Web hosting companies are like cable companies, we have a love hate relationship with them. When everything is working great, we love them. The rest of the time we usually hate them. You’ve gotten used to the services they provide and put up with the pricing (although you’re probably not happy about that either).
Well guess what? The capabilities you can now get for your website hosting are much better and cheaper than what your web host can even provide. Let me explain.
Most of the web hosting companies were built on concepts and technologies that are now outdated. Technology moves at breakneck speed and the vast majority of web hosts aren’t keeping up. Bottom line: you are paying more than you should for inferior service (just like your cable provider).
As an example, let’s go over 5 things you’ll wish your web host could do
Global DNS Servers
When you host your website(s) with your hosting provider, they give you DNS services to advertise your website location on the Internet. Generally they provide 2 or 3 DNS servers and in most cases they are all located together in the same datacenter. If Internet connectivity to that datacenter goes down, all advertisements to your website are down.
What that means in simple terms is your website presence has no fault tolerance. There are several factors that are involved in creating a fault tolerant web presence and the first and most important factor is how resilient your DNS advertisements are.
By using a global cloud provider such as Amazon’s DNS service, Route 53, you immediately get your DNS hosting spread across 4 different geographical locations.
Pre-configured virtual servers
If you order a server from your web host, you get just a generic server with some sort of control panel (hopefully cPanel). It’s up to you to install and properly configure WordPress. That doesn’t include the proper hardening of WordPress. It’s all up to you. With such a large number of customers that need a properly configured and hardened installation of WordPress, it’s crazy that traditional web hosts don’t offer that.
A virtual server from a cloud provider can come preconfigured with the latest version of WordPress already setup and properly hardened. To get a server configured that way you would most likely have to hire a technical person to do it for you.
Data durability guarantee
A guarantee everyone wants is to ensure you data is protected from hardware failure. If you ask your webhost about this they will explain you should be doing proper backups. They may even try to sell you some sort of managed backup service.
The technology exists to provide a data durability guarantee for your data. The problem is that it’s expensive and smaller web hosting companies simply cannot afford to provide it as a service at a reasonable price. That’s one of the many benefits of using a global cloud provider.
Amazon S3 storage service gives you 99.999999999% durability and 99.9% availability of objects over a given year. They can guarantee that level of data durability because they store your data in multiple datacenters at multiple locations. And it’s far cheaper than you think. No other web host can offer that kind of data durability.
Yes, backups are important but how valuable is your website data? Hopefully you are starting to see some of the features you should be getting from your web host.
Easy scaling up options
If you outgrow your current hosting package, the logical choice is to move up to a larger package. Have you ever tried that? Usually it means manually moving all of your data and websites to a new server. Again, to do it right you usually have to pay someone to do this for you.
With cloud hosting, moving to a larger server is as easy as shutting down your current server and restarting it on a larger virtual machine. No configurations to change or data to move. When your website gets even more popular it’s super easy to use auto scaling to grow and shrink your servers as website traffic changes. All automatically.
Pay for what you use
This is my favorite part of cloud hosting. You only pay for the services and capacity that you actually use. You know there is no such thing as “unlimited hosting”, everything has limits. Typically you end up paying for a package with outrageous disk and bandwidth limits that you will never reach. If you actually tried to max out those limits you would quickly be stopped by your web host for exceeding resource limits.
With cloud hosting you only pay for what you use. You don’t have to be locked into tiered web hosting packages that end up costing you an arm and a leg, you only pay for what you use. While that means your monthly cost will vary, you get much better costs savings overall.
If you would like to learn more about how you can use features like this for your website, I invite you to check out my Introduction to Amazon AWS for Entrepreneurs course.