07 Sep

Popular Solutions To Build A Website Without Professional Skills

Widely known as website builders, they can help in creating websites without having any professional skills in website design. It can be a good option for those who don’t have enough budget to hire a web developer or would like to create a simple website without spending a fortune. 

Using a good website builder is also one of the fastest ways to set up your website. Many free and paid website builders provide simple, drag-and-drop tools that make creating a website simple and straightforward. 

However, not all website building tools are equal. Some are more flexible and/or reliable than others. Here are the most popular solutions on the market in 2020 that can help in building the website without having to study for years.

WordPress.com

WordPress

WordPress.com is a commercial edition of the open-source WordPress software. What you get from WordPress.com is a self-contained website platform that’s geared toward serving the DIY beginner user.

Key features:

  • An all-in-one platform for building a website yourself and launching it to the public. 
  • A visual content editor that’s easy-to-use and supports drag-and-drop. 
  • A separate design customization interface. 
  • Hundreds of free and paid website templates. 
  • A top-of-the-class blogging module. 
  • An eCommerce module. You can sell products and services. Worldwide payment processing can also be integrated with ease. 
  • Thousands of add-ons available. For things like contact forms, collecting leads, subscriptions, backups, and more. 
  • SEO tools, Mailchimp integration, Google Analytics, and more. 
  • Advanced reports and website statistics. 
  • Apps for iOS and Android. 
  • One-on-one sessions with support staff to help you get started. 
  • 24/7 live chat support.

The only thing you require is quality WordPress hosting from a reliable provider.

Wix

Wix.com is an all-in-one website building solution that lets you craft a professional and optimized website all by yourself.  The best thing about Wix is how it delivers its features and how easy to grasp the entire platform is. No matter your level of experience, you will be able to build a beautiful and functional website that doesn’t lack any essential features. 

Key features:

  • Wix Editor. It’s a drag-and-drop website building tool. It’s fully visual, which means that you can build your website design by moving elements around – no coding skills are required. 
  • Wix ADI. It’s an artificial intelligence module for website design. Basically, it asks you a range of questions about your idea for the site and then suggests a ready-made website that’s optimized for your needs. 
  • A fully functional eCommerce module. Wix allows you to add an eCommerce functionality to your website and sell whatever products or services you wish. 
  • Wix Logo Maker. A logo is a must-have when building a website. Wix offers its own logo maker tool that’s just as easy-to-use as anything else in Wix. 
  • 500+ designer-made website templates. 
  • Good SEO features and social tools. 
  • A custom domain name. 
  • Advanced analytics and stats.
  • 24/7 phone support in English. Support also available in other languages during working hours (Monday-Friday from 5 am-5 pm PST).  

Constant Contact Website Builder

Constant Contact is one of the leading players in the email marketing space – offering a functional email delivery service.  They’ve also entered the website builder market with an interesting, budget-friendly solution for businesses and small stores that need a website fast.

Key features:

  • A comprehensive AI website design module. The builder will ask you a couple of questions about your site and suggest a whole website design based on your answers (with individual pages and images included in context). 
  • A visual page building tool. You can tweak your design by adding new sections on the page and changing the specifics of what they look like. 
  • A fully-featured eCommerce module. 
  • A free image library (500,000+ professional images to choose from). 
  • Built-in integrations with a content delivery network (CDN). 
  • SEO features and optimizations built-in. 
  • Integrated with Google My Business. 
  • Optimized to be viewed on all devices. 
  • An analytics module. 
  • A blogging module. 
  • An integrated logo maker. 
  • Support available 24/7 via live chat, email, and also phone on higher plans.

Squarespace

Squarespace is one of the most popular website building tools out there. It’s also the only website builder to have had a Super Bowl ad, which is proof that the company is really confident about their product. 

Squarespace prides itself on its beautiful designs and intuitive interface. Works great if you want to build a business website. 

Key features:

  • Hundreds of professionally-made and award-winning designs to choose from. The designs come in different categories based on the purpose of your site. 
  • Fully visual and drag-and-drop enabled website editor. 
  • A blogging module. 
  • A fully-functional eCommerce store module allowing you to sell products (physical and digital, services, and subscriptions). 
  • A complete all-in-one package of SEO tools. 
  • Advanced analytics to help you understand what’s going on right now but also what the overall traffic trends of your site are. 
  • App integrations with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Maps, Unsplash, Zapier, Dropbox, Open Table, Xero, and many others. 
  • A functional mobile app to work on your site on the go. 
  • A logo maker. 
  • 24/7 customer support via live chat and email. 

Zyro 

Zyro is another all-in-one website building solution that lets you do everything yourself. 

It is also one of the newest players in the world of website builder tools. Right out the gate, its main selling point seems to be their functional free website builder, and very affordable paid plans after that. 

