Since the introduction of cloud-based technologies, the digital world has undergone massive transformations. By harnessing the somewhat limitless resources offered by virtualization, businesses aren’t limited by the constraints of physical web servers. While the influence of cloud hosting is continuing to grow throughout all industries, many remain wary of its true benefits. The trepidation felt by businesses when it comes to converting to cloud-based web hosting is understandable. After all, the web host forms the backbone of every website. Without a stable and trusted provider, it’s possible to not only damage your visibility, but reputation among consumers. Because the internet is one of the most competitive marketplaces, even the smallest hiccup in website functionality and performance can prove disastrous.
Interestingly, it’s exactly because of these reasons why millions of businesses have ditched the traditional web server configuration and opted for the dynamic resources of cloud hosting.
Benefits of Cloud-based Web Hosting
If you’re interested learning more about the influence and benefits of cloud-based web hosting, here’s a list of the greatest reasons why virtualization is overtaking the web hosting industry.
#1 – Limitless Scalability…well, almost
One of the most exciting elements of operating an online business can also be the catalyst of its demise. As a business owner, the primary goal of outreach and marketing efforts is to increase traffic and conversions. But, as many have already learned, just because this is your ultimate goal doesn’t mean it’s shared by your web hosting provider.
Increased traffic demands greater web server resources. Unless your server allocates ample bandwidth to process a sudden, or gradual, increase in packet requests, your site performance will slow, or worse.
Cloud hosting prevents this by offering almost limitless resources. This means, if your site takes off and suddenly experiences exponentially higher incoming traffic and database transaction requests, your virtual web server is automatically scaled to provide a seamless experience for all visitors. Moreover, cloud web servers scale down when traffic slows, which means you aren’t paying for server capacity you currently don’t require.
#2 – Dedicated Hosting Service Level Without the Tech Skills
Traditionally, handling increased traffic and customized web server configurations required using what’s known as a dedicated server. Essentially, this is a server that only hosts your website. While it offers additional security, capacity and performance, it’s also extremely expensive and requires a vast amount of IT knowledge. For small businesses, the cost and technical skills required for dedicated servers are simply an impossibility.
Cloud hosting is not only cost-efficient, generally costing slightly more than a standard shared web hosting plan, but you receive the advanced technical benefits of a dedicated server without having to setup its configurations. The majority of cloud hosting providers offer automatic setup and scalability that ebbs-and-flows with you throughout the setup process.
#3 – Extreme Reliability 100% of the Time
Without a doubt, reliability and website availability is one of the most influential elements of running an online business. Website availability impacts your reputation from multiple angles. Google, for example, uses average availability and performance when determining SERP ranking. Moreover, users equate availability with trustworthiness.
Essentially, web server downtime is the root cause of many issues. As your website continues to experience downtime or slowdowns in performance, search engine crawlers will penalize you by reducing your rank position. However, as mentioned above, the most costly damage comes down to its impact on your brand reputation. Because the online marketplace is filled with just as many scam sites as legit businesses, savvy consumers view unreliable connections as a warning sign.
Availability and reliability are two of the greatest benefits when it comes to cloud web hosting. Unlike a traditional web server, which relies on its own resources and power sources, cloud servers are an intricate network of multiple servers. This means, when one server is unavailable, your website is automatically switched and fed to other servers. Without any action on your part, your website will remain available. The automatic reallocation of resources and complex distribution of your site packets means your customers will have constant access, which means greater visibility and trust.
#4 – Robust Security Protocols
What’s more disastrous than website downtime? According to the latest industry studies, malicious cyberattacks pose the biggest threat to both business and consumer. Should your website succumb to hacking attempts, it can be manipulated in such a way that it harms your online reputation, but the biggest risk is if your web server stores customer information.
Data breaches, which steal customer information, puts your consumers at risk of identity theft. As you can imagine, this can completely destroy your brand and dissolve any trust bestowed upon you in the eyes of customers.
Cloud web servers are considered some of the most secure frameworks when it comes to website hosting. The heart of cloud web hosting is distribution. Unlike traditional web servers, which house data in a single location, cloud servers distribute sensitive information throughout its complex and multilevel configuration. Not only does this structure make it more difficult to hack, but its advanced security configurations offer significantly greater protection from backdoor hacks and malicious server-based attacks, such as a DDoS attack.
When reviewing potential cloud hosts, look for firewall configurations and whether these firewalls are established at the application level. This will efficiently block, or at least hinder, malicious data leaks.
#5 – Powerful Data Backup and Restore
Establishing a successful online business requires an incredible amount of data. Everything from website code files to media assets, your digital storefront is just as complex as traditional stores. Unfortunately, if you don’t regularly backup your entire infrastructure, it’s possible for a critical error to completely erase what could be years of your hard work.
If you’ve ever experienced a catastrophic loss of data, then you’ll understand the true value of thorough automated backups. One of the major benefits of cloud servers is its automated backups and distribution of backup files throughout its network of servers. Not only does this eliminate your need to manually backup and save files, but it means restoring your entire infrastructure to a previous version is as easy as a click of your mouse. In fact, the majority of cloud-based hosting providers offer automatic restoration after a serious issue. Talk about easy!
To learn about which cloud-based web hosting we recommend, visit our best cloud hosting review page.