31 Mar

Is Cloud Hosting An Ideal Choice For Websites With Increasing Resource Requirements?

In recent years, the term “Cloud Hosting” has created lots of buzz in the web hosting industry. If you know a little bit of a web hosting, you might have come across this term many times. Thanks to its increased popularity, more and more web hosts have started offering this hosting solution. This has not only benefited the customers by giving them a wide web host choices, but it has also reduced the cloud cost with the increased competition in the market.

softsys cloud virtual servers

What Is Cloud Hosting?

The term “Cloud Hosting” is commonly used to refer multiple clustered servers that are being used to serve all the aspects of hosting your site. That means, your website will utilize the virtual resources of several connected servers instead of using one single powerful machine.

Thus, the server load is balanced and adequate hosting resources are available in the pool so they can be used whenever needed. This distributed nature of the cloud hosting makes it easy to scale up or scale down as required and hence resource bottleneck is almost never an issue since more computing power can be added on demand.

Who Can Benefit From Cloud Web Hosting?

What if your website becomes extremely popular overnight, and it starts putting a strain on the resources supplied by your shared plan. Well, definitely you’ll need a better solution that can accommodate the growing resource requirements of your site. That’s where cloud hosting comes into play.

Now, suppose you are not hosted under cloud environment, your account will get suspended immediately, and you’ll have to scramble to get your site back up and running on a next higher hosting solution as soon as possible.

On a second thought, you may think of a dedicated hosting where your website resides on its own dedicated environment. The problem with a dedicated hosting is that it’s far more expensive than your traditional shared hosting, and it demands a certain level of web hosting skills. Whereas with cloud hosting, you can overcome most of the challenges that come with the shared and dedicated hosting options.

Now suppose, your website is hosted in the cloud environment, and it starts receiving heavy traffic suddenly. Instantly, you are allocated with the more resources so your users see no degradation of services. When you no longer need these additional resources, you can release them easily. Thus, websites with heavy traffic or websites which are anticipating the resource usage spikes can benefit from this hosting option.

softsys cloud dedicated servers

Scalability

Scalability is one of the primary advantages cloud hosting, that means you can spin up additional resource almost instantly as you grow. When your site requires additional resources like processing, bandwidth or private memory – you don’t have to contact the support to assist you in increasing the resources. With cloud web hosting you can increase your available resources immediately and importantly when you need them most. This resource allocation process is seamless and your visitors on your site will never see any change.

Pay For What You Use

Most of cloud hosting services run on the “pay for what you use” model, this can actually save you a lot of money. Earlier it used to be the case, when you outgrow shared hosting package then your only other option was to move to a dedicated hosting.

A dedicated hosting is indeed a powerful option to host a website, but it cost you more. Eventually, you will end up paying for the dedicated resources that you don’t utilize.Thus, the money spent was wasted on unused services. However, with cloud hosting what you pay for is the resources you use. When you no longer need them you release them and you are no longer charged for them.

Highest Data Security & Availability

The resources of a cloud server are available from a number of physical machines, rather than being served from a single physical machine. Thus, cloud hosting users get benefits of an extensive server redundancy. This ensures that potential outages of server components affect neither the data security nor the availability of the provided resources.

Each of the cloud components is running with its redundant component, this makes the cloud very tolerant of faults. Apart from that cloud hosting providers are constantly working to safeguard their data security in accordance with national and international legislation.

22 Mar

Digital Spring Cleaning for Your Business

As of March 20th, Spring has officially sprung! While, depending on where you are, it may take some time for the warmer temperatures to reach you, the arrival of Spring is the perfect reminder to take a fresh look at your business. The typical Spring cleaning tasks of tidying the office and thoroughly cleaning your space are still important but make sure not to neglect your digital assets as well!

As we move towards a more digital world with remote workers, online storage, and outsourced data management, we run the risk of ignoring the “mess” that we can’t physically see. Ever been looking for file that you’re SURE you put in the right folder but it’s no longer there? Wanted to back up your website but weren’t sure where to start?

Spring clean your business’ digital assets with these 5 tips:

Site + Data Backup

Start by backing up all of your information. This way, if you make an error during your organization, you have a full backup to rely on. Depending on where your site and data are stored, you may have automated backups already captured, so contact your hosting provider to ensure that you don’t lose any valuable information.

Softsys Hosting clients who have invested in managed hosting services enjoy free daily backups and 24/7 monitoring to make sure that their data is always available when they need it.

