The trend has been around for decades now, but 2020 drastically accelerated the migration from brick and mortar to online experiences. In this day and age if your website experience isn’t top-notch then odds are as a business, you’ll find yourself struggling to survive
. User’s expectations have grown to demand almost instantaneous response times, and the direction isn’t changing anytime soon.
Whether you’re hosting a website for a business, hosting a game server to attract players, or something else, the simple fact is that a good server experience is critical to success. As such, understanding what to look for in a server can give you an edge on your competition and allow you to host at an affordable cost. Here are some tips for finding the best value servers.
One of the last things you want to do when purchasing a server is pay for more resources than you’re using. But you also don’t want to be lacking and end up with a choppy user experience.
For this reason, it is good to look for a scalable plan that allows you to customize your resource demand over time. A successful business will be able to closely correlate its server to market demands.
To demonstrate this, consider if your site sold Christmas gifts. You’re not going to have too much traffic in June (other than a few eager shoppers), so you’ll want a server that can scale down its resources in the summer and save you a few bucks.
Then when shopping season rolls around, you’ll want a server that can build out and service all of your incoming users without slowing down processing speeds. Otherwise, you might save money on your server but will end up losing a lot in missed sales potential.
You might not think about it these days since everything online seems to happen magically, but there are laws of physics at play for all of our data transfers. The shortest distance between two points (your site and user) is a straight line, and the shorter that line is the quicker your response times will be. Look for a hosting provider that can spin up a server somewhat locally to help ensure all your users have small load times.
It should go without saying that you want a server to be secure, but we’re going to say it anyway because of how important it is. If you’re running a business then security leaks could bring down your entire organization. And with things like DDoS attacks on the rise, it’s important to always be monitoring for malicious users and taking proactive measures against them.
When shopping around for hosting providers you should look for one that offers DDoS protection and also guarantees 99.9% uptime. This means that 99.9% of the time your site should be operational, which is what an end-user would expect. After all, there’s not a whole lot of point in paying for a site if it won’t be available when your users need it most.
Security is critical, and hand in hand with it comes recovering from disasters. These could be security leaks or they could something entirely out of your control like a natural disaster. Either way, you need to have a plan of action for what to do when things go wrong.
If data disappears from your database and you don’t have a backup or a way to recover it then users could become angry (and depending on the circumstances, you might even find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit).
Even if you’re not hosting a server for a business, security and data recovery might be extremely important. If you’re hosting a dedicated game server your users likely depend on their characters maintaining their history, and if this information disappears then a player will likely not be logging on again.
As a gamer, one of the worst possible feelings is logging hours upon hours into a game and then finding that nothing has been saved the next time you try to play. So whether it’s for a business or a dedicated game server, making sure you have a solid disaster recovery plan is important.
Conclusion – Tips for Finding the Best Value Servers
When evaluating the value of any server it’s also important to consider whether your hosting plan will be managed or unmanaged. An unmanaged plan is one where everything is taken care of by you. This means things like server administration and troubleshooting applications/software are overseen by you the owner.
Taking on an unmanaged plan can save you some money but it also comes with more responsibility and it’s advised that you have a solid understanding of what you’re doing. If you don’t, then it may be worth bucking up the extra dollars for a managed plan.
Many different factors come into play when trying to find the best value servers. You want to make sure you aren’t overpaying for anything, but going for the bottom of the barrel and sacrificing on things like security or disaster recovery plans could be more expensive in the long run.
Whatever you do decide, it shouldn’t be too binding that you aren’t able to adjust your needs over time and get a better idea of what your business requires to be great.