The jury is out: businesses large and small need a dedicated server to power their operations.
It’s tempting to save money in a small business: after all every penny spent comes off the bottom line. One area that you really shouldn’t skimp on though, especially if you’re involved in ecommerce in any way, shape or form, is a dedicated server.
That’s because shared resources are often pushed to the absolute limit at peak times, which means your site can go down, and you can lose clients or sales. If you ran a high street shop that closed at random times during the day then you’d lose business hand over fist, and it’s the same in the world of online sales and marketing. In fact, you might be shocked by the potential losses.
A recent Aberdeen Group report suggested that downtime costs, on average, $163,674 an hour. This includes large corporations as well as one-man bands selling trinkets on the side, so the figure should be taken with a pinch of salt. It’s an eye-opening number, though, as is the fact that the average company suffers 27 hours of downtime a year and it can impact their profits by as much as 22%.
A small business owner simply cannot afford to lose this money, so while a dedicated server might seem a frivolous expense, it’s one of those investments that will pay for itself many times over without any effort whatsoever. It’s a no-brainer, in other words.
Your website is not simply up or down, either. It is not a black or white situation – there are hundreds of shades of grey. Shared resource servers can throttle your website’s loading speeds at peak times, especially if you enjoy a traffic spike, which can send potential customers running for the hills. In fact a recent Kissmetrics study showed that 40% of potential buyers will abandon a purchase if a page takes more than three seconds to load. At peak times, on an overloaded shared server, that can easily happen.
So your best efforts when it comes to making a streamlined website will count for nothing, should you choose to save a few quid on your web hosting solution. That is bad business, whichever way you look at it.
Another consideration is the level of control that a dedicated server offers. With a shared server you lack the authority to add your own software packages, but with a dedicated server you can use whichever system and background control processes you want. That opens up a world of opportunities that you might not have even considered, so it’s worth talking to a specialist to see what kind of additional services or even monitoring programs you can employ with a dedicated server. Once you know what’s out there for you it could easily swing the balance.
A dedicated server can also scale up with your company. If rapid expansion is on the horizon then your server can grow with you, and you can upgrade your RAM, bandwidth and disk space as your customer base grows. That means it’s more cost effective than you might think and the point of entry really isn’t as daunting as you may have been led to believe.
You also get the peace of mind that goes with a dedicated firewall for your own server too, which gives an added level of protection. Malware and hackers are abundant these days, so your own personal cocoon for your data simply has to be a better option than sharing with others who might not be so fastidious about their internet security. If someone on your server has been hacked, or is sending out spam mails, it can even stop your sales emails reaching their intended targets as you get tarred with the same brush and labelled a spammer.
Don’t think you’re putting all your eggs in one basket with a dedicated server though; optional back-up means that your data, your website and more will be safely duplicated elsewhere. So if there’s a terminal problem with your server, which rarely happens in the modern world, your data is secure. With a dedicated server you’re moving up to a gold standard client footing, so you can expect a gold standard service.
This means you get technical support and even a fully managed service if monitoring your own server seems like a daunting task. You also have access to carefully refined bug fixing software that would address many small issues before they turn into genuine problems.
So if you’re an established small business with a serious online sales presence or if you’re just looking into building your website as you read this, then a dedicated server could offer you a world of opportunities. It might cost a little more, but it’s one of those gifts to your business that will simply keep on giving.
Take a look around our dedicated server options and get started today.