Learn How to choose hosting for the needs of small and medium businesses. We have prepared an article for readers of GemSleek to help them figure out how to choose to host for their business purposes.
Hosting provides many opportunities for business:
- Present your goods and services using business card sites;
- Trade around the world through online stores;
- Organize processes with the help of special programs;
- Manage the work of remote employees through virtual offices
- And much more.
Both a small portion of the server and the entire machine can be rented. Since each user has his own tasks and plans, and projects require different amounts of resources, providers provide a whole arsenal of hosting services. Also, Read – 250+ Catchy, Unique, and Stylish Names For Online Clothing Store
What is hosting?
Hosting is a service of leasing server capacities for hosting digital data. Most often, hosting is used to publish sites on the Internet, but there may be other purposes: installing highly specialized programs, storing large amounts of information, or automating enterprise management.
The main feature of the hosting is an uninterrupted Internet connection, thanks to which remote access to materials and functions is possible at any time.
Hosting is indispensable for an entrepreneur in the current conditions.
There are different types of hosting, which depend on how it is implemented. They differ in power, disk size, and cost.
Virtual hosting (Shared)
Shared hosting is implemented by placing many client accounts on one server. Each user has a small piece of disk space on which one or more sites can be loaded.
Each provider sets the rules of use and forms a set of options for the client, depending on the tariff. At the minimum rate, you can usually place only one site, at the extended one – several, or an unlimited number (but there may be a limit on the number of files).
This is the easiest to manage and inexpensive hosting, which runs the bulk of web resources.
Pros of shared hosting
- Low price, which allows you to start a start-up business.
- Easy to operate – even a beginner can use the panel.
- All technical issues and problems that have arisen are solved by the provider.
- There is a set of necessary tools, which allows you to automate all processes as much as possible.
Cons of shared hosting
- A small amount of disk space and little processing power. It is enough for a small site, but even an extended hosting plan is not enough for a resource-intensive project.
- The inability to install your own software, if necessary. The provider provides a ready-made standard set of functions that can be extended with several additional tools, but nothing more.
- Low level of information security. The server is shared by many clients, it can be hundreds of accounts with a wide variety of sites. A high level of security with so many neighbors should not be expected.
- The computing power of shared hosting is divided between clients using special software that allows you to keep each site within the resources allocated to it. But when one site has a sharp increase in traffic, this leads to an increase in the load on the entire server and, as a result, slows down the sites of other clients. Providers try to prevent this by taking measures. The account owner is sent an email with a message about exceeding the allowable load and a proposal to fix the problem or switch to an extended plan. If the client does not take any action within the specified time, his site may be temporarily blocked.
Virtual server (VPS/VDS)
The abbreviations VPS / VDS are used in parallel and mean essentially the same thing – a virtual dedicated/private server. It is a part of a physical server separated by virtualization. In fact, a virtual server simulates the operation of an entire machine, while occupying only a part of it. One physical machine hosts several virtual ones – there can be up to a hundred of them, depending on the capacity of the root server. Also, Read – How to set up an online orthopedic store
Why is this being done? For some customers, the power of regular hosting is not enough, but renting an entire physical server is too expensive. VDS plays the role of an intermediate link and is popular due to its advanced features and affordable cost.
Clients can use the machine not only for hosting, but also for mail services, video surveillance, file hosting, accounting programs, CRM, and so on.
Advantages of a virtual server
- This is a powerful machine with a large number of disks, capable of serving resource-intensive projects, but at the same time quite budgetary.
- The flexibility of management. The client can independently administer the server, install his own software on it and use flexible settings.
- High level of autonomy and separation from other clients hosted on a physical server. Each VPS uses only the resources allocated to it and does not affect its neighbors. This also has a positive effect on data security.
Cons of a virtual server
- Difficulty in administration. The server is more difficult to manage than hosting, so the user will have to learn. You can transfer this work to a hired specialist or order a paid service from a provider.
- Freedom in management is high, but not absolute. There are different ways to virtualize, and they can impose limitations.
This is the most powerful and expensive hosting option, which is a separate machine. It is fully leased to one client. Of course, the user does not take the server to his office – the equipment remains in the data center, where it is provided with all conditions for work and uninterrupted access to the Internet. Management and access to files are implemented remotely, so the client can administer the server from anywhere.
Such hosting is distinguished by the greatest freedom in management and the ability to host any project. A dedicated server can be used for various purposes: create a development environment, deploy virtual offices, store large amounts of information, divide into virtual servers and use each for a separate task. Also, Read – Guide to Using Google Drive for Business
Advantages of a dedicated server
- Lots of memory and resources. A physical server is able to “pull” almost any project.
- High level of data security. The server is used by only one client, no one else can access the information.
- The ability to install unique programs and complete freedom in management.
