Internal messages, website maintenance

Why hosting always means management and managed hosting is sometimes simply better


Picture of a beautifully tidy garden

Managed hosting means that a service provider looks after the entire hosting process. In contrast to the cheap discounter, maintenance work is automatically carried out in the background, which means that you are spared cryptic requests from your hoster.

The following, admittedly fictitious but not far-fetched, example shows you what can happen when you "go cheap":

An error occurred while executing the script...

Mail on day X from website operator to usually helpful computer person:

SubjectAn error has occurred Do you have any idea what is wrong with our homepage? When calling up the page, an error message from the Contao system appears. Under the heading "What's the problem?" it says: "An error has occurred while executing a script. Something is not working properly."
Does not work. Not working properly. SubjectRe: An error has occurred

I can take a look. I need current access data.

Downtime: 1st day.

Day X+1

Nothing happens.

Downtime: 2nd day.

Day X+2

SubjectRe: An error has occurred

I see the error is still there. I'd be happy to check, but as I said, I'd need up-to-date access data.

SubjectAW: Re: An error has occurred

Oh, yeah. It would be great if you could take a look. I've already looked for access data. But then I got lost somehow, sorry. Could these be the ones? We've now also asked support about this host thing, what's wrong with it.

They must be in trouble, I'll pass you on.

SubjectWG: Ticket 54321: Error on homepage Kd.Nr. 12345

Thank you for your request. We will take care of your request as soon as possible.

Please note the following current notice:
PHP version 5.6 was deactivated on day X at around 0 o'clock. The new standard version for all hosting packages is PHP 7.0.
Unfortunately, we cannot support you with necessary adjustments of scripts/applications and ask for your understanding.
Due to the PHP update, there are currently longer waiting times in the hotline and longer processing times for your support enquiries. SubjectAW:Re: An error has occurred

PHP - they wrote something about this a few weeks ago. What is that? Do we need it?

SubjectRe:AW:Re: An error has occurred

Yes, the PHP version could be the problem. Your Contao version uses methods for database access that no longer exist. You need an update. I'll look into it, but I won't be able to until tomorrow.

SubjectAW:Re:AW:Re: An error has occurred

Yeah, okay. By the way, why do we have a database?

Downtime: 3rd day.

Day X+3

SubjectAW:Re:AW:Re: An error has occurred

Now you can only see a white page!?

Re:AW:Re:AW:Re: An error has occurred

Yes, with the current LTS version of Contao it's a bit of fiddling. The database accesses are PHP7 compliant, but a few other places not quite yet. It's more like PHP6 ;o) I'm working on it, it'll be ready tomorrow for sure.

Downtime: 4th day.

Day X+4

Re:AW:Re:AW:Re: An error has occurred

So, it's up and running again for now.

SubjectAW:Re:AW:Re:AW:Re: An error has occurred

Thank you very much!

Downtime: 5th day.

5 days with an unavailable website can come quickly and unexpectedly. For the website owner in this little story, they were obviously bearable.

A standard hosting package provides the basis for operating your own web software under your own responsibility and management, and management always requires knowledge. Anyone who does not know - and does not want to have to know - what PHP is and which version has which features is almost certainly dependent on support.

In managed hosting mode, the conversation described above would not have taken place at all. Those involved could have devoted themselves to more pleasant topics, such as the weather, while in the background the necessary updates would have been carried out quite unobtrusively by the hoster.

It's a calculation: if 5 days of downtime means an economic loss, an investment in managed hosting can quickly pay off, because it is designed from the outset for the secure operation of precisely the software used and, to this end, has the secure interaction of all the components used in suitable current versions in mind.

See also