File Storage

This is the perfect time to evaluate your file storage solutions. If your business is like many others’, you might have several different solutions for your file management – client files are stored in one place, internal documents in another, and contracts in yet another service. Take the time to consider streamlining your storage solutions or investing in your own infrastructure to manage future growth.

Once you determine WHERE your files will be stored, create a plan for how they will be organized and who needs access to what. Document this system in an easily-accessed file so that everyone in your organization can understand and follow the plan. Include a naming convention for files so that they are easily searched and located.

Email Organization

Feel like your inbox has gotten out of control? Stop putting off the problem and get your inbox back in line by dedicating a couple hours to organize and simplify your communication. Start by determining a filing system. You probably created one when you first started your account but have gotten away from using it because it no longer fits your needs or you just became overwhelmed. Evaluate the folders you have in your inbox, archive those you don’t use anymore, and create folders for needs that have arisen in the meantime.

Once you have a system in place, the goal becomes Inbox Zero. You read that right, ZERO emails hanging out in your inbox. Studies have shown that eliminating email clutter leads to increased efficiency and productivity and your inbox is the place to start. File away until you’ve addressed everything in your inbox, giving you a clean slate.

Finally, unsubscribe to newsletters and emails that you don’t find value in. This will help keep your inbox clutter-free and allow you to focus on what’s most important.

Update Site + Social Media

Sometimes digital outlets like websites and social media accounts are created and then forgotten. Sound familiar? Take the time during your Spring cleaning to make the necessary updates to your online storefront. Check the addresses, branding, and messaging on all of your accounts to make sure they are correct and consistent.

This is also a great time to add new products or services that you provide or update any team member changes.

Digitize Processes

Now that your digital environment is organized and decluttered, consider what offline processes can be digitized. Do your team members enter information into your CRM system manually or is there a system that syncs it with your intake forms. Is each follow up email written one at a time or do you have an automated sequence that sends it immediately?

Plan for future growth by digitizing processes that are currently slowing you down.

08 Mar

What IT Services Are Required To Launch An Online Store?

What IT Services Are Required To Launch An Online Store?

Online Store On Softsys Hosting

With a recent boom in web technologies, an online store has become the necessity for every business regardless of its size and type. Whether you run a small grocery shop or large food chain, web sales are essential for every business, and those who don’t sell their goods online may quickly see their customers taking their money elsewhere.

As per the study conducted by comScore, 1 in 6 U.S. dollars are spent online. The shoppers prefer online shopping because it saves time, provides them with wide choices at one place without need to visit crowded stores.

Businesses can sell their goods online by running their own eCommerce stores or selling their products in established online marketplaces such as Amazon, Newegg or eBay. To run an eCommerce store businesses require some important IT services and pieces of software. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the essential IT services you’ll need to launch your first online venture.

Basic Services

While you open an online store, pre-launch planning has a major role to play. Most of the business owners overlook this vital factor and book the loss. If you’re planning to launch an eCommerce store within a year, at least 6 months should be given to pre-launch planning, and rest of the time to development & product improvement cycle.

On this note, an eCommerce store built with the months of pre-launch planning takes very less time to get online and there are more chances it becomes a successful business venture.

Thanks to the latest tools and ready-made components, opening an eCommerce business is relatively easy. Here is a rundown of everything an entrepreneur must have to open a web store.

Domain Name

Your online presence must have a unique name to get identified on the Internet. This unique name is called the “domain name”, which is your online address at which your visitors can find your online store. As a pro-active business owner, you should decide and book your choice of domain long before the actual launch of the store. Ideally, before you start building your store, your domain should be registered.

Nowadays, there’s a variety of domain extensions to choose from. The most popular domain extensions are “.COM” or “.NET.” Note that your domain name should match the business’s name as closely as possible. For example, if you are selling web hosting service, then your domain should in most cases contain keyword “hosting” in it.

Web Hosting Services

Once the store is developed, you’ll need a web hosting service to publish the website online. The web hosting services store the web files that build your online store and serve those files for viewing by those who visit the site through its domain name.

The web hosting services itself is a huge subject for research, as you may find many of web hosting service types and probably thousands of web hosting providers. You are advised to choose a web hosting type in accordance with your business requirements, technologies used to build your store and anticipated web traffic.

Interactive Website

Your website is an online presence, and home of your business on the Internet. It can either be a simple static web page or a huge complex website coded in server-side scripts like ASP.NET, PHP containing hundreds of pages.

