Dedicated Servers offer fast, reliable, and secure hosting. It can also cater to a high number of requests at a given point in time. This is the reason why high-traffic and large websites, around the globe, are hosted through Dedicated Servers.
However, choosing a Dedicated Server provider may seem a bit daunting, given that there are literally hundreds of providers, each one claiming to be the best. What’s more, it’s crucial to choose a great Dedicated Server partner. A web hosting company has a significant impact on essential aspects of your website, like reliability, performance, and security.
So, needless to say, research is important. The idea is to find out as much as possible about the web hosting company, their track record, the features they offer, and so on. There are two basic ways of doing this — ask the company and ask the customers. This article focuses on the former.
It’s important to have a detailed conversation with any web hosting company that you’re considering. Dedicated Hosting isn’t exactly the cheapest form of hosting; questions and queries are a must. Listed below are a few questions that shouldn’t be skipped.
What should you ask your Dedicated Server provider?
Does the company own its servers?
There are a lot of hosting providers who are actually resellers and they don’t actually own the servers that they offer. They just rent the servers and then re-rent them to you. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this business model.
However, it’s not the best option for Dedicated Servers. If you want a Dedicated Server, chances are, you have a lot of traffic and reliability is very important to you. In such cases, it’s best to go with a company that owns and maintains servers of its own. This way, if there are any problems, you know exactly who can solve them.
What is the default level of server management that they offer?
There are routine tasks associated with all servers – server monitoring, malware scanning, installing application updates, closing backdoors, and so on. In Managed Dedicated Server plans, these are done by the web hosting company. You don’t have to worry about any of it.
With Unmanaged Dedicated Hosting, the responsibility of maintaining your server rests on you.
Depending on what IT services you have in-house, the type of Dedicated Hosting you need will vary. If you don’t have an IT team in-house, you may need completely Managed Dedicated Hosting, where the company does everything on their own. This type of management is called ‘Proactive Management’. If you can do everything in-house, you may just want an Unmanaged Dedicated Hosting plan. As you can see, needs vary. So, ensure that you ask what level of management comes as standard. You can plan your IT needs accordingly.
What is the redundancy infrastructure like?
All servers fail. It happens to every server at some point. Even the best hosting companies in the world have to deal with hardware failures, and