We live in a time where almost everyone needs an online presence. Due to the recent health crisis, many of us have become more flexible with working arrangements. These two situations equate to a few facts, we all need more online storage and many individuals have extra time to start a side business from home (if they so choose).
Large or small, UK2.NET can bring a business to life from the comfort of our own home via a website. Anyone can set up their very own online shop, selling our products and services to the world from the sofa. So if our website is our gateway to success, then we need to ask ourselves: what is the best way to host it?
There are many large companies in the UK offering to host your website for free. But is this the best way? If you are looking for professionalism and authority, then most likely not.
The answer depends on what kind of website you are creating. If you are serious about building a business, whether it‘s an ecommerce website or more of a blog, it comes down to this basic principle: you must have ownership and control of your data.
Web hosting is a key element to building and launching a site. But when people start to talk about the different hosting options, your eyes might glaze over.
Comparing Shared, Dedicated, And Virtual Private Servers
Fortunately, you’re not alone. Other than those who got the in-jokes from The IT Crowd, few people regard comparing servers as fun. However, it’s a critically important feature. If you don’t choose the right hosting option for your site or business, you’ll be starting out into the online world on the wrong foot. To make sure that doesn’t happen, read through the following brief comparison of the three main alternatives…
A shared server works as its name suggests. A hosting company puts your site on one of their servers, along with hundreds of sites all sharing that server and its resources. Available CPU time, memory, and disk space are split amongst the sites on the server.
That’s the main downside of shared servers as a hosting option – sharing resources means your website’s performance can suffer, particularly if other sites on the server monopolise the memory. Security isn’t guaranteed, either. If one site suffers a malicious attack, other sites will be more vulnerable.
On the upside, shared servers are often much cheaper than the other alternatives. They’re also easy to set up and maintain, as much of the work is handled by UK2.NET. That’s why this option remains popular with individuals setting up their first website, or small-scale businesses.
Virtual private servers (VPS)
VPS is probably the most complicated of the three main hosting options. A web hosting company like UK2.NET partitions a physical server into multiple virtual servers, each storing the content and files of an individual website. Like shared hosting, multiple sites are hosted on one physical server. There are generally fewer sites on each, and the server’s resources aren’t shared in the same way. Each site receives a set proportion of the server’s overall resources, unaffected by what’s happening with other sites.
VPS is a more reliable (and more consistent) alternative to shared hosting options. A VPS won’t reach the performance heights of dedicated servers, but it’s more easily scalable than the shared hosting option if a site’s needs grow.
In terms of cost, a VPS is more expensive than shared hosting, but generally much cheaper than dedicated servers. Indeed, this middle ground option is appropriate for the vast majority of businesses. Only those with limited budgets or truly impressive traffic statistics are likely to find a VPS completely unsuitable.
A dedicated server is a physical server with all its resources dedicated to one site or one user. Your website’s content and files are completely separate from anyone else’s. The entire resources of the server are exclusively available to you and your site. The hosting environment and server settings can be configured to suit, tailoring the server to perform exactly as required. Full control is one of the main advantages of this type of hosting.
Dedicated servers are the most powerful, secure, and rapid of these three options. Consequently, they’re also the most expensive, and the most technically complicated. You need to have more technical knowhow when choosing this option in order to manage security, software updates, and other aspects. Dedicated servers are usually favoured by high-traffic websites like busy ecommerce stores, which require enhanced performance and security.
The Benefits Of Hosting Your Website With A Dedicated Server
Taking your hosting solution into your own hands with a dedicated server makes good business sense. Should you be hosting your site with a dedicated server? Let’s find out…
Take control of your data
If you choose dedicated hosting, you become the full owner of everything you publish online. If you perform regular backups, your content and data will never be lost. You can choose exactly which platform you would like to build your website with and customise it as much as you wish.
If you are not a developer yourself, you will probably need to employ assistance to help create a customised website with a great backend. Alternatively, you can choose a platform such as WordPress which offers many professional templates which you can purchase for a one-off fee.
