In a Nutshell: Small to midsize business owners looking to take their companies to the next level have plenty to think about at every stage of evolution, but, as many know, establishing a robust web presence is a key step to achieving growth. However, the pricing and maintenance associated with dedicated, on-site web hosting can be restrictive for small businesses on a budget. Many entrepreneurs have discovered the advantages of choosing cloud hosting services, and UK-based Memset is one such company that’s helping businesses grow and keep costs low. Memset specializes in providing reliable, secure services through a “pay for what you use” model that primes growing business owners to succeed.
You’re likely familiar with the popular saying, “You have to spend money to make money.” Entrepreneurs know this better than most, as the early stages of a business are synonymous with financial hurdles and a constant struggle to achieve profitability. In addition to investments in inventory and workforce, small business owners must now also focus on maintaining an attention-grabbing online presence that serves as the first impression for many customers.
However, once a website is built, it must be hosted on a server. Most small business owners on a tight budget won’t be able to afford in-house or “dedicated” servers, which involve a sizable capital investment in hardware and infrastructure. Dedicated servers require physical space or rack storage in a cooled server room and reliable IT support to ensure sites are running properly. Plus, there are no guarantees of uptime. If a server fails and a website goes down, the burden falls on the business owner to troubleshoot.
To save money and hassle, many businesses opt for cloud services or hosting websites on virtual servers that pull their power from extensive networks of physical servers.
We recently spoke with Chris Burden, Sales and Marketing Director at Memset, who told us about some of the perks businesses are achieving by choosing affordable cloud hosting services through the UK-based, family-run hosting company known for its best-in-class security and reliable, anytime support.
“Obviously, a small business can’t put a great deal of capital into buying their own servers and dedicating the time and physical space required to run them,” Chris said. “And security is a huge issue with on-site dedicated servers without the proper infrastructure and IT support. We offer two variations that suit businesses of many sizes, but are especially ideal for small to midsize businesses looking to branch out.”
IaaS Solutions Offer Scalable, Cost-Effective Hosting
One of the most attractive options for small business owners looking for web hosting at a reasonable rate is Cloud IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) powered by OpenStack. What makes this particular offering so appealing is that entrepreneurs only pay for the resources, such as RAM, CPU, and storage, they are actively using. Because businesses’ bandwidth needs tend to fluctuate depending on any number of factors, Cloud IaaS is an ideal solution for those entities who can forecast their needs to a modest degree of certainty.
For example, businesses that rely on seasonal peaks (think bed and breakfasts or niche sporting good suppliers) can rapidly scale Cloud IaaS up and down to allow for highs and lows in traffic, while only paying for what they actually use. Memset’s Cloud IaaS stands out partially because the hosting company is completely transparent about prices, providing its clients with the peace of mind that they won’t receive a bill with hidden costs when income is tight.
“With Cloud IAAS, customers are in no way locked into a contract or stuck paying for services they’re not using,” Chris said, “So, a small business not only has a cost model that meets the transactions and activity they need, but it also means they’re not paying for services when they’re not using them. The elasticity and scalable environment in Cloud IaaS is often a very good cost model for small businesses.”
Cloud IaaS is powered by a set of open-source software tools used for building and managing cloud computing platforms. Memset has combined the proven power of OpenStack technology with its own systems, which has translated to highly secure cloud hosting. With cybersecurity spending rapidly increasing and online threats and data breaches on the rise, security should be a top priority for businesses of every size. After all, one data breach is all it takes for clients to lose faith in a brand.
Cloud VPS Servers Provide a Secure, Affordable Alternative to Dedicated Servers
Another affordable alternative to an in-house, dedicated server is a different form of cloud hosting called Cloud VPS (Virtual Private Server). Unlike Cloud IaaS, a VPS works by allowing the user to access a part of a remote, physical server (rather than wider access to a separate datacenter) and use it as if it were an in-house, dedicated server. Like Cloud IaaS, the biggest benefits here are convenience and cost. Because business owners are only using part of a server, a VPS account is significantly less expensive than having a physical server on-hand and avoids all of the maintenance that comes with it.
Memset puts its Cloud VPS through rigorous performance tests to ensure users have secure, reliable service throughout the life of their agreements. Prices vary based on what kind of specs — like RAM, SSD, and bandwidth — a particular company needs. Memset’s Cloud VPS comes with Block Storage, a highly cost-effective way to create more disk space in the cloud. Users can add up to 5TB of space without increasing CPU or RAM if needed. Memset also manages automated backups, which gives small business owners assurance that their data is always protected.
“Cloud VPS is a low-cost computer resource that comes with free support, security monitoring, and a high level of data protection,” Chris said. “VPS, in essence, is for those who are looking for a static web application with static data and a consistent, affordable monthly payment. So, from a business point of view, customers aren’t invested in one-year or three-year contracts; they’re invested month by month. If the business grows, the VPS can grow with you. And if business drops, we can reduce the VPS accordingly.”
Round-The-Clock Expert Support from Day One
The amount of stress and sheer personal accountability weighing on a small business owner (regardless of the kind of business) is immense. Hiring, training, and maintaining an effective workforce, while dealing with scheduling, ordering, and planning — the list is seemingly infinite.
The last thing business owners looking to grow their brands need is to worry about whether their customers have access to their website. Regardless of which cloud hosting service users choose, Memset provides responsive service, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year (366 days on leap years). Its technical support team consists of engineers and technicians committed to ensuring businesses get back online quickly.
Memset’s support begins the minute users sign up for its services. What’s more, Memset guarantees a response within two hours of filing a help request ticket. And, if it’s a crisis raised through the emergency contact facility, Memset guarantees a response within 30 minutes. No triage queues, no waiting on hold — business owners can be confident their issues will be dealt with promptly by a skilled professional.
Award-Winning Services and Word-of-Mouth Endorsements are Fueling Memset’s Growth
Memset has recently experienced growth, and its reputation as an award-winning host is a contributing factor. In addition to being a seven-time winner of PC Pro magazine’s Best Host award, Memset has amassed more than 30 other awards and accreditations.
“Up until seven or eight months ago, we didn’t really have a great deal of brand awareness out there,” Chris said. “It was strictly word of mouth that grew the customer base to around 2,000 now. We’ve established ourselves over the last 15 years, and we have a great customer base to show for it, along with the best technology. Our resellers and partners are a big part of our growth.”
This kind of customer recognition is perhaps the most telling metric of success for any company. This is especially true for web hosts, like Memset, because thousands of small to midsize businesses trust the company with one of their most precious assets — customer and proprietary data.
“We are trusted, and, at the end of the day, that makes us really proud,” Chris said. “We regularly survey our customers, and we found that 98% of them would recommend us to other companies. That is, to me, the biggest statement as a company we can have.”