You have a WordPress website which offers a wide range of benefits to your online presence from search engine friendly architecture, professional website design to self-editing options. That is not surprising since WordPress is powering over 20% of the internet. Because of it’s unique capabilities and requirements, WordPress websites require more power to host, additional security tools and more care to maintain than a traditional “old school” website.
Further, WordPress websites require alot of care and maintenance, partially due to popularity and success of the platform itself (many things are constantly changing, upgrading and reconfiguring) This requires your site to be looked after just like your car or pet or business.
MITO Studios offers “Managed WordPress Website Hosting” services to help you cover all of the bases. Our managed hosting services include:
Description of Services
There is a lot more to keeping your wordpress site running by simply updating themes or plugins. Our wide range of services cover everything from Hosting to Backups to Security. Upgraded options including increasing visibility and performance and we also include a range of Content Update packages (aka “Webmaster”)
Premium VPS/SSD Hosting for WordPress
With WordPress running over 20% of the internet, hosting platforms have been catering to these CMS style of websites. Our hosting environment is deployed on a Virtual Private Server (VPS) running on Solid State Drives (SSD). A VPS hosting environment mimics a dedicated server within a shared hosting environment. These generally cost more to build, operate and upgrade than traditional shared hosts but are not as costly as dedicated servers. It is technically both shared hosting and dedicated hosting. SSD Drives offer additional performance compared to traditional spinning drives.
Updates to WordPress Core, Theme and Plugins
Like your car or truck, you must keep your WordPress site up to date and maintained. Even old, traditional HTML sites required maintenance, but not at the scale or pace as wordpress (and similar CMS websites) They require a lot more attention, and more frequently. While your website will likely operate for a while, not keeping it updated can can lead to performance issues, hacking and malware attacks and worse, site break-ins and security issues.
Your WordPress site is made up of three primary components: the WordPress Core, the Theme, and likely a wide-range of Plugins (most sites have anywhere from 5 to 25 plugins, sometimes more). Every component is constantly being updated, patched, fixed and improved by the developers, authors of plugins and the makers of WordPress. The bigger and more popular WordPress gets, the more frequent updates are required. You should alway keep your site up to date and we will do that for you.
Further, certain updates may break other aspects of your site due to incompatibility or settings that change – and we will fix them. (Within a given scope of time/resource – If certain updates require additional work beyond an allotted amount of time, we will alert you for approval or best course of action.)
Finally, many hosts are cracking down and not allowing unsupported WordPress installations on their servers. Since we monitor, manage and update every site on our servers, this is not an issue as we will ensure your site is installed with only the proper plugins and configurations.
Premium Core Plugins Included*
After developing dozens and dozens of highly functional and great looking WordPress sites, we have come up with a list of standard plugins and programs that we utilize on every installation. Some of these are paid, premium plugins, such as the most popular WordPress form plugin Gravity Forms or a Premium Backup plugin, UpdraftPlus Pro. For us, they’re a “cost of doing business” and we pay for these so you don’t have to.
*If your site was developed by someone else and doesn’t include our typical plugins, no problem, we won’t change your site. Similarly, if you choose to move your site or send your hosting/maintenance elsewhere, we will remove our license keys from these installations and you will have the opportunity to install your own or in some cases, continue the license fees / account under your name.
MITOBoost Performance Tuning
Every one of our managed websites will be enhanced with a hand-crafted combination of performance enhancement plugins, settings and configurations which will improve your website’s speed and overall performance. This will include many/all of the following systems:
- WordPress Caching – improves the loading speed of your website. We use a specially configured premium (paid) caching plugin. The cost of the caching system is included in your managed hosting fee.
- Content Delivery Network (CDN) – A CDN is a network of servers located around the country (and world) that help “distribute” web content to the user which brings it to them faster and also reduces load from our servers to keep performance high. We use either Cloudflare or MaxCDN depending on the configuration of your website. The cost of these services are included in your managed hosting fee.
- Image Optimization – We use specially configured plugin to compress and optimize images that are uploaded to your website.*
*If your website has many images to begin with and you would like them optimized, there there may be an additional fee depending on the number of images.
Website & Database Backups
Website backups are important. Since WordPress sites and databases are stored on the actual server it’s running on, it is rare to have a set of HTML files on some development computer somewhere like in the olden days. If the host goes down or gets attacked, so does your entire site. All plans include regularly performed off-site backups of your entire WordPress database and file system (core, themes, plugins, media library, files, etc.). The backups are stored on our Amazon S3 cloud server. If anything goes awry, we have instant access to all necessary files to restore your site.
WordPress sites are being attacked . . . constantly. We install and monitor a set of security plugins, tools and settings to ensure your site is protected. The systems routinely scans your site for malware, injections, cross-site scripting and other malicious code. Further, our Managed WordPress Servers have Top Level Server and ISP level security features that help keep the bad guys and bots out. And in the rare chance that something does happen, we’ll take swift action to fix it.
24/7 Website Monitoring
Our monitoring service is like having a having a personal watchdog at your side around the clock. If something goes wrong, that watchdog alerts us, not you. We utilize a central administration monitoring, alert and control platform to monitor your website. We’re alerted within minutes if an outage or issue occurs. When alerted, we will fix it – sometimes within minutes depending on the severity or nature of the issue. The majority of updates are routine and non-security related and are conducted on a multi-week / monthly basis depending on the size and activity of your site, or the plan you’re on.
