What Small Businesses Need to Know Before Choosing Cloud Hosting

Small businesses are flocking to cloud hosting because it’s affordable, popular and makes sense. Cloud hosting is scalable, so the hosting provider you choose will scale as your business grows. And while small businesses can benefit from the cloud, there are a few aspects to consider first:

Cloud hosting servers room

1. Managed vs Unmanaged Options

Small business owners or teams will quickly find that not all cloud options are created equal. There are managed and unmanaged options available. Unmanaged options are ideal for companies that:

  • Have an in-house IT team
  • Need a custom environment

But small businesses that want a hands-off approach to cloud hosting will want a managed option. You’ll pay more for managed cloud hosting, but you’ll have:

  • Support
  • Monitoring
  • Availability
  • Operating system management
  • Patches and upgrades
  • Backups

Small businesses without the resources for an IT team dedicated to their hosting needs should choose a managed cloud hosting option.

2. Cloud Hosting Comes in Many Options

Small businesses don’t need to put everything on the cloud. Your business may want to increase site load speed, and this is one of the advantages of a CDN. But perhaps you need to store backups on the cloud.

You can do this.

Amazon is just one of many companies that offer cloud storage options that are more than capable of meeting your company’s storage needs.

But let’s say that your database is causing a bottleneck on your website. You can choose a cloud host to handle all of your computing and database needs, or you can choose to host your database on the cloud.

There are many database options available on the cloud, including:

  • Amazon
  • Google

You’ll also find options for relational databases, such as MySQL, Oracle, SQL, MariaDB, NoSQL and others.

3. Cloud Hosting Might Not Be Needed

Cloud hosting helps run many of the world’s largest sites. Airbnb and Netflix use cloud hosting, but if your site is getting 100 visitors a day and is a typical small business website, there’s a good chance that you don’t need cloud hosting.

The pay-as-you go model is what attracts many small businesses to cloud hosting, but if your site isn’t getting a lot of traffic and still has good uptime and speeds, there may be no reason to switch.

A lot of small businesses rely on local promotion and advertisement, and a website might not be their key form of lead generation.

If your website is there to connect with potential customers but is not a main driver of business, take a look at your analytics to see if you need better hosting. Oftentimes, a small business site can suffice with:

  • Shared hosting
  • VPS

And then if the business site starts to grow or is slow, you can opt to offload some of the resources to the cloud, or you can make the complete switch to the cloud. Managed options are available that make it easy to go from shared to cloud hosting, or you can choose to manage the entire process on your own.

There’s also a chance that your web host has upgrade options and maybe even the option to upgrade to the company’s cloud hosting if available.

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