Even before the COVID pandemic, ecommerce and digital businesses were poised to disrupt global commerce. And now, according to IBM’s U.S. Retail Index, COVID accelerated the worldwide shift towards digital shopping by around five years. In fact, just about every business worth their brand has moved all their business processes online, some with more success than others.
One underlying factor that can make or break these businesses is the hosting solution that powers them. Ecommerce business owners therefore need to understand the significance of this when it comes to operational success.
Why Should You Pay Attention to Your Hosting Solution?
It’s quite common for managers and owners of businesses to ignore hosting, especially when the business is not exclusively focused on software development. That’s because hosting is often seen as a supporting process, with little visible impact on the bottom line.
That means they’ll skip on quality hosting, and then stumble around trying to figure out just why their brand presence and revenues are declining.
In general, a sub-optimal hosting platform can cause the following problems.
Slow Performing Websites
Common internet wisdom holds that a user will leave a webpage that does not load in under three seconds.
Once someone leaves a website, they are unlikely to return to it. Worse yet, they might even discourage their family and friends from visiting it, and this negative word-of-mouth reputation could seriously hurt the brand.
Frequent or Lengthy Downtime
Downtime is akin to a store’s shuttered doors. You can imagine the sales revenue of a store that does not open its doors to customers. Given how the website is the primary channel for potential customers to make purchases, downtime is a serious threat to online businesses. It’s most likely to happen during the holiday season, when traffic spikes can crash unprepared websites hosted on slow servers.
Gaps in Security
Online businesses, particularly ecommerce stores, collect sensitive user information that needs to be protected. Even a rumor of a breach into a store’s database could be enough to destroy a brand’s reputation and business. That makes inadequate hosting solutions extremely dangerous as they often compromise the security of the servers, either because they cannot afford the cost or the expertise required for server security.
The Additional Cost of Server Management
In order to ensure that issues like the three highlighted above do not affect business operations, business owners need to invest in server management. This often comes in the form of hiring a system administrator. For small businesses, this could mean a significant expense and thus they opt for substandard shared hosting solutions, further perpetuating the cycle.
Introducing Cloudways – A Managed PHP Hosting Solution
The core objective of any business is to make money and grow. In the case of businesses with a digital component (apps or ecommerce stores), the above four issues could prove to be serious roadblocks.
The answer is a quality managed hosting platform like Clouways.
Cloudways is a managed hosting solution that offers simplicity and flexibility to businesses regardless of their operational model and industry. Offering a choice between five top cloud providers (AWS, GCE, Linode, Digitalocean, and Vultr), as well as excellent support, Cloudways simplifies hosting for all businesses.
Custom Web Stack Mean Fast Websites
Perhaps the most important benefit that Cloudways offers to businesses is the all-round solution based on a powerful stack (a combination of Apache, NGINX, Varnish and MariaDB) that’s optimized for PHP applications. As such, your managed cloud server and PHPapplication will be ready within minutes, and your website will perform at blazing fast speeds.
Managed Security for Your Peace of Mind
Being among top PHP host, a very important aspect of the Cloudways Platform is its ironclad security. This multi-level security is implemented through firewalls and multi-step login that strengthens account protections. Once logged in, you can blacklist (or whitelist) specific IP addresses or IP blocks to give you more control over who can access your server.
Backup & Restore to Minimize Downtime
Even with the best of planning, things could always go wrong. As such, Cloudways offers a comprehensive backup and restore feature at both server and application levels. This lets you store the backup archive at either the server or an offsite location. So in case of a disaster, recovery is just a click away.
Prompt Support to Address All Your Questions
Even with Cloudways taking care of the servers, you might have questions about a feature or use case. Cloudways maintains a 24/7/365 support service operated by experienced cloud engineers. You can reach them through live chat, email, or a support ticket, and get a prompt response.
Launch Within Minutes
Cloud servers often make people dread the endless hours spent setting up the operating system and server security, then downloading and deploying the base PHP framework, and finally bringing in the app code from the repo.
This requires a lot of time and attention to detail because if anything goes wrong, you have to start all over again.
As you will see below, however, with Cloudways, your managed server and the base PHP application are ready within minutes.
Cloudways Means Business
Once your managed server and application are ready for use, you will find that the Cloudways Platform is built for simplifying and streamlining business operations.
Cloudways PHP Hosting Performs Significantly Faster
In a test run, a Cloudways managed Digital Ocean server was tested for response under simulated conditions of (nearly) unlimited visitors. The average response time was an impressive 3439 ms!
During the test run, the server encountered no server errors (400 & 500) and no timeouts either. This makes Cloudways managed PHP hosting an ideal solution for all workloads and use cases you can think of.
Save Time and Money
SSL certificates are an essential business expense that could add up very quickly. Cloudways offers a free Let’s Encrypt powered SSL certificate that significantly reduces this expense. However, note that the Cloudways Platform continues to support third-party SSL certificates.
Digital businesses have an evolving codebase. New features are released frequently, and existing ones are changed. Cloudways provides a dedicated staging environment where you can test new code and features without breaking the live websites.
While we are discussing codebase, Cloudways comes with Git and Composer preinstalled. This means that you only have to launch the SSH terminal (or use the provided credentials to connect to the server) to start installing the application and its dependencies without wasting time.
Similarly, when you need to quickly replicate applications, you can use the handy application and server clone feature to spawn business processes and components without delay.
Don’t Just Take Their Word for It!
Of course, all managed hosting companies are happy to tell you about how they’re the top in the business. But Cloudways has the credentials to go with the claim.
Lytbox, a web design and development agency,Lytbox is one satisfied Cloudways customer. According to Jeffrey Dalrymple of Lytbox, Cloudways offers excellent support, and is a great solution that fits the requirements of their clients.
Wrapping It Up
Cloudways is a managed hosting platform optimized for PHP business applications, and emphasizes both performance and peace of mind. Thanks to a feature-rich platform and a highly-optimized stack, your business applications perform faster, remain secure and scale quickly, all without you having to worry about server management.
If you have a business application or a development agency, do give Cloudways a try – the free trial lasts for three days – and see all the benefits, easy pricing and performance enhancements yourself.