Retailers in a number of industries both welcome and fear busy online shopping periods, especially during Christmas and New Year. Agencies such as Internet Retailer report that specific market segments such as online clothing have seen 18% increases in ecommerce sales compared to last year.
While this is great news in terms of signaling an economic revival, it also places enormous pressure on UK startups and small businesses to ensure their websites and ecommerce shopping carts perform flawlessly with zero downtime. A technical glitch, 404 error, server connection errors, or slow-loading sites will not only lose a potential customer to another site but it could also result in a lower search engine ranking on Google.
This threat can only grow as server resources are under even more pressure as a new range of technology devices connect to the Internet.
“It has actually been a far stronger year than we expected, as the acceleration of using mobile devices as part of the online shopping journey has extended both the number of people who have access to retail sites, as well as the contexts and locations in which they can do so,” said a spokesman from the Interactive Media in Retail Group.
“We were forecasting 12% growth for the year, but we now expect it to come in at 15% for the year as a whole.”
This proliferation of mobile devices around the world means business leaders and IT leaders need a nimble, versatile and powerful web platform that matches their operating profile precisely. While a dedicated server offers a number of technical and customization advantages over a shared server, a Virtual Private Server or cloud server, is perhaps the most logical choice for sites that expect to see traffic spike over busy online shopping periods.
A VPS falls under the cloud-computing paradigm that allows a web hosting company the ability to consolidate several servers into one using a concept known as virtualization. These consolidated resources are then marketed to businesses around the world in the form of cloud servers or VPS under a utility pricing model. The IT administrator or small business owner is thus able to pay only for the RAM, disk space or memory requirements they need without having to overprovision resources typically seen in a dedicated server environment.
The result is that a small business can operate with minimal IT overhead and still ‘burst’ its resources up or down as it needs, especially over Christmas or Easter. This ability to scale software and hardware resources, independently, in either direction, is a powerful elixir for businesses chasing IT agility. The fact that you only pay for the resources you use makes a VPS server a wonderful early Christmas gift to overstressed, overburdened IT administrators.
Plus, it allows a company to focus on what they do best: product creation and selling — not IT administration.