IT Connect
Information technology tools and resources at the UW

Choosing a web hosting option

The UW offers many ways for you to publish content to the web. Whether you’re interested in hosting a small event website, or a large website for a department or organization, there are web hosting options that can meet your needs. Below is a comparison of several web publishing options, with information that can help you decide which platform is right for you.

UW Shared Web Hosting

UW Information Technology provides a suite of shared web servers for use by the UW community. The web development environments of UW Shared Web Hosting provide advanced functionality, including ssh connections, cron jobs, MySQL servers, and the ability to host your own applications.

More about UW Shared Web Hosting

Reasons to choose UW Shared Web Hosting

  • The basic plan is available at no additional cost to current students, faculty and staff, thanks to the Technology Recharge Fee.
  • Additional disk space beyond the basic plan is available at a low monthly cost.
  • This flexible hosting platform supports popular web applications like WordPress and Drupal, and also allows for completely custom web sites.
  • Server administration is handled by UW Information Technology.

Reasons UW Shared Web Hosting may not be right for you

  • Performance is very important for your website or application. UW Shared Web Hosting is a web hosting environment where you share the same server resources as other users on the server. This means that your site’s performance can be impacted by other sites.
    • In a shared environment, all sites are taking pieces of a limited pool of resources. If one site is generating lots of traffic, it can make other sites slower or, in rare cases, temporarily unavailable.
  • Geographic resiliency is important for your website or application. UW Shared Web Hosting is not geographically resilient. If there is a disruption to server functioning, a redundant backup will not keep sites or applications running.
  • You need full web staging for your website or application. Creating development, test, and production workflows can involve multiple accounts and be complex on shared environments.
  • You need to use SSL or custom domains, which are not supported on UW Shared Web Hosting.

UW Sites Network

The UW Sites Network provides an easy-to-use, UW-branded, centrally administered WordPress websites.

More about UW Sites

Reasons to choose UW Sites

  • UW Sites are available at no additional cost to current students, faculty and staff, thanks to the Technology Recharge Fee.
  • The UW Sites Network is centrally administered, so all WordPress updates are done for you.
  • Unlimited disk space is available for sites on the UW Sites Network.
  • The UW Sites Network uses the UW WordPress theme, so the setup of a websites visual appearance and formatting is already complete.
  • Custom Domains and SSL are available for an annual fee.
  • The UW Sites Network is geographically resilient, so if there is a disruption to server functioning a redundant backup server will keep your site or application running.
  • This Amazon Web Services hosted site network provides robust performance.

Reasons the UW Sites Network may not be right for you

  • You need to create custom functionality, themes, or page layouts. The UW Sites Network offers a robust, curated suite of functionality, formatting options, and only supports the UW WordPress theme.
  • You need full web staging for your website or application. The UW Sites Network does not provide development, test, and production workflow options.
  • Information on your site or application contains HIPAA or FERPA sensitive information. The UW Sites Network is not aligned with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a federal law that protects the privacy of medical information.

Pantheon

Pantheon is a cloud web hosting provider offering powerful tools to build and maintain WordPress and Drupal based websites including enterprise grade security and 24/7 support.

More about Pantheon

Reasons to choose Pantheon

  • Pantheon’s infrastructure is optimized for WordPress and Drupal sites.
  • If your website traffic increases to higher than normal levels, Pantheon can automatically provide more resources to your site to keep it performing smoothly.
  • Pantheon is geographically resilient, so if there is a disruption to server functioning a redundant backup server will keep your site or application running.
  • Full staging of development environments is possible with integrated development, test, and production workflows.
  • You need a lot of storage space. Pantheon plans all start with at least 20GB of space.
  • SSL is supported on all platforms at no additional cost.

Reasons Pantheon may not be right for you

  • Cost is a significant factor for you. Pantheon plans are priced based on monthly page views and performance features selected.
  • Only WordPress and Drupal sites are available on Pantheon. Custom websites and other content management systems are not supported.
  • Information on your site or application contains HIPAA or FERPA sensitive information. Pantheon is not aligned with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a federal law that protects the privacy of medical information.

Summary

You should choose UW Shared Web Hosting if:

  • Cost is a primary concern.
  • You don’t want to use Drupal or WordPress.

You should choose UW Sites if:

  • You don’t want to worry about back end technical issues.
  • You are comfortable with the limited selection of styles, formatting, and plugins.
  • You do not need the additional technical features that Pantheon offers.

You should choose Pantheon if:

  • You are comfortable with Drupal or WordPress.
  • You want something with better performance than UW Shared Web Hosting but, based on your needs, cheaper than a Standard Managed Server.
  • The technical features of Pantheon appeal to how you work.
Last reviewed February 10, 2020