In this age of digital commerce, no business can afford to be without an online presence. In fact, a well designed and properly optimized website could offer a significant edge over the competition. This is why every SMB, regardless of the budget should invest in a fast loading and beautiful looking website.
The performance of a website is in a huge part dependent upon the hosting solution. Many SMBs make the mistake of “saving” on their hosting bill, only to regret later when performance issues arise.
In this guide, we are going to describe the features of a high performing SMB hosting solution that contribute to the growth of the business.
SMB- Small and Midsize Business
An SMB is a business entity that is below a certain revenue and growth threshold but has the potential to grow. The following are the most popular types of SMB:
An agency could offer a wide range of services but the popular options are marketing, SEO, social media, design, and development. For an agency, you need to build a small team and start small and gradually grow in your niche.
You can create your own eCommerce store on WordPress using WooCommerce plugin and for high-availability, you need to go with an optimized WooCommerce hosting. The inventory options appear to be limitless with popular choices being clothing, accessories, shoes, watches. If this idea appeals to you, here is how you can install and set up a WooCommerce store.
Work from your home (home office or a real office) as a freelancer and be your own boss. Many freelancers start small and then transition into an agency as the clientele grows. Like the agencies, the amplest opportunities for freelancers are in SEO, marketing, designing, and development.
You can turn your passion for fitness into a successful SMB. Simply start your own brand and use digital marketing tactics to attract business opportunities.
What do You Need to Make a Small Business Website
Every small business needs a website, and every website needs hosting.
However, choosing the right hosting solution can become a challenge for many small business owners because of the many options out there. Add the technical complexities to the mix and you can understand why choosing the hosting solution could become a major roadblock for SMB business processes.
Let us help you out by introducing Cloudways, a managed cloud hosting platform. In my opinion, this is a managed SMB hosting platform that lets you focus on your business growth. The best thing about Cloudways is the rapid deployment where you can set up a cloud server and the application within minutes.
- High-level support
- Pay-as-you-go plans
- One server – multiple apps
- All PHP apps supported
- Free trial
- Easy scalability
- No domain registration
- The extra cost for email
Let us highlight some key features of the Cloudways Platform to help you make a better decision.
Key Features of Cloudways
Always Available Support
Support is an essential component of a hosting solution and Cloudways Support is one of the best in the industry. In fact, many customers treat the support team as an extension of their in-house team.
The Cloudways Support Team takes care of your servers and hosting complexities. This means you don’t need to worry about sever level technicalities and issues breaking down your business processes.
The Cloudways Support comes in three tiers – Standard, Advanced, Premium.
What Customer Say about Cloudways
Name: Peter Bick
Rating: 5 Star
Comments: A complete solution not just a bunch of servers
With Cloudways “managed” really means something. From the first contact, you feel they thought of your experience. They anticipate your needs, they offer you control and transparency. Even the standard support package is better than other VPS providers’ premium service.
Originally published at Trustpilot
Same love, we also get from other sites like HostAdvice. Here we share one got from Blair Hornbuckle.
Here is another example from our beloved client Denny Cave published at Bitcatcha.
Pay-As-You-Go Pricing Plans
Cloudways pricing plans are quite simple. You simply have to pay for just the resources you consume in a billing cycle. So there are no fixed rates or contracts that lock you into unprofitable business decisions.
If you check the pricing, the smallest server costs 0.0139/hour. Now if you use this server for five hours and then delete it, the invoice will be $0.0139 x 5 hours = $0.0695 only.
Many SMB calculates the costs on a monthly cycle. Assuming that the server remains active for 30 days, the costs would be:
$0.0139 / hour
720 hours in a month (30 days)
$0.0139 * 720 (hours) = $10.008 / month.
For more details, visit the Cloudways pricing page.
Easy to Use Platform
Unlike traditional hosting solutions, the process of using the Cloudways Platform is simple:
Follow these two steps: Step 1: Signup and Login & Step 2: Launching Your Server.
Step 1: Sign up & Login
The signup process is very simple. Visit the signup screen and enter the following details.
- First name (Mandatory)
- Last name (Mandatory)
- Email Address (Mandatory)
- Password (Mandatory)
- How would you describe yourself (Not Mandatory)
- Your monthly hosting spending (Not Mandatory)
- If you have a PROMO code (HOSTWOO), do add it and get an awesome discount
Note: You can also sign up by using LinkedIn, Gmail, and Github accounts.
Next, activate your account by verifying your email address and move on to the Login page where you need to enter your email address and password.
The Server Launching Process
Click on the Launch button to launch your first server.
Application and Server
Choose your target application and name your server and application.
Choose the Provider
Next, choose your preferred provider. On Cloudways, you get the choice of five providers including DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, Google Compute Engine, and AWS.
Choose Server Specs
Select the server specifications that best fit your business requirements.
Choose Your Location
Last but not least, choose the location of the server. This another benefit of having the five providers because you can host your server as close to the target audience as possible.
That’s it! Just click on the Launch Now button, your server and the application would be ready in just a few minutes.
Server & Website Management
Let’s talk about server management.
Cloudways offers a great platform that takes away server management hassles and simplifies your hosting experience.
- Master Credentials: You can find out the SSH access credentials for your server.
- Monitoring: You can monitor the health of your server.
- Manage Services: You can control core services such as Apache, Memcached, Database, New Relic, NGINX, PHP-FPM, and Varnish.
- Setting & Packages: Manage the PHP version, database version, Elasticsearch options from this tab.
- Security: You can manage the security settings, whitelist IP/ IP subnets for SSH/SFTP and database connections.
- Vertical Scaling: You can scale your servers anytime when needed.
- Backups: This tab gives you access to backup frequency, retention, local backups, on-demand backup and most importantly, restore.
- SMTP: This option allows you to configure your own SMTP email server.
Managing Websites Made Easier
On the Cloudways Platform, managing websites is a simple matter of setting a few options from the intuitive panel.
- Access Details: Get application credentials in this tab.
- Staging Management: You can set up and manage staging environments for your applications for testing codebase without breaking the live site.
- Monitoring: Keep a close eye on important performance metrics such as application disk usage.
- Domain Management: Point and manage your domains.
- Cron Job Management: You can add and manage cron jobs in this tab.
- SSL Certificate: You can either create a free SSL certificate or use the one you already have.
- Backup and Restore: You can take application backups and restore them.
- Deployment Via Git: You will need to add a public key to connect to the Git powered platform of your choice.
- Application Setting: You can configure all application settings such as Varnish, SSH access, application access, etc.
- Migrating Tools: Cloudways offers the WordPress Migrator plugin that migrates your website from the current host to the Cloudways Platform.
- CloudwaysCDN: You can configure CloudwaysCDN for your application.
More Features for SMBs
Cloudways offers a host of features that add value to small and medium businesses.
- Teams: Give controlled access to servers, applications, billing and support to your team members.
- Projects: You can create projects that group related applications together.
- Real-Time Billing: You can access real-time billing to get an exact idea of your expenses.
Get Cloudways to Speed-up Your Site
Cloudways makes deployment on optimized managed cloud servers easy and can be one of the best WordPress hosting providers for SMBs. So signup on Cloudways today and take advantage of the Platform features to grow your SMB to new heights.