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Is VPS the right choice for your business?

A typical server "rack", commonly se...

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Every business owner is required to make important decisions on a regular basis. Whilst day to day choices may not cause much of a stir, choices outside of this comfort zone can be trickier. The whole point of starting your own business is to succeed on your own terms and that means you need systems which offer you control.

As e-commerce and internet trading has become more commonplace, the virtual side of your business is now just as important as the physical side – if not more so. Unfortunately, not all small businesses are as familiar with these systems as others and that makes it harder to know what choice is best.

Servers and websites

The main portion of your online activity centers on websites and pages you have created. The way in which these are hosted can have huge impacts on your business and shared hosting is what most small businesses begin with.

Shared hosting supports many websites through a single server. The host is responsible for the maintenance of the server whilst the business is responsible for managing their website account. As large numbers of sites are supported by one server the account holders must share or compete for resources. Central Processing Unit (CPU), disk space, speed and data transfers are distributed amongst the various users and the high demand can mean a lower level of service is provided.

Is VPS a better option to shared hosting?

VPS (Virtual Private Server) is an alternative form of web hosting which many small businesses are beginning to adopt. The benefits of this hosting is that the server is shared with far less people and is partitioned to give each account holder greater control.

VPS is effectively a hybrid form of web hosting which sits between shared hosting and the more expensive dedicated hosting. Whilst dedicated hosting may offer greater benefits (through complete control and private hosting) it is also much more expensive and that makes it unsuitable for small businesses.

VPS can be adapted to your individual needs through scalability. The responsibility or control you have is also increased and you may find you have root access to your portion of the server – something which shared hosting does not provide.

Are there any downsides to VPS hosting?

Of course, no system is without fault and VPS can develop slight problems. Whilst the loading of pages is quicker and more fluid some users experience delays or issues should their server be oversubscribed. This occurs when the company providing the hosting assumes their account holders will not use all of their allotted resources and puts additional accounts onto the same server. If everyone uses their full entitlement then the server is unable to support the demand – causing disruption.

To avoid this, businesses need to make sure they use a reliable and reputable company. They should also ask for details on the number of virtual accounts being supported by their server to evaluate the likelihood of oversubscription.

Andrea Brown is a regular blogger and businesswoman from London. She started her own business seven years ago and recently transferred her web hosting to vps . Andrea uses her direct experience to advise small businesses on how to improve and grow.

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