Finding the right cloud hosting provider

Written by:
Date Posted:
6 August 2014

After countless meetings, presentations and budget comparisons, your company has decided to move to the cloud. Half the work is done, yet perhaps the most vital decision remains. Who is going to host your valuable website and applications?

A simple search in Google opens up endless possibilities for cloud hosting providers. But what should you be looking for to make that all-important decision?

Below, we’ve drawn up a list some things to consider when choosing a cloud hosting provider. This is by no means a comprehensive list, do your homework!

UK/US based – If your website is UK based, having a UK IP and host means that Google will look more favorably on your website. For SEO, a UK hosted site will appear higher in the search. Several budget hosts are US based – this can also cause problems for support queries.

Type of hosting solution – The most important thing to consider is that your business will have its individual requirements. Do you need management? Or do you have an in-house IT team that will manage your servers and applications?

Cost of contract – Budget hosts will offer a very selective service, and whilst their monthly costs may seem attractive, you have to consider what you will be compromising. Fully managed hosts can offer greater security, performance and a support service, but do tend to be more expensive.

Support – Does the host offer an adequate support service? You need to consider whether you will be making use of this service and how often. It may be worth investing in a management contract with a fully managed host so that experts can support your websites and applications.

SLA – All hosts should offer a Service Level Agreement (SLA). If the host is not providing the service level that they promised, then there must be a financial repayment for loss of service. Consider how much of an impact this could have on your business.

Data Centre – Is the data centre in the EU, Tier 3/ 4 ? You need to make sure that your valuable business data is stored in a safe, reputable data centre with unrivalled connectivity and has a disaster recovery solution.

How secure? – Does the host offer a reliable security infrastructure? Is data backed up? Firewalls included ? DDoS mitigation devices? Data encryption? Also consider the security of the business itself; are they ISO 27001 certified for data security?

Hidden costs – Do you have to pay for migration and set up? How much does it cost to add additional resources?

Flexible? – How easy is it to scale up resources? Consider that using a US host could cause complications when needing to immediately upgrade.

Reputation – Does the host have good online reviews? Read about the company online, do your research.

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