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To cloud or not to cloud – Choosing your web host provider

The cloud is powerful but are you ready for it?

These days it seems that just about everything you hear in technology is cloud this or cloud that. But we want to look at the cloud today in terms of hosting for your website and what that means for you. At the end of the day the “cloud” is just a bunch of servers somewhere that somebody else is managing. There may be times that you do or don’t want to rely on the cloud.

When looking to just store your personal data, the cloud may be an excellent option, same thing with business data backup, because it is always available and largely redundant. Where does the trade off begin though with not wanting to use the cloud? Well particularly when it comes to actually hosting your website. One of the most important factors behind hosting your website is the support team that is behind it making sure it is online and usable for you. You can have the greatest website or online app ever but if it isn’t online… well you aren’t making money and your brand value is being diluted faster than you can say apple sauce.

Not all cloud providers are created equal.

The cloud is integrated into a lot of premade business apps online that make them more reliable and easier to access. However, when it comes to hosting your own infrastructure you need to be careful. Amazon Web Services in particular is great for scaling out your website and web property or network of properties; however, it comes at a major cost. While Amazon can save you costs by you being able to only purchase extra servers by the hour when you are in high demand; they provide almost no support at all. In fact, if you want to be able to actually get  support such as live access to a phone or live chat support to dig in to your problem Amazon will charge you hundreds or thousands of dollars a year to support you. For the small business or startup that does not have hundreds or thousands of dollars to pay Amazon support we highly recommend hostgator. You can get your own private dedicated server just for your company and if anything goes wrong they are available 24/7/365 to support you even on holidays! If you are hosting a wordpress they are great with that and will often times even go in to fix the problem keeping your site down even when it does not have to do with their hosting itself and something you installed. In fact, they will even restore your server or fix it if it gets hacked, now that is support. This is not a sponsored post for them, they just provide great service.

So when picking your web host we recommend finding one that offers support, and not just for the basics otherwise you will pay through the nose in downtime and outside “consultants”.

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