TL; DR: Despite the increased hype and skyrocketing demand, getting started with cloud hosting is not for the faint of heart. The vast feature set and ample resources found at Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud add significant levels of complexity, even for business owners looking to migrate a lone WordPress site. Cloud With Me, however, bridges the gap with a highly automated service that efficiently handles cloud server configurations, deployments, and management. By repaving the on-ramp, Cloud With Me tailors high-powered and scalable hosting to customers at all levels of technology experience.
It’s an age-old, two-pronged dilemma many businesses face: When is it time to abandon shared hosting in favor of more powerful cloud hosting? Also, how the heck do you manage a cloud environment and still have time to run your business?
Dublin-based upstart Cloud With Me aims to make the transition a non-issue for entrepreneurs by boiling down cloud migrations to just three clicks and 10 minutes. Once the installation and configuration are complete, the company will manage customers’ servers and chosen add-on services such as WordPress, Magento, and Laravel.
By streamlining the move to the cloud, Cloud With Me makes the switch to Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud more achievable and attainable for smaller businesses that lack the time or technical know-how. Business Development Executive Emma Morris told us that, by trusting Cloud With Me, entrepreneurs can continue focusing on key business objectives rather than hiring experienced IT administrators.
“Time is precious when it comes to setting up and maintaining a small business, so the hours spent trying to install and implementing cloud hosting may not be worth it,” she said. “We take care of that to let entrepreneurs get on with growing their prospects.”
Identifying and Removing Barriers to Cloud Adoption
So many startup stories begin in a select few number of places, often a college dorm room or a bar. Cloud With Me’s history starts in the latter, as tech industry veterans Gilad Somjen and Asaf Zamir met for the first time at a Dublin drinking establishment in mid-2015.
The business owners shared stories and commiserated with each other over the challenges of focusing on core business goals amid the slate of ancillary issues such as accounting, human resources, and IT management. A particularly hot part of the conversation targeted the period when a company outgrows its initial shared hosting plan and raised the question — Why are businesses suddenly expected to maintain their own servers?
“They realized startups and small businesses could benefit from the removal of technical barriers to make cloud hosting accessible to anyone, anywhere,” Emma said. “With their backgrounds as tech veterans and serial entrepreneurs, they brainstormed and designed an automated service where cloud deployment could take just a matter of minutes.”
Gilad and Asaf launched Cloud With Me after much time brainstorming and designing a solution they wish they could have used themselves. The company initially focused on providing easier moves to AWS and delivered 2,800 new accounts to the service in Cloud With Me’s first four months.
Cloud With Me earned an Advanced Technology Partner recognition from AWS in March 2017, and the company added packages for Microsoft Azure to its portfolio a few weeks later. By the end of the year, Cloud With Me had launched services for Google Cloud — as the platform’s very first partner.
Setup in Seconds: Getting Started on Cloud With Me
During the company’s first year of operation, Cloud With Me gained 50,000 customers. To connect an online business or website to AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud, users just need to choose which platform to use, supply their domain name, and select what type of server and region for deployment.
Instead of confronting cloud providers’ hundreds of hardware options, Cloud With Me distills each platform into four or five configurations based on monthly prices, while avoiding the hard-to-calculate pay-as-you-go pricing model common in cloud computing.
“Advanced developers could go to AWS or Google Cloud directly, of course, but the average user wouldn’t know where to start,” Emma said. “We want to facilitate that process, so we look toward small and medium businesses in various parts of the globe that need an onboarding solution for these providers.”
Site owners can also elect to install add-on software packages, including PHP, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, RoundCube, and Laravel at no cost. While the customer sees a progress bar tracking the installation process, Cloud With Me’s automated system installs a complete server stack with MySQL, FTP, email, and analytics.
“More and more people are recognizing the benefits of hosting their website via the cloud as opposed to more traditional hosting methods,” Emma said. “Demand has increased substantially, and you only have to look at the performance of the major providers. AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud are driving profits at their respective companies and that is likely to continue, so we have sought to ensure that everyone has access to these platforms, regardless of their level of tech savviness.”
Cloud With Me Evolves Alongside Its Customers and the Industry
As a young company, Cloud With Me emphasizes customer support and high-quality services with its small but growing staff.
“As we target clients who tend not to be highly skilled in tech and website development, it’s important for us to engage with customers and ensure they have everything they need to proceed,” Emma said, mentioning the company’s new live chat feature and revamped presence on social media.
Even though cloud hosting is a rapidly changing industry, Cloud With Me has started slowly to focus on premium services from well-regarded providers.
“That can be difficult, as the world of cloud computing moves so fast,” Emma said. “What’s innovative today could be old-fashioned tomorrow. Smaller, less well-known alternatives exist and may be useful, of course, but from our experience, if you develop a reputation for offering high quality all the time, the quantity will come.”
Finishing out 2018 and looking forward, Emma told us the Cloud With Me team is eager to watch the Google Cloud partnership continue to flourish and plans to announce more partnerships with cloud providers and introduce new add-ons and features soon.
“It’s a really exciting time to be involved in the cloud computing industry, and we’re really looking forward to the next step of our development toward being a go-to option for businesses when it comes to hosting their sites,” she said. “Our partnership with Google Cloud is a vote of confidence in the service we offer, and we’re excited about where that relationship is going — both for the prospects of our business and what that can mean for our users.”