Knowing When You Need a Dedicated Web Server
Once your business or organisation grows, your online facilities and infrastructure may need to grow with it. Increases in your website visitors and maybe increased online sales mean you’ll need to beef up your website infrastructure.
A typical way this happens is by taking dedicated server facilities from your web hosting provider.
What is a dedicated server?
Ordinarily, if you’re operating basic and lower volume visitor websites then your space on the Internet is provided by a server shared by various other customers’ websites of your hosting provider. When you’ve grown to a point where you need your own space, you’ll upgrade to a ‘dedicated server’ hosting package and your websites – or even just one particularly large one such as a major commerce site – will be the only sites on that particular server.
Another type of dedicated server facility is VPS (Virtual Private Server) where space on a server is allocated exclusively for your use and mimics a dedicated type. This tends to cost less than a full dedicated hardware server and may be an ideal next step from shared hosting. UK companies such as BestWebHosting.co.uk offer VPS facilities.
Knowing when you need a dedicated server
Various factors usually combine to show you that a dedicated server is required:
- Pages take longer to load than previously
- Occasionally pages aren’t being served
- Requests for pages cause error messages occasionally (usually at times of high volumes of visitors)
To check for yourself, visit your own website at various times and see how it performs. If error messages and slower page loadings occur at times of peak use, then it’s a pointer that you need to move to a dedicated server.
Before you take the plunge, it’s worth checking that the basic composition of the site is as it should be. For example, a slowdown in performance might make you think the site needs higher grade hosting, but it may be down to coding issues or other fault.
Your particular software requirements
When you need to customise your software use, it’s much easier and fairer on other users if you have a dedicated server. For example, on a shared server when installing a certain piece of software for your sites it could cause downtime for the whole server which would affect other sites hosted on it.
How to move to a dedicated server
You simply ask your present hosting provider to move you to a managed dedicated server. If they can’t, then it’s time to move to a new provider and – if you’re serving customers in mainly the EU and UK – ideally a UK based hosting company with hardware and VPS dedicated server facilities.
The right hosting option
If you’re coming to web hosting for the first time, then it may be more a matter of deciding what type of hosting to opt for. Information on websites such as this one will shed some light on the technology associated with web hosting.