13 Nov

4 Reasons to Choose ScalElastic Cloud Services for Growth in 2019

Are you spending the last couple of months of the year preparing for growth in 2019? Don’t overlook your technology and web hosting infrastructure as the building blocks of your expansion.

At Softsys Hosting, we’re here to help ensure that you have the tools you need to achieve all of your goals in the coming year. To that end, we’re offering a 14-day free trial of our BRAND NEW ScalElastic Cloud hosting product.

PaaS Cloud Services

We’re so excited to be able to offer this to our clients as it will allow companies to easily scale and deploy complex environments within minutes while only paying for the computing power they actually use.

Not sure if ScalElastic Cloud is the right fit for your business? Here are 4 reasons to make the switch:

Speed

In business, speed to deployment can mean the difference between winning and losing customers. With ScalElastic Cloud, you can deploy customer applications faster, easier, and even automatically – as needed. We offer standard stacks for commonly used systems that are tried and tested which means they can be spun up at a moment’s notice.

With ScalElastic Cloud, you’ll also have access to over 100 pre-configured applications in a marketplace that offers single click activation.

Flexibility

ScalElastic containers have the ability to scale both vertically and horizontally, automatically. This makes hosting your applications truly flexible and enables you to scale your services easily. Essentially, this means we can set a limit for the maximum number of resources for every instance. Then, the system automatically allocates the necessary amount needed. Not only does this make for an efficient and flexible platform, but also eliminates the need for changes in architecture while scaling legacy applications.

This flexibility is made possible by the smallest ScalElastic component, called the cloudlet. This unit equals 128 MB of RAM and 400 MHz of CPU power simultaneously. Because the system is composed of such granular resources, we are able to allocate the exact capacity for every infrastructure.

Leading to…

Cost Savings

The efficient nature of ScalElastic Cloud computing ensures that you are only charged for the computing power that you utilize.

ScalElastic Cloud Benefits

ScalElastic Cloud also helps reduce costs by optimizing the management and support for your technology. The self-service portal for developers means that you can reduce spending on management and leave the infrastructure support to the experts. When you can save time and money on administration of infrastructure and development, it frees you to invest in future growth.

Reliability

Let’s face it, at the end of the day, the biggest factor in changing technology is reliability. With ScalElastic Cloud, you’ll benefit from a reliable elastic cloud hosting infrastructure. We manage daily backups, recovery containers without downtime, and full server isolation.

ScalElastic Cloud also offers a fault-tolerant infrastructure to give you peace of mind that your servers and applications will be fully functional when you need them most.

Sign up for 14-day Free Trial 
05 Nov

How To Avoid Overage Billing With AWS & Azure?

When you move from standard web hosting to cloud, the cost is the major concern to be considered, especially for the cloud beginners. If you’d have ever seen cloud provider’s pricing table, you’d see the attractive cost of pennies per hour or per IOP or whatnot. The actual cost is revealed only when you receive your monthly bill. In a nutshell, you’ll have no idea what it’s going to cost until you start using it.

Coming from the flat-priced hosting, you’ll find the monthly cloud bills are like some decipher codes. Even the topmost cloud hosting providers follow confusing charging model which is painful to understand.

In addition, these cloud web hosting providers let you deploy complex applications with super ease and within minutes. But for that very reason, it’s a bit too easy to lose track of exactly what you have running at any one time. To avoid this, you must have a proper understanding of how the billing works and where these surprises can come from. In this post, we will outline some suggestions to avoid unexpected charges in your cloud bill.

Contact Sales Support Before Purchase

Approach your favourite cloud vendor and ask for a free trial or some free credits for the test drive. Don’t put your resource thirsty projects upfront, rather run some small-scale projects for 1–3 months to get a sense of the actual bills you can expect. Choose between simple and stable projects where you have more control and stable resource usage.

Track Cloud Usage & Set Alerts

Track Cloud Usage

Keep a watchful eye on your daily usage. Most of the cloud hosting providers offer usage counter (like Billing and Cost Management console in Amazon) where you can check your daily usage. Also, consider employing third-party monitoring tools wherever appropriate to find resource leakages.

Keep track on cloud hosting costs in your spreadsheets to get an understanding of how this all works.  Set up alerts in case anything goes wrong. For instance, if your average daily budget is $100, set an alert for 10% overage. Thus, you can avoid excessive bills immediately after a week later.

