Before we even start talking about what to do with the content of your site, let’s talk about the foundation. Would you want your place of business built on loose soil that could give way at any point? (See the San Francisco’s newest tourist attraction, the sinking Millennium Tower for an example of how horribly wrong this can go) Well, the same goes for your website. If you rely on your website for revenue or even just reputation, you need it to be reliable, dependable, and sturdy. A cheap, unmanaged hosting service is not going to provide that type of security, let alone good performance. You get what you pay for in this world, and if something seems too good to be true, it means it is.
Now that we’ve bummed you out, what do you need? You need a platform that provides lightning fast performance combined with security and reliability you can trust. For our clients, we usually recommend Pantheon. And they’re not the only ones out there, they just happen to be our local favorite. They give us the development tools we need to help keep your site fresh, all while facilitating what you need—security and performance best-practices. Why does speed matter? Because it matters to your users. If they are driving around and looking for your address, it’s the difference between pulling over to wait vs getting directions on the fly. It matters to people who live outside of major metropolitan areas. It matters if you’re providing a valuable service and there is an emergency that throttles your bandwidth. And all of that matters to google who will give you bad marks if your site is slow.
So let’s imagine you’ve had us put your site on Pantheon. Great performance and security, right? Definitely. Now let’s make it even better. Next we recommend Cloudflare as an addition layer of security and performance (you’ll hear those two words a lot!) on top of Pantheon. Cloudflare bills themselves as “The Web Performance and Security Company.” There are those words again! Their solution provides an additional layer of security in front of your site. While we’d love to say they provide improved performance, since you’ve already got a Pantheon-hosted site there’s not really much of a performance improvement.
But the additional security layer is super valuable. We’ve had clients who have hacking attempts registered by the minute, not the month. Add to that your potential revenue loss or reputation loss and it adds up. You don’t want a google ban for being hacked do you? It’s not a pretty road. So on top of security, they also provide an “Always Online” feature providing additional assurance your site will be up—it’ll attempt to provide a cached copy of your site on the off chance your server isn’t delivering the goods.
To recap, you want a fast, secure, and sturdy foundation for your site. If you’re already on a solid foundation, well done and if not, let’s do this because now you know why it’s important. Make sure your site lives on a platform that not only offers performance and security, but has excellent customer service to back it up. Pair that with our expertise and you have a real winner!
Coming soon: website care and feeding instructions.