim is to head these off before they are noticeable: optimising the loading of resources and leveraging the proper level of caching can help reduce the work needed from your website, and ultimately lead to a much better visitor experience.
All Simon Antony hosting and maintenance agreements include server monitoring, we pro-actively check the health of your website to ensure this never becomes and issue and to take action where necessary.
Why should I choose Simon Antony to support my site?
Simple: we offer professional level hosting and support, we are UK based and we communicate in plain English. This means we don’t just copy your site to a server and hope it all works out. For some of our customers, this will involve an audit of the code your site contains to ensure no insecurities are introduced when you come on board for hosting with us.
We prioritise all support requests to ensure we assist those who need it right away. Our fastest response time is less than an hour for critical issues and within 4 hours for high priority. Regardless of the severity, we will respond to support requests on the same day, offering resolutions whenever possible.