Key features

  • 20 website design templates to choose from. All of them truly beautiful and modern. 
  • A visual website building interface that’s grid-based and has full drag-and-drop functionality. 
  • AI Writer. An artificial intelligence module to help you write your website copy. 
  • Zyro Logo Maker. Easy to use and has some cool elements to help you get started. 
  • An eCommerce module allowing you to sell on your site and also via Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon. 
  • Two more AI tools: Business Name Generator and Slogan Generator. 
  • Optimized for all devices automatically. 
  • Integrations with Unsplash (to get unlimited images for your website), Facebook Messenger, Facebook Pixel, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Hotjar. 
  • Basic SEO features. 
  • Support via live chat, knowledgebase, and email. 

Webflow 

Webflow is a new player in the website builder landscape and quite an original one at that. 

On the one hand, it does come with a free plan, which lets you build a functional website without spending a dime. But on the other, it also delivers advanced features that are not commonly seen in free tools. 

Key features:

  • An advanced visual website builder. This one works with drag-and-drop, but also lets you tune-up every little detail about the elements on the page. 
  • Lets you build your design based on a CSS grid – a useful feature for advanced users. 
  • Accepts custom code. 
  • Exceptional typography control with over 2000 web fonts available. 
  • Fully responsive (also scales your images to make them fit). 
  • 100+ website templates (free and paid). 
  • 3D transformations and animations. Useful if you want to make your site stand out. 
  • CMS features integrated. This means that you can add content like portfolio items, blog posts, etc. 
  • An eCommerce module. 
  • Great SEO and Open Graph settings. 
  • Features allowing you to create sites for clients and then bill them from Webflow. 
  • Integrates with Google Analytics, Mailchimp, Google Optimize, Zapier. 
  • Email support for paid accounts and prioritized support for team accounts. Community support via online forum for free accounts. 

Weebly

Weebly is another all-in-one website platform on the list. It can handle all your website needs, from simple business card sites to eCommerce stores. 

It is similar to Wix in many aspects but does deliver its features in a slightly different manner. 

Key features:

  • A drag-and-drop website builder. Has all the standard content elements you might need and also some more unique elements like video backgrounds. 
  • 60+ website templates to choose from. 
  • An eCommerce module with secure checkout, inventory tracking, a powerful filtered product search, and other features. 
  • A blogging module. 
  • A custom popup creator. 
  • Apps for iOS and Android with access to website stats, online store stats and visitor interactions. 
  • An app center with third-party integrations and add-ons. 
  • SEO tools. 
  • An email module for communicating with your audience. 
  • HTML and CSS control for advanced users. 
  • Live chat and email support, and also phone support on higher plans. 
01 Sep

How To Choose The Correct Hosting Location For Ultimate Website Performance?

Choosing the hosting locations for your website should be the top on your checklist if you are launching the new website. Your web hosting server locations should be nearest to your target audience.

But Why Is It Important?

Because it will play a crucial role on performance of your website and SEO. Choosing the closest web hosting server to your target audience will reduce the page load speed, especially if you are running an e-commerce website. The slow loading speed of your website might cost you the prospective clients. Also, the Google has added the page load speed to their ranking algorithm so website loading speed will surely affect the ranking of your website. Hence hosting a website on a server closer to your target audience is very important from the SEO standpoint as well.

How To Choose The Best Location For Your Website?

Latency plays a crucial role when it comes to the speed of a website. Lower is better, 10 ms or lower is considered as an ideal latency. The best way to reduce the latency is to put your target audience closer to the web hosting server. You can also use the CDN if you are getting international traffic on your website.

What Is CDN And How Does It Work?

Content delivery networks (CDN) stores the cached version of your website’s static content in multiple web hosting locations across the globe and it will deliver  the static content of your website from the nearest server to the user who is browsing the website. For example, if your website is hosted on a server located in Chicago and the user is browsing it from London, the CDN will deliver the cached content of the website from the nearest CDN server to London which will reduce the load time and latency dramatically.

Conclusion

In such a way, we highly recommend choosing a cloud hosting server closer to your targeted audience which not only gives the performance to your website but also helps in SEO and ranking of your website. Your website will have a lower latency which will result in a faster page loading.  And if you are getting the traffic all around the world, then you should also consider using the CDN service to bring the content closer to your prospective users. Just ask Softsys Hosting experts and we’ll advise.

03 Aug

eCommerce Platforms: Pros and Cons of Server-Based and Cloud Solutions

There are so many eCommerce platforms that let you build an online store from scratch like nopCommerce, Prestashop, Magento, etc. and you can start offering your products and services online without any hassle.

Once you have selected the appropriate platform according to your needs the next step is to choose the hosting platform. 

Basically there are two types of hosting for eCommerce platforms:

  • 1. Server-based.
  • 2. Cloud solutions.

In this blog post we will go through the insights of both of these hosting types and also will discuss major pros and cons of them.

Server-based

Server based ecommerce

In the server-based hosting for your eCommerce website either you can go with a dedicated server or a virtual private server (VPS).

