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April 26, 2013

Cloud Hosting: What’s in it for Businesses?

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Cloud hosting has become what is arguably the most popular hosting solution in the industry. Hosting a website in the cloud permits businesses to scale their hosting services to fit a certain price range and set of needs. This new wave in hosting solutions is allowing for a more flexible plan for online business owners.

This post will discuss all you need to know about hosting in the cloud. If you’re a small business owner, or the future owner of an e-commerce site, you’ve probably heard the term cloud hosting before. A lot of business owners can get confused when exploring hosting options, and you should do your research so you know exactly what you’re getting into.

Before we answer some common questions about cloud hosting, here are some facts for your review:

  • Cloud hosting follows the software as a service model (SaaS); this type of model reduces IT costs by delegating the maintenance of hardware and software costs, essentially outsourcing most IT procedures to the hosting company.
  • Cloud hosting makes life easier on everyone, eliminating headaches for business owners and saving money in IT operations, personal costs and hardware and software updates.
  • Cloud hosting is more efficient than the traditional reliance on dedicated servers and hardware to perform the functions of a small business website.

Why is it Better?

With cloud hosting, website applications can be accessed easily via a Web browser or even a mobile app. Website owners can access a system anywhere with any device that has a connection to the Internet. Making use of these advances, business owners can now save a great deal of time when changing or updating their website.

Now that applications are up and running quickly, with easier manageability and less downtime, business owners are finding they have an increased chance to grow their product and gain profits. Furthermore, the decreased downtime that comes with the support of multiple servers hosted in the cloud means that there is no risk of losing valuable customers to a slow or dysfunctional site.

How Does Cloud Hosting Work?

Cloud hosting can be compared to a utility like electricity or gas. As with these industries, a client only pays for the services and resources they use. Resources are shared in cloud hosting, which decreases cost of maintenance, hardware and software. Furthermore, customers are also permitted to scale resources to fit their needs: Just like the heating bill goes up in the winter, certain website owners need to increase resources as they experience heightened traffic (like during the holiday shopping season, for example).

Scaling resources is more cost effective because you don’t have to pay for resources that you don’t need throughout the entire year. And you can prepare for an increase in usage without worrying about your site crashing or customers leaving your site because of sluggish page loading.

The avenues opened up through cloud hosting allow for a much more flexible hosting experience. Online businesses and as a business grows–so does the company’s hosting plan.

What Are the Benefits of Cloud Hosting?

Essentially, the reduction of possible downtime in the event of server malfunction is perhaps the biggest benefit of hosting an online business in the cloud. The support of multiple backup servers is crucial for small businesses. Many servers means many avenues of support and less headaches.

Additional benefits of cloud hosting include:

Scalability: Paying for only what you need is a great advantage. Upgrading and downgrading on-demand is the new face of online hosting.

• Reliability: The experts that host your business in the cloud won’t be forgetting to backup your data. Plus, you’ll have the support of multiple servers behind your site. Both of these measures ensure that you can rely on a good hosting company to keep your site active and backed up.

• Security: It’s a common misconception that shared hosting in the cloud can lead to a less secure environment for your site. In fact, cloud hosting applications are Internet based, which decreases the probability of malicious attacks and user error.

• Cost-Effectiveness: With cloud hosting business owners don’t need to worry about hiring someone in-house that has advanced IT skills. The hosting company acts as a third party, performing the complicated aspects of site ownership and employing hardware and software that makes applications easier for business owners to access and manage their site.

Boney Pandya is a marketing manager at WebNet Hosting,  a company offering fully managed cloud hosting and dedicated servers since 2002. Boney helps small business migrate their websites to the cloud environment

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