Some people worry about holiday gift shopping this time of year, but we spend our time wrapping up new customer deals. In the months leading up to the end of Q4, we see a lot of developers, web teams, and business owners trying to settle on technology for the year ahead.
We just published a new infographic—it's about WordPress, but rings true for any open source CMS. It's a visual rollup of what to consider as you compare hosting options against website platforms like ours, that include tools for developer workflow and built-in support for sysadmin and security-related tasks.
If you tend to get distracted by pretty things, here's the gist of it:
1. There are lots of options, but not all of them will work for your business. There are traditional providers for DIY or managed hosting, but there's also the option that can do more for your business: a website management platform. This type of platform includes hosting, but also gives you powerful tools for development. Meet with your stakeholders and get ready to tackle questions on scale, flexibility, budget, performance, security, and support—know where you'll make concessions, and know what's non-negotiable.
2. Think beyond today so your website will support your company's future goals. Map out where you'd like to be in five years and consider how each option will be able to scale as your company grows? Some questions to ask your team:
- Will we be able to add sites or content as we enter new markets or build out our offering?
- Will we need new functionality for existing sites?
- What kind of traffic increase do we expect as we grow?
- What tools and integration do we plan on adding?
- What does next year's budget look like?
3. Know the resources you're willing—and able—to spend on the site. No matter what size your business, you need to set aside, people, time, and money to ensure success. The cheaper the hosting, the more sysadmin and security work that will be left to your developers. Make sure the total cost of ownership is worth your investment. Josh Koenig, our cofounder, makes a good case for long-term value here.
4. Understand the impact of performance and the user experience on your business's success. You’re relying on your site to deliver value, from representing your brand to converting leads to driving revenue. Delve into the underlying technology of each option—is the platform built on VMs? Containers? Can they scale to handle traffic spikes without charging you a fee? Make sure the vendor you go with can guarantee 99.9% uptime without demolishing your budget for the year.
5. Know the standards you need to meet for security and compliance. Just about every organization needs to meet certain standards when it comes to safeguarding data. With most hosting, the burden rests on your team to keep the site secure. If you're not certain you can handle updates, offsite storage, and support for security emergencies, ask your potential vendors how much support they provide and how they react when a security event arises.
When you decide to go with a certain vendor, you're essentially signing up for a technology partner. As the year comes to a close, take the time for research and working through cost scenarios before you commit.Topics: Website Technology, Drupal, WordPress