Amazon CloudWatch is a monitoring service for AWS cloud hosting resources and the applications you run on AWS. This service can be used to collect and track metrics, monitor log files, and set alarms. It allows you to receive notifications or automatically initiate actions like shutting down unused or underused EC2 instances when a metric crosses your specified threshold.

Pay Upfront to Get Discounts

When your monthly usage is estimated, deploy resources permanently to take advantage of committed discounts available. This can save up to 50–90% depending on the resource type and vendor.

Elastic Block Store (EBS) Volumes and Snapshots

Amazon EC2 instances are configured so that their associated Amazon (Elastic Block Store) EBS volumes are deleted when they are terminated, but it is possible to set up an instance that preserves its volume and the data. Check the Volumes pane in the Amazon EC2 console for volumes that you don’t need anymore and remove them when not needed.

If you have stored snapshots of your Amazon EBS volumes and no longer need them, you should delete them as well. If you close your account or unsubscribe from a cloud hosting service, make sure that you take the appropriate steps for every region in which you’ve allocated AWS resources.

Elastic Beanstalk & Elastic Load Balancing (ELB)

Elastic Beanstalk is designed to ensure that all the resources that you need are running, which means that it automatically relaunches any service that you stop. To avoid this, you must terminate your Elastic Beanstalk environment before you terminate resources that Elastic Beanstalk has created.

Similarly, ELB load balancers are designed to keep a minimum number of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances running. You must terminate your load balancer before you delete the Amazon EC2 instances that are registered with it.

Avoid Oversized Instances

Before you spin up the cloud instances know your requirements, determine what size of the instance should you run and how many will you need? Note that instance types that are specifically optimized for computing, memory, or storage are obviously going to cost more than low-tier or generic versions. Ensure that your environment is not over-provisioned as oversized instances will cost you money, using too many instances will cost you money. Even leaving unused instances running, will also cost you money.

Choose the Correct Instance Model

With AWS cloud hosting, you can purchase instance resources in 3 different ways. On-Demand Instances allow you to pay a fixed rate by the hour without commitment.

Reserved Instances provide a capacity reservation, giving you a handsome discount over hourly on-demand prices when you commit to longer-terms.

Spot Instances allows you to bid your own price for instance capacity. Assuming that your applications have flexible start and end times and can survive service interruptions when instances at your bid price aren’t unavailable – this can provide significant savings.

Mostly AWS hosting beginners choose “On-Demand Instances” because it is easy to deploy, but in long run, this option can generate unexpected AWS pricing costs. If you’re planning to deploy a website for more than 12 months, go with a reserved instance.

Avoid Taking Too Many Snapshots

Backing up data is always a smart thing. You can back up the data stored on Amazon EBS volumes to Amazon S3 by taking snapshots. However, these EBS snapshots should be saved carefully, or it may increase your storage costs. Ensure that you have defined an appropriate snapshot retention strategy.

Release Unallocated Elastic IPs

Release unused cloud resources

AWS provides you with one Elastic IP address (EIP) associated with a running instance free of cost. Each additional EIP that you associate with that instance will be charged at per hour on a pro rata basis. AWS also imposes a small hourly charge when these IP addresses are not associated with any running instance or when they are associated with a stopped instance or an unattached network interface.

So, if you just stop your instance and assume that the IP associated with it will be automatically released, you may end paying hefty AWS cloud hosting cost. Therefore, ensure that you release unused EIPs when an associated instance is no longer in use.

As we mentioned, cloud is a fabulous platform for deploying large applications at prices unimaginable until recently. Careful consideration of the above points will hopefully help you keep your ongoing AWS, Azure and other similar cloud hosting costs down.

03 Oct

Serve Your Customers Better With Managed Hosting

Customer relationships are the driving force behind business growth in today’s market. It’s imperative to build meaningful relationships with your target audience to drive repeat and referral business as well as create advocates for your brand that essentially act as a sales force. While marketing, operations, and leadership are focused on this idea, it falls to the IT department to implement the communication channels, ensure the digital experience is top-notch, and provide data that drives strategic decisions.

In deciding whether to make an infrastructure change, it usually comes down to evaluating whether the internal benefits are worth the investment or the pain of changing hosting providers. Internal benefits like improved efficiency, operations, communication, and even long term costs abound, but have you considered how a managed hosting system could help you better serve your customers?

We’re not just talking faster load times and increased worldwide reach – though those are important benefits to consider. If you look closer, the ways that you can improve your relationships with your customers through managed services are much deeper.