Both dedicated server and VPS gives you the root level privileges and also you will get the higher bandwidth compared to the cloud solution. So if you are running a large eCommerce website and getting a huge traffic then the server-based hosting will be ideal for you.

Pros: 

1 : Disk Space And Bandwidth

In dedicated server or virtual private server you will get the high disk space and bandwidth so you don’t need to worry about the storage space or bandwidth consumptions and you can focus on your business.

2 : Privacy And Security

In the dedicated server or VPS you will get the root level access to your server and only your websites will be hosted on the server with your unique dedicated IP address. Security is more robust as well because yours is the only traffic going in and out of your server.

3 : Performance

Performance is major factor when it comes to any website. No one likes the websites which load slowly. So if your eCommerce site is hosted on a dedicated server or VPS you already have high-speed bandwidth and all other resources are dedicatedly used by your website only.

Cons:

1: Cost

The dedicated servers and VPS are costlier than the cloud platforms so it depends on your business model, the traffic you are seeing per day to determine if you need your own server or if you are just a startup or small business then definitely you should consider the cloud solutions for your website.

2: Maintenance

With great powers comes great responsibility. This is true when you are operating your eCommerce business with your own server. You will need to hire a dedicated person to handle your all server maintenance tasks like installing security patches keeping up-to-date all the software and plugins troubleshooting the server side issues etc., unless you have a managed server.

Cloud Solutions

Cloud based ecommerce

Cloud solutions are widely used for small eCommerce websites and startup businesses. You can quickly setup and deploy your eCommerce website on a cloud hosting platform without worrying about the technical aspects at cheaper cost compared to a server based solutions.

Pros:

1:   Cost-effective

Cloud solutions are cheaper compared to dedicated server or a VPS. You don’t need to worry about managing the server and maintenance of it. The hosting provider will manage all the technical aspects like server security and other things on cloud solutions. This will save the man power and cost of hiring a system administrator to manage the server.

2:  Usability

On a cloud solution you will get an easy-to-use web-based control panel with user friendly UI to manage and deploy your eCommerce websites. And most of providers offer a managed service on eCommerce hosting plans. So you will get 24/7 support in case anything goes wrong.

3:  Scalability

The major benefit of using cloud service is the scalability. You can opt for increasing the resources such as (disk space, bandwidth, etc.) on demand as per your present requirements.

Cons:

1: Security

On a cloud server there are hundreds of websites that are hosted along with your website. So if one of those website is compromised or infected your website may also be at a risk.

2: Performance

In cloud hosting sometimes you may get slower speed on loading due to heavy load on a cloud server because there are so many other websites are also consuming the bandwidth and other server resources which may affect your website indirectly.

31 Jul

How To Improve Productivity While You Work From Home?

Many of us are spending a lot more time at home right now due to the recent Coronavirus Pandemic, including the workdays. When we’d usually be reporting to our desks, we’re finding ourselves on our sofa or at our kitchen tables, trying to complete to-do lists without the built-in discipline of the office. 

The expectations are the same or rather more, but the environment is not. And this is not an easy challenge. At the very start, many of us were enjoying the sudden change but that change has become boring now after so many months of working at home. We miss meeting people, gatherings, peer-to-peer communication, etc.

As for now, it looks like things will continue to remain the same for at least in 2020, so it is highly important to stay motivated, disciplined and improve productivity while we work from home in this pandemic. The key to work-from-home success is to create an environment that allows you to focus on the tasks at hand. Whether you are working from home for the first time or just need a quick refresher, here are some tips for creating a functional, but productive work environment at home:

1. Define Your Workspace

The foremost step in pepping up your work from home productivity is to set up a designated workstation. This helps you slide into workflow easily and in maintaining work discipline while at home. Coming up with a workstation is something that adds to your professional demeanour and adds to the productivity substantially. Isolating the work space area also helps isolating from family members.

2. Workspace Hygiene

Whether you work in a home office, kitchen or living room, if there’s “stuff” around that reminds you of your household chores, your eyes will go there and you’ll get distracted. Whenever you work from home, maintain a clutter-free zone. This will help you stay focused on your workload and remain more aligned with an in-office experience. Just setting up a designated work from home desk wouldn’t cover the lengths of productivity. You now have to keep it hygienic enough to maintain healthy work habits. Decluttering is the key to attaining this, simply get rid of all the non-work related articles from around your workstation. And having this done, you are now keeping away from the most of distraction that can hamper your productivity.

3. Wear Your Workday Attire

While it is easy to jump on for work in your pyjamas,  you have to set yourself up for success when working from home. Get ready as you would if you were going into the office. Set a morning ritual of getting dressed doing work as you did while going to office to get in the right mindset. You increase your chances of being productive when you set an intention. Remember we are only working from home with the same level of productivity as expected in an office environment.

