What does Website as a Service (WaaS) mean?

Website as a Service

WaaS

WaaS, or Website as a Service, means that instead of purchasing a website, like a product, it is provided to you as an ongoing service. You are likely more familiar with other “as a Service” offerings, like SaaS (Software as a Service). 

SaaS is currently a really big buzzword in the tech industry right now, and for good reason.

To give a bit of a better understanding of the benefits of this model, I will go over some familiar options. 

Office 365

Office 365 is a SaaS (Software as a Service). If you remember their old model (still available) you would shell out roughly $300 for an Office DVD. Then you would install that on your computer. In a couple of years, when it was so outdated you would be forced to update, you would shell out another couple hundred dollars.

This had several drawbacks. People and businesses were always behind. It was an expensive chunk to dole out every so often, so companies would wait as long as humanly possible to update, sacrificing productivity, time, frustration and typically forcing users to jump between versions with drastic changes. 

O365 gives them the option to pay monthly and always stay up to date. No more worrying about how “out of date” is too “out of date”. 

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks is very similar to Office 365. Users found themselves on outdated technology and features and extremely costly, time consuming and frustrating to migrate to newer versions. Especially if there were more than one version between them, which happened often for the same reasons stated about Office 365. 

Now QuickBooks has an online version that is always up to date AND is always available in the cloud. No more running on old software, using dated technology and having to hire outside help to manage massive migrations and updates to the accounting software. 

AWS (Amazon Web Services)

Unlike the first 2 examples, AWS is not just a SaaS offering, it is also PaaS and IaaS as well (Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service).  [Sidebar: This is what we use as a hosting platform]

Before this offering if you wanted to have your own server you had to set something up in house, racks, firewalls, routers, switches, cooling, CPUs, RAM, etc. yourself, or hire a company like RackSpace to do it. Spinning up and down a server was a massive undertaking, that required planning and serious expense. Especially if you got it wrong and didnt project growth correctly. 

Enter AWS with Platform as a Service. They remove the need to worry about the underlying infrastructure and allow the subscriber to spin up whatever resources they need, for however long they need them. Saving the need to project for the future, plan out components, etc. Now they can spin up the server they need right now, and scale it up (or down) as needed. Awesome. 

So What Does WaaS Offer?

You might still be asking yourself what a Website as a Service company actually does, and here are the main benefits of WaaS. 

ITS A SERVICE

Traditionally websites cost a lot of money, up front, and then you are left to fend for yourself. Support, updates, insight, are all internal. With WaaS the offering is an ongoing service. To keep you, we need to keep you happy. 

ONGOING DEVELOPMENT / IMPROVEMENT

A website is pretty much outdated the moment it goes live. Development on most platforms are ongoing. New designs, new functionality, new security, and on and on. With a service, it is just part of daily operations to keep all of the sites up to date. 

WEBSITE MAINTENANCE

Things change quickly on the internet. Looks go out of style, plugins become obsolete, icons change, what worked yesterday makes a site look unprofessional today. Part of keeping your site up to date is keeping up with these trends and swapping out “old styles” for the new ones on a regular basis. This also has the benefit of not ever having to overhall your entire site again.

IMPROVED PERFORMANCE / HOSTING

An important part of having a good service is having a good foundation. That starts with hosting when it comes to websites. A service will have a better understanding of their websites needs, and can keep the infrastructure up to date easier than a massive hosting company with millions of sites can. It makes it faster too, if done right. 

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