When it comes to website hosting there is a spectrum of only three real options, each with their own characteristics. Not every selection will work for everyone, and it is important to understand which is the best solution for you before entering into the investment.
For example, a Dedicated Server provides your business with total access to the resources of the server. You have autonomy, reliability and virtually unlimited storage space (due to your ability to scale up the server). However this structure is the most expensive arrangement available, and also requires a certain level of expertise to operate efficiently. It is ideal for a large retail business expecting high levels of traffic, however might not be suitable for a blogger starting out.
Shared hosting gives you a little bit of space on a server that is also being used by other businesses, This is the most cost effective option available, however can be a minefield for reliability issues. As a result a start-up business popping its toe in the water with an initial web presence might be drawn to this, but a mature business expecting high visitor numbers is going to be fundamentally disappointed.
This brings us to the workable middle ground: the Virtual Private Server (VPS).
What is a VPS?
The Virtual Private Server is an arrangement that sits neatly between the other two. Your website is hosted on a server that is also being used by other websites, however in this instance your site has dedicated resources that are not shared. The cost of maintaining the equipment can therefore be spread between a number of users, however the OS and storage allocations are isolated from each other.
This hybrid approach allows a VPS solution to be cost effective and reliable, regardless of traffic levels into the server. There can be broad bandwidth considerations, and the shared structure does not allow for the freedom of a dedicated server, however for the vast majority of businesses seeking to have a consistent and efficient online presence, the VPS is a viable solution.
How to Choose a VPS Hosting Provider?
Once you have decided that the VPS is the most suitable option for your business, you will need to consider which provider to use. These are the characteristics to consider when making that decision.
Broad Spread of Packages
The VPS structure appeals to a wide array of businesses, and a good provider will understand that, and be able to accommodate it.
Adequate Security Protocols
Well-resourced and robust security protocols are crucial in an environment where online data is becoming increasingly valuable. A good provider will offer 2 factor authentication and 24 hr monitoring.
Robust and Reliable Hardware
Despite decades of development computer equipment remains surprisingly unreliable. A good provider however, will be able to demonstrate that they are investing in high level gear. Look to EuroVPS.com for an example of a provider that prides itself in quality hardware.
A single server tucked away in Pakistan is probably not going to be provide an appropriate experience. Your preferred provider should be able to demonstrate a good level of global reach, with data centres in other countries being highly considered.
We all expect around-the-clock access to our Banks and Insurance companies. A web hosting provider should also have an experienced and responsive helpdesk with multiple contact methods, phone and live chat as a minimum, with 24 hr access a reasonable expectation.