Use Data to Drive Business Decisions

We have access to more data today than any businesses in the history of the world. We can analyze internal efficiency, consumer behavior, market trends, and beyond. With all of this information, the question becomes, “How do you use it?”

Having the right team in place to collect, store, and interpret data allows you to make business decisions based on information rather than instinct. What does that mean for your customers? You can develop new products and services that are built to address their specific challenges before they even know they need them.

With managed services, you have the capability to collect and store relevant data safely and in accordance with regulations. Furthermore, you have the flexibility to spin up new systems when the data suggests it’s necessary.

Improved Tech Support

Is your tech support team spread too thin between client service and internal management? Outsourcing hosting management to the experts enables you to reallocate your internal resources to better serve clients.

Our industry-best managed hosting service includes daily backups, 24/7 monitoring, updates & patch application, support & much more. We also provide free Plesk panel to make things easy for you. With those tasks off of your internal team’s to-do list, they can focus not only on handling client requests, but on developing more solutions to improve your customer experience.

Scale – Serve MORE clients

A period of growth is often synonymous with growing pains. It’s difficult to scale your team, client base, and sales at the exact same time. That typically means that something has to give – customer service declines, quality suffers, or your team is overextended.

With managed hosting, you can scale with ease by utilizing a team of experts to strategize and implement the growth you’re planning. Serving more clients at the same level of service they’re accustomed to.

Reliable Technology

Your customer interaction is reliant upon technology. Whether customers are calling your customer service team, logging in to your website, or leaving a review on your social media pages, technology is the backbone of your customer relationships.

Strengthening that foundation with managed hosting gives you peace of mind and your customers a better experience with your brand or company.

With dedicated managed hosting, you’ll get a fully managed hosting system that enables you to focus on your clients and leave the details to experts.

Softsys Hosting Review

Honestly, I have tried every web hosting business out there, as it took me 4 years to find Softsys Hosting and I have never looked back. Honestly, they have the best service in the world. Over the years, I have sent hundreds of support tickets, and each ticket is answered in record time. If you overlook this company you are losing out! Unbelievable, thank you guys at Softsys Hosting – you have made my life so much easier!

— Michael Ward – Sydney, Australia

03 Oct

Remove Roadblocks To Plan For 2019 Expansion

As we enter the last quarter of 2018, it’s time to begin planning for the new year. What are your goals? Challenges? Projections? Limitations? Spend the next three months laying the groundwork for your 2019 growth. First on the list? Removing any roadblocks that may stand in your way.

Uncertainty

Uncertainty can be paralyzing and is the biggest roadblock to your company’s growth. If you’re planning to expand in 2019, battle uncertainty with strategy and data. First, analyze the data that you have available to determine where the opportunities are in the market. What regions are underserved in your industry? Where can you provide additional value to your customers? Don’t have a ton of data? Add that to your must-have list for 2019.

Then, develop a strategy that uses the data you’ve analyzed to address any uncertainty you’re feeling about expansion. Visualize any challenges and how you may overcome them. Most importantly, work with experts to ensure that your infrastructure can support your strategy and deliver the data you need in the future.

Technology

Is your existing technology hindering your growth? Have you been putting off a technology upgrade because the risk or pain caused by change seems too high? Now is the time to make infrastructure adjustments that will help you better operate and serve your clients now as well as expand in the coming year.

This is a great time to consider transitioning to fully managed dedicated hosting with a provider that is experienced in helping companies scale. Look for enterprise-class secure infrastructure, comprehensive features, and tech support that you can count on. With the right technology in place, you can be much more agile in the market and scale as you see opportunities arise.

Whether your expansion will be worldwide or just down the street, preparing your systems for the growth will help ensure that your business stays running during the transition. IT & technology should help your business grow & not the other way round. At Softsys Hosting, we specialize in helping you deploy solutions which can grow almost indefinitely with your business growth.

Staff Development

Once you have your technology in place, evaluate your team to ensure you have the right resources to support expansion. Often, companies overwhelm their IT departments with internal system management, customer service support, hosting, data analytics, and more. As you grow, the need to specialize increases.

You have a few options when it comes to staff development – train, hire, or outsource. Depending on your specific needs and goals, it can be costly and time-consuming to hire new talent or train your current team members on a new system. So often, businesses are forced to “make do” with a team that may not have the expertise to fuel their growth.

Not sure whether IT resource constraints are costing your business? Here are 4 signs that it may be time to seek expert help. At Softsys Hosting, we not only provide the IT resources you need to succeed, but we work with your in-house team to make sure that the transition is smooth and everyone can focus on what they do best. The end result? A well-oiled machine that is poised for expansion.

