Q&A

Web Hosting

Your Questions Answered

Like many technical aspects of IT, public perception of web hosting is often misaligned with industry standards. This page aims to demystify what web hosting is and what you’re paying for. We’ll look at what we believe is important and the ways we are different from other providers.

Think of web hosting as like renting a storage locker on the internet. Inside this locker is where you keep your website files. All websites need web hosting; they all need somewhere to call home! The fee you pay for web hosting covers the cost of having storage space on a web server to “host” your website. No more, no less.

It does not include website maintenance or security maintenance for your website. Just like a storage facility in the physical world, web hosting does not assume any responsibility over what’s inside your account. This is true no matter which web host you choose.

Standard Web Hosting
  • 1 SQL database
  • Unlimited storage space (fair use policy applies)
  • Unmetered bandwidth (fair use policy applies)
  • No automated account backup
  • Suitable for small-medium brochure websites
Advanced Web Hosting
  • Up to 3 SQL databases
  • Unlimited storage space (fair use policy applies)
  • Unmetered bandwidth (fair use policy applies)
  • 1 weekly automated account backup (Sunday)
  • Recommended for ecommerce (Woocommerce) and sites with third-party integrations

Please contact us for current pricing.
Our Fair Use Policy can be found on our Web Hosting Terms and Conditions page.

Most web hosts will charge you an extra annual fee to secure your website with an SSL certificate, to the tune of $170+ per year.

Since 2017, all websites we build come with a DV (Domain Validation) SSL certificate included at no cost (when your website is hosted by Hart Design). And for as long as you remain hosted with us, your SSL certificate will be a free inclusion.

(Did we build your website prior to 2017? Ask us about retrospectively adding in an SSL certificate to your website).

An SSL certificate provides protection for your website visitors so that when they’re interacting with your website, their private data cannot be stolen by malevolent forces at play on the world wide web. It does not prevent your website from being hacked by the aforementioned malevolent forces.

You can tell a secure site by the padlock icon shown in the URL bar of many web browsers. Another hint is if the website’s address includes https at the start, rather than just http (i.e. without the s).

Google will soon bypass any website that’s not secured using a valid SSL certificate. So to have a website without an SSL cert will become virtually worthless.

Please note that our SSL certificates are not transferable to any other web host, should you cancel your web hosting service with us.

Our web server is provided and maintained by one of New Zealand’s leading suppliers and is housed right here in Auckland, New Zealand. If you have a local audience, you should for the sake of good SEO practices host your website on a local server. (Less distance travelled to retrieve your website is a win for page speed).

Note: if your audience is international, we can help there, too. Just drop us a line to talk through your options.

Comparing one web host to another can be like comparing apples and oranges.

We’ve tuned up our web server so it delivers your website at lightning-quick speeds, and is ideal for hosting your WordPress website. Google loves a fast-loading website, so a high-performing web server is a real value-add for good SEO. You get that right out of the box with web hosting by Hart Design.

We build websites. We host them. We offer digital marketing plans and SEO services. We want our customers to be successful in their SEO endeavours. We host our own website and want it to rank well! That’s why we’ve optimised our server to deliver WordPress websites at their fastest. We’re always seeking new ways to eke out a little extra performance on our web server. It’s good for business.

For many companies who offer web hosting, they often jam as many sites on a single server as they can. This is cheaper for them, and possibly cheaper for you, but it can adversely affect a server’s performance. And they’re not always as fussy about performance as we are.

Our web server as a whole maintains a regular backup schedule. This is a fail-safe and allows us to restore the entire web server should our server ever be critically compromised. It does not allow for the restoration of individual web hosting accounts.

Our standard web hosting service does not offer individual, automated account backups. Some web hosting companies will offer this as an add-on service, but we do not.

Why not? Our reasoning is three-fold: server speed, cost/reward balance and the nature of our workflow as website designers:

  1. If we enabled automatic backups of every account on our server, it would significantly impact the server’s speed. Speed is a valuable commodity for SEO.
  2. To get the best of both worlds – every account backed up without losing speed – would mean a big increase in costs to us, which we’d need to pass on to our customers. We’ve made a conscious decision to balance risk/reward/cost for these reasons as well as the following point.
  3. Manual Backups: Prior to launching a website, we take a full backup. When you come back to us in future for changes, we take a full backup. For those on a Security Plan or Digital Marketing Plan, we take a full backup prior to implementing any significant change or software update. This means that for all of our customers, your website is recoverable to at least its last significant round of edits or software update, where these changes are performed by Hart Design.

Those most at risk of losing changes made to their website are those who do not engage Hart Design for any future work on their website.

You – or another web developer of your choice – are welcome to handle manual backups of your website at any point. Please note that our web hosting service is not designed for the indefinite storage of account backups: you will need to download and store backups locally.

Part 1: Our Responsibility

It is our responsibility as web hosts to maintain the security of our web server. Prevention is always better than cure: we have in place a maintenance contract with our supplier that ensures our server is maintained to the latest standards. This protects our server overall.

We take the heat if our server gets hacked.

Part 2: Your Responsibility

The files hosted within each individual account are the responsibility of the website owner. This means that you as the website owner are responsible for maintaining your website and keeping it secure.

If your website gets hacked (and if you’re not paying Hart Design for its upkeep) then the cost to correct the problem falls on you.

View our WordPress Security Plan ⟶

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