08 Aug How Valuable is Cloud Hosting for Your Business?
Not so long ago, being told that you have your head in the clouds wasn’t a good thing. Now, however, having your business’s website hosting and data in the clouds can be very beneficial – and provide down-to-earth advantages on several fronts. It’s especially ideal for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), as well as small office/home office (SOHO) users, giving access to the resources necessary for efficiency and growth while staying in-budget.
What is cloud hosting?
Cloud hosting refers to a network of virtual servers that use resources from a network of physical servers. Instead of having all of your website’s files on a single physical server, they’re spread out among the entire server network. It is somewhat similar to a virtual private server (VPS), but instead of having a portion of a single server dedicated to your site, server resources are spread out across multiple different machines.
The advantages of cloud hosting
The main advantages of having your website, business applications and data hosted by a cloud solution include:
- Cost efficiency
- Data security
- Scalability for increased efficiency
- Solutions and support
- Faster page load times
The cost efficiency factor
As noted by Open Cirrus, cloud hosting reduces the high costs of owning the infrastructure to host your website. You are only required to pay for the resources you use, and therefore don’t waste money on unwanted, unneeded resources. It requires less startup costs than a physical, local server.
“It’s okay to admit that one of the hardest parts of running a startup is coming up with the capital to make your business model work and pay your employees,” says Nick Ismail, editor of Information Age. “Server costs can be astronomical and a huge investment.”
Also, consider the hidden costs of an on-premises server. While it may offer a great deal of power, this power is typically underutilized. For example, you pay just for the server to stay powered on, regardless of how much – or how little – the system is being used. As one industry expert put it, you are paying for the capacity to do work instead of the work itself.
With a cloud hosting solution, overall cost is based on gigabytes of RAM, storage space and processing power expended. A cloud provider maintains these systems on a large scale, thereby maximizing efficiency. With cloud hosting, the savings provided by the economy of scale are passed on to you.
In addition to not having to pay to keep a physical server up and running, you’re spared the expense of having to upgrade your system with new software and security patches. These services are included in the monthly fee to your cloud hosting company, and are automatically performed as soon as upgrades become available.
How cloud hosting improves security
Speaking of those automatic security upgrades, it’s another task off your plate – or your IT specialist’s plate. Ismail again weighs in, “Cloud computing offers more security than local servers. You never have to worry about losing critical data and business applications because of a natural disaster or full-on computer meltdown.
“Some cloud providers even back up data to additional remote servers so data loss just won’t happen. Cloud providers also perform more regular security audits than you probably would on your local server. This makes it airtight and your sensitive information is kept under wraps.”
Cloud hosting allows for scalability according to your needs
Scalability is key to cost effectiveness when it comes to cloud hosting. You can scale your cloud environment on-demand to meet your company’s changing needs, able to grow or shrink depending on circumstances.
As Sarah Vonnegut writes for Stratoscale, “Before the arrival of the cloud, adding extra server space involved having someone install hardware and then paying for its maintenance. In addition to the cost of the purchase and maintenance, including the necessary downtime this caused, you needed to pay for the physical space on your server. For businesses with little to no growth, this wasn’t such a problem, but for quickly growing companies, the growth itself caused major issues – and increasingly higher costs.
“When one of your applications or services sees a surge or drop in use, you can dynamically provision your cloud to scale up or down instantly. This alone is a huge win for every area of your business, and coupled with a strong plan, preparation and vigilance, the scalability of your cloud can help rocket your business to new heights.”
Solutions and support are readily available
As mentioned earlier, the cloud hosting company automatically handles all system maintenance and updates. Ismail observes, “In fact, the minute a small bug arises, the company that runs your cloud network is probably already looking for a fix. If this was your remote server, you’d have to file a claim with tech support and have the department send someone down to look at it.
“The average server owner is way more likely to let small issues escape them (since they’re you know, busy running a business). These issues turn into larger ones that take time and money to fix.”
Faster page loading times
As covered in our February 28, 2018 blog post – “Why Your Website Needs to be Up-to-Speed” – a too-slow site can cost you business in ways both overt (frustrated would-be customers giving up and visiting a competitor’s website) and subtle (negative indexation by Google).
While building a fast and reliable on-premise server can be costly, cloud-based web infrastructure has a large storage capacity and a fast processor, which means it’s very quick and reliable. That’s because all of your content will be loaded from multiple server environments and delivered from the nearest remote server. This approach doesn’t put as much strain on a singular server, the way it would if you had a dedicated, shared, or VPS plan.
Ultimately, your website visitors don’t care what type of web hosting you’re using. They just want your site to be responsive and load quickly. That’s why your loading times have such a major impact on conversion rates.
The take-home message
Now that you know how the right cloud hosting company can put you on cloud nine, learn about the cloud hosting solutions that Virtual Stacks Systems offer. Our custom hosting packages allow you to build your own resource-rich application or an entire corporate site. Your Virtual Stacks Systems cloud can instantaneously host your apps, files and backups – and provide secure online access to all approved team members on any internet-enabled device.
Contact us today, and get started!