Why use a web hosting agency?

The concept.

An independent web hosting agency doesn’t look out for the hosting company’s best interest, they look out for yours. With Cooncat Publishing as your web hosting agent, your web presence is insulated from vendor lock-in, outages are minimized, your name is protected, and publishing procedures are customized to match your workflow. For businesses that maintain multiple websites, the cost of using Cooncat Publishing to arrange for web hosting costs less than if they purchased hosting themselves.

The risks.

It’s no secret that web hosting is a volatile business. Companies fold frequently, often leaving their customers with no easy access to their own data. Hardware fails after years of use, and they won’t tell you that they don’t keep a spare “RAID controller” in the house. Servers are loaded, often overloaded, with several customers’ data, and popularity of (or network attacks against) one companies website may cause your own to go down.

Sometime we’re own own worst enemy, especially when it comes to computers. We might delete a necessary file inadvertently, and can’t find the backup for it. We could update a web page on our main site, and forget to copy it to your backup server. Or we might get someone else to write our web page, and find out what they publish wasn’t at all what we wanted — after several other people have already seen it!

The benefits.

Uptime

Monitoring software installed in several locations around the internet keeps track of whether your site is accessable, and switches automatically to a backup server if there’s a problem. You’ll be notified along with easy-to-understand details as to what happened. Redundancy is built into each part of the setup. Image files are kept on separate machines, so in case the traffic on your site becomes overwhelming, the visitors will still get your message. Our monitoring software will pick up on this, and adjust for the increased traffic in minutes.

Workflow

Editing your website is always done on a draft copy. Publishing the draft is a separate, one-click step that’s done after the draft is approved, and multiple levels of approval can be set up. Once approved, copies of the draft are automatically published not only to the main site, but to all backups as well.

Two types of backups are used. A mirror is a full copy of your website, ready to serve if your main site goes down. An archive is also kept, that keeps the details of the changes you’ve made to the site, in case you ever need to retrieve deleted pages, or parts of pages.

Ownership

Cooncat Publishing’s hosting agency ensures that you always have ownership of the media you entrust with us. We share all the information with you about the services we arrange on your behalf in clear, concise documentation. We provide you the tools for you to automatically include your own computers as a place to store your backups. We even provide you with everything you’d need to do your own arrangements in case you no longer wish to use our services. Our philosophy is that we abhor vendor lock-in; service providers should compete for your business by providing excellent value.

No silver bullet exists.

Unfortunately, the very nature of the World Wide Web keeps us from being able to achieve full reliability. This is because there is no way to quickly switch a computer, whether a name server or web hosting server for everyone who may visit your website.

The problem is that your visitors’ internet provider may keep stale information in their own computers. So they visit your site at http://www.foobar.com, and get an error message. The monitoring software has already told “the internet” that you’ve moved the site to a host that works, but the visitor’s computer doesn’t get that information for hours later.

While this problem might not be completely solvable — mostly because some internet providers don’t follow the standards — there are steps that can be taken to minimize disruption. That involves recurring testing, and informing you if you have visitors who may not be able to visit your web site; as well as what to tell them so they can fix the problem. These simple changes on their end will also fix their setup so they will see many other websites they’ve been having problems viewing as well.

We understand the web, and give you the tools you need to get your message out.

Related articles:

Impartiality Key in Hosting Brokerage Business

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