With Christmas nearing and many people trying to get their festive shopping sorted, now seems like an especially good time to run an ecommerce site. After all, online shoppers don’t have to worry about long queues; it could take these people just a few clicks to snap up a large variety of products.
However, as your ecommerce site’s traffic increases, that site’s server could come under strain, putting its performance in jeopardy. Could now be the right time to upgrade or replace that server?
What server does your website currently have?
Given how many aspects of setting up an ecommerce site you need to tick off the list, it’d be understandable if you just snaffled what looked like the cheapest deal from a big-name provider when the time came for you to hire a server for that site.
For this reason, your current server might be what is technically known as a “shared server”. This type of server can have immediate appeal due to the low monthly costs of using one, but it would be ill-advised for you to continue relying on a shared server for the long term.
This is because a shared server, befitting its name, forces you to share this server and its resources with other businesses. As a result, when there’s a sharp spike in activity on your particular website, there might not be enough resources for you to prevent your website’s performance from faltering.
Naturally, considering how hectic Christmas and other seasonal celebrations like Halloween and Easter can be, you don’t want to put off shoppers by leaving them with horribly slow loading times. Besides, as Forbes warns, if another site on the server is hacked, your site could become infected, too.
Should you consider utilising a dedicated server?
Here, it’s important to clarify what exactly the term “dedicated server” means technically. With this server, you would have a physical server machine for your site’s exclusive use. Therefore, provided that the technology is optimal, this type of server would be more secure than shared hosting.
However, a dedicated server is also relatively expensive to hire – and certainly much more than your business could be willing to contemplate if money is a big issue. If your business is especially reliant on seasonal sales, much of your spending on a dedicated server could ultimately go to waste.
A convenient compromise option: a virtual private server.
Known in abbreviation as a VPS, a virtual private server is physically just one machine but partitioned to serve as several, each of which are ready for a business to occupy. Consequently, a VPS rivals shared hosting in affordability but also dedicated hosting in security and performance.
With a VPS, your website’s loading speed would be guaranteed, says TechRadar. The server is split due to virtualisation software, as in the case of the Windows cloud server Kronos Cloud offered by Heficed. Thanks to this virtualisation, the VPS software shares resources strategically among the server’s users, thereby preventing instability and inconsistencies associated with shared hosting.