How we approach website hosting at Burfield

At Burfield we work with a range of clients big and small, all of whom require some level of “support” in regard to hosting. We recognise that hosting isn’t exactly the world’s most enthralling topic and a result we go the extra mile to ensure the process of arranging and setting up hosting as painless as possible.

But how do we cope with hosting so many websites for client with so many varying requirements? How can we offer a solution which provides value for money for the small business owner, whilst representing a robust and reliable solution for the marketing director of a multi-million pound international brand? Moreover, how can a small digital agency provide ongoing support for such a large number of clients?

The answer is: we specialise.

Small Business Website Hosting

For our smaller clients, hosting is relatively simple and typically a less critical affair. For this reason, we have a shared server (available exclusively to Burfield clients) on which we host those sites which don’t require a high level of dedicated server resource.

Don’t misunderstand, we’ve invested heavily to ensure this machine is still more than powerful enough to support the average site, allowing it to perform at an optimal level.

This approach allows us to provide quality hosting at an affordable cost to our clients. We handle all the support and deal with any issues that arise which is more than adequate for the average small business.

Enterprise level hosting solutions

This is all very well, but what about the big guys? What if a clients’ site is so critical to their business that even a moments downtime could cost them countless pounds in lost business and revenue (not to mention damaged to image and reputation)?

Burfield’s approach is to turn to the experts.

Why Burfield don’t host “in house”

If you will allow a brief aside, I’d like to address common question that we get asked alot: “Why don’t you host in-house?”.

You might be surprised to learn that Burfield don’t directly host any of our larger client’s websites. Instead, all websites above a certain size/resource are hosted by our trusted partner Rackspace who provide some of the UK’s leading digital agencies. In short, they’re the best and that’s why we work with them.

Whilst at first hosting with what is in effect a 3rd party might appear strange to our clients, but it’s actually the most logical and responsible approach we could take as an agency. Allow me to explain.

Working with Specialists

It might sound obvious, but working with a specialist hosting provider allows Burfield to work with specialists. The engineers at Rackspace live and breath servers and hosting. That’s all they think about day in day out. The upshot of that means:

  • you can rely on them being up to date with the latest standards and processes
  • you can be confident that they are technically competent
  • you know they will be diligent in their approach to security
  • they will be straining their brains every day to get better at all of the above.

Burfield are specialists at designing and developing websites and web applications. We focus on this exclusively in order that we can be the best at what we love to do. In the same vain we let Rackspace do what they love. It’s in everyone’s best interests, including our clients.

Dedicated Support

As mentioned above, downtime is not acceptable. As a result, many of our larger clients require 7/5 or even 24/7 support for their hosting. Even with an in-house sys-admin, an agency such as Burfield could not realistically provide this level of customer service.

For this reason we out source the technical and hosting support of our larger clients’ hosting to Rackspace. And why wouldn’t we? They have teams of dedicated support engineers on hand at any time of day or night to assist our clients with any problem big or small.

In reality, most of time we find that if and when a problem does occur it’s already been resolved by Rackspace before our client can report it. You can’t ask for better service than that. The result: we’re happy and so are our clients.

Assessment and Costing

It’s always the part of running a website that no one wants to talk about. How much will it cost to host my website. The answer is always: it depends.

When assessing the cost of a website build we scope out the level of design and functionality required by our clients before providing a cost. How could we do otherwise? After all different websites require different skills sets, resource and technical competency. Thus the varying cost.

It’s the same with hosting. Put simply, every site will have differing requirements in terms of server resource and traffic levels which are in turn dependant on other variables such as SEO campaigns or offline marketing. Working alongside a specialist such as Rackspace, Burfield are able to undertake a comprehensive review of the current needs of the website as well as understanding any future requirements that might be dictated by external variables.

This allows us to make accurate recommendations about suitable hosting solutions based on a combination of our own knowledge the vast experience of Rackspace’s engineers.

As a result, Burfield can feel confident that we’ll provide our clients with a tailored hosting solution that’s right for them. In addition we know that whatever requirements the website throws at us, we’ll be able to work alongside Rackspace to scale the hosting solution to meet the demand.

Hosting with Burfield

Ultimately, Burfield choose to out-source our hosting because we’re confident Rackspace will always offer a superior set of specialisms to that which we could provide in house.

In the long term that may change, but for now we’re able to offer a service which represents the best solution for our clients as well as our own business.

If our clients are happy so are we.

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