Technology March 20, 2013 Last updated September 18th, 2018 1,584 Reads share

Cloud Hosting Solutions For Small Businesses

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Cloud hosting has quickly become one of the most efficient, practical and effective solutions for hosting the websites of small businesses. The premier reason behind this is the fact that hosting a website in the cloud allows businesses to scale their hosting services to fit their budget and needs. Essentially, cloud hosting follows the SaaS or “software as a service” model which reduces IT costs by outsourcing the maintenance of hardware and software costs to the website host. Cloud hosting has the ability to eliminate many headaches while simultaneously saving money in IT operations, personnel costs as well as hardware and software updates.

Cloud hosting eliminates the traditional reliance on dedicated servers and hardware to perform the functions of a small business website. Since cloud web hosting is a fairly new concept and since businesses have grown accustomed over the years to using physical devices for web hosting, the cloud’s infrastructure and operation can be somewhat confusing to the small business owner.

More efficiency

With cloud hosting, your website applications can be easily accessed via a web browser or even a mobile app. Systems can be accessed anywhere with any device that has a connection to the Internet. Many small business owners and operators that have switched to cloud hosting have found that they are able to save a great deal of time when changing or updating their website. This allows for a more efficient business model in many ways. Applications get up and running faster with easier manageability and less downtime. Any website operator knows that downtime equals lost profits and is never good for business.

When hosting in the cloud, all website data is stored across servers of the cloud provider. One extremely important thing to keep in mind when you are searching for a cloud host is to be positive you find a reputable host that you can trust. Read reviews and ask questions. It is detrimental to do some research in order to ensure you are using a host that can be trusted with your website’s sensitive data and has the latest security measures in place.

How it works

The way cloud hosting works is similar to a utility like electric or gas. You pay for the services and resources that you use. Resources are shared thus costs decrease. Furthermore, if there are certain times that your website experiences heavier or lighter traffic, you have the ability to scale up or down with no interruption to services. For example, if your business is busier during the holiday shopping season, you are able to add resources easily for those months then scale down when business slows down.

Therefore, while you are busy you will pay more for your hosting services but will pay less when you do not require as many resources. This is more cost effective than paying for more resources then you need for the entire year or losing business because of your site crashing, potential customers leaving your site because of slow page load times or taking your site down while switching to a higher capacity server (and paying the costs associated with that).

In other words, cloud hosting is the most flexible hosting solution on the market. Being able to add resources on demand is without parallel for a small business. As your business grows, so can your hosting plan.

Cloud hosting saves money

When utilizing the cloud, business owners no longer need to worry about hiring someone either in-house or contracting someone with in-depth IT skills. The third-party host is performing the real work with hardware and software thus making the implementation of applications easier for you.

The unique utility structure of the cloud also saves money. As previously mentioned, you are able to downsize or upsize resources as needed, in real-time. This also allows you to pay for what you need and use and no more. Traditionally, website operators paid for servers that exceeded their needs to ensure the functionality of their site. With cloud hosting, this is no longer necessary.

There is no longer a need to purchase a dedicated hosting plan then when your business grows, upgrade to another dedicated server and so on. That process can get very expensive.

Reliability and security

Since the cloud allows data to be shared across a network of servers, if one server crashes then the next one is utilized. Applications are shared across many physical servers, allowing them to be used to their full capacity. This is also another reason that cloud hosting is more cost effective.

Many people think that since website data is shared over an array of servers that security can somehow suffer. This is not necessarily the case since data is centralized. In fact, security can be better with cloud hosting versus dedicated or VPS hosting.

The fact is hosts that are utilizing cloud computing have increased resources in the security area. Cloud providers are able to devote more resources than many businesses can afford if providing their own servers or using a smaller web hosting company.

Due to the fact that cloud hosting applications do not need to be installed on each operator’s computer (since they are Internet based) decreases the probability of malicious attacks and user error. Also, the proper backup of data and important files can be easily forgotten by many small business website operators. With cloud hosting, the provider takes responsibility for these activities. Small business owners are often overwhelmed with all the different aspects of their business and usually have more pressing things to focus on before devoting a lot of attention to their website’s IT needs.

There are also cloud backup services on the market that sync in order to automatically backup important files on a regular basis. If you are not familiar with the cloud, trying one of these services is a good way to introduce yourself. This way if any of your data is lost due to error, malware or a virus, there is a backup of your files in the cloud.

The benefits of cloud hosting

Very simply, the reduction of possible downtime due to server malfunction is one of the biggest benefits of hosting in the cloud. The fact that there are backup servers in case one crashes is perfect for the small business. Since your website is no longer relying on one server but multiple servers working together, many headaches can be avoided. The scalability and the notion of paying only for what you need and what you use is unparalleled. The manageability of cloud hosting packages and their on-demand upgrade and downgrade is a ground-breaking concept in the world of web hosting.

Other benefits include the ability of choosing either Windows or Linx as your operating system and being able to access web applications via any Internet-connected device anywhere in the world. If you are sitting on the beach in the Bahamas and your office is in Connecticut, you can still have complete control of your business without installing any software to a particular computer.

There are constantly new changes in technology. Some changes are merely fads that come and go. However, cloud hosting is not a fad. It is here to stay and grow.

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Boney Pandya

Boney Pandya

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