Hotel Website Hosting
When it comes to hosting, our clients and prospects correctly assume that hosting is part of the service we offer. Upon a simple “yes” from us, the topic is rarely discussed afterwords. This article however will hopefully explain in a little more detail what goes on behind the scenes and how our approach to looking after your hotel or hostel website is industry leading and actually a real selling point of our Umi 360 offering.
Website hosting and server maintenance is such a large field that in early 2016 we made the decision to partner up with an expert for our hosting requirements. This process of specialising allowed us to free up resources to stay at the leading edge of hotel website design and digital marketing with the confidence that the server management side of things is in very safe hands. The decision took several months and many meetings but eventually we settled on WP Engine, a company that we think offers the best WordPress hosting solution on the planet. Here are a few of the reasons why we went with them and also outlines the services that you are/could be receiving
Backups are imperative when hosting websites; unforeseen issues do occur when updating software, changing functionality and of course user error so the ability to roll back in time is invaluable to get a hotel website back up and running in a matter of minutes. WP Engine automatically back up every single website each day with instant roll-back to any day in the last 60 days. These backups are then stored in an entirely separate location so that even if the server goes down, we are still able to immediately retrieve and upload. If we require backups from a previous date, we are also able to manually back up and download each website onto our local storage devices.
Enterprise Grade Security
WordPress is an open-source content management system which means that the code base is open to the developer community. While this doesn’t make it insecure, it does mean that more care must be taken with security and making regular updates and patches are essential. WordPress has a number of plugins such as Wordfence that enhance resilience against attacks however WP Engine have created their very own enterprise grade security layer that puts a Fort Knox-like wall around your website. This security layer is also enhanced by our requirement for all passwords to achieve a certain level of complexity. While some people don’t like this feature of our hosting, you would be amazed at the insecurity of passwords that we see on a daily basis!
WP Engine are so confident in this layer of security that they offer a hack guarantee as part of their SLA. This is something we can then pass on to our clients who host their websites with us.
Optimised for WordPress
The vast majority of hosting solutions tend to be on generic ‘multi-purpose’ servers that are capable of hosting any type of website or software. While this offers flexibility, it does not allow for much optimisation for a particular system like WordPress. As WP Engine are purely a WordPress hosting solution they are able to optimise the environment to one particular system and increase the performance significantly. Our implementations thus far (now spanning over 100 websites) have seen a significant speed and performance increases on each and every website. This performance is further enhanced by WP Engine’s heavy cacheing and CDN which make the website load faster wherever you are browsing from.
Scalable Cloud Infrastructure
Google Cloud Sevices and Amazon Web Services are the two pioneering providers of cloud hosting at the moment. WP Engine sits on top of world leading cloud infrastructure to not only provide high performance but also a flexible, scalable solution. The joy of cloud services are that you can increase and decrease demand as and when you need so we at Umi Digital can easily and flexibly upgrade and move our hosting whenever we need to. A recent example of this was the launch of PHP 7, the version of PHP that offers much more efficient use of PHP code (making WordPress faster). We were easily able to migrate our environment to a PHP7 server without any issues and look forward to taking full advantages of the updates that are yet to come!
With the strong functionality and performance from WP Engine, there wouldn’t be much point if we couldn’t fix server related issues quickly and efficiently as and when they arise. The 24/7 premium support we receive through WP Engine means that we are never more than a mouse click away from receiving server support and advice. We have found that many support services only offer advice and guidance if it is directly related to their product or service; with WP Engine we are supported for all WordPress related issues irrespective of whether it is hosted on their environment or not.