Creative web hosting in the UK
For artists, makers, craftspeople, designers, small businesses, collectives, community groups ... you?
Welcome to hosting at hiraeth. We sometimes describe our web hosting as 'like your local corner shop' in that we offer a flexible, reliable personal service and a knowledgeable relationship with you. Our own creative backgrounds make us well placed to understand the priorities of individual makers, small creative businesses and artist groups who need a presence on the web. We don't pretend to compete with the supermarkets of web hosting on pricing; instead we make it our mission to provide the specialist touch.
Please don't hesitate to contact us about your hosting needs. We're here to help you get your account set up and working the way you want it, and our friendly expertise will support you when you need some technical know-how.
Our hosting accounts
We offer two levels of hosting account. Most of our individual and micro-business clients have our Standard Account. If you are a group, collective or commercial organisation, or you want to sell online, run more than one web site, or install non-standard software, or you have other complex requirements, our Premium Account is more extensible and includes custom set up, configuration and support to suit your particular needs.
Of course, you may want something between (or beyond) the two. If neither of these seems to fit, let us know what you're looking for. We're versatile and imaginative and will adapt our packages to suit you - not the other way round.
|Standard Account||Premium Account|
|Cost (ex-VAT)||£80 a year||£220 a year|
|Payment||Annually||Annually or quarterly|
|Cancellation period||One month||One month|
|1 to 4 POP mailboxes, email aliases, webmail||Multiple POP mailboxes, email aliases, webmail, IMAP|
|FTP access||One user||Additional users on request|
|MySQL database||1 on request||Up to 4 on request|
|WordPress installation and maintenance||Single installation (1)||Single installation or network-enabled (up to 4)|
|Backups||Nightly||Nightly or custom|
|Support||Expert personal support||Expert personal support|
|Domain name registration||Extra||First year included|
|Special requirements||Extra||Included, please ask...|
Features in detail
Cost and cancellation
We want you to be pleased and satisfied with the services we provide. Although you pay annually, you can cancel at any time, so you are not tied in to the account. We refund all whole unused months on cancellation. You can pay by bank transfer, PayPal or UK cheque.
A Standard Account is £80 a year, plus 20% VAT (£16) in the UK/EU, total £96.
A Premium Account is £220 a year, plus 20% VAT (£44) in the UK/EU, total £264. Premium Account holders may choose to pay quarterly (by bank transfer only), but the cost is slightly higher: £60 a quarter + 20% VAT (£12) in the UK/EU, annual total £288.
Standard Accounts include up to 4 email POP boxes and/or as many email aliases as you require - some clients want one or more mailboxes, and email aliases as well; some only want one or the other. Email aliases can be delivered into an existing mailbox on the server, or redirected to a different email address somewhere else. We also provide webmail if you need to access your email on the move.
Premium Accounts also include as many additional POP boxes as you need (within reason), or we can provide IMAP for up to 3 users, if preferred.
Standard Accounts include FTP access to your home directory for one user.
Premium Accounts also include additional FTP users if you need them.
Web logs and statistics
Both accounts include detailed statistics showing the usage of your web site, which you can access in your browser. They are updated nightly and password protected.
Standard Accounts include a MySQL database and Premium Accounts include up to 4 MySQL databases. Additional databases may be added for a small annual cost.
We install and maintain your WordPress installations for you and we can suggest a range of themes designed for creative web sites and portfolios. Maintenance includes core updates, and updates to any themes and plugins we provide.
Standard Accounts include one WordPress installation, on request, capable of running a single site.
Premium Accounts include up to 4 WordPress installations, on request, which may run either a single site or a network. Networks are intended for building complex sites or groups of sites for your own use, not for reselling.
Our technical support is careful and committed - not 24/7 (because we have to sleep) - but we aim to be as responsive as possible. Email is usually the best way to contact us, but our clients also have our mobile numbers. We understand that you may not have much (or any) technical expertise - and that's what we're here for, to help, to translate, to make it work for you.
We don't offer a control panel, because we prefer to stay aware of what is happening on our server and to keep in touch with our clients. Instead we will always set up or help you to set up the features you require. We enable and configure Standard features for you, both when you open an account, and ongoing as your needs change. If you have a Premium Account, we will also work with you to customise and develop the hosting precisely to meet your specific requirements.
Your home directory and database(s) are backed up nightly to our independent cloud server.
Premium Account holders can request a more frequent backup schedule if necessary.
Domain name registration
We can register a domain name for you if you don't already have one. Domain names currently cost £12+VAT (£14.40) annually for .com, .org and .net; and £15 + VAT (£18) every two years for .co.uk and .org.uk. We can register names in other top level domains such as .info or .eu - please ask for prices.