“WordPress Plus” – Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools & Friendliness
If your website is “mission critical” (aka you are “running your business” via your website) or possibly you wish to maximize as many aspects as possible, then you will want to have it setup with additional systems and options. One area is Search Engines and their ability to know as much as possible and as best as possible about your site. We offer help in setting up your site to make this happen.
There are many tools, settings and aspects in relation to your website and search engines (primarily Google) to ensure your website is being reported to them in the best possible and recommended ways. We will install, configure and setup the necessary accounts and plugins including:
- Google Analytics (GA)
- Webmaster Tools (WMT)
- Search Engine Friendliness (SEF)
- Sitemap (SM)
These tools will help you and us ensure your site is optimized as best possible with minimal input. Details of each item follow.
NOTE: This is not Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Learn more below.
We’ll setup and configure a Google Analytics Account, or integrate / transfer an existing GA account if you already have one. Google Analytics can provide basic and advanced tracking and analytical data about your website such as website visitors, referral sources, campaign effectiveness and more. You can use the data to evaluate overall trends and website effectiveness.
We’ll setup and configure your website into Webmaster Tools (WMT, though technically now called “Google Search Console”) to help you (or us) make adjustments, recommendations and to further tell Google that “you’re alive and well.” WMT helps us and you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google Search results. You don’t have to sign up for WMT for your site to be included in Google’s search results, but doing so can help you understand how Google views your site and optimize its performance in search results.
To improve your Search Engine Friendliness (SEF), we will install and configure the most popular WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. It incorporates everything from a snippet preview and page analysis functionality that helps you optimize your pages content, images titles, meta descriptions and more to XML sitemaps, and loads of optimization options in between. It can help you (and/or us) with page or post search engine techniques.
NOTE: This is not Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services. SEO Services are highly specialized (and alot more costly) than basic search engine readiness. But, a website that is properly configured for search engines (I.e. “Friendly”) will perform better than a similar website that does not practice search engine friendliness techniques.
Finally, we’ll setup and configure a Sitemap to the latest standards and configurations recommended by the large search engines (I.e. Google). A sitemap is a file where you can list the web pages of your site to tell Google and other search engines about the organization of your site content which is a helpful tool that can improve the crawling of your site and can provide valuable metadata (key information) associated with the pages you list.
SSL Site Secure
If you are accepting payments on your website, taking in vital information via forms or possibly you simply wish your site to be secure, we will install, configure and maintain your website with an SSL certificate and necessary settings. We will procure, configure and install a 256-bit SSL certificate assigned to your domain name. We will configure your website and hosting account to properly display the “lock” symbol to show your customers that their information is safe and secure.
License Upkeep & Renewal
Your site may have been developed with plugins, themes or other tools that require a license fee. These fees may have been initially included in the upfront design and development cost of your website. In order for the license to be supported and updated by the original developer, author or companies, the license fee needs to be renewed, usually on an annual basis*. So instead of you managing and paying for multiple and different licenses from different companies, we “bundle” all of the licenses and renewal fees for your entire site and include that in the monthly or annual fees. The actual updating and upkeep of the plugins and tools themselves is included in the overall site-maintenance portion of these services.
(NOTE: Most plugins and tools will continue to operate, but will not be updated if the license fee expires – and like your main WP Core or Theme, that can lead to security and/or performance issues.)
Content Updates, Service & Support aka “Webmaster”
You have a WordPress website that is being hosted, maintained and cared for (hopefully by us, of course.) Your WordPress site also comes with the capabilities for you to update the content with relative ease. If you can use a word processor, you should be able to maintain & update pages and posts on your own.
But at the end of the day, you may not have the time, expertise or even desire to do so – or at least to do so efficiently. Maybe you’re following the golden rule of “doing what you do best.” There may be areas that are more complex or advanced such as home page sliders, sidebar widgets, custom pop-up messages, etc.
If any of this sounds familiar, you may consider utilizing our “Webmaster” services. We’re already hosting and caring for your site, we will further partner with you to keep your content updated and information fresh. You send us the content (text/copy, images, information, etc.) and we’ll update your website. Updates typically include things like:
- Update existing pages
- Create new blog/news posts
- Add new events to your Calendar
- Add pictures to your Gallery
- Manage users on your site
- And so-on….
Update services are set up as a set number of hours per period. Plans range from a couple of hours per Quarter (good for seasonal / occasional updates) to numerous hours per month (ideal for active websites, posting/updating on a weekly basis, etc.) Most small business fall somewhere in the middle. Custom plans can be developed for you too.
Discounted Web Design & Development Services
Beyond website and WordPress hosting, we provide a wide range of graphic, web and creative design services. This includes website upgrade or additional development such as adding a new custom form, installing a shopping cart or integrating a new event calendar.
Website Design & Custom Development prices range from $60-150/hour depending on the nature and scope of the given project. As a managed website hosting customer, you’ll receive these services at a discounted rate, and at a higher priority.
Domain Name Management
Domain name management can be tricky. Your domain name is the most important part to your online presence. We will manage and renew your domain name(s) on your behalf. If you are looking for new domain names, we will research availability and make recommendations. And we’ll manage the settings while keeping the contact information up to date.