It is questions like the following that we help to answer for our custom development customers, normally during the onboarding process, or scheduled as a future maintenance task.

Occasionally, we can also offer some of these services stand-alone.

What will we do if our web application goes down?

(and, more importantly, how can we avoid it happening in the first place)

Disaster recovery planning (DRP) is an essential part of a web manager’s remit. To ensure that your business continues to function, it’s sensible to consider possible disaster scenarios and put mitigation systems in place to reduce or remove their impact.

We can help you put a DRP plan in place. Whether that be by doing the due diligence for you and auditing what you currently have or maybe by helping you come up with likely scenarios. Alternatively,  we can take the whole thing off your plate and deliver back to you a finished DRP.

Our web application is running too slowly, and it’s causing us real problems

There are a multitude of factors that can conspire to slow any complex website down.

It could be inefficient code or poor (or indeed over-zealous) database optimisation. Or it could simply be down to unanticipated spikes in traffic.

We can help you identify where these bottlenecks are and suggest solutions. If you don’t currently have a development team, we can also help you remove the bottlenecks. In addition, we can get you set up with performance monitoring software. This can then be used to flag up possible future problems or help you identify current ones.

We’re running a really old version of PHP. Is this a problem and should we upgrade?

Yes. If you’re running a business critical application on an old and unsupported version of PHP, in most cases upgrading to the newest version possible is essential.

In this context, ‘unsupported’ means that PHP itself will no longer be getting security updates. In effect, this means that even if your server is fully patched and up-to-date, the version of PHP on your server can be a major security risk. Furthermore, known (public) weaknesses in the version you’re running could be used to gain access to the server.

As well as filling security holes, there are a number of direct benefits to upgrading your application’s PHP version. Running the newest version of PHP such as providing major speed improvements and making it much easier to maintain in the long term.

Our hosting company is telling us that we need to move servers. Where do we start?

As with upgrading to the newest version of PHP, there are lots of reasons why you might want to consider having your application migrate to a new server.  This is particularly true if it has been on that server for some years.

We strongly advocate ensuring that any PHP application is portable. By this we mean that it’s easy to get everything running. Even if it spans multiple servers on any suitable infrastructure. It then means that incoming developers can work on it for you with minimal fuss.

If you do need to move we can help you or your development team prepare for the move. Alternatively, we can do the whole thing for you. This will minimise downtime and ensure that in the future, the exercise will be straightforward.

Whenever we make changes to our website, something breaks when we upload the changes

It sounds like you need a robust deployment and development platform.

Whilst this can be a complex subject, put simply you need a way to build your platform and automatically deploy any changes to it, even if your application spans multiple servers.

This is something we have lots of experience with.  We can help you in a variety of ways.  From simply giving your development team some pointers and/or training. Or maybe we build you a fully automatic deployment system that will ensure that downtime is kept to a minimum.  In addition, most importantly, should something go wrong, you can roll back to the last stable known version.