Softsys Hosting Review

With the thousands of web hosting services out there you might think of them more or less as a commodity. That may be true for most, but we have found one that stands ahead of the crowd in just about every way. Every single time we work with the people at https://www.softsyshosting.com/ we have been amazed at just how good these guys are. Every time we submit a support ticket, they respond within a few hours with a detailed solution. They will often even go above and beyond and do the work for us. You can image how refreshing it is to submit a complex support ticket and then get an email from the president of the company less than an hour later saying they went ahead and took care of it for you an no charge and asking how else they can help. FlashDrivePros.com definitely recommends Softsys Hosting for all your hosting needs!

— Ryan Stutzman
Vice President

14 Sep

4 Signs That IT Resource Constraints Are Costing Your Business

Are you confident that you have the right skill sets within your IT team? Do you have visibility into your technology expenses? Does your IT department adequately support your company’s vision for growth?

Whether in the form of leaky profits or opportunity cost, chances are the challenges you’re experiencing in your IT department are costing your business.

Overextended Team

Many IT teams within small and medium sized businesses are required to serve in many capacities that make it difficult for them to specialize and focus on innovation or strategic growth. This reactive approach means your team is constantly maintaining the status quo rather than pushing forward.

IT Partner

This approach means your company is burdened by an enormous opportunity cost. Enabling your team members to automate the standard functions, specialize in areas that they are specifically skilled in, and bring on experts to fill in the gaps means that your IT department can serve as a proactive partner in your company’s growth.

Deferred Growth

Do you have projects and initiatives that have been sitting stagnant on the “to-do” list without any progress? For example, have your employees been asking about a work from home policy, but you aren’t sure how to implement a mobile office?

If you find that new projects are a challenge for your team, it may be time to examine the resources you have within your IT department. Certain initiatives require specific skill sets and it’s important to find a partner that supplements your existing team with the experts that can get the job done.

Consider what price you’re paying to wait to implement programs that your competitors are already taking advantage of.

Security Concerns

Hosting security

It seems that every week another data breach is reported that exposes companies to enormous liabilities. Don’t waste another minute wondering if you have the security protocols in place to protect your business. Security concerns are one area that can cost you big time if you don’t have the experts in place to manage your data.

This is especially important for companies that store sensitive information. If you’re collecting personal data, payment information, or even just storing your own sensitive data, it’s imperative that you have a solid data protection and redundancy policy in place.

In some cases, security can feel a bit like a moving target. As regulations are passed and changed, you’ll need to adapt with them. A perfect example is the recent enforcement of the GDPR regulations.

You need the experts on your side to give you the peace of mind you need to get back to what is most important.

Profitability

IT is often an overlooked department when it comes to profitability. Sales and marketing are scrutinized. Operations work within a specific budget. IT, however, is largely seen as a necessary evil rather than a strategic advantage.

Evaluating your infrastructure, personnel resources, and IT assets will allow you to ensure that the department is supporting the business appropriately (and profitably).

SoftSys Review

I have been using hosting service of Softsys for more than a year. Probably it is not the cheapest service, but it worth every cent I spent. Definitely they have one of the best support team. It is fast and intelligent. Read carefully technical stuff provided by the company and if it is ok give it a try – you will not be disappointed.
— Vladimir
CFO

12 Sep

Adoption Of Improved Cloud Solutions Determines Business Success

Cloud based IT solutions have long been the domain of big corporations and enterprise-level integrations. Smaller, tech savvy organizations began adopting cloud services a number of years ago, yet it almost appeared to be a fad disappearing from the business landscape. However, over the last 3 years, cloud computing has seen a resurgence within the small and medium enterprise space.

As the technology matures, experts and business owners alike are finding that the ability to establish a competitive advantage through cloud-based services far outweighs the potential risk or pain of transition. In fact, 56% of cloud users say that their organization has a competitive advantage as a result of using cloud services as reported in research from the Cloud Industry Forum.

Mission critical business software such as Enterprise Resource Planning, Customer Relationship Management or Software Development Platforms are installed faster, serviced better, enjoy reduced operational cost and scale much easier with varying business needs.

How can cloud computing positively impact your bottom line? Hosting experts perform these services for a large customer base which means you have dedicated resources with better economies of scale.

Cloud Solutions For Business

Reduce Operational Costs

Struggling with budget constraints and increasing costs within your IT department? Moving your operations to the cloud helps reduce capital expenditures and increase profitability. This means your business has the funds necessary to re-invest and boost innovation.

