Cloud hosting is definitely the way to go if you are looking for a hosting solution for your website and web application. It is much more robust compared to conventional, single-machine hosting services. There are also a lot of benefits to enjoy when you choose to use cloud hosting to power your small business’s online presence. For example, having access to features like guaranteed CPU cycles and RESTful API, while having the option to add control panels like cPanel and WHM, and all without having to sign a contract, give cloud hosting a distinct advantage in the marketplace and make the technology highly beneficial.
Cloud Hosting Is Cost Efficient
For small businesses, keeping costs at minimum is a way to stay competitive. The same rule applies to the costs of maintaining a strong online presence, whether it is an online store, a corporate website or an informational blog. If cost is a key factor, cloud hosting is certainly the answer.
Cloud hosting services offer so much more for your money. You get more hosting space and more monthly data transfer for a relatively small amount of service charge. You also get more server resources, which could only mean better performance in general.
These cost efficiency is achieved by the very nature of cloud hosting. Instead of using a single server to host multiple customers, cloud hosting companies arrange multiple servers into a cluster. The load is shared between these servers and their resources are combined and allocated accordingly.
The same nature of cloud hosting also makes this type of hosting service very reliable. A couple of servers in a cloud computing cluster can fail without the entire cluster failing behind them. The rest of the servers will pick things up and keep your site running while the broken servers are being repaired or replaced.
Cloud hosting usually comes with multiple redundancies. You can expect a higher service level than conventional hosting too. In a very competitive market, having a site that is accessible at all times can make a huge difference, especially when your small business is fighting to keep customers happy.
Don’t forget to check if the cloud hosting service comes with off-site backup as well. Off-site backup and disaster recovery are both great features to have. In the event of a catastrophic failure – such as when the entire backbone to the data center is broken – you can easily recover your entire site from a remote location and keep it accessible.
In many cases, you will receive 24/7 technical support, as well. This ensures that if something ever does go wrong, you will be covered. The best VPS hosting providers have staff ready to serve you around the clock because they know just how valuable this data is to you and your business.
More Control Over User Management
Most of today’s best cloud hosting services come with native support for multiple users, which makes them perfect for small businesses. Employees can have access to their own cloud storage space or work on a particular part of the business’s online operations without ever have access to the entire cloud server.
You can also let off-site workers such as freelancers and consultants access different parts of the servers individually. This advanced access management makes cloud hosting perfect for hosting both your front-end website and your business’s intranet or other web applications.
Cloud hosting is just as robust as conventional servers when it comes to security, if not more so. You can still set up load balancing and firewall to protect your server. You can also encrypt certain files and install an SSL certificate to secure connections to and from the server. It is even possible to limit access from certain IPs only when necessary.
Security also comes in the form of multiple backups. Since cloud storage is now more affordable than ever, you can store backups of your entire cloud server on remote servers for better protection. Everything can be programmed to work automatically. For instance, you can schedule a sync between two cloud server or cloud hosting accounts at the end of every day.
With operations such as an online store, having multiple backups is critically important. Should the main database gets corrupted, you don’t have to worry about losing customer orders or customer information at all. Simply sync the databases from off-site backups and you are back in business.
This last advantage is my personal favorite. Cloud hosting is very – and I do mean VERY – scalable. You don’t have to buy into an expensive cloud hosting plan from the start. Instead, you can pick the most cost efficient plan available, one that meets your business’s server requirements, and start from there.
As the business grows and the demand for more server resources arise, you can choose to upgrade your cloud server with more resources. You don’t have to migrate your files and web applications to a completely different server because more server resources can be allocated on the fly.
When you need more storage space, for instance, the cloud hosting company can simply allocate more storage to your account. The same goes for monthly data transfer, processor cores and RAM. It is also possible to add these server resources temporarily. Let’s say you are having a big sale and you want to anticipate a large spike in traffic. You can have more RAM and processor cores added to your cloud hosting account for just an entire day.