Top 3 things to look for in a hosting solution

amazee.io - Top 3 things to look for in a hosting solution

It’s no secret that your online business presence is a big deal. Here’s how to make sure your hosting strategy reflects that.

When it comes to your company’s website and app hosting, you don’t want to play around: Your site and web apps are the central hubs of your online business presence, and for most modern companies in 2022, this is the great majority of how they interact with clients and customers. 

In other words, your digital presence, represented by your sites, relies on the fact that you have a strong hosting strategy - because hosting is the foundation of these web properties. 

A strong hosting provider should ideally work with you to get the results your team needs. As time goes on, digital demands grow greater for businesses with an increasing need for an online presence. For these businesses, in particular, getting your hosting solution right can make or break your web team’s whole strategy. 

It’s *that* important. 

We’ve written a lot about WebOps, and why we consider it to be a vital and central part of any hosting strategy. Today, we’re going to outline 3 of the most important things to look for in a new hosting provider.

Speed and Flexibility. Customer Support. Monitoring and Visibility.

Speed and flexibility

If we know one thing for sure, it’s this: Your website and apps will undergo changes. 

Maybe it won’t be every 30 minutes or every single day. But as your strategy changes and your business grows, we know how critical it is to have the ability to make quick changes - when you want to. Lengthy deployments that can only happen a few times a year aren’t cutting it anymore, and your web team needs to be able to do more. 

Working with a hosting provider that is able to accommodate quick changes, fast releases, and unexpected updates can truly make or break your hosting experience - not to mention that of your end-users. 

A solid hosting or WebOps provider should ideally be able to provide: 

  • Safe, fast deployments as often as required 
  • Safeguarded rollback processes
  • A/B testing for new ideas with low risk 
  • Preparation for high-traffic events
  • Proactive and preventative maintenance 

With the knowledge that we highly recommend WebOps platforms or services for anything hosting-related, WebOps platforms do tend to have faster, easier site testing capabilities than other hosting strategies. 

One reason for this is that most WebOps platforms (ours in particular) use containerized systems like Kubernetes to manage sites and apps more easily. Kubernetes is a great way to start containerizing, but the path to learning it is steep. Managed Kubernetes is an excellent option for teams who want to start containerizing without a lot of education and monitoring. 

With managed Kubernetes, like Lagoon, developers can automate certain manual processes that take a lot of time, and this automation allows for hosting processes to happen much faster than they would otherwise. We recently wrote about managed Kubernetes and why it’s so valuable in the web hosting space. Read the post here

To summarize, managed Kubernetes provides the framework to automate your containers and manage life cycles consistently. Lagoon is our “secret weapon” for speeding up hosting and deployment processes. 

Using managed Kubernetes as part of your hosting solution also helps improve flexibility when trying new ideas, because testing a new page or deployment isn’t the all-encompassing process it used to be. 

Outdated hosting platforms and legacy hosting strategies have been notoriously slow and frustrating, because of things like slow communication, siloed teams, bottlenecks, and in the worst-case, outages that you weren’t even aware of due to lack of monitoring. When searching for your ideal hosting provider, be sure to look for features that indicate speed and the ability to make flexible updates and changes. 

Support and customer service should be a priority 

When you need to talk to someone about your site/s, chances are, it needs to happen NOW. Because you wouldn’t be reaching out otherwise. You need to talk to a person, not a robot, by the end of the day - no question. 

Maybe you need to make an important, last-minute update to a page. Maybe you need to launch a new landing page tomorrow. Or maybe you’ve noticed an error that simply cannot stay live for the next 24 hours. It doesn’t really matter what the issue is - if it’s important to you, your hosting provider should be available for urgent communications. 

But all too often, companies are left waiting when they reach out to a hosting provider. Perhaps you’ll speak to a chatbot, or send emails that aren’t answered for multiple days in a row. 

This is one of the worst situations for a web team leader or developer to be in. It’s often not considered until it’s actually happening to a team, but it can take a situation from bad to worse. 