4. Allocate Strict Working From Home Hours

The biggest of challenges in improving your work from home productivity is allocating work hours. Its easy go past the regular working hours which down the line will lead to reduced productivity. So the next step in maintaining productivity is to set apart work hours with specific breaks in between. For example, In an 8-hour shift, allocate 3 hours, 3 hours and 2 hours with breathers of 10-15 minutes in between, just you would do in an office environment. Allocating work hours would help you make sure that the work at hand is being delivered regularly, productively and always quality centric. Remember, take breathers not vacation.

5. Set Ground Rules For Family Members

It is not possible to follow this all the time and under all circumstances, but whenever possible setting ground rules with people around is the next step in the ladder. Making sure that you are not constantly distracted by the family members can fetch you a good amount of work from home productivity. Simply ask them to maintain the same temperament towards your work as of when you are at a workplace. This will help your transition into a productive working from home option on a longer run.

6. Actionable Remote Working Plan

Coming up with the list of things to be done and ensuring all of which is done is imperative to improve your work from home productivity. Also, make sure that you complete every of the task allocated for a day. Leaving out one of 10 things you had planned for the day is only going to pile up unattended work by the end of the month.

7. Leave Household Chores To Post-Work Hours

It is easy to fall into the trap of taking short breaks in between and complete house hold chores. Over the time, it may result in reduced productivity as you will be tempted go to out more often, sometimes in the name of breaks. Household chores are important, but not when you’re at work. Leaving them for post-work hours is what needs to be done.

8. Stay Fit And Exercise Regularly

When on a consecutively longer work from home regime, taking out time for yourself is strongly recommended . This will help reduce your stress levels and stay focused while working from home. This will also give break from the routine being followed at home.  So listen to the music and burn out calories and stay fit. 

And if you need to empower your geographically distributed business with some crucial IT tools, consider Microsoft Office 365 and Acronis backup services add-ons by Softsys Hosting.

26 Jul

Moving Business Into The Cloud: What Major Steps To Take?

Go With A Company You Trust

You can often get into surprise elements when moving into the cloud. If you don’t feel confident, find a vendor that you can trust. A good way to evaluate a vendor is getting recommendations. Going through reviews or asking for client recommendations are also a good way to proceed. Once you’re there, ask for a detailed bid – you’re less likely to run into surprise costs.

Dividing The Overall Tasks

Cloud Migration

Cloud migration is a daunting task involving almost every business function and not everything can be stopped in case any issues come up during the migration process. Therefore the best approach for a business is to build in milestones where it would be possible to temporarily stop the migration for whatever reason. 

Expertise Matters

Everybody will agree here that cloud is considered a reliable and secure place to store data, but contrary to this, the migration process isn’t easy if you don’t have the right kind of developers/experts to channel you through the process. Every service provider offers a certain set of tools to guide you through the process so that you can do it manually, however finding the right team will save you both time and money.

Security

By migrating your business to the cloud, you open it up to anyone with online access. One should carefully plan and place necessary tools to enhance the security aspect of the cloud platform specially from the user devices.

Know How It Works First

It is important that you know the platform inside out. Don’t move or use the cloud until you fully understand what is involved and how it works. It’s better to have a clear picture before you put your business into something you are not fully aware how it works, including how your information can be secured.

Consider The Application You Want To Use

Not every cloud application fits all. Depending on your cloud strategy and business objectives, the application might only solve certain parts of your migration or needs and not be flexible enough to transfer all of your intended data. Compare cloud applications. Weigh the costs, security, flexibility, storage, and the efficiency of the application before you decide to go with a specific solution.

Manage Every Step Of The Process

Migrating to the cloud is a big step and one that can have some positive effects on your business. However, such a major change also carries some risks with it. Do not think of it as flipping a switch and making the change all at once. Nor should you put all the responsibility on the shoulders of the cloud vendor. Take steps of your own to stay organized and maintain security.

Make Multiple Backups

Cloud Backups

We cannot stress this enough. Always copy your critical applications to cloud backups drives. The best strategy is to set up automated backups to multiple locations. These backups can and will save your business one day.

16 Jun

Making Remote Work Secure: Five “Must Do” Steps

Since COVID-19 became a global pandemic and steps were put in place to contain its spread, more and more people have been forced to work from home. This transition requires many changes in how individuals and organizations operate and communicate, especially in terms of using computers, personal devices, and specific software that enables remote work.

At the same time, cybercriminals recognize that attacking home users is much easier as they are typically less secured outside their office, where security policies and measures are enforced (at least at some level). Yet to do their jobs, these remote workers need to connect to various servers and access and create confidential, sensitive documents and data from their less-secure home office environment.

The risk of losing important data or being compromised becomes much greater at home. That is why every remote worker should be prepared to secure his remote workspace. Here are five recommendations for securing a home office.

1. Use a VPN

Whether you are connecting remotely to company resources and services, or you are just browsing web resources and using telecommunication tools, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPNs encrypt all of your online traffic to prevent hackers from capturing your data in transit.

If your company has a VPN practice, you most likely will get instructions from your admin or MSP technician. If you have to secure your working place yourself, use a well-known, recommended VPN app and service – they are widely available in different software marketplaces or directly from vendors. If you are in need of secure VPN, get in touch with us and we will help you with it.

