Website hosting – Cloud it!

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Those of you who have been following my posts here on GeedBrainDump.com know that I’m not the first person to ever suggest putting a service that your company or organization requires into the cloud. In fact, in a lot of cases, I advise against it, for various reasons including security, regulatory, etc. In this case though, there is essentially no debate to be had: your web site belongs in the cloud!

This statement holds true for just about any small to medium size organization. Again, unless you’re a very specific niche (for example, you’re the oversight body that handles complaints against the police department and you need to be able to take complaints over your web site directly, and therefore have a legal confidential responsibility for that content), you don’t need to host your website yourself. In fact, there are numerous reasons for not hosting your website yourself:

Bandwidth traffic – You’re causing unnecessary bandwidth traffic on your network. Depending how many people are visiting your website daily, this may not matter much, but that argument is fairly thin. If you don’t have to, why bother using any of your bandwidth on a self-hosted website ?

Uptime – Any of the large web hosts around the world have multiple servers, in clusters, with failover solutions, etc. Long story short, they simply have a level of redundancy that you can’t possibly build without spending a lot of money. And spending that much money for one single organization’s website would, in most cases, be a silly investment.

Security – Think about it: you’re DIRECTING the general internet public to your internal network. Through a hole in the firewall. To land (in most cases) onto a server. You can say whatever you want about how you’re running the most secure Apache this, or you’ve hardened your Windows IIS server that, but the reality is that you’re still letting the general public (remember, ANYONE on the internet) access an internal element of your network. This point alone makes the entire case for hosted website services.

What’s a hosted website cost these days ? $80.00 a year for unlimited disk space and bandwidth ? That’s the other thing to consider: web hosting (as opposed to something like hosted Exchange for example) is cheap. For less than $7.00 a month, you can have your site fully hosted by a professional, third party. No need to worry about backups. No need to worry about uptime. No need to worry about bandwidth traffic or congestion. No need to worry about everyone on the web accessing part of your internal network.

In situations like this, it makes sense to be practical and have your website hosted by a third party. Remember, you don’t always want every single service in-house. You need to be able to evaluate appropriately and make the correct decisions.

Author

Martin Lehner

Martin Lehner is an technology professional working for an IT services firm in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). He has been working in the technology field for over a decade. With a degree in Business Admin and numerous industry certifications, Martin leads a team of IT professionals that provide third party support for clients. Originally starting a company to offer web development services, Martin quickly realized that clients wanted the entire spectrum of technology services. When Martin is not at work (which is not often, since his company offers 24/7 support), he is busy at home spending time with his family.

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