Keeping up with the housework
Once you've paid for someone to design your website, and someone to build your website, and then someone to host your website, you're done, right? Wrong.
It is a common belief amongst many companies that once they've ticked thier 'web presence' box and got their website live that they can then forget about it for 4 or 5 years or until a customer tells them that their site is down or, worse, still, hacked. At this point they normally look around for someone to blame. Anyone. The designer, the developer, the host. It must be the host, surely.
Well, more often than, not the answer is no. The hosting company has leased you space on their server. They protect the server and your 'space' from maliscious attack and intrusion but they have no (or very little) control over the content that you fill your space with.
Many websites are now built on CMS (Content Management Systems) platforms such as Drupal, Wordpress and Joomla amongst others. These provide solid, stable foundations and make adding content easy for the end user. However, due to their popularity, they also tend to be the focus of attacks (such as the recent serious attack on the Drupal platform). As such, there are regular security updates, as well as system and compatibility upgrades.
The problem is that, unless you've piad your developer or host to maintain your website, these updates won't get installed. It would be like parking your car at an NCP car park and expecting a full service, free of charge, while you're shopping.
In many cases, this won't prove too much of a problem for months, maybe even a year, but your website is vunerable and, as we saw with the recent attacks, can then be used by hackers for crime, spamming and as a base for other attacks.
So, it's worth checking with both your hosts and developer to see if you have a maintenance contract with either and, if not, whether they can offer you one.
All of our hosting packages come with automatic platform core updates and backups. In the case of security updates, we guarentee to have your site updated within an hour of the security patch being released. What's more, the service is already included in our business hosting package.