Universal Hosting launches

Today we launch our Universal Hosting package. This plan replaces our Business Hosting package which as of today is now a legacy product. Over the coming weeks, our team will be in touch with everyone who has an active Business Hosting account in order to discuss a move to Universal Hosting. The price remains the same, but the plan architecture is slightly different.

New Universal Hosting accounts differ from Business Hosting as follows:

  • Moved from 32-bit to 64-bit architecture
  • Operating system updated from CentOS 6.9 to CentOS 7.4
  • Support for TLS v1.2 (and thus continued PCI compliance after 28th June)
  • PHP 7 by default
  • Fail2ban included
  • PHP-FPM in place of mod_php to facilitate easier switching of PHP version
  • SSH access enabled by default
  • FTP replaced by SFTP
  • Facility to implement and manage container customisation

Exactly like our older Business Hosting, Universal Hosting is a containerised product and comes with 2GB RAM and is based on 100% SSD storage.  The standard plan should be enough for most websites with even moderate traffic levels.

What’s not changing

  • Universal Hosting still comes with
  • Free SSL
  • Daily backups
  • No limits on databases, subdomains, or bandwidth for regular www use
  • Snapshots
  • PCI compliance out of the box
  • Mercury email support

Why are we retiring the Business Hosting plan?

As you can see from the first list above, the improvements over Business Hosting are focused on security, stability and performance. Over the years, the legacy Business platform has become fragmented and is now a little out of date. Most pressingly, TLS v1.1 is end of life at the end of June; clients requiring a PCI compliant solution won’t be able to achieve this on Business Hosting as of that date.

We also decided on a new name to better reflect the purpose of the plan – a plan that aims to be a Swiss army knife for users with demanding needs. A plan that can reconfigured in ways some of our other more managed plans cannot. Over the years, there has also always been some confusion that Business Hosting is our preferred platform for business websites. This isn’t always the case. If you have a WordPress site we always recommend our WordPress hosting first and foremost; it’s simply engineered from the ground up at every point to excel at nothing but WordPress.

Migrating to Universal Hosting

You can contact us right away and we can begin moving you to the newer platform at any time. If you don’t, we will still be in touch. Our team will take a look at your hosting setup and confirm that with you. If you have any customised or specially configured software or settings, you need to let us know at this stage so we can safely copy this to your new plan.

Universal Hosting is for websites only. If you use your current Business Hosting for none website purposes, this will not be portable to the newer plan. We can assist you in a move to an unmanaged VPS.

Who is Universal Hosting for?

If you’re looking to take a step up from insecure and slow shared hosting or need something tailored just for you, then Universal Hosting can bring added performance, improved security and PCI compliance to a hosted website. WordPress Hosting or Reseller Hosting are great fits for specific needs, but if you have more custom needs that those packages won’t allow, the plan is for you.

On the Universal Hosting platform we can work with you to customise the hosting environment – be that switching out Apache for Nginx or tweaking a variable such as PHP execution timeout. This is your container and your resources, we make minimal architecture decisions. We’ll also keep an internal audit log of any changes we make for you, so the whole team knows.

Universal Hosting caveats

The plan is for websites only, if you run other applications you will need a VPS. We also ask that you let us apply minimal sensible security in the form of Fail2ban and enable auto updates for the core server and software. Lastly, whilst we might be able to assist with installation and configuration of additional software for you, you’ll need to maintain and manage anything you add to the server beyond the core setup. If you install complex software such as Magento or WordPress, you need to make sure they’re ticking along nicely.

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