Support and customer service are often regarded as an afterthought when selecting a hosting provider. 

This is a mistake. 

Because if there’s an outage, problems with an update or deployment, or a security inquiry, you don’t have 5 days to waste waiting. 

The bottom line: Being able to contact a real live person and chat one-on-one about your sites is an absolute must for your complete web strategy.

Things don’t always go as planned, especially when lots of projects are running at once, so even the best-laid plans may require customer support on short notice. When considering a new hosting provider, make sure their customer support and service are a main priority for the team. This is often one of the most commonly forgotten elements of a hosting or WebOps strategy, but when push comes to shove, it’s vital. Keep it on your shortlist. 

A solid WebOps hosting provider should be able to: 

  • Respond to inquiries within 24 hours 
  • Provide 24/7/365 customer service access and availability 
  • Do away with chatbots and non-human replies 
  • Make you feel comfortable enough to reach out any time, for any reason 
  • Provide enough visibility that you know what’s going on with your own web properties anytime you want that information 

This leads us to the last (but not least!) important feature to look for in a hosting platform…. 

Visibility, monitoring, and the ability to know what’s going on 

So by now, you know that speed, flexibility, quick updates and versioning, and customer support are vital for your very best hosting strategy possible. 

You reach out to customer service for help when something goes wrong. 

But what if you don’t know that something’s gone wrong? 

What if it’s happened under your radar, and one of your many sites or web apps is actually down, struggling, broken, or outdated - and the days and weeks are passing with no indication of a problem? 

You'd be surprised how often we hear about this happening, and there’s truly no reason for it - because part of a good hosting platform should always be monitoring and visibility. 

By monitoring, we mean that the hosting platform’s team is well-aware of any potential problems before they even occur - but in case they do, communication is quick and thorough. 

By visibility, we mean that there should be a way to see all of your web properties and their status, what your team is working on, and gain insight into the world of your developers. 

A good hosting provider will offer an overview dashboard of all your current projects, where they’ve been deployed, who is working on them, and what all your web assets look like. Additionally, this dashboard should ideally be easy to read for anyone who accesses it, like a project manager - not just highly technical people. 

Part of amazee.io’s Dedicated Cloud offering, Lagoon, actually offers exactly this capability for project managers (or anyone!): Lagoon’s easy-to-use UI solves the visibility problem for leaders, and Lagoon Insights provides in-depth information about each web property and its status. 

It’s also worth mentioning that Lagoon is ideal for security teams and those concerned about securing their sites because Lagoon also offers visibility and reporting for all current risks and vulnerabilities. This is done through our secure container scanner, called Harbor, which generates in-depth reports on the status of each container. 

This holistic view of all web properties allows security teams to assess whether sites are secure or not, and to identify any current (or future) vulnerabilities. 

A new way to host sites and apps that checks all the boxes: WebOps 

If your current hosting provider is falling short in one or many of these three critical categories, we recommend taking some time to look at other available options - because the integrity of your site and apps are worth it. And that “worst-case scenario” just isn’t worth the risk. 

Dedicated Cloud by amazee.io was created specifically to solve problems for teams - not add more of them. We believe that modern hosting should be rethought entirely and made simpler, faster, and more efficient. 

Dedicated Cloud is, first and foremost –fast and flexible. It was created to help web teams get things done and stop struggling with legacy hosting. We consider Dedicated Cloud to be a “Platform-as-a-Service” for all your web projects, and with managed Kubernetes, we’ll manage all your clusters for you while your developers focus on other work. 

This means faster, more flexible deployments, especially since our PaaS works with any and all preferred frameworks and technologies you may be working with. 

We can also promise you’ll never be bothered with chatbots on our watch - just Slack us for a quick response. 

And last but not least, we’ve got the visibility and monitoring covered too, thanks to Lagoon. 

Simply push your code - amazee.io does the rest for your web projects. 

Book a free 15-minute consultation with one of our experts to learn how our PaaS can help your web team thrive. 


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