A server enables a business to host its content on the internet, thus enabling the website to be viewed by other people. Servers are of core importance because a website depends on them to run. Being the most critical component, the type of server that a company uses is fundamental.
There are several server choices available for businesses. For most startup ups and small businesses, shared hosting is the most efficient choice. The resources of a single server are rented out to several clients who share the server.
Sharing the server means that the cost of running the server is distributed to many users. This makes running shared servers less costly and makes them cheap. As a result, small enterprises are able to afford its services.
Sharing resources can have its downside too. For instance, the level of control of the server is lesser because it is shared among several clients. You might also encounter limitations in terms of controlling the server, thus increasing vulnerability and the chances of compromising the security of your data.
The best option for an e-commerce business is either a virtual private server (VPS) or a dedicated server. Below is a summarized review of each one of them:
A virtual private server (VPS)
This option is quite popular with many middle size enterprises because it gives them a sense of using an own server. It is also less costly as compared to a dedicated server. In a virtual private server, the server has virtual private compartments that have resources such as a specific disk space, an operating system, and a bandwidth.
Each of the users gets his or her own virtual operating system that he or she can then run the software he or she wants and exercise the kind of controls he or she would desire. The virtual private server is essentially a server that has several virtual spaces. This means that the server is essentially rented out to several tenants and they share the cost of running it. This makes it more affordable to the individual users since they do not have to incur the high costs of running the server singly.
The following are the benefits of VPS hosting
• You can pick the resources you want and only be charged for them
• Root access is available hence offering control over security
• The performance is better since the resources are singularly used.
• It is easy to scale up or down the resources as per the current business needs.
The only downside of VPS hosting is that the server is still shared technically by several users. VPS hosting can also be quite problematic if the website needs more resources at certain peak times and the resources cannot be allocated.
A dedicated server is the ultimate choice for a big e-commerce or other types of businesses because it is ultimately dedicated to the user. In this type of a server, the resources of the whole server are allocated to the client.
This enables the client to run applications smoothly with huge numbers of traffic without problems. The server is ideal because most e-commerce websites receive many visitors daily. Some of the visitors could be buyers, other speculators, while others are “window shoppers.”
Regardless of the category that the visitors fall into, the server should be able to support the daily traffic without problems. This makes a dedicated server suitable for a big enterprise that has extensive needs for server resources.
The following are some of the additional benefits of a dedicated server:
• The user enjoys ultimate power and control over the server.
• The client can customize the server’s hardware or software to suit their needs.
• It can easily support and withstand peak and off-peak traffic without issues because the resources are always there.
• It allows for more control of security features.
• It can support multiple scripting languages and types of software.
Despite being the best choice for big enterprises or e-commerce websites that require vast resources, dedicated servers have their disadvantages too. For instance, they require the client to have technical expertise if they purchase an unmanaged plan. A dedicated server is also more expensive as compared to a VPS and can take longer to fix if the system crashes.