Do I Need a Dedicated Server?

Do I Need a Dedicated Server?

Starting a website was just the first step. If you become successful with your original idea, then you may want to consider graduating from your hosting account and getting your own dedicated server. Depending on a number of factors, you may or may not have much choice. There are some questions, however, that you should ask yourself before taking this big step. You answers may tell you that it is time to move up to a dedicated server or they may inform you that waiting is a better idea.

Do I Need a Dedicated Server?
How Busy Is Your Website?

Your site primarily uses three resources of your hosting account which are crucial to this question. These are network bandwidth, processor speed and disk storage. Your host has limits on how much of each resource you can use. Your account information should explain in detail just how much data transfer you are permitted each month. You will be able to tell from your own experience just how fast your processor is. Your biggest concern, if you are really busy, is how disk space that you are using. If you overrun your limits, then your host may charge you a possibly exorbitant fee for doing so.
Does Your Site Need Features That Your Hosting Account Does Not Offer?

Perhaps it is not the number of visitors that your site is receiving which has tempted you with the idea of transferring to a dedicated server. You may want a server for some of the special, additional capabilities such independence would grant you. For instance, with a dedicated server you will be able to upload necessary software without waiting for cooperation from your host. You will also be able to run chat servers, java back ends and game servers. These are often not allowed with shared hosting accounts. Finally, you can offer streaming audio and downloads with a dedicated server.
Will You Be Able to Afford a Dedicated Server?

Even if you your answers to the previous questions have led you to believe that you do indeed need a dedicated server, there is still the question of money. If you cannot afford one, the question is moot. While you can get a hosting account for under $10 a month, a dedicated server will cost as much as $100 per month. Continuing on at this point will require an understanding of how much you are making from your site, or how important it is to you. If you can rationalize the cost by determining how much more profit you will make from the transition, then the answer is yes.
Do You Know How to Manage a Dedicated Server? Do You Have Time to Learn?

Finally, you have to ask yourself if you are even capable of handling such a transition. If you have successfully managed your hosting account, you probably have the wherewithal to learn about managing a dedicated serve. Whether you have the time to learn is something only you can answer.

What is a VPS and is It For You?

What is a VPS, and is It For You?

A VPS in web hosting terms is a virtual private server, otherwise known as a virtual dedicated server. It is one of several options you can choose for your web hosting, depending on your business needs, and what type of business you run. However, although it is just one of many options, it is quickly becoming the most popular, since it is capable of meeting such a wide range of different requirements.

When looking for a web hosting solution, if you are like most users you will probably start off with shared hosting, which is the cheapest, and quite adequate for many types of business. However, it does have its limitations, as all the sites hosted on the server have to share the RAM, disk space and bandwidth usage. For large corporate users, or users who operate mostly on the Internet, such as e-commerce sites, the resources available on a shared platform will really not be sufficient, and these users may be looking at dedicated hosting instead.

With dedicated hosting, a site has a whole server all to itself. It does not have to share any resources, and the user has control of the server and of the software configuration of the system. For big Internet companies it is obviously important to have as much RAM, disk space and bandwidth as they need, as well as having full security and 100 percent reliability. However, the cost of dedicated hosting may be beyond the reach of smaller companies.

The main reason VPS is becoming so popular is that it seems to offer most of the benefits of a dedicated server, but at a price closer to that of shared hosting. To answer the question, what is a VPS? – it involves several users sharing a server in a way that allows each of them to have its own virtual server, which is independent of the main one. A site hosted on VPS has its own disk space and RAM, and avoids many of the problems of shared hosting, like the risk of having the same IP address as undesirable sites. It also makes it possible to customize some server-level software, such as MySQL and PHP.

There are a number of companies offering VPS hosting, and the offers vary enormously, so you would be well advised to work out exactly what your requirements are before trying to choose a provider. One major variation is in the support levels offered, which are basically non-managed, semi-managed and managed. Managed hosting is the most expensive type of VPS, but it certainly has its advantages if you do not feel up to dealing with your own hardware and software problems. These are all dealt with promptly by system administrators on a 24-hour basis.

The other main difference is between packages which are offered with a control panel, such as cPanel, and those which are not. A virtual server with its own cPanel becomes even more independent and versatile, and also has exclusive access to its own software. It enables you as the user to perform all sorts of tasks, like creating e-mail accounts, running scripts, and adding domains, that you would not be able to do on a shared server.

The question you need to consider, of course, is whether VPS is for you. If all you want is a web presence for a fairly basic site, you can probably get away with shared hosting. However, VPS is such a flexible and powerful solution that it could meet the needs of just about any business, in the future if not now.