When it comes to running the online side of your business, choosing how your website and services are hosted can be a little confusing. While cloud hosting has become a term many of us are familiar with, the differences between shared, dedicated, and cloud-based hosting still causes some to scratch their heads in bewilderment. Here we take a look at some of the reasons you may want to move your startup from shared or dedicated hosting, to the cloud.
Firstly, let’s take a look at web hosting in layman’s terms. When you create your website, all the text, images, and code have to reside somewhere. This is usually held on a server that provides the information to your visitors, and allowing your web page to render on their device. Shared hosting is pretty self-explanatory, in the fact you are sharing your server with others who have also paid the web host to store their files as well. Dedicated hosting is where servers are dedicated to your data alone, and nobody else’s. Cloud hosting, which is the newest of these web hosting types, pools resources and your data from multiple different servers across the world.
So why would you choose cloud hosting over the other options? While there are some reasons to opt for dedicated or shared hosting, (shared tends to be the cheapest for example), many business owners are now moving over to cloud solutions after seeing the benefits for themselves.
When starting up a business, it is sometimes difficult to know how popular your website is going to be. Do you expect 100 visitors a month? Perhaps you are anticipating half of your country to be using your service in the first couple of days? Either way, in some industries it can be quite difficult to gauge the popularity of your website, and the last thing you want to happen as your burgeoning empire flourishes, is for your site to go down under a tsunami of unexpected traffic. It is a standard within the cloud hosting industry to support easy scaling and cloud server hosting providers emphasize their level of scalability, being as it is a staple feature of this type of services.
Depending on how many visitors check out your website without having to worry about restructuring your servers in any way. You can also add or remove server CPU’s, RAM, and disk space depending on whether you need access to your site to be quicker, or simply need more space to add image libraries.
If you are the sort of person who worries continuously about the security of your data, then cloud based hosting solutions should be able to placate you in this area too. As anyone who runs a business, or even those who are just security conscious knows, you shouldn’t rely on your data residing purely on one hard drive. Even having your data backed up on one server is still running a slight risk, as fires and floods tend not to care about how precious your data is. If you only have one copy of your data, you can quickly find yourself having no data at all, should one of these nightmares come true.
The beauty of cloud hosting is its redundancy. Rather than having one server holding your data, there are multiple servers on multiple sites keeping copies of your files safe against theft, fire or floods. If this sort of security isn’t enough to get you excited, also bear in mind cloud hosting solutions will also take care of the online security too, and in much more advanced ways than you could dream of doing on your own. Some cloud server hosting companies even throw an easy to use firewall for free, so you can kick back and relax, rather than worrying about who is getting their hands on your precious data.
For anyone looking to move from self hosting their own server, cloud hosting is not only more scalable and secure, it can also be a lot simpler to roll out. Hosting your own server involves various headaches and overheads that most of us could really do without. Replacing hard drives, adding RAM, updating your system, all these issues are present when self hosting your own server. Even shared and dedicated hosting can give you headaches when your web traffic spikes, or in the case of shared hosting, even when your ‘server neighbour’ has a spike in traffic. Cloud hosting pretty much eliminates these issues.
It is also worth noting that pretty much all of the experts agree that the cloud will take over the vast majority of web hosting in the near future. Rather than bucking this trend, getting on the bandwagon now could put you in a much better position going forward, as you become more comfortable with the way cloud computing works. If you want the your website to be secure, simple to run, and easily scalable, then cloud hosting is something you need to start looking at closely.
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