2. Be wary of phishing attempts

As a topic, COVID-19 is already being widely used in all types of phishing attempts – and the number of such malicious activities will only grow. Every remote worker needs to prepare for the increase in phishing attempts by understanding and recognizing the threat.

Themed phishing and malicious websites appear in large numbers every single day. These typically can be filtered out on a browser level, but if you have a cyber protection solution installed on your work laptop or your company’s MSP delivers that protection with a solution like Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud, you are also secured by dedicated URL filtering. The same functionality is also available in endpoint protection solutions, although in Acronis Cyber Protect we have a special category related to public health which is updated with higher priority. 

Of course, those malicious links have to come from somewhere, and they are typically delivered in instant messages, emails, forum posts, etc. Do not click any links you don’t need to click on, and always avoid those that you did not expect to receive.

These attacks also use malicious attachments to emails, so always check where an email really comes from and ask yourself are you expecting it or not. Before you open any attachment, be sure to scan it with your anti-malware solution, such as Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud.

To be sure that all phishing and malicious websites are blocked by security solution with embedded Web/URL filtering functionality like Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud

It also helps to remember that the information you really want regarding COVID-19 or similar pandemics can be found from official sources like the World Health Organization (WHO), your national ministry of health, and state/local government agencies. Refer to those official agencies rather than opening links or emails from unknown sources.

3. Be sure to have good anti-malware up and running properly

Having a good anti-malware solution installed is a must nowadays. With Windows, where the majority of threats are targeted, the built-in Windows Defender makes it easier. It does a good job of stopping threats, although it still cannot match the top anti-malware products from security vendors.

Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud delivers many well-balanced and finely tuned security technologies, including several detection engines, so we would recommend it to use instead of an embedded Windows solution.
Simply having an anti-malware defense in place is not enough, however. It should be configured properly, which means:

  • A full scan should be performed at least once a day
  • A product need to get updates daily or hourly, depends how often they are available
  • A product should be connected to its cloud detection mechanisms, in the case of Acronis Cyber Protect to Acronis Cloud Brain. It is active by default but you need to be sure that the internet is available and not accidentally blocked by anti-malware software.
  • On-demand and on-access (real-time) scans should be enabled and adjusted for every new software installed or executed.It is also important that you do not ignore messages coming from your anti-malware solution. Read these carefully and, if you use a paid version from a security vendor, be sure that license is active.

4. Patch your OS and apps

Keeping your operating system (OS) up to date is crucial, as a lot of attacks succeed due to unpatched vulnerabilities. With Acronis Cyber Protect, you’re covered with embedded vulnerability assessment and patch management functionality. We track all identified vulnerabilities and released patches, which allows an admin or technician to easily patch all their endpoints with a flexible configuration and detailed reporting.

Acronis Cyber Protect not only supports all embedded Windows apps, but also more than 40 third-party key popular apps including all telecommunications tools like Zoom or Slack, and a lot of popular VPN clients that are used to work remotely. Be sure to patch high-risk vulnerabilities first and use success reports to confirm that patches were applied properly.

If you don’t have Acronis Cyber Protect and do not use any patch management software, it is much harder. At a minimum, you need to be sure that Windows gets all the updates it needs and they are quickly installed – users tend to ignore system messages, especially when Windows asks for a restart. Ignoring these requests is a big mistake.

Also, be sure that auto-updates to popular software vendors like Adobe are enabled and such apps like PDF Reader are also updated promptly.

Acronis Cyber Protect Patch Management supports all the popular collaboration, conferencing and messaging tools

5. Keep your passwords and workspace to yourself

While this step has been mentioned many times as the top piece of security advice, during the response to COVID-19 it is doubly important to ensure your passwords are strong and known only to you. Never share passwords with anyone, and use different and long passwords for every service you use. Password management software makes this easier. Otherwise, an effective approach is to create a set of long phrases you can remember. And when we say long, we mean long, since the old eight-character passwords are easily opened by brute-force attacks now.

Also, even working from home, do not forget to lock your laptop or desktop and limit access to it. There are many cases when people can access sensitive information on a non-locked PC from a distance. Don’t assume you are protected simply because you are not inviting anyone you don’t know or trust into your home office.

06 Jun

What Will Change In The Global Business Landscape In 2020?

We are in a healthcare crisis that is also an economic crisis combined with an energy crisis. Add to that a looming humanitarian crisis in some emerging economies and you have a multitude of challenges, all of which are exacerbating geopolitical risks. How will this crisis change the global business landscape in 2020 – and what does it mean for the actions we take today at Softsys Hosting and other business ventures?

Fear And Optimism

Fear and Optimism

The length and depth of the current economic crisis will depend on solving the healthcare crisis with an exit strategy involving a combination of an effective, widely available vaccine and therapeutic drugs. Meanwhile, governments around the world are trying to manage the delicate balance between controlling transmission and returning some people to economic activity. The stakes are high, not only in the obvious health and economic consequences of mis-steps but also in managing public perceptions of risk.

