When you are running a small business, you have countless things that you need to take care of just to keep things afloat. You have to take care of your products, your online store, your customer service, research and development, production, and about a hundred other things. The one thing that you do not have the time to do, and that you probably do not have the inclination to do, is to try to manage your own server setup. Trying to do this on your own can be quite costly, not to mention time intensive. Working with a managed hosting service is a great solution. In the ten minutes or so that it takes to read this article, we’ll show you what you need to know about this type of hosting.
What Is Managed Hosting?
To start, we’ll look at the basics of what managed hosting is, and then get into how it can actually help your small business. It simply means that the host you choose for your servers will be in charge of the server and can take care of any issues that crop up with it. If you were to have your own server at your company, it would mean that you, or an IT professional that you hire, would be in charge of this. You will rent the hardware from the host, and pay them for managing the system. It offers a number of benefits for your business.
Business Benefits of Managed Hosting
What types of benefits will your small business gain from using this sort of hosting? Your company is different from all of the other companies out there, and that means you need to have a customized experience when it comes to your server. Most of the providers out there will be able to offer varied solutions based on what you really need, and what you are able to afford. This means that you don’t have to worry about paying for features and services that mean nothing to you.
Another one of the huge benefits for your business is the fact that you will be able to reduce your operating costs. It’s already expensive to run a small business, so you don’t want to bring on the added expense of an onsite server and an IT team. Take a moment to consider just how much it would cost if you were to hire added personnel. This is simply not feasible for many small companies out there, and managed hosting is able to bridge that gap nicely. The hosting partner will have the people, as well as the skill and experience, to ensure that your server is up and running and they can handle any problems that arise.
In the same vein, you don’t have the time to deal with those server issues. If a server is down, it means that customers can’t access your online store, or your employees can’t access the data that they need. This can result in a loss of profit, as well as loss of confidence from your customers. A managed hosting provider can offer round the clock support to ensure your server is working.
What About Technical Benefits?
You will find that managed hosting can offer quite a few technical benefits as well, and these tie in nicely with the business advantages. One of the best aspects, which we touched on, is round the clock monitoring of the server. They are able to scan the servers to look for anything that is amiss, which can allow them to handle potential problems before they even arise.
Naturally, security is a large problem in today’s world as well. Hosts are able to provide a number of security benefits, such as scanning for viruses and spam, creating a high quality firewall, and performing regular security audits. With the amount of hacking and viruses today, having great security is a must for any company that wants to stay in business. Quality hosting providers have the tools and experience when it comes to dealing with these issues, and they are able to stay atop all of the latest trends in the field, which means they can likely keep your online component far safer than you would be able to do on your own.
Another factor to consider is your storage. Even though you might have a small company with relatively small storage needs right now, that could change in the future. If you were to have your own onsite servers, needing more storage would require more servers and greater storage capacity. When working with a host, it is generally simple to upgrade. It also means you will not have to buy and manage your own storage systems. In addition to storage, make sure that they have some type of backup available for your data. This ensures that even if something were to happen to the server, you would still have access to your data.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Managed Hosting Provider
Now that you have a better idea of what managed hosting is and the benefits that it can offer to your small business, it’s time to learn how to find one that’s right for you. Currently, there are near endless numbers of options and companies out there vying for your attention. You need to make sure that you are choosing the best company for your business though. The following will help.
When you are choosing your host, make sure you keep in mind the benefits we discussed, and make that a part of your research process. When you are searching for a host, you need to make sure that they are able to offer the latest in technology when it comes to their servers, as well as their security. The company needs to show that they are able to adapt with the changing times and use the best quality servers and tech available.
You also need to make sure that the company doesn’t try to shoehorn you into a plan that’s not right for your business. Customization is important when working with these hosts, and you will find that most of them will offer some robust options so that you have the setup that you really need. Never settle for a cookie-cutter option.
Additionally, you need to know what level of customer service you will be able to expect with the company you choose. Ideally, you will work with a managed host that can offer round the clock support, as well as 24/7 monitoring for your server. If they have a poor customer service department, there is a good chance that your experience with their actual servers will be underwhelming as well. Always take the time to fully research a company before deciding that you want to sign up with them. You also need to look over your contract to see exactly what the terms are and how long you will have to stay with the company. If they have unreasonable terms, it is better to start your search over and find a company that better suits your needs.