Disadvantages of a dedicated server
- High price. This is the most expensive type of hosting among those mentioned.
- The most difficult to manage – here you can’t do without the help of a professional administrator.
Hosting selection criteria
Hosting can differ on a number of criteria. By understanding them, you will be able to determine which option suits you best.
Performance and processing power
- ram. The amount of virtual hosting RAM allocated to 1 PHP process (PHP memory_limit) is from 256 to 1536 MB. The average amount of RAM for a virtual server is from 2 to 16 GB. For a dedicated server, these figures can reach 128 GB.
- CPU. There is no such indicator for shared hosting, the provider allocates to each client a certain percentage of the entire server capacity – for example, 3% or 5%. For a virtual server, the standard processor frequency is 3200 MHz, and you can choose the number of cores from two to eight. A physical server gives more options for choosing a manufacturer and frequency (which is already measured in gigahertz). The number of cores on average is also from two to eight.
Possibility of individual settings and installation of own software
- Virtual hosting. The client is provided with a standard toolkit, which includes a file manager, antiviruses, CMS auto installers, a built-in website builder, caching services, the ability to make backups, create mailboxes, and other options.
These tools are enough to administer regular sites. But if we are talking about non-standard software or individual settings in the admin panel, it is better to look at the following options.
- virtual server. VDS differs not only in the volume of disks but also in greater freedom in management – here you already have the opportunity to install your software and choose an operating system.
Despite the greater freedom of action, VPS still has its limitations – for example, some virtualization methods suggest that the client’s OS must match the system of the physical server itself, and then there is no choice.
- A dedicated (physical) server offers the greatest freedom in managing and making individual settings. It should be chosen to work with specific or unique software if this is required for your project. In addition, it is good for large and resource-intensive programs – for example, video editing.
The size of disk memory of virtual hosting ranges from 5-50 GB depending on the chosen tariff. For a virtual server, these figures can range from 35 to 400 GB or more. On a physical server, you can install disks ranging from 250 GB to 4 TB (on average, but in fact, you can install disks of any capacity that are commercially available). Also, Read – What Are HTTP Status Codes? What are their meanings?
Shared hosting is the cheapest way to host a website. It can be obtained for $18-$150 per year.
The cost of a virtual server average from $70 to $370 per year, the exact figure depends on the size of the disks and computing power.
The price of a physical server is calculated for each machine individually since they are collected individually for each client. The price can start from $400 per year and reach several thousand dollars.
Ability to administer the hosting
A convenient and simple panel for clients is installed on virtual hosting. If some functions or actions are not clear, there is an instruction. It is very easy to learn how to use the client area. Shared hosting, in fact, is configured and administered by the provider himself, and the client only uses the proposed tools. Therefore, this type of hosting is suitable for novice webmasters or entrepreneurs who do not want to administer the site on their own.
To manage a virtual server, you need to have more knowledge and experience. In the “naked” form, the server is administered using text commands in the terminal, but thanks to the ability to install a control panel, this process is greatly simplified. Some paid panels allow even amateurs to administer their own server on their own – but you still have to spend time to figure out how it works.
Also, If the owner does not have the time or desire to learn this, you can always contact a professional administrator or order a service from the provider itself.
Freedom in managing a physical server also has a downside – this is the most difficult hosting in terms of setting up. This is a blank sheet, just hardware, on which you need to install all the components – OS, control panel, web server, or other programs, depending on the tasks. To administer it, you need to have an appropriate specialist on staff. You can transfer control of the server and the provider – for a fee.
How to choose hosting for small and medium business tasks?
So, let’s figure out what type of hosting you need to choose for a particular project, depending on the scale of the business.
In addition, Representatives of small businesses most often use business cards, and landing pages in their work, to create small online stores. For such purposes, virtual hosting is well suited.
Moreover, Medium business tools are corporate websites, online stores, CRM, 1C, virtual offices, business automation tools, or specific software. For them, it is better to rent a virtual or dedicated server. They not only have more resources but also guarantee better data safety than regular hosting or a working computer.
If you decide to take a VPS, you need to clarify the issue of the operating system. Can I install any or is there no such option? It depends on whether you can install the necessary software. For example, Linux is most often installed on servers, but some programs work only on Windows – the same 1C that is used for bookkeeping and enterprise management.
Also, When choosing to host, it is important to predict how many resources your project will need. You always need to have a small margin, because, with proper development, the site begins to grow rapidly. But at the same time, you should not take too much hosting – otherwise, you will have to overpay for capacities that you do not actually use.
Also, Providers usually give customers the opportunity to test hosting and servers for a short period. If you are not sure, test the chosen option – and in a few days, it will become clear whether it suits you or not. Also, Read – 10 delicious name ideas for your Vending machine business