Taking advantage of cloud computing and storage offers small and medium businesses economies of scale so your IT environment can grow with you. No need for a massive upfront investment in equipment and infrastructure that can paralyze growth. Instead, reduce your spending on software and skilled employees by partnering with a cloud hosting provider that can manage your environment as you grow.

Increase Efficiency – Scale Better

Align your company operations and increase efficiency through cloud-based automation and process management. Setting up workflows, templates, and rules that deploy automatically allows your staff to spend their time most effectively and shortens the time frame from conception to implementation.

The bottom line? You don’t have to invest in new hardware for a temporary increase in sales or commit to infrastructure that you only need for a short time. Your team doesn’t need to waste time with mundane administrative and maintenance tasks. You have the agility you need to adjust on the fly.

When your IT operations are optimized through a cloud solutions partner, you free up employees to focus on strategic tasks to serve your customers better.

Improve Productivity + Mobility

Empower your team with cloud-based connectivity and collaboration tools. In today’s world, teams are often spread across miles and time zones making it difficult to move projects forward without the proper infrastructure. Through cloud services, you can make sure your team stays connected with each other and your clients around the world.

According to the Telework Research Network employees working at home use 60 percent of the time they would have spent commuting actually doing work. AT&T says that it gets five hours more work per week from its home workers than those in the office.

If increasing your company’s mobility has been a priority that you’ve avoided due to the complications it presents, cloud services may be the perfect fit to move the initiative forward.

Speed To Market 

With cloud services, IT provisioning no longer takes weeks to organize. You can have systems set up within a matter of hours which gives you the resources you need, whenever you need them. This dynamic scalability ultimately means you have flexibility in bringing new products and services to market. That flexibility means you can compete more confidently and effectively.

 

SoftSys Review

This is the best hosting provider I have found. The support is always quick and helpful. They actually help you troubleshoot issues instead of just redirecting you to their FAQ. I have never noticed any downtime. Control panel is simple to use and not clogged up with advertisements. I have switched all my sites to Softsys and would recommend it to everyone.

— Mark R

17 Aug

What Major Hosting Options To Consider When Launching Your Web Store?

After doing months of planning & research, lots of code work & testing, you’re finally ready to launch your online store. At this stage, you might have a question in your mind – is standard shared hosting plan sufficient to host eCommerce website, or do I need something special?

Web hosting is probably the foundation brick of every web store, so it’s better to invest time and money you need upfront to ensure that you’ve got a solution that’s going to work with you for now and also in future.

You really don’t have to worry much when you’re planning to use hosted solutions like BigCommerce, 3dcart and Shopify. It’s because these hosted solutions use their own Cloud and therefore most of the heavy lifting are being taken care of by themselves.

Web Store Hosting

But if you’re planning to host your own online store, then assessment and selection of web hosting options is critical. Redundant web hosting is a vital factor to ensure your customers would have a super smooth and responsive online shopping experience. What hosting options are you going to choose for your online store? Here are some factors to take into consideration.

Select A Hosting Plan With Sufficient Disk Space And Bandwidth Limits

As we know that, web hosting services store files that build your online store and serve those files for viewing by those who visit website. Needless to mention that your eCommerce site will have hundreds of products, images, videos and a customer database.

Therefore, you’ll need a hosting plan with enough disk space to store all of this, and enough bandwidth for your customers to access your products, including copy, images and other resources.

Hosting Online Store On Shared Hosting

No one wants to spend more money than necessary, and hence shared hosting is the prime choice for most of the websites. Though, shared hosting isn‘t always the best option for an eCommerce store. Mostly, it’s suitable only if you are likely to have limited products, limited traffic and are looking for area specific audience without any plans of expansion. Secondly, if you’re just a startup, then shared hosting would make a lot more sense.

If you happen to choose a shared plan, choose a reliable shared hosting provider that can offer you a good response and round-the-clock customer support. It would be a plus if your web host offers PCI compliant shared plans because many online banks and payment processors require that your hosting is PCI compliant. The PCI compliant shared plans offer a safe and stable environment for your online venture.

Online Store And VPS Hosting

If you’re planning to add a number of products and soon you expect a huge traffic boost then it’s recommended that you opt for a VPS upfront. It is an ideal and more affordable alternative to more expensive dedicated servers while more secure and robust compared to the cheap shared hosting option.

