One key feature of today’s digital environment is organisations ramping up their online presence. They are enhancing websites, integrating their ERP and CRM systems with Social Media, and moving to E-Commerce. All in the face of pressures on their operational budgets. This has led to a marked increase in the popularity of Full Service Web Hosting.
What is Full-Service Web Hosting?
Many of us will remember the days of full petrol station service. You pulled in, and an attendant pumped fuel, washed the car windows and checked tyres, oil, and water. Full Service Web Hosting is a bit like that. An outsourced service provider like HostSailor provides services to enhance your website to maximise traffic and conversion rates and perhaps to manage its operation. You do not need to have any technical knowledge.
In short, an outsourced service provider (“MSP”) offering Full Service Web Hosting offers a range of services additional to providing the infrastructure of the web space and connectivity needed to support a website. Such services could include domain management, 24/7 customer and a technical support line. Other services to optimise the website might include web design services, or SEO-based content maintenance services to maximise traffic and conversions.
What are the Benefits of Full Service Web Hosting?
For an organisation under budget pressure, the benefits of outsourcing web services are clear:
- A Transfer of Capital Expenditure to Operational Expenditure.
Upgrading a web presence in an in-house system will, in all likelihood, need new infrastructure, mainly hardware and software, funded from the capital. Additional technical resources might be needed from time to time., and if recruited will add to the departmental overhead costs.
Outsourcing will turn one-off expenditure into an annual or monthly fee, paid from the operational expenditure.
- You only pay for what you need when you need it and for as long as you need it. From time to time, you might need additional temporary infrastructure or staff resources to support a particular project or business need. Temporary resources do not need to be permanently added to the costs of the IT infrastructure or the overhead costs of IT development, support and management personnel.
- Uptime and High Availability. In an online environment, you need as near 100% uptime as possible. Being offline affects search engine rankings and loses sales. If an MSP can’t keep you online, then they in turn will lose customers, so it is in their best interest to keep you online.
- Existing systems and operations must keep running while the enhanced systems come into operation. Disruptions are minimised if the existing systems keep running on the in-house infrastructure and the new enhanced systems are implemented on the outsourced platform.
- Faster and more flexible deployment. When the replacement systems come into full operation, the original estimates around infrastructure requirements are too low, you need additional infrastructure. An MSP is better positioned to provide it more quickly. Organisations with formal procurement policies, such as large corporates or government departments will find this a distinct advantage.
- Operation efficiencies The MSP assumes the responsibility for operational tasks such as backup. The hosting plan arrangement might include remote management of the VPS environment, in which case the MSP should provide management tools such as cPanel or SolusVM.
One other point is that the MSP is responsible for keeping the software and particularly anti-malware data files up to date. This can occasionally result in compatibility issues, which the MSP must apply resources to fix.
- Security aspects such as protection against anti-malware, data theft, and other malicious Internet-delivered exploits become their responsibility. It is in their commercial interests to have an operational environment as secure as possible, so their security monitoring and prevention procedures will be top-notch.
SSL certification is also a necessity to provide online transactional security to customers. Sites that are not certified will find their operations restricted. For example, Google will flag an uncertified site as insecure, and some payment gateways will not be available to customers. Most MSPs offer SSL certification.
Some anti-virus companies are advising their WiFi customers to use only certified sites.
In short SSL certification is a must for online retailers.
- Managed services and better deployment of IT resources. You need to keep existing systems running and implement the replacement ones. If your MSP can provide managed services your staff can devote their time to development activities and perhaps the completion of any urgent and delayed projects.
- Growth and Scalability. Your MSP can offer a range of hosting plans that offer a smooth sustained growth path as your business grows. Linked to the ability to offer temporary resource upgrades, MSP can quickly meet most growth needs as a business grows in size.
Full-service Web hosting providers like HostSailor can help you take advantage of a move toward toe-commerce and an enhanced web presence. We have unrivalled experience in full-service web hosting, so if you need to move, or just want an informal chat, don’t hesitate to talk with our skilled professionals.