The fears we feel are real. They are reinforced by government messages, the data we read daily on infection rates and the sad reality of the actual numbers of COVID-19 deaths, in particular the data on “excess deaths” that are only now being made public. These have driven public behaviours that have controlled transmission and reduced deaths in many countries, but we now need to cautiously find ways, especially in the business community, of responsibly allowing society to adapt and manage the false dichotomy of public health and economic wellbeing.

Risk Interdependencies

This crisis also highlights the interdependencies of the global risks triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake, we are experiencing a historic event that will change many aspects of the world we live in, such as geopolitics, the economic impact on many industry sectors, the competitive business landscape, the long-term societal impacts such as an exacerbation of inequality, consumer behaviours, the nature of work and the role of technology both at work and at home.

In addition to the dangers to public health, the pandemic and the resulting lockdowns and shutdowns could have long-lasting effects on people and societies. High structural unemployment is likely to affect consumer confidence and the speed of economic recovery, as well as exacerbate inequality, mental health problems and lack of societal cohesion.   

Technology

 Companies and governments are trying to manage the on going crisis, it is also challenging the relationship between technology and governance. Mistrust or misuse of technology could have long-lasting effects on society. Borders have returned, as have local communities, but technology is allowing a return to a more global world. Technology is enabling the contact-free economy, through applications such as telemedicine, online retail, and social distancing delivery methods such as click and collect. New business and employment opportunities are being created in these sectors, but a greater dependence on technology has also increased cybersecurity risks.

Business And Policy Considerations

Business and policy considerations

In a time of great uncertainty, decisions are being taken today by governments and businesses that will determine how these risks or opportunities emerge and play out. In particular these include:

· To what extent do we manage the operational trade-offs between a quick return to work, but still protect our employees, clients and society more broadly?

· At a time of change for our business, with changing industry structures and changing competitive positions, how do we not only survive, but also find the silver linings?

· How can we accelerate our commitments to sustainability and drive a low-carbon transition?

· How will consumer behaviour change in our sector – and how will that affect our propositions and the way we deliver them? · Build scenarios into existing risk models to understand the impacts of different recovery rates on business, operational, market risks.

04 Jun

How To Choose The Right Backup Service For Your Business Data?

Business data needs to be protected not only from ransomware or other cyber-attacks, but also from natural disasters. If your business isn’t well-equipped with measures that protect mission-critical data, then a single cyber threat can destroy your business in no time.

If your business falls prey to cyber attacks, loss of revenue can be as high as 20% and more. According to a recent cyber-security survey, 4 out of 10 businesses are certain to suffer huge losses and the number of businesses that are hit by cyber attacks is reported to be 29%.

Business can also suffer heavily in terms of its reputation, because it’s not just the revenue loss, but also the loss of loyal clients. Therefore, businesses need to design a robust strategy for data backup to ensure business continuity in the event of cyber-attacks or any natural disasters. In this blog post, we’ll outline some tips to choose the right backup service for your business needs.

Backup Security

Backup & Disaster Recoery

Needless to say that cybercriminals are becoming more and more sophisticated, so how safe is your business data in the backup server? Ask your backup provider how your crucial business data is protected on the backup storage. You should look for at least 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption in data storage and for Secure Socket Layer (SSL) while data being sent to and from the server. This will greatly minimize the risk that a hacker can intercept and steal the information being transmitted. Additionally, the backups must be taken on off-site data storage.

Backup Storage & Scalability

How much backup storage do you really need? Backup providers offer anywhere from 10 GB to unlimited space, giving businesses a wide range of options based on their requirements. Obviously, the amount of backup space offered is directly related to service costs. Hence, it’s best to determine how much backup space is needed so you can stay within your budget limits.

Also, find a backup service that offers scalability and agility so that your backup can grow as your business grows. While you don’t necessarily have to opt for unlimited space, your options include purchasing more space than you need or signing up with a vendor that offers flexible solutions.

Disaster Recovery

Hosting providers can make all the uptime guarantees they want, but the reality is that unforeseen events, such as cyber-attacks and natural disasters, can shutdown servers and render your data inaccessible. For instance, Amazon’s northern Virginia servers went offline due to severe thunderstorms, taking down major services like Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest. If large institutions like AWS can get hit, so can small businesses. While downtime is not always preventable, what’s important is to make sure the business data backup you choose provides an effective and efficient disaster-recovery plan to get you back online ASAP. This can mean anything from multi-location backups to cyber-attack mitigation.

Platform Support

A backup service doesn’t do much good if it doesn’t protect the data on all of your business devices, not just on servers or desktop PCs. In a typical environment, Mac and Windows systems comprise the bulk of laptops and workstations. Linux and Microsoft Windows Server are the most popular platforms for servers. Getting access to data from a mobile device is becoming not just popular but increasingly critical as mobile devices become more sophisticated and not only store more data but create it as well. At a bare minimum, Android and iOS devices should be considered as backup targets.

