With changes in technology come opportunities for better solutions; and at Top Draw, we are always looking for better solutions. Based on months of testing and impressive results, we recently made the decision to adopt a new type of website hosting technology and are excited about what this means for our clients.
Cloud-based servers are powerful, scalable and reliable
Prior to this transition, Top Draw websites were shared on physical computers within an Edmonton-based data center. Upon researching a more robust and cost-effective solution for several of our large sites, we moved these clients to a Cloud-based server hosted by Amazon called “EC2”. Well known for their infrastructure, Amazon is one of today’s most popular CDNs. (A Content Delivery Network is a computer network that has the same data allocated in multiple nodes, so it’s fast and more reliable.)
This distributed, cloud-based hosting solution provides multiple benefits:
- Websites are hosted on their own virtual server, isolated from other sites and reducing the risk of one hacked website taking down others (a risk with shared hosting).
- Amazon also allows us to bring servers up in no time and are easy to scale (in case the client needs more speed).
- Day to day performance is greatly improved; we have measured a 54%-72% improvement in website loading time depending on the site. Website speed improves usability and can even influence search rankings.
- Because the service is elastic in response to demand, it can handle sudden bursts of traffic, such as those that happen if a website were to be featured in popular news.
- Cloud hosting means sites are not tied to any single piece of hardware or internet connection, which greatly enhances reliability. Amazon strives for 99.95% uptime and is so confident that they give partial refunds if website uptimes drop below that number. Because of Amazon’s great reliability, many of the biggest and most popular websites on the internet choose to host with Amazon.
We were so impressed with the improvements to these client’s sites that we decided to adopt this technology for all of our projects moving forward.
Backups and health checks round out our hosting services
In addition to these advantages, we also do daily file and database backups for a rolling period of 7 days. The time to restore from backup with this method is much faster than our previous process. Finally, automated website health check software provides us notification in case of downtime.
We are now in the process of migrating all of our sites to Amazon hosting, which will result in better websites for our clients. If your site is hosted with Top Draw and you haven’t yet talked to us about what this means for you, please contact us today.