Fiona Dix manages the server day to day and provides technical support. She is the main contact for our hosting accounts and enjoys knowing all our clients by name. She has 12 years' experience as a Linux system administrator and web hosting provider, 10 years using PHP and MySQL, and has been looking after WordPress installations since version 1.5. She is also a textile artist with a colourful and growing practice. Her web site is www.lovefibre.com.
Alan Dix provides specialist software support and development. He is a human-computer interaction guru, researcher, author, programming wizard and problem solver with over 30 years' experience in computing and creativity. His web site is www.alandix.com.
Our hosting clients are located throughout the UK. They include the online magazine Workshop on the Web, the textile group edge - textileartists scotland, and the publisher d4daisy, a classical soprano and a renowned horologist, among others. We also host the long-established textile directory, TextileArts.net.
hiraeth mixed media limited
11, Struthan Terrace, Crossapol, Isle of Tiree, Argyll PA77 6UR, UK
Company registered in England and Wales No. 4193604. VAT No. 755 8900 94.
Registered office: Moore & Smalley LLP, Kendal House, Murley Moss Business Village, Oxenholme Road, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 7RL
Phone: 01879 220551
You may have more detailed technical queries about our services and our server. If so, read on... and please don't hesitate to contact us if you need more information about any aspect of our provision.
We greylist all incoming mail, to reduce spam at the first point of entry. We then run SpamAssassin on all mail delivering to mailboxes on the server, flagging suspect messages so that you can set up your own filtering. We don't normally discard any messages because of the risk of false positives, but Premium Account holders can request specific blacklisting and filtering rules if desired.
Plain FTP is a very insecure method of connection so we ask all users to connect with FTP-SSL or SFTP for security, and will happily advise on setting up your FTP software if you wish.
Web logs and statistics
As well as providing browser-based stats, we save your raw web logs nightly into your home directory so that you can download them if you prefer to use your own analytical tools.
PostgreSQL is also available for Premium Accounts - please enquire.
WordPress maintenance does not include updates to themes and plugins you install. We do ask you to keep these up to date yourself for security. On request, we can pre-install a plugin for snapshot backups of your WordPress database and files, and a plugin to support compliance with the 2012 EC cookie legislation.
If you need more installations of WordPress than we include, we can provide these for a small annual charge. You can of course install further instances yourself; these must be kept upgraded to the latest security release.
Domain name registration
We are a Nominet registrar. We always register domains with our client as the registrant and the admin contact, and ourselves as the billing and technical contacts, to ensure you have control over the name. If you register a name with us, this includes DNS and DNS configuration; alternatively you can use a third party and just point the domain at your web space yourself.
About the server
Our server is a fully dedicated managed server in a state-of-the-art secure datacentre in the UK. The server is guaranteed 99.995% uptime by our provider. We have 24/7 monitoring of the web server, database server, mail server and other essential services, and 24/7 proactive support by our provider to ensure server uptime.
The server connection speed is burstable up to 50Mbps at all times. We are pretty flexible about data transfer limits; however if you anticipate very high bandwidth usage or bandwidth spikes (for example if your pattern of use means that large numbers of people might visit your site simultaneously), we recommend the Premium Account.
The server is wholly maintained by us with managed support from our server provider, whose datacentres are accessible only by their authorised personnel. Apart from ourselves, a few trusted users (known personally to us) have limited SSH access. The server is patched nightly to keep its software packages fully updated, and is running an enterprise version of Linux for stability and security. We are constantly on the alert for anything that might make the server vulnerable to intrusion.
We aim to monitor when software is installed by our clients, including WordPress themes and plugins, and to ensure that clients who may install open source software in their hosting space are committed to keeping it up to date. We cannot, however, guarantee this. Where possible we prefer to manage any software installations ourselves or in collaboration with our clients.
Redundancy and recovery
We have RAID(1) mirroring, and our provider guarantees a rapid hardware replacement schedule.
We run nightly backups to our cloud server: databases and server files including home directories and configurations. Our cloud server is supplied by a different provider for resilience. You are also asked to keep copies of your files as it would be costly for us to recover a file for you which you had, for example, accidentally deleted. This also protects you if anything should happen to us personally.
Everything is in place to implement a speedy recovery in the event of a catastrophe; nevertheless, downtime after a such an event might be longer than with a bigger web host, depending on the scale of restoration required. However, we put a lot of effort and attention into preventing and protecting against catastrophes and we are confident that our hosting is consistently solid and reliable with an excellent track record.
Our server provider is a CarbonNeutral® company – one of the first UK companies to become accredited.