There is no shortage of places where you could host your website. While prices and levels of service will vary, it doesn't change the fact that when it comes to hosting, it's a buyer's market. If you perform a quick search on Google, you will come across some of the more familiar names in the cloud computing industry, but perhaps surprisingly given the size of Microsoft, Azure is yet to make its mark. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't be considering it for your business. Here are some of the advantages that your business could benefit from if you decide to host your site in the Microsoft cloud...
It doesn't matter what industry you're in, you can be sure that you're going to have busy periods as well as periods that are not so busy. Your busy periods may fluctuate day to day, or it might be a seasonal thing; either way, your website is going to go through some peaks and troughs. With Azure on your side, you will be able to scale your server automatically. The automatic scaling is based on the fluctuation in your traffic, so if you have any surges, Azure will ensure they aren't a problem, which could help you when it comes to preventing potentially costly downtime. It can also save you money in the quieter periods with billing methods that are per-minute, so when it's quiet, you can rest assured that you won't be paying out for things you simply don't need.
A common misconception when it comes to websites is that they would only fail completely if there was some external interference. Although external interference can make your website fail, it certainly isn't the only thing that can. Most of the time, an internal change is what will cause your website to crash or go down. With Azure, you can make sure your website is fully backed up and you can also replicate it manually. So, if somebody makes a change that causes your site to fail, you can always revert to a previous version of it.
If you've got a great idea for your site that will solve a design or functionality issue, it's always a great frustration if you can't test it before the site goes live. Being able to test it means you can identify any key issues and you're not having to make changes once it's already been released to the public. With Azure, however, there is a handy function that isn't very common with other cloud solutions called staging deployment. By using the function, you can send your idea into a staging area where it can be thoroughly tested and proofed. Once you're happy that your idea is golden, then you can send it to production.
Use your favourite CMS
If you've got a website, then chances are it runs on a CMS (content management system). Whether it's Wordpress, Modx or Drupal, you will know that they are key to ensuring that your site is a success. Although occasionally, some of these systems will be hard to install or you'll experience teething problems when it comes to getting them functioning with your site properly. This is where Azure can help; all of the CMS systems you will be familiar with are already in the Azure marketplace, just waiting for you to install.
Speed is key; if your website is suffering from a lack of speed when it comes to loading times, then chances are you're putting a load of potential customers off. Not only that, but you're putting Google off too. Slow loading sites are punished by Google which could see your search ranking plummet, which will put all your SEO efforts in jeopardy. Azure has a massive network when it comes to content delivery, which can reduce your load times and increase responsiveness, which means that all users will get exactly the same quick experience no matter where they're accessing your site from.
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