In many cases, organizations host virtualized infrastructure on-site as well as in the cloud and, since this is really just software, it should be backed up along with everything else. Therefore, you’ll need to ensure that your backup provider can support these requirements. Citrix, Microsoft Hyper-V and VMWare VSphere tend to be the most commonly used commercial products for creating and running VMs.

App-Specific Support

It’s equally important to consider app-specific options while choosing backup service. Some back-end business apps might need special capabilities when it comes to backup and restoration, especially complex, database-driven platforms such as big customer relationship management (CRM) apps and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. Popular examples of such business apps include Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server, NetApp, and Oracle, which all require special handling. The best options will have native support for backing up and restoring them. Otherwise, you will be left with trying to cobble together a backup solution that only works under the best circumstances.

Customer Support

Backup service providers’ product support varies widely. Customer support should be one of your service provider’s main selling points. By using a data backup service, you are entrusting your business’s operational foundation to a third-party provider. You want to know that they have your back when something goes wrong or you need help. While some offer excellent support, others may as well be nonexistent. Choose a vendor that can be contacted via multiple channels, such as phone, email, chat and even social media. Also, choose a service provider that will treat your data as if it was their own.

Our Recommendation

It takes a whole lot of research to select an appropriate cloud backup service for your business. It needs a balance of availability, configurability, price, security, and usability. In the end, the best cloud backup service will be the one that most closely meets your company’s needs because that’s the best way to ensure it’ll be easily adopted by your users.

Cloud Backup

Our datacenter engineers have tested a number of industry leading backup services and recommended Acronis Cyber Backup and Protection as the best choice among them all.

Acronis is a modern, quality cloud backup service having a number of uncommon features such as blockchain checks and ransomware monitoring. It also offers continuous backup and incremental backup features. It also offers you private, end-to-end encryption that is a very important security feature in this day and age. Unlike it’s rivals like Carbonite or Backblaze, Acronis is easy to set up and use. Here are some streaming features that we liked the most in Acronis:

  •   Multi-service management portal.
  •   Multi-tier cloud architecture.
  •   Comprehensive white-labeling.
  •   Straightforward pay-as-you-go pricing.
  •   12 data centers to choose from*.
  •   Extensive usage reporting.
  •   Feature and quota management.
  •   Single sign-on for multiple services.
  •   Backup operations dashboards and reports.
  •   Integration with RMM and PSA tools: Autotask, ConnectWise (Automate, Manage, Control), Kaseya, SolarWinds (Coming Soon).
  •   Integration with hosting control panels and billing systems: cPanel, Plesk, WHMCS, HostBill.
  •   Integration with marketplace providers: CloudBlue, AppDirect.
  •   A RESTful management API.
  •   User interface in 25 languages.

Key Data Protection Features

  •   Secure cloud backup storage from Acronis, Microsoft and Google.
  •   Flexible local and to-cloud backup options.
  •   Hosted self-service management portal.
  •   Full image and file-level backups.
  •   Data protection on 20+ platforms, including Windows and Linux servers, VMs, eight major hypervisors (vSphere, Hyper-V, Nutanix, Virtuozzo, Citrix XenServer, Linux KVM, RHEV, Oracle VM Server), PCs, Macs, iOS and Android mobile devices, Microsoft on-premises apps, SAP HANA, Oracle Database, Office 365, G Suite and websites.
  •   Initial seeding with physical data shipping.
  •   Customizable policies with backup schedule/frequency and retention rules.
  •   Wide range of recovery options: entire machine, ESXi configuration, single files and folders, databases, office 365 items, etc.
  •   Recovery to dissimilar hardware, including bare-metal, physical, virtual, or cloud environments.
29 Apr

How Softsys Hosting Is Helping Businesses To Overcome COVID-19

How Are We Helping You?

Create New Revenue Stream By Reselling Our Services

In this troubled times with no certainty on when businesses will re-open and get back to their normal levels, it is very important to create an alternative revenue stream. We are helping plenty of freelancers, digital agencies, web development / designing firms, digital marketing agencies, etc. by providing them with an option to resell our cloud hosting services and start making money with zero upfront investment. They are free to (re-)sell our services at their own rates and keep the margin while we take care of setup / cloud management from the backend.

Reduce Your Expenses By Outsourcing Certain Services

Over the last few weeks, we have worked with a few customers to have them outsource some of their internal services and reduce their expenditure dramatically. We have professional in-house IT staff and loyal partners who can help with programming, developing & designing web apps, perform digital marketing activities, etc. in a very professional manner at very affordable rates. Typically, for development / designing activities, average rate is around $15/hr with the option to have full-time dedicated developers in your preferred domain expertise from $2000/month.