With VPS hosting, you can scale up your hosting resources in no time, at the same time your store will have an isolated and secure hosting environment eliminating the risk of being affected by a bad neighbor as you experience in shared hosting.

The benefits of VPS over shared hosting arise from the fact that the resources are isolated and pre-allocated. For example, other users on same node are misbehaving: this will have little to no impact on your VPS. It does not matter what anyone else is doing on another VPS hosted on the same node – you are guaranteed that your speed and performance won’t be affected.

If you’re alloted with 2 CPUs, then you’ll always have those two CPU’s available to your operations. Similarly, the amount of RAM and disk space you’ve purchased will always be available for your operations, regardless of what else is happening on the physical machine. In a nutshell, your resources are dedicated exclusively to your web store.

Furthermore, if you possess server management skills, you might need root access to install some programs which is impossible with shared hosting. VPS has always been our suggestion for a serious ecommerce startup. Shared hosting is an adequate environment for testing not for production.

Choose the VPS provider that is in business for more than 5 years and capable to offer you longer billing cycles, so you don’t have to switch to a new provider midstream. The good news is that VPS comes in as a happy compromise. VPS initial costs can be as low as $15-$20 per month and you can upgrade it later when your requirements grow.

Ecommerce Store

Dedicated Server Hosting For Online Store

While VPS is an upfront step in the correct direction, and perhaps sufficient solution for relatively smaller storefronts that are just starting out, it’s really a dedicated server that’s probably the best option when it comes to ecommerce sites specifically. If you expect exponential growth in near future (as every business owner hopes) you might as well skip straight to the hosting solution you’re going to eventually need anyway.

Dedicated server hosting is undoubtedly more expensive option compared to sharing and VPS. But when your website is the main driver of your business, dedicated server’s additional

resources are critical for your success. If you’ve ever experienced a slow running ecommerce website hosted on shared or VPS, you’ll see that switching is like getting a supercharge when it comes to loading time, bandwidth, and handling high traffic loads.

In the eCommerce world, shopping cart abandonment is a real issue that can be fixed with more advanced hosting option. Because, approximately 18% of carts abandonment are due to slow loading times, which might cost you thousands of dollars in lost sales.

07 Aug

How Can Microsoft Office 365 Help Your Business?

No matter the size of your business, you need professional, affordable productivity technology to aid in growth and organizational agency.  Accessible from anywhere on almost any device, Microsoft Office 365’s turn-key, modernized products like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint software give small and large businesses the edge of on-the-go, collaborative freedom.

Updated features like Editor and Researcher in Word and Designer in PowerPoint enhance creativity and tighten performance, and extra services like Exchange emails, SharePoint and Skype for business are instrumental for increasing workplace demands.

Microsoft Office 365 has endless features to strengthen business practices.  Here are 6 reasons how Office 365 can help your business, and read below to find out how to get Microsoft Office 365 at a discounted rate.

Office For Your Business

Multi-Dimensional Elements

The ability to switch between devices makes Office 365 an invaluable asset for on-the-go employees and entrepreneurs.  Microsoft Office 365 integrates across almost any device, including PC’s, Androids, Macs, tablets, and smartphones.  Each user’s individual license is tethered to them through their accounts instead of stuck to one device.  And the best part?  You’ll be able to log into Microsoft Office and access your data whether you’re online or offline.

Exchange Emails

Businesses that turn to Microsoft Exchange Emails are exceptionally pleased with offerings of stringent email security, diligent anti-spam filters that eliminate threats before they hit inboxes, email encryption with advanced email protection, and much more.  Exchange is praised among employers of all sizes for protecting sensitive data and keeping employees connected with dependable access to emails, calendars, and contacts.  Exchange is now fully customizable, integrating web-based apps through a user-friendly plugin.

Data Control and Cloud Storage

With Office 365, your data is protected by tight security measures.  Data is encrypted when stored locally or while traveling between devices, and files are never scanned or accessed.  Because you have the freedom to choose whether files are stored locally or in the Cloud, you can limit sensitive data to one personal device.  OneDrive Cloud-based storage keeps your files safe in the event of an emergency, so no matter what happens, your valuable business files are still handy.

Flexible Payment Plans

Cloud computing prevents high up-front costs of software and equipment, instead utilizing a scalable, streamlined system free of surprises or hidden charges.  The flexible monthly payment structure offers personal and business users a no-contract plan that doesn’t penalize for continually adding or removing users.  You can alter plans at any time to suit your individual business needs.