Your website must feature the products you want to sell and also it should encourage the shoppers to stay and make purchases. The website’s design should be clean, insightful, mobile-friendly and it must contain the detailed information about every product you sell.

Shopping Cart

In order to sell the products online, you’ll require shopping cart software. These pre-coded specialized programs are available as an attachment to existing website or in form of a plugin to add an eCommerce functionality.

On the other hand, some enterprises develop their own fully-customized shopping cart software. This software allows the shoppers to search the product inventory to check what’s available, select the products they’d like to purchase and eventually buy them. Some advanced shopping carts are also capable to control the inventory, set up shipping and calculate taxes according to local tax laws.

Merchant Services

We all know that online businesses can’t accept cash payments through the website, and therefore, they require a merchant service. These merchant services handle the transactions made through credit card, debit card, internet banking and online wallets.

The merchant service functions as a link between the business/customer and credit/debit card company. It processes the payments by debiting the money from a credit card account holder and depositing it into the business’s account.

In some cases, merchant services provide the businesses with a virtual account to hold the payments made through credit/debit cards. Once the funds have been approved, the merchant services will transfer this money to business account charging a small commission or service fee.

Mobile Application

 

Mobile Store On SoftSys

Due to increasing speed of wireless internet access and advanced feature-rich smartphones, the mobile application has become an essential part of any business. Your business’ presence on mobile devices is equally important as your website, as more and more people are buying directly from their smartphones. On this note, online businesses having mobile application are at a clear advantage over those that do not have.

To appear correctly on the mobile device, your website has to be mobile-friendly and responsive. In other words, it should be optimized to change size and layout dynamically for easy browsing on smaller screens. You can also build a special application for various mobile platforms such as Android and iOS.

Apart from above major IT services, you’ll require an online marketing services to stand out your store from the rivals making it more popular across the Internet. The businesses can adopt various marketing options like search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (SEM), email marketing, content marketing and social media campaigns.

05 Mar

7 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Hosting Provider

Over the last 10 years, web hosting has evolved dramatically and with it, the providers that are available to you. From huge corporations like Google and Amazon to smaller boutique providers, the options can seem endless. So, how do you differentiate to determine what is better for you and your business? Ask yourself these questions:

How much support will you need?

Consider the level of support that you’ll likely need to set up and manage your IT environment. Some hosting providers offer full managed hosting services and a customer support department that is there to assist with any issues while some providers are more hands-off. If you’re pretty tech-savvy, you might focus on other criteria to determine the best fit for you. However, if IT is a bit out of your expertise, look for a provider with a dedicated team to help you manage your business’ digital assets.

How important is your server security?

Of course, security is important for every business, but there are some instances when it’s truly the most important aspect of your IT environment. Do you collect credit card information? Store medical records? Manage sensitive data? In those cases, finding a hosting provider who is known for their security measures and can offer the peace of mind you need is paramount. Alternatively, if you’re running a blog or business site that doesn’t collect user information, a security breach would not be as detrimental.

What is your budget for hosting?

While budget is likely relative to the functionality you need from your hosting provider, make sure to outline what you are able to spend on a monthly basis. Consider what services you can outsource to the right hosting provider as well! For example, if you currently contract an IT maintenance company, you may be able to replace that expense with the right web hosting provider.

Do you plan to scale up in the future?

What are your plans for business growth? Make sure that your hosting provider can support you both now and in the future. While beginning on a shared server may make sense, it’s important to know that whoever you choose can facilitate a transfer to a dedicated server or managed services platform in the future.

How do you plan to handle backups?

Will you plan scheduled backups of your data or would automatic backups be beneficial for your business? Often something that is overlooked until they are needed, backups are crucial to avoiding IT headaches. Find a provider that offers routine backups as part of their service offering so that you can stay focused on your business without stressing about your data.

Where is your target market located?

While most companies can manage everything remotely, considering your target market during your hosting provider evaluation will help make sure that your site loads well for your most important visitors. Do you own a local business? It might benefit you to work with a provider that has a data center nearby. Need to reach consumers around the world? Make sure that you choose a company who has experience with global businesses and can make sure your site is up around the clock – no matter what time zone.

How many site visitors do you expect per month?

Consider your average web traffic when determining the hosting environment that will be most efficient. Sites with fewer visits can likely thrive on a shared hosting account whereas high traffic websites may need a dedicated environment. Find a hosting provider that can walk you through the different options that they offer to determine the best fit for you.

For a headstart on determining a hosting provider, take the Softsys Hosting Assessment!