Outsourced development and support

If you have trouble with staffing, we can also help to provide outsourced helpdesk services to ensure that your end customers receive continued support based on your SLA’s – this can be for 8 hours, 12 hours or 24 hours a day. Just contact us to discuss your particular case.

Consolidate Services From Other Providers To Softsys Hosting And Reduce Your Cloud Expenses

With severe uncertainty, every business has started reducing its expenses and so should you! We are working with our customers to help them consolidate their cloud services with other providers and move them over to us with custom packages and reduced pricing. We are working with each customer willing to move over to us during this trouble period by ensuring that they are getting their required services and at reduced rates. This also includes AWS & Azure based setup – due to our special partner arrangements with AWS & Azure, we are able to offer discounts over their retail pricing and offer you the most comfortable conditions.

Ensure That Your Business Is Safe While You’re Adapting To The Changing World 

Hackers are taking advantage of this troubled time by attacking and stealing data along with inserting malware / ransomware in critical systems. There have been thousands of reports of such attacks around the world and we are taking security very seriously. We have implemented some security measures on our borders at each data center and are also working individually with our customers & partners to provide additional security measures to protect their systems.

Data Protection

With many people operating from home and outside of office premises, we also have solutions to protect their workstations with regard to your critical data and setup through our all new Acronis Cyber Backup & Protection Cloud – a turnkey product that includes data backup & restoration along with malware / ransomware protection. Learn how do we ensure ultimate network security or opt for Windows Virtual Desktop for business.

Provide Ready To Go Solutions Like WordPress, Magento, nopCommerce & More

We are also preparing to launch some additional ready to go solutions of popular CMS / eCommerce platforms and they are being made live rapidly on our website. Our current offerings are WordPress, nopCommerce, Umbraco, Joomla, Magento and a few more that are going to be added shortly – WooCommerce, SuiteCRM, osCommerce, phpBB, webERP, etc. With a single click setup and platform optimised for these applications, we want to cut down your time on installation / configuring the environment and provide affordable ready to go solutions. We are also offering free migration for all of these platforms!

Negotiate With Microsoft And AWS To Provide Discounts To Our End Customers By Committing Volume Orders With Them

We have negotiated heavily with Microsoft Azure & AWS to allow us to use their platform and provide discounted services to our customers. If you are already using Microsoft Azure, AWS or any Microsoft services (like Office 365, Dynamics 365, etc.), get in touch with us and we can provide you with some savings over their retail pricing.

AWS / Azure / GCP Cloud Management Solution

It is necessary to cut down on your expenses of cloud solutions – we are helping customers by providing AWS / Azure / GCP Cloud Management solution at flat / affordable rates. This also included cloud cost management whereby we will analyze and work on your setup to ensure that your cloud environment is optimised for cost & not overpaid (do you know that 78% of customers pay more than necessary on such services?).

Move Your Expensive Solutions To More Affordable Ones

If you are spending high on expensive solutions, we can help you by moving to Office 365 suite, BizMail, etc. services to ensure that you are saving a fortune for your business.

We are here to help you in all ways possible. Just let us know your requirements and your goals and we will work with you to ensure that you / your business sails through these troubled times.

Stay safe!

10 Apr

Major Trends Transforming The Global Online Landscape

Today, these innovative digital trends are among the top priorities for most business owners in 2020 in accordance with the Softsys Hosting research.

And why wouldn’t they be? After all, if your business has any intention of remaining competitive in today’s online landscape, you must adapt to the rapidly evolving changes in the online field.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence

2020 may be the year that a lot of people wake up to the dominance of artificial intelligence (AI). It’s sure to be at the heart of global business and industry in the future – and it’s already taking over many simple jobs.  It can analyse consumer behaviour and search patterns, and use data from social media platforms and blog posts to help businesses understand how customers interact with their products and services. AI in 2020 will be able to cut staffing costs and accelerate growth, getting a cutting edge over their competitors.

Chatbots

Chatbots will continue to be an important part of the global online landscape in 2020. This AI-based technology uses instant messaging to chat in real-time, day or night, with your customers or site visitors. It is greatly used by banks, transport and eCommerce. These virtual assistants offer outstanding customer service by meeting customers’ expectations and automating repetitive tasks – which means that you can focus more on your core work.

Multi-Cloud Strategy

From a strategic point of view, enterprises are looking at a connected cloud or multi-cloud option that will let them enjoy the benefits of a mix of public cloud, private cloud and data center. Multi-cloud (public, private or hybrid) addresses the growing challenges of cloud adoption, and is continuing to develop to meet the ever-changing needs of companies. With connected cloud, irrespective of where the workload runs, customers will be able to enjoy a secure and seamless experience.

5G Technology

5G Technology

In 2020, 5G will expand the mobile ecosystem to new industries. Next-gen mobile technology leaders have already collaborated with mobile operators and device makers to roll out the new technology to accelerate response times to devices, enabling greater speed and lower latency. 5G is expected to impact most business sectors – from manufacturing to services – and potentially bring unprecedented change to consumers’ lives.