Collaborative Technology

With one-click screen sharing and the ability for many users to access a single document, spreadsheet, or presentation, Microsoft Office 365’s collaborative technology makes it easier than ever for team-based performance.  Create online documents with a shareable link and control each user’s accessibility level for each document, picking and choosing who gets to see what. Join online meetings and see any user’s availability using Microsoft Lync through almost any device, and utilize HD video conferencing for your most formal web meetings.

Build A Website

Making a website has never been easier with Microsoft Office 365’s ready-to-go templates.  No hosting fees and personalized domain names, along with business-class, professional emails attached to that domain are a perfect way to strengthen and professionalize your online presence.  No web design or coding experience is needed—Office 365 makes it smooth and seamless to construct your own website from the ground up.

Want Microsoft Office 365 at A Discounted Rate?

Softsys Hosting partners with Microsoft to offer small businesses and individual users Microsoft Office 365 services at flat, low rates.  Enjoy all the benefits of MS Office 365, starting at $3.77 per user per month.

05 Aug

How To Choose The Right Web Hosting Platform From The Very First Attempt

Web hosting market is flooded with the thousands of companies, each offering crazy deals you cannot resist. Therefore, choosing the right hosting solution from the very first attempt is a bit tricky. Regardless of whether you’ll run a basic site for your small business, or you’re going to build an enterprise-class portal with a number of pages, the first and foremost step is to decide which web hosting platform will work best for you.

Once you caught up in a wrong hand, it is very difficult to move your business elsewhere. Therefore, it is vital to “get it right the first time” with the perfect hosting platform. In this blog post, we’ll go through a checklist that will help you determine the right web hosting option.

Understanding Your Hosting Needs

Before choosing any web hosting service, you should know what you really need to run your site optimally. To determine the hosting requirements, ask yourself some basic questions like:

  • What technologies have you used to develop a website?
  • What is the estimated traffic on your website?
  • What are your resource requirements like, disk storage, memory, CPU, etc.?
  • Does your website need special software?

Based on these questions, you can create a basic outline in your mind what your hosting requirement would be like. If you’re a hosting newbie, then you can always start small with a good shared hosting account.

A shared hosting account is cheap, easy to maintain, and sufficient for most new sites. With a shared account, you can focus on building your website without having to worry about other server-side tasks such as database maintenance and server security. A typical shared account is sufficient to support a WordPress blog with 30,000 to 40,000 monthly unique visitors.

However, if you expect your website to expand really big within a few months/years then you should consider selecting a web host that allows you to upgrade your existing hosting package to the next bigger option whenever required.

So you need to be able to easily upgrade from shared hosting to a virtual private server or dedicated server account for greater processing power, memory capacity, disk storage, and perhaps even enhanced security features.

Refund & Cancellation Policy

If anything goes wrong with your new hosting, you should be able to cancel your hosting plan within the trial period and get your money back in full. It’s important to know how your web hosting provider manages refund requests so that you don’t lose too much money if you have to cancel it.

Some hosting providers charge very high cancellation fees when customers cancel their accounts during trial periods. You should completely avoid these web hosts so you don’t get trapped.

On the other hand, some hosts offer anytime money-back guarantees where you can ask for a pro-rated refund. Before signing up you should check company’s refund/money-back and cancellation policy. What’s the money-back guarantee period, Is there any cancellation charges under the money-back guarantee period? These are some basic questions you should get the answers to before signing up.

Uptime And Reliability

You’ll require a web host which is stable and reliable, both in terms of their servers as well as network connections. Check how much uptime your web host offers. 99.5% and above is the recommended uptime score, but anything below 99% is unacceptable. You should also check the hosting provider’s past uptime records, reviews on various forums, blogs, and third­ party trustworthy review websites.

There are a number of different ways to obtain web host uptime information yourself. The simplest way to do so is by asking their sales representative or else you can simply track web host’s demo IP address with server monitoring tools.

Check Account Limitations

You won’t find this information explicit on any web hosting provider’s site, and none of the review sites will tell you. If you are using too much server resources (even under unlimited hosting) or violating the rules your web host will simply suspend your account.

You will be told somewhere in the terms and conditions that your account may be suspended or terminated for over-utilization of resources. Therefore, before you sign up on a web host, it is important that you read their terms of service.

Additionally, most of the web hosts won’t allow you to run illegal files and/or services on their servers. In case you intend to run a website with pornographic content or site allowing people to download pirated files, you’ll need probably offshore hosting.

