Your company has plans to grow, and part of that plan is to grow through your business website. However, putting more responsibility on your website means additional requirements from your web hosting company. Is your current host up for the challenge?
For most small to medium sized businesses without the budget for an in-house web server configuration, they depend partially or wholly on a 3rd party web host. With the buzz and talk of cloud hosting, it may be the time for your business to let your website reside on the cloud.
Does cloud hosting truly suit your business website? Here are a few points to keep in mind when considering cloud hosts.
Verify Your Hosting Budget
Cloud hosting is very reliable, fast, and efficient. But since cloud hosting is still in development, the cost may be unattainable. If your company is accustom to paying about $10 per month for shared-server hosting, expect to at least triple that budget. Cloud hosting generally starts around $30 and up per month.
Flexibility – The good news about cloud hosting is that most hosts are flexible in their pricing with pay-as-you-use structures. You can increase resources when web traffic is high, and decrease during low periods.
How’s Your IT Staff?
Unlike shared hosting, cloud hosts generally require the client to provide and upload their own software and scripts to utilize with the website. Shared hosting companies will provide a great amount of these resources, but if you go with the cloud, prepare to have an IT staff on hand to manage the website and software.
Benefit – Like shared hosting, cloud hosting companies have their own trained staff on-hand to immediately respond to server issues. The benefit to your company is that you never have to respond to an outage – it’s already a #1 priority for your cloud hosting company.
Check Your Traffic
If you have an existing website, check your web stats. If you are starting a new website, have your marketing team try to anticipate what your website traffic will be. If you find that your traffic needs are great, meaning thousands of “hits” per day or more, you may find that cloud hosting is better suited for you. The efficiency of the cloud web servers and load balancers create fast load times, and high outgoing bandwidth is generally included.
If your traffic is still limited and not exceeding shared hosting “boundaries,” a simple shared hosting plan may still be your best bet.
What Is Your Business Website Long-Term Goal?
Is your business website still just a “brochure” site? Do you have plans to expand and add interactive elements to your site? Does your marketing plan call for a gradual increase in traffic and customers? These are the types of questions you should ask when considering cloud hosting.
If your website is still “small business,” cloud computing benefits may not be worth the extra cost. But if you plan to have an exciting and popular website with regular updates and improvements, cloud hosting can give you the scalability you need to let your website needs grow with your business.
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