Consider the costs of powerful hosting, and budget according to how powerful you want your site to be.
In your budget plan, you will have to include the monthly hosting fees, the domain name registration, and any costs of a template and/or developer as required. You will also need to consider how much bandwidth you require to maintain fast page loading times. High bandwidth hosting may be needed to ensure your website loads lightning fast.
The need for speed
Speedy loading is vital, especially for an online shop. Products need to load almost instantly. Some of the very cheap and cheerful web hosting companies might seem appealing from an initial budget point of view, but in the long term, they might be a hindrance rather than an advantage. Be sure to balance the cost with infrastructure requirements.
If you own a large, established blog, dedicated hosting can give you the boost in speed and security you need. Especially if your blog experiences traffic surges. The reason for this is simple: a blog is basically a database in which all of your images and blog posts are stored. When you self host, you have access to those databases and can download them or even move them to another service provider should you choose to do so.
If you didn‘t have these databases, and you ever wanted to move your blog elsewhere, you would have to manually go back into each and every blog post. You would also lose all of the links (URLs) of your website and blog posts which would basically erase you from Google and other search engines. You would be starting from scratch.
Making the switch
If you have your own databases, and you decide to move hosting company, then you simply point your domain name to the new host and all of your URLs remain intact.
Are You Ready For A Dedicated Server?
To conclude, if you’re running a small to medium-sized business you may have been considering making the jump from shared hosting to dedicated. Our dedicated server line-up could be the nudge you need…
Shared hosting is a great fit for small businesses when starting out online. As resources are managed fully by the hosting provider (that’s us!), many entrepreneurs choose to run their website – and indeed any other applications – on a shared platform for ease. Shared hosting is also cost-effective, but what if you need more?
So when is it time to consider a more robust solution?
Dedicated servers give you complete control. Root/Admin and IPMI both come as standard with each dedicated server. You are in charge of what the hardware is used for. All of our servers are housed in our fully-owned data centres. This means that we’re on hand to keep an eye on things for you. We also guarantee that your hosting investment is in safe hands. UK2.NET is proud of its dedicated server support on-site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
What’s so great about dedicated servers?
It’s all yours
Dedicated hosting is just that: dedicated to you. As your business requirements of the infrastructure and hardware evolve, you will need to acquire greater resources. A dedicated server is fully owned by you, and so is all of the bandwidth and storage. This effectively and easily strengthens your online presence.
No traffic jams
Our top-spec dedicated servers come with a huge 100TB data transfer limit. If you’re not sure what that mean, just know that you’d struggle to reach the data flow ceiling. Easily avoid data traffic jams and serving your data in near real-time without obstacles.
Room to grow
Whether you choose traditional SATA or SSD disks for your storage, there’s plenty of space available. Our dedicated servers offer up to 64GB of RAM, with top spec servers offering 4 x 4TB SATA hard disk drives, with optional SSD upgrades. Abundant storage becomes more of a business necessity when your online presence begins to grow.
Under lock and key
Our fully-owned data centres are manned around the clock, 365 days a year, and the security of your data is our priority. We run optical, ionisation, and heat detection sensors, coupled with VESDA fire protection, all of which allow us to provide the security for your data which you can rely on.
We have a fully redundant infrastructure at our data centre, meaning that should we suffer a power outage we have the means to keep your server up and running.
Keeping things cool
Our intelligent free cooling methods are energy efficient, working around the clock to make sure your hardware is kept at an optimum temperature and can run efficiently without overheating.
Our network is built on 100% premium Cisco hardware, complete with 200Gb of peering connectivity and multiple transit providers, totalling over 400Gbps of public network capacity. All of our servers are connected to 1Gbps dedicated ports on fully redundant switches, making for a lightning-fast system.
Get started today!
If you’re looking to expand your online presence and take control of your hosting solution, it may be time for a dedicated server. Get in touch with us today here to discuss the best hosting solution for you, and take a look at our dedicated servers page to find out more about dedicated hosting.