Within the last decade, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been expanding exponentially through the help of the internet.
Within the last decade especially, E-commerce has been a huge power tool for new-age professionals. Considering the rate of growth of every other thriving business, a fortified online presence is the one thing that should be heavily considered and implemented for a maximum ROI (return of investment).
Though the world-wide web is immensely useful to an SME owner, it can prove to be daunting, especially with the similarly growing online offerings of e-services. To the tech-savvy professional, choosing the best hosting service for an SME’s website can be one of the most crucial decisions to make. It ultimately decides if the company’s online presence will grow as the business does.
Lately, SMEs have been opting for cloud hosting as the best way to go.
What is Cloud Hosting?
In essence, cloud hosting is a service where a website is hosted by a virtual server. It’s like being hooked up to a dedicated server over the internet. This may be the most rudimentary characterization of cloud hosting. However, the definition of cloud computing has evolved throughout the years – from private military and enterprise installations, to SME users and even layman bloggers.
True enough, cloud hosting offers a wide array of benefits fit for SMEs. For a professional, what is integral is how this technology can help them improve their sales, promote more products and services to their clients, and turn their business into a bigger enterprise.
Cloud hosting is a great option for one of the most popular online services for start-ups – WordPress. With its seemingly endless customizable features and user-friendly dashboard, WordPress is a great choice for SMEs to launch their online expansion. There are a ton of different options for WordPress hosting, and fortunately there are sites that review these options – such as WP Hosting Hub.
In this day and age, it is important to know how this technology can strengthen the foundation of any flourishing business. Similarly, it is integral business knowledge to know how SMEs can win big with cloud hosting.
- Understand the Finances of the Business
One of SME’s main considerations in keeping a business afloat is its finances. At any point in time, an SME would need a system that can match its specific needs, capabilities and requirements, and also have enough available space for projected growth. Cloud hosting’s scalability can account for this.
Take an online store for instance. This type of website-intensive business is one of the most popular SME business models. When this type of business is in its infancy, its website may only require a small bandwidth, minimal resources, and basic hosting service. At this current track, any basic package for cloud hosting at a minimum rate would suffice.
But what will happen when the business grows?
As the demands of the business increase, the hosting requirements grow as well. This is where the flexibility and scalability of cloud hosting comes in. In the event that the SME gets a sudden big boost in its viewership, say 10-times its initial website’s capability, the cloud host can spike up its capacity for the website that it is servicing. The adjustments can be done on-demand to make sure any business hooked to the cloud is effectively serviced in a convenient and timely manner. Thus, cloud servers can customize their service package as the clients’ needs arise.
Needless to say, costs may go up. However, the increase is at a controlled rate.
This leads to another flexibility feature of cloud hosting. With the business demand resolved, costs will only fluctuate based on the actual service utilized. If the business surge comes in, adjustments can be made, and costs will be based on what was used. Conversely, if the business plateaus or dips, requirements may be adjusted accordingly to control the costs. At the end of the day, this feature of cloud hosting gives financial flexibility and website growth control to the SME owners.
2. Offer Stress-Free Maintenance
Consider a Fortune 500 company — it would normally have its own IT department. A team of IT professionals are at the disposal of any other department who may need updates and troubleshooting. A room is also dedicated for a complete set of servers, equipment, and whole back-up of system software and tools.
This is how a big company operates and caters to its IT requirements.
How about an SME with limited resources?
Imagine there is an online glitch, infrastructure emergency, or a need for technical support. Does that entail an SME shutting down its business –allowing web traffic, online momentum, and money to be lost?
Of course not. This is where cloud hosting and its built-in professional management step in.
SMEs are more focused on the nature of the business and their niche market. Any other business requirements – such as IT management – may not be a core competency of the business owner. This may require an additional support service – such as an IT personnel – to address the need.
With cloud hosting, the IT professionals’ service are already bundled-in with a service package. IT manpower is readily available to any cloud hosting hub to keep the virtual server up and running 24/7. This relieves the SME owner from the stress of having a separate department for the growing web business requirements. It may be too much for a growing business to handle. Allocating resources to focus on an IT department could be an unnecessary expense during the mid-game. This is just another reason cloud hosting a perfect option for SMEs.
3. Create a Safer and More Reliable Platform
SME owners need all the support they can get during critical moments of the business’ life . Since handling a business is already demanding, ensuring the reliability of its website and overall online presence is another business task that requires more of the entrepreneur’s time and efforts.
To ensure reliability of the network infrastructure, the web servers’ performance level should be kept at its peak. Bigger businesses opt to have their own dedicated physical server. However, keeping the system up and running requires relentless hardware optimization. Professional IT managers also add to the list of requirements, demanding more resource allocation to the cause. Furthermore, in the event that the physical server’s resources fail, backing up the system will require more resource re-distribution.
Cloud hosting already provides a system that ensures reliability to their clients at a significantly lower rate and more efficient process as compared to opting for a dedicated server. Virtual servers have partitions that could draw from other virtual resources when the need arises.
On that note, it is imperative to keep in mind that virtual servers are based on physical servers. What is unique is that cloud hosts are usually made up of a network of servers. Thus, backing up and tapping onto other servers when one fails is a feature that can greatly benefit an SME owner.
Also, since the physical servers give life to the virtual servers, the equipment is naturally kept secured and protected for physical (and even online) disruption. This is another professional outsourcing that entails cost, which is already included in any service package. It is this “collaborative” pooling of resources that makes cloud hosting a more reliable and more cost efficient server option for business owners.
Overall, SMEs get the big benefit out of cloud hosting because of its customizable features that suit the dynamic life of thriving businesses. Any sudden changes from the SMEs are easily catered by the virtual servers of the cloud hosts. Furthermore, this outsourced service is one of the major supports practically all businesses need to continue the expansion of its online presence.
With the increased need of outsourced professional services, the entrepreneurs’ major takeaway from cloud hosting is the value for their money. Since business owners only pay for what they use, it is easily scalable as the need arises. At the end of the day, businesses benefit well from flexibility and reliability that cloud hosting has to offer.