Not all websites are created equal and neither are servers and server farms. In today’s fast-paced internet-based world, your company’s website is perhaps the greatest asset you have for attracting business, presenting goods and services, and maintaining workflow. For many businesses, their website is ultimately the face and reputation of their work, the staff, and their service and dedication to the client.
With such an important tool, it is important to have your website functioning properly around the clock without any disruptions in operations. Choosing the right server host depends on several factors and getting the wrong one can make or break your website and, ultimately, your business. We will discuss some key ways to determine the best small business server options available to you.
- Determine What You Want the Website to Do
Websites come in all shapes and sizes, but the only one that matters to you is the one right for your business. If you are looking to run a very basic website, like a blog, then smaller hosting capabilities should work. If you are expecting your site to have a large number of daily visitors, however, then you should choose a hosting service that can offer a robust server infrastructure to account for heavy site traffic. Another good example is bandwidth. If your site is dedicated to file transfer or streaming services, your server host needs to provide dedicated bandwidth for your website. along with a fast file transfer system like Aspera which allows you to securely transfer huge data anywhere and stream data seamlessly with near-zero latency when delivered over the Internet.
- Is Scalability a Viable Option through Your Host?
Let’s say you are experiencing a successful and steady increase in site traffic. It is important that your web host has the hardware to match your scaling needs. Otherwise, bandwidth caps can cause the server to throttle and time out – leaving you with very unhappy customers. Be sure that the hosting service you choose offers upgrades on dedicated bandwidth.
- Understand a Server Host’s End User Policies
This is especially important if you are building a website that will evolve over time. Be sure that whatever changes you make to the needs of your site will not conflict with the server host’s usage policies. A violation of the host’s policies can result in either extra charges for exceeding usage rights or the host may shut your website down completely.
- Will Your Website Be Doing Multiple ThingsFor some who are looking to set up a site for just streaming or just file sharing, server activity can be straightforward. However, most companies utilize their website for both consumer traffic need – streaming, file share, ordering, etc. – while also using their website to host email for its various employees. Server hosts may have different requirements for multifaceted usage. Furthermore, some server hosts may only offer to host for one or only a few types of activity. This can be a critical factor to consider for scalability and website evolution. For example, if your site was dedicated to consumer usage, but later down the road you decide to have employee email setup with the same domain, your host may not be able or willing to reallocate server needs to account for the new workload.
- Will You Need to Back Up Data on the ServerThis is an extremely important consideration when choosing a dedicated server host for your website. Most companies will want to use servers for some sort of file-sharing or cloud service. As a result, that data needs to be backed up from time to time. Some server hosts, however, may only offer as much space as is needed to operate the site and not provide additional backup storage. Choose a server host that will allow you not only to perform backups of data but will offer automatic and scheduled data backup plans as well. When considering a server host, check to see how they back up the data and ensure that they use redundant or RAID servers to protect your business’s data.