If you are running a small business, or work on a small scale, you know that most of the work, if not all of it, has to be managed by you. In such a situation, if you take up the job of managing your own server, you will eventually discover that you are not able to give sufficient time to other important matters. This is where managed server hosting is ideal.
Managing a server can be a complex and time-consuming task. You have to install the right software on your server, update the server packages on a regular basis, make sure that all security measures are taken and create regular backups of important data. If you are not experienced in the IT field, the job becomes tougher for you, as you have to first learn everything and then implement it on your server. Or, you will have to hire an IT professional or a team to do the job for you. But when you are running a small business, you are typically tight on budget and hiring additional staff is a tough decision that may adversely affect your budget plans.
Web hosting companies decided to solve this problem that affects many small businesses by the introduction of managed hosting plans. When you opt for a managed hosting plan, the hosting company installs the necessary applications on your server, manages the routine tasks such as OS updates and security patches, takes regular backups and regularly scans the server for threats. Therefore, managed hosting helps take the guesswork and complexity out of running a server for your small business. Read further to get a detailed description of the advantages of managed hosting for small businesses.
Advantages of Managed Hosting for Small Businesses
1. Managing your Server
When you choose a managed hosting plan, it becomes the duty of the web hosting company to manage your server and regulary update the OS packages and implement security patches. This ensures that you have the cure before the epidemic attacks. In other words, you can prepare yourself for such anomalies and take necessary precautions to avoid it, all without having to do the research yourself.
If you opt for unmanaged hosting, however, you will have to manage the server by yourself. Managing a server is something which has to be done continuously. One mistake, and your server service and/or websites hosted on the server may crash, leading to the loss of potential sales or even current clients. Troubleshooting the problem, depending on the issue, can require a lot of time and a specific skill set, thus making it more obvious that you cannot manage the server yourself 24/7. You will have to hire system administrators for this job which will substantially increase the operating costs of your business.
Therefore, fully managed hosting is the best option for you, as it performs all routine tasks related to website hosting, and ensures that your website function properly, without wasting your precious time.
2. Regular Backups
Disasters, natural or man-made, never knock on your door. Virus infiltration, hackers, security holes, etc. can snatch away your useful data from you. In fact, if you are running a business website, data is the most valuable aspect of your business. Loss of data, for any business, means loss of revenue and loss of reputation and the confidence of customers in the business.
Managed hosting protects you from such losses, as the web hosting company takes regular backups of your vital data. They have a number of experts in their team who ensure that your server is up and running 24/7. They even help you restore your data, as soon as possible, if and when the disaster strikes.
On the contrary, if you choose unmanaged hosting, you will have to perform all these backups on your own, or employ someone for this job, or install software for automated routine backups. This is extremely costly in terms of time, money and effort. You cannot trust software to store all the data properly and you will have to keep checking the backups which may be tiresome and frustrating.
3. Ensures Security
Malware and hackers pose a huge threat to your websites or your server. They may access sensitive information about your business, or your clients, and use that information for the achievement of malicious objectives. They may even tamper with your data, leading to the loss of crucial information or loss of reputation.
Managed hosting prevents you from such attacks through scanning and eviction of malware by filtering spam and through regular security checks and patches. This ensures the safety of your data.
Choosing unmanaged hosting, however, implies that you have to do all this yourself. Tracking and eliminating potential threats is something which requires a lot of expertise and experience, and hiring such expertise will increase the financial burden of operating costs on small businesses. Managed hosting, on the other hand, provides better security and safety at lower cost.
4. Storage and Database Management, Scalability
The storage requirements of a business website change with time. If you decide to buy a small bandwidth or storage space for your website now, you may need to expand it later, which means incurring more expenses. In case you decide to buy a larger bandwidth plan or disk space from the very beginning, it will lead to wasted storage which increases your average costs, thus reducing your profits.
Database management is also very important, because the storage of your data should be organized, easy to retrieve and should be updated regularly.
Managed hosting helps you perform both these tasks efficiently. This provides easy scalability, a platform through which you can upgrade the server plan at any time that is most convenient to you and your business. Whether you need more space, a faster processor, more RAM, or higher bandwidth limits, the hosting provider will arrange for that. Web hosting companies also have a very skilled IT staff which can easily and efficiently manage your databases. This makes everything much more organized and easier. This also means that you’ll only be paying for what you use at all times.
6. Support System
Using an unmanaged server or hosting services means that any and all issues and plans have to be carried out by the system administrator, or by yourself if there isn’t an admin employed in the business. Sometimes it might not even be a technical issue that prevents your business from proceeding. You may need to install a new software platform, change configuration files, or debug performance bottlenecks. This requires knowledge of the operating system and the software installed on it.
This is where having a managed hosting provider can really help. A fully-managed provider is even more ideal here. In that case, the hosting provider has their own team of system administrators, each of which can help debug issues, install software, change configurations, and maximize the performance and optimization of your server. By having a team of admins available at any moment, this also maximizes the uptime of your server, ensuring that your present and future clients will be satisfied with your business.
5. Saves Time and Money
In the long run, managed hosting plans are more affordable than unmanaged hosting. Why? Hiring IT professionals for web hosting will significantly increase your operating costs, which will adversely impact the profits earned by your business.
Even if you are tech savvy and capable of doing these tasks on your own, you cannot manage the server and websites 24/7, and websites are not the only thing in your business. There are lots of important things that require your attention like expansion, growth, and diversification of your business.
Managed hosting is better in terms of time and money savings, that is, you don’t have to spend a large amount of money in the long run (due to lower operating costs) and you don’t have to spend all the time looking after the server, websites and staff. In case of unmanaged hosting, you will have to pay salaries to your IT staff (leading to greater operating costs) and will have to look after them 24/7 to ensure that the work is done properly, which will take up a lot of time. This is why unmanaged hosting is not a good option for your business.
To sum it up, if you are running a small business, you should seriously consider opting for fully managed hosting. It saves your time, money and effort. Managed hosting is the best option for your business as it frees you of the routine and monotonous task of server and website management and allows you to explore and implement new ideas for the development of your business. Who knows, one day your business will no longer be small!
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