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Craig Greenup 06/08/19, 13:32
If you’re not a techie, you may have heard about hosting and servers in passing and not paid them too much attention. It’s easy to think of them as ‘one of those things’ and dismiss them, especially when you’re busy with the many other aspects of running a business.
The thing is, they can be almost as important as having a working website in the first place. To understand why hosting and servers are so important to your website we need to know a little bit about what they are and what they do.
The word ‘server’ refers to programs and computers which store all the bits of information which make up a website. When a user wants to view a site, they will either type the site URL into a browser or click a link ,which connects their computer with the server that stores the site they want to view.
The server then retrieves the requested site and ‘serves’ the site information to their computer through the browser. ‘Hosting’ is just a term used to describe the action of storing a site on a server, as in the server ‘hosts’ the website information and therefore carries out a hosting service. Simple enough, right?
Kinda, but there’s a bit more to it than our quick explainer. There are a whole bunch of factors relating to your hosting service which will affect your site, such as the amount of website data which is stored on each server, and issues that can stem from sharing an IP address (a unique ‘address’ which identifies each server) with other websites.
Most basic hosting packages will store multiple sites on each server which can lead to traffic jams as well as potential security issues and even IP address blacklisting. The fact that shared servers are relatively cheap makes them an appealing prospect, but you can avoid the vast majority of issues associated with shared servers by opting for a dedicated server.
Dedicated servers provide a hosting service in the same way that shared servers do, the main difference being that a dedicated server only serves one organisation, company or individual. A company or organisation which hosts their website on a dedicated server has exclusive use of that server, and therefore a unique IP address, and it’s like having an in-house server without needing to cover overhead costs for specialist equipment and maintenance.
One of the main benefits to choosing a dedicated server is that you get much more flexibility. The server itself can be customised to meet your exact needs, giving you the choice to include the applications, platforms and software that will give your specific site the best environment.
It may come as a bit of a surprise, but dedicated servers are more cost effective than you might think, especially when you have a robust hosting package which includes network maintenance and maintaining server hardware. Essentially this means you can rent a dedicated server without having to pay out for the associated hardware. You definitely get more bang for your buck when opting for dedicated servers and hosting!
Once your dedicated server is set up, it only has one mission: to direct resources and handle requests for your site alone. The fact that resources are not being shared among other sites on a shared server means that your site load speeds can be dramatically improved compared to speeds you can get from shared and cloud servers, as well as allowing your site to handle greater volumes of traffic and take traffic spikes in its stride. Aside from the obvious benefit of improving user experience, site speed is also very important for search engine optimisation.
The fact that shared servers can be accessed by anyone who also has use of the server makes them more vulnerable to infiltration and data loss. Making use of a dedicated server reduces your chances of being victim to DDoS attacks and other breaches and furthermore you will know for sure that you’re not sharing a server (and therefore an IP address) with a malicious or spam site.
We specialise in building innovative custom sites which pair perfectly with dedicated hosting, so you’re looking for the complete package then don’t hesitate to contact us. When you choose to have your new website built and hosted with Radical Web Design you can rest assured you’re in the safest hands: