As offices close due to COVID-19, we all need ways to make working from home easier

If you usually work in a city centre office, then it is likely you have been working from home instead over the past nine months. Coronavirus has changed the working life of a lot of people, and working from home is a trend that seems set to continue in the future, even if the pandemic is resolved. Of course, you will still need to interact with colleagues, share information and perform other tasks as a team. Cloud computing allows you to do these things and more. You will also need to get into a regular working pattern, which can be hard from home since it is much harder to discipline yourself and get things done with numerous temptations or family around. Read on for some information on how cloud computing could help you work from home, and some other tips to structure your day and make sure you’re productive.

Stick to a schedule

When you are working from home and don’t have the pressure of your manager hovering over you, it can be easy to put off work. However, the more you put off work, the harder it will be to catch up. A day off can turn into a week, putting you behind schedule and annoying your manager. Building a routine is key to keeping on top of things. Set your alarm, get up on time, have a healthy breakfast, shower, then get started. If you can, have a dedicated space in your house to work from. Working sitting on your bed or the sofa can lead to you being distracted and too comfortable. Set up your home office as close to the design of your normal office as possible. Work for a set amount of time, then stop. If you don’t work from your normal office after six o’clock, don’t do it from home either. Remember, everyone needs rest and relaxation, especially in present circumstances.

Take care of mental and physical health

Your mental and physical health may be suffering due to being stuck at home during the pandemic. Take heed of the tips above and get plenty of exercise and eat well to take care of your physical health, but don’t abandon your mental health either. This is a trying time for everyone, as we are all living with the uncertainty of what may happen next, or if we or our loved ones are at risk of catching the virus. Our bodies and brains are stressed constantly, so be kind to yourself. If you are struggling, find something you enjoy, like a good book or a good bottle of wine, and spend a few hours relaxing. Take regular breaks in your workday to let your batteries recharge. Make sure you follow all government instructions in regards to the pandemic, but if you are allowed, get out and meet a friend for a walk. A bit of social interaction can do wonders for your mental health. You will find that you are not alone and lots of people are suffering too, so have a chat and get it all out.

Leave the house

Getting out of the house is essential if you work from home. It is not healthy to be stuck at a desk inside all day, and some fresh air will reinvigorate you, clear your head and help you sleep better. You could start doing some exercise during the day to break up your work schedule a little. Going for a run at lunchtime is even better than a walk, as it will burn even more calories and use up some energy. – Read more

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Does Your Web Host Location Matter for Google & SEO?

For many, your online website is the storefront for your business. In these always-online times, businesses have come to rely more on the internet to bring in new customers and grow. 

In order to bring customers to your website however, your website needs to be found by people easily. You’ll already know through personal experience that search engines are how people find websites nowadays. The key to getting your website seen by more people, and getting higher in the search results, is Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO.

There are many factors that Google considers when determining a website’s position in the search rankings – far too many to list here! Some of them are obvious, for example how quickly a website loads will impact the search rankings. Some factors however, are not as obvious.

One of these factors that’s often overlooked is your server location, or where your hosting provider houses their servers. In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at how your web host’s location affects your website’s SEO performance.

What is server location?

Server location is the geographical location of the data centre where your website is hosted. There are thousands of data centres across the world, and usually your hosting provider will utilise a data centre in one location to hold a number of servers. The location of this data centre isn’t related to where you yourself are located – it can be anywhere in the world.

Let’s take our own data centre as an example. Our data centre is located in Maidenhead, United Kingdom. We’ve chosen this location as it’s geographically close to where our customers are typically based – meaning it’s quicker to access our services for UK customers, than if our data centre was based abroad.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to use a data centre based near you. In fact, many hosting providers operate in the US while their customer base is located in the UK. You can utilise a data centre located anywhere, and this is very common for areas that may not have the capabilities to maintain a good data centre.

Using a data centre that’s located very far away from you can cause you some significant problems however. Let’s take a look at exactly what problems you may be faced with, in this type of situation.

Does server location have an impact on my website’s speed?

Every time you access your website, the data is being transferred from the server in the data centre, across the internet, finally reaching your device. Now it’s easy to forget about this whole process, as we’re all used to accessing everything instantly. But when considering website speed, it’s important to take into account the geographical location of the data centre being used.

In short, the answer to the question is yes – your server’s location does indeed have an impact on your website’s speed. When you take into account the process of loading a web page, it becomes easy to see why this is the case.

Let’s put this into an example for the sake of clarity. Say your website is being hosted on a server in the USA, but you’re accessing the website from the United Kingdom. You’ll almost always find that the website will take slightly longer to load, compared to a website on a server in the UK. In short, the further away you are geographically from the data centre, the longer your device will take to fetch the website data.

Being closer to the data centre means that the data from the server can be fetched more quickly, as it doesn’t have a far distance to travel over the internet. The inverse can be said for situations when you’re located far away from the data centre. – Read more

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Understanding the Benefits of Managed Hosting For Your Business

If you want to build your enterprise’s website, open an online store, or start a business blog, then you’ve realised that you’re going to need a web hosting plan to do so. 

You may have already browsed some hosting provider and been quite confused! With the variety of hosting plans available, it can be hard to know what’s right for you and your business.

Choosing the right web hosting plan for your website can be daunting, especially if you aren’t experienced. After all, you don’t want to be paying for more than what you need!

In this guide we aim to explain exactly what managed enterprise cloud hosting is, how it works, and what are the benefits of using it.

1. What is Managed Hosting?

So, what are fully managed hosting services? You’ve probably come across the phrase “managed hosting” while doing your research or simply reading our previous article: “Managed VS Unmanaged Hosting – Explained!“.

In short, a managed hosting service means the hosting provider will take care of all your server related issues and management requirements. In fact, as you are not only renting the hardware, it includes the management and maintenance service as well.

Think of this as getting a full warranty with free oil changes and maintenance when buying a new car.

Now on the opposite, with unmanaged hosting, you just rent a server from the hosting provider and you are in charge for all management and maintenance tasks.

In order to discuss the benefits of managed enterprise hosting, we will break this down into two parts: the technical benefits and the business wise benefits.

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2. The technical benefits of managed hosting

a. Server monitoring

Server monitoring is simply critical for your business. This is a process where the hosting provider of constantly scan the servers to search for any irregularities or potential failures. And prevent major problems before they happen

In managed hosting, your hosting provider constantly monitors your servers and guarantees both good server uptime and network availability.

Server monitoring is not impossible to self-manage, but demands specific skill sets, time and of course money.

b. Security

The server security is a huge priority for any business and entity. A managed hosting service covers various aspects of security such as:

  • Security audits
  • Spam filtering
  • Virus scanning
  • Firewall configuration
  • OS updates

We are well equipped with various tools and with +20 years of experience dealing with server security related issues. We keep scanning our operating systems and core applications to find security vulnerabilities.

c. Managed storage

The storage requirements of a company can change from time to time. The amount of space needed now by an organization may not be the same as they will need a few years or even months down the line.

Getting the balance right again requires specific technical skills and an ongoing commitment and availability to give it proper attention.

Managed storage means outsourcing a company’s storage needs to a managed services provider.

This is beneficial for the company because it helps them reduce the costs related to buying and administering storage services.

d. Managed database

This is very much similar to Managed Storage, but calls on the skills and expertise of an experienced Database Administrator (DBA) rather than more generalised system admins.

The DBA acts as a software and service consultant to design the best database system to meet your needs and requirements.

Managed hosting providers typically have DBAs who are, at the minimum, experienced in SQL Server, MySQL and Oracle.

So as a company you will definitely find the expertise that you need.

e. Backups

Losing data can be extremely costly for a company in terms of money but also in terms of business.

It is therefore critical to have your data backed up regularly. A process that keeps its secure, and preserves its integrity.

Research has shown that small businesses can lose more than 50% of their data after a man-made or natural disaster occurs.

With managed services, you can have the peace of mind that your data is secured and backed up. We have processes and procedures in place to deal with such scenarios. – Read more

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