A guide to what’s what when we host your website

As we host your website it’s important you know what’s covered and what’s not. Apologies if the below gets a bit ‘T&Cs’ in style; that’s just the best way to cover off various bits and pieces.

One of the most important things to know is that your annual hosting / support payment doesn’t just cover the hosting. It also covers ad hoc ongoing maintenance of the backend of your website. Which is obviously essential to help ensure the smooth running of your website.

Annual invoice for hosting and WordPress support

  • This is invoiced on an annual basis, covering 12 months, and considered to be a 12 months rolling contract.
  • This covers;
    • the hosting of your website
    • ad hoc maintenance of WordPress elements (additional notes later)
    • answers / guidance to ad hoc queries
    • dealing with issues related directly to the hosting
  • It does not cover;
    • development of the website, be that design or infrastructure
    • management of content
    • putting right errors due to client usage, be that content, plugin updates, WordPress updates, or the like
    • putting right errors due to third party usage or influence out of our control
      …assistance for these can be provided and would be quoted for based upon requirements.
  • The annual invoice, covering the next 12-month period, is to be paid in full and in advance of the subsequent period.
  • We will always check towards the end of a 12-month period if you are happy to renew for next 12 months.
  • You have the right to terminate this at any time, but the monies paid are non-refundable.
  • Your website is yours. So if you wish to move host provider you are by all means free to do so. However, we reserve the right to charge an admin fee for outputting the latest version of the site and providing assistance to your new provider. If your website is then hosted elsewhere we cease to be responsible for the maintenance of the WordPress platform, unless subsequent agreement is arranged.

Hosting provision

  • Hosting is provided via rented space on a managed server. This is provided by a trusted host where we have all our websites, including our own, hosted.
  • There are upper limits in terms of storage space and bandwidth usage for your website, based upon our estimates of how much you’ll need. This is determined by the number of pages of your site, your site’s purpose, etc. Our aim being to cover what you need, not what you don’t.
  • We receive ongoing status updates from our host provider so will know well in advance should your storage or bandwidth usage come close to the existing upper limits we estimated. Upon which we can advise if an upgrade is required.

Server back ups

  • Your website is automatically backed up each night.
  • Daily and weekly back ups are held off server, i.e. away from the server that the site sits on.
  • This means we are able to reinstall historical instances of your website, should there ever be catastrophic issues or irrevocable problems due to unforeseen circumstances.

Server maintenance / 100% live

  • Whilst 100% live provision from a hosting point of view can never be guaranteed, due to force majeure, hosting is provided as 99.9% live.
  • Our host provider proactively manages and maintains the server to help ensure maximum live time. (We are yet to experience downtime on any of our websites due to web server maintenance or server issues.)
  • Down The Line Design & Marketing will not provide compensation should your website experience downtime. If there is unacceptable downtime due to the fault of our host provider we will undertake necessary procedures against them and inform you of any outcomes.

WordPress maintenance (the majority of websites we build use WordPress)

  • Due to the nature of the WordPress platform there are periodic updates that are required to your websites.
  • We check for plugin updates every few weeks. If updates are required and deemed safe we will implement those for you. This is covered within your hosting and support annual payment.
  • If the occasion arises that a plugin ceases to be suitably stable due to updates or similar, then we can look to source alternatives. This could potentially be a chargeable extra for which we’d provide a quote prior to undertaking work.
  • Occasionally WordPress itself releases an update to the central system. We will review this and implement the update for you.
  • If the occasion arises that the WordPress update has an impact on existing functions within the website(s) we will review and let you know next steps, along with if any additional charge is required.

Support / response

  • We are not set up as a customer support centre, due to being a small business.
  • Please call or email Duncan in the first instance. You can also email design@downthelinedesign.co.uk
  • Any calls / emails will be picked up during normal business hours. You can expect an acknowledgement within 24 hours (Monday – Friday) followed by subsequent guidance on the actions we’ll take and estimated timescales.
  • What we promise is that issues will be dealt with as quickly as we can, and, on a priority basis. For example, if a major issue arises with your site then that would naturally take greater importance than if a single page develops a minor error.
  • During periods where we are on leave you can expect an acknowledgement within 2 – 3 working days, followed by subsequent guidance on actions we’ll take and estimated timescales.
  • Our focus is to ensure any potential errors or issues are corrected as soon as possible.

Your responsibilities include

  • To ensure all content is up to date, that it does not infringe others and it is not illegal.
  • To use WordPress and the plugins in the way they are meant.
  • To inform us of any oddities or errors you see in a timely fashion, with as much detail as is possible, such as specific page urls, screenshots, when you first noticed the issue, etc.

Please do not

  • Install new plugins or implement any plugin or WordPress updates, as they can sometimes conflict with others and / or cause oddities that require remedying.
  • Invite or provide third parties with access in order to implement changes, plugins, WordPress changes, etc.
  • In any of these cases our responsibility to maintain the WordPress functionality and its plugins within your annual support provision becomes invalid. As such we’d reserve the right to charge a fee for subsequent support.

We hope this covers off all immediate questions. By all means let us know if there’s anything you’re unsure of or would like to discuss further.