Can Serverless hosting benefit a scaling brand?

Written By Jim Kersey
Posted On January 2, 2020

What is serverless hosting? 

Serverless hosting is a relatively new form of web hosting where a cloud services provider runs a company’s server(s) and manages bandwidth resources on behalf of developers. 

Serverless hosting is event-triggered, meaning it’s effectively a pay-as-you-go service, unlike the always-on financial model of traditional hosting.

Serverless as a term is slightly misleading, as serverless computing still relies on servers. However, the key difference lies in the fact that tech teams using serverless hosting don’t manage the server directly.

Unlimited scale 

Serverless hosting provides a huge benefit over traditional hosting methods. Namely, the unlimited scalability possible with serverless hosts. 

A serverless hosting package does not impose limitations on server resources. Instead, with this model of hosting, your bandwidth is automatically expanded, as your traffic grows.

This means no nasty shocks, the possibility of being forced to pay for greater resources when your traffic spikes are taken off the table. Even if your brand is scaling quicker than expected, your resources will grow at the same rate, so you don’t have to make provisions for growth. 

Whether your strategy involves an upsurge in content production to increase reach and readership, or if you’re directing traffic to your website via paid sources, with serverless hosting, you never need to worry about your website crashing.

Security

Companies using serverless hosting are far more well-protected than those using traditional hosting methods. When using serverless hosting, your customer’s data is less exposed, because there is no overriding database which can be vulnerable to hacking. 

Did you Know?

WordPress is a prime target for hackers. This is primarily because around a third of websites use WordPress as their CMS. However, it’s also partly due to the staggering statistic that 70 per cent of WordPress sites currently have known security vulnerabilities. 

Reduced maintenance 

Publishing brands that decide to go serverless reduce the amount of time they need to dedicate to server maintenance, which can be a labour-intensive exercise. 

Server maintenance can be a constant concern, as it’s an integral part of how your business functions online. However, it can divert crucial resources away from where you really need them. 

With serverless hosting, your cloud provider looks after all your maintenance needs; both during initial development and over the day-to-day running of your website or network of sites, so you can direct your resources to where they’re most effective. 

Added to this, with a serverless hosting plan, your brand is no longer required to build the infrastructure from which your website runs. 

Without this lengthy process keeping your development team busy, your development team can focus their energy on building the code for your website and associated projects. 

Decide how much time you can dedicate to maintenance

One of the primary advantages of going serverless is the amount of time you can save. For example, you don’t have to build the infrastructure on which your website or application will run. Instead, time can be directed to exclusively focusing on the code that’s specific to your project.

An even more appealing time-saver is the fact that you won’t have to worry about server maintenance. Your cloud services provider handles all of that for you, saving you time not only during development, but over the course of your site or application’s lifetime as well.

Before committing to abandoning your current plan, it’s valuable to consider the effort of transferring your server. If you’re already experienced with maintaining your server, moving to a serverless set up might not be worthwhile, 

On the other hand, if you have a complex network of sites or are rapidly scaling, serverless hosting can be an attractive proposition.

Save money

The event-driven financial structure of serverless hosting can save your organisation money. As opposed to always-on traditional hosting, if no one is visiting your site (god forbid) then you won’t pay anything in server costs. 

Of course, your brand wants healthy traffic, and in turn, a rapidly scaling organisation. The beauty of serverless hosting is that, if you aren’t achieving your forecasted growth as quickly as you’d planned, you won’t be left out of pocket for resources you don’t actually need or use.  

Serverless hosting also takes a huge strain off the environment. The combined might of the world’s data centres incredibly has a comparable environmental impact to the aviation industry, going to show just how much energy it consumes on a regular basis.

By committing to serverless hosting, your company can boost its green credentials, resulting in a win for your brand’s corporate social responsibility messaging, while saving a significant amount of money at the same time. 

A slight disclaimer: the serverless hosting model is highly suitable for rapidly scaling organisations. For those undergoing a modest period of growth, through a relatively small-scale project, traditional hosting methods may be more suitable. It’s always worth comparing hosting costs before committing to a particular course of action. 

What to consider before going serverless with WordPress 

Before taking the plunge into serverless hosting, brands should carry out a strategic analysis of their resources, projected growth and their overall financial situation. 

Ask yourself:

  1. What is the scale of my project?
  2. When do we expect to achieve certain growth goals?
  3. What resources (time, people) do we need to achieve our aims?
  4. What is our project budget? Compare server costs
  5. Is scalability our most important aim?
  6. Are we okay with rescinding control of our server?

How to prepare for the switch to serverless hosting

If your brand is convinced of the benefits of switching to serverless hosting – a quick reminder of those benefits: cheaper hosting, greater scalability, tightened security, reduced server maintenance – then you’ll want to know what you need to do, in order to make the transition seamless. 

  1. Convert your web pages to static HTML, CSS and Javascript
  2. Set up scripts to recreate the functionality of a dynamic webpage

Is serverless hosting suitable for your brand?

If you’re not sure whether serverless hosting is a suitable option for your brand, get in touch with the experts. We’ll carry out a thorough consultation with your brand, to assess the pros and cons of serverless hosting in relation to your growth ambitions.

Jim Kersey
Content Creator
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