Finding a reliable web hosting provider should be a priority.
A crashed website can have serious implications for SMEs in terms of lost revenue, customers and credibility. Therefore finding a reliable web hosting provider that prevents this should be a priority.
However, businesses are faced with numerous hosting options; for many SMEs choosing the right hosting package can be extremely confusing and making the wrong decision can be expensive. Each hosting option has its advantages and disadvantages. Our hosting guide cuts through the jargon to help you make the right decision for your business.
This option sees many websites hosted on one web server and each has its own area to keep it separate from other sites. However, if your site sits on a server with a neighbour that consumes a lot of resources, the speed of your website may be reduced and if the server your site is hosted on fails, so will your website.
• Economical - many people share the overall cost of server maintenance and resources are shared.
• Ease of use – the provider is in charge of performing server maintenance, management, installing updates, technical support etc.
• Simple - ideal for those that don’t need extensive software development.
Clustered Shared Hosting
Shared hosting but without some of the drawbacks, such as vulnerability to traffic spikes and the associated risk of downtime for your site. The load is spread over multiple high performance servers to improve reliability.
• Reliable – your website doesn’t depend on just one server; it’s backed up and will remain online even if any servers go offline.
• Consistent performance - load balancing technology sees requests spread over different servers if there is extra or unplanned traffic.
An individual server hosting a single website, the server is not shared with anyone else so is great for sites or sets of sites that have high traffic and need more space for a growing business. SMEs should think carefully if they require this level of hosting since it is more expensive than shared hosting / VPS and multiple servers would be required for redundancy.
• Flexible – you retain full control of the server and can customise the operating system, hardware and software.
• Future-proof - supports businesses that forecast rapid growth.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
A VPS offers a compromise between paying for a dedicated server and lower cost shared hosting, sites are allocated a dedicated slice of the system resources on physical server hardware that is shared with other websites. Unlike standard shared hosting, your site is unaffected by the performance of other sites hosted on that server and you can draw on the shared resources on the server when required, offering greater flexibility.
• Easy configuration – Advanced features are managed through a user-friendly control panel.
• Shared resources – You have dedicated distinct portion of the physical server hardware but you can still take advantage of shared resources when you need to.
This is a technology that is still in its infancy, your site operates across multiple connected servers on the web without being tied down to a server in a particular location.
• Up time - Your website doesn’t depend on just one server but is distributed across many, guaranteeing a high level of performance.
• Scalable – A virtual approach offers unrestricted processing power and flexibility. You can adjust your requirements by upgrading space and RAM without any down time, so it’s easy to grow your website according to business growth.
Each business is different, so a decision on hosting needs to be made based on a clear understanding of the online requirements of your business in terms of capacity for data storage and inventory, level of traffic, as well as your technical expertise.
For the vast majority of small businesses, particularly those with consistently limited web traffic, shared hosting may be sufficient and is certainly the most cost effective option. Clustered hosting is more reliable and resilient, so can offer greater piece of mind; therefore it is well suited to those business customers for whom down time can mean loss in revenue.
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