24/7 Tech Support

With a web hosting account, you cannot get everything right by yourself. A web hosting service is pointless if it’s not coming with 24/7 technical support. Your web hosting service must have 24/7 support over live chat and phone along with a most comprehensive knowledgebase so that when you face difficulties with your services in the odd hours, your web host’s technical team will help you fix them.

15 Jul

5 Popular Web Hosting Add-Ons That Will Improve Your Website Performance

When you’re online, you are probably competing with lots of websites within the same niche. If your website does not outperform rival websites, this may have a large impact on traffic, conversions, and hence revenue.

Website performance is one of the vital factors and should not be underestimated. If you don’t believe us, better believe Akamai, a leading CDN provider. According to Akamai, 47% of people expect a web page to load in under 2 seconds, and 57% of visitors will abandon a page that takes 3 or more seconds to load. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the most popular web hosting add-ons that will take your website performance to the next level.

CDN Services

CDN, Content Delivery Network

A CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a cluster of geographically distributed servers that deliver the static content (images, CSS, Libraries and JavaScript files) quickly to visitors from the nearest server. In more simple words, when visitors browse your site, CDN chooses the nearest server to deliver static content used in the website. Thus, this ensures swift page loads and enhanced user experience.

A soon as you enable the CDN on your website, CDN copies your static contents to geographically dispersed edge servers, and website load is divided among them. Ultimately, your website is highly available to your visitors. CDN is extremely useful for websites with heavy graphics and videos, but struggling with loading speeds.

Antivirus & Anti-Malware Software

Malware is no imaginary problem, especially for the popular CMS like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc. Hundreds of new virus definitions are spread daily across the Internet and antivirus labs have to detect them and find solutions. This malware can completely compromise the security of your site or erase sensitive data. So, it is essential to have a good antivirus software to detect & remove viruses before they harm your system.

With traditional hosting service, you get a basic malware scanner that scans the entire home directory of your hosting space, identify the malicious code and quarantine it. If you want to proactively protect your website then you should consider using a more professional solution like SiteLock, Sucuri Security, Wordfence Security, etc. This software periodically scans your website and notifies you of any issues. Some include a Web Application Firewall (WAF) which monitors your site constantly and looks for the top known threats like Cross Scripting (XSS), Injections, and Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF).

Upgrade to SSD Hosting

This is not essentially an add-on to existing hosting, but indeed a hosting upgrade. SSD(Solid State Drive) is the latest computer storage device. The traditional hard drives are effectively mechanical devices, whereas SSDs are completely electronic as there are no moving parts to have to deal with the data. Data is just sent (written) electronically to the storage space or retrieved (read). Therefore, SSDs are significantly faster & more reliable than their SATA or even SAS predecessors.

To measure the speed of a hard drive, a metric called IOPS (Input/Output) is used. It is defined as the speed at which data can be written to or read from the disk. The higher the IOPS, the faster the disk. If IOPS is used as a benchmark then the speed of traditional hard drives like SATA is around 180 IOPS. Whereas the speed of SSD drives is measured between 4,600 to 15,500 depending on disk capacity.

In summary, with SSD hosting, you get the highest performance, faster database queries, faster caching which indeed is the formula for more traffic, more sales, and more revenue. If you have an existing hosting plan, then by upgrading it to SSD hosting, you’re going to see instant performance gains.

Offsite Backups

Server Backup

For frequently updating sites, offsite backups are vital. When your site is hacked, the first thing you would do is to revert to a previous clean version of your website. What if you don’t have a clean, recent backup of your site, probably you’ll be losing information. If you have malware-free backups of your site then restoring would be much easier and quicker process.

A professional automated backup service takes regular ‘snapshots’ of your data. It also allows you to restore the data from different restore points rather than having to use available old backups. With paid backup services, your backups will be sitting on a secure remote server so when the entire server is hacked, you can easily restore it from the offsite backup.

Managed DNS Services

You get only basic functionalities with free DNS services provided by a domain registrar or your own hosted DNS server. All queries will be resolved from a single physical location that makes your site vulnerable to the single point of failure. Thanks to paid DNS services, mostly managed  DNS servers are cloud-based, which gives you a layer of redundancy.

Now suppose a visitor far from your DNS server is trying to access your website, the DNS response can take a while to reach them. With paid service, all zones will be synchronized across all points of presence (POPs) simultaneously.

For more advanced functions and enterprise-class performance, it makes sense to opt for a managed DNS provider, because “Free” DNS services are not built for efficiency and performance. Managed DNS services give you highest uptime, DNS performance, speed, and redundancy.