The Journey #
When you get a managed hosting plan, your journey with us begins. Whether you’re migrating your website or building a new one, a few things have to happen before your website can go live.
But fear not! We’ll walk you through the process and help you get up and running smoothly. That’s what managed hosting is all about.
These are probably the most basic pieces every WordPress website needs:
- Design & Development
- A domain
- Transactional Email
- Ongoing Management
Most websites will add additional tools and services, as needed. These represent just the bare minimum need to get started.
Design & Development #
When you sign up, we’ll set up a staging website for you to build and test your website before it goes live. We’ll put it on a temporary domain away from the public eye and install most of our basic stack so it closely mirrors the live website.
All you have to do is build your website :). You basically have a couple options:
- Build your website on your own. WordPress makes it pretty easy. There are thousands of free and paid themes out there and all you need is one. When you couple that with the WordPress block editor (a.k.a. Gutenberg) and/or one of these amazing page builders, you can get some really nice results.
- You might prefer a professional touch. There are countless designers and developers who specialize in building WordPress websites and would be happy to offer their services. A decent new website could go for 500 or 5000 USD. This is a very rough estimate because so many factors affect the price, including how much work you need done, the professional’s experience, where they are in the world, and more.
If you’re not sure how to get started, reach out and we’ll help you figure things out. We can also connect you with some pretty amazing designers and developers, if you’re interested.
A Domain #
You’ll need to get a domain for your website. The domain is basically your business’ home on the web. It’s how your visitors, leads, and customers find you. It’s where you put your content, your store, your blog. It also tells the internet how to interact with your online business assets, including your website, your business email, and others.
If you don’t have a domain yet, you can buy one directly from a registrar or we can buy it on your behalf, if you prefer. Either way, there’s no pressure. You can get it when you’re ready. Just keep in mind that you need a domain before you can go live.
When we host your website, we also manage your domain for you at no extra charge. We do this because it ensures the domain is set up correctly, makes it much easier for us to fix issues when they arise, and helps us serve you better.
Transactional Email #
Every website sends transactional email, which is basically the email necessary for the proper operation of your website. Examples of transactional email include password reset emails, purchase confirmation emails, and so forth.
We don’t host email because email is extremely complicated and there are services out there that are much better at it than we are. We only use third-party Email Service Providers (ESPs), such as Elastic Email, Amazon SES, Mailchimp, and others, to increase the likelihood of your email actually getting delivered to your customers’ inboxes rather than their spam or “promotional” mailboxes.
We set up your website with Elastic Email by default. You can choose a different ESP if you prefer and we’ll help you properly connect it to your website and your domain.
Hosting basically refers to the server that runs your website and the infrastructure that supports it.
When you get a hosting plan, we first set up a staging website for you. We’ll use it to migrate your website if you already have one, collaboratively build your new website with you and your team, and prepare it to go live.
Once it’s ready, we’ll spin up a server exclusively for your website. Your website will be able to utilize all the resources of your own server and won’t have to share (or compete over) them with other websites. Having your own server also has other benefits: you can upgrade the hardware only when you really need to, it’s more secure, it’s less likely to crash, and we can configure it as necessary for your particular needs without creating conflicts with other websites.
Note that for security and other reasons, we do not provide direct access to the server. We also don’t provide FTP or SFTP access. We can provide limited SSH/FTPS access if your developers need it, but only for a limited time.
Ongoing Management #
Once your website goes live, we’ll do our best to keep it as healthy as possible. That’s the difference between regular and managed hosting. We run weekly checkups, in which we update your plugins and themes, check and tighten your website’s security, ensure your server is up-to-date, and perform other regular upkeep tasks.
The first month or so after launch is crucial:
- We’ll gradually strengthen your website’s security by enabling additional security measures. We do this slowly to monitor the effects of our changes and reduce the likelihood of conflicts with your plugins and integrations.
- We also do a few things to improve the website’s performance after it launches. We fine-tune the caching plugin, enable the image optimizer, and look for common issues that affect performance and are easy to fix. Note that this is not a full-fledged performance-enhancing project, but rather small tasks that can have significant impact on your website’s performance. If you want a full performance optimization, let us know and we’ll discuss your options.
- We’ll also fix small issues that crop up in the first month. It’s difficult to identify some issues in staging and our goal is to get your website up and running quickly and help your business succeed. We do not include development tasks or other large tasks that may require a significant amount of work but we also don’t impose a strict limit on repairs in the first month post-launch. After the first month, you’ll get two repairs for free every month. If you need more, you can get them at a steep discount.
For as long as you’re with us, we’ll manage your website diligently. We do our best to prevent anything bad from happening, but we can’t stop everything. If it ever goes down, we’ll fix it. If it gets hacked, we’ll un-hack it.
And if you need to improve something, reach out and we’ll help you figure out a strategy.
- We happily offer advice whenever you’re not sure about something or need direction. Just hit us up on our live chat (or email) and tell us what ails you.
- We also offer numerous tools and services at exceptional rates. We scour the web and collect amazing deals that we can offer our customers. It’s part of our mission to bring amazing tools to small businesses that might not normally be able to afford them. It includes many premium plugins we can install for no additional charge or at a significant discount as part of your subscription, automations and integrations we can run for you under our various accounts at significantly reduced rates, a number of popular membership and training plugins and services with similar discounts, and much more.
- And we’ll help you connect your systems, automate your business, set up chatbots, integrate hyper-personalization tools to help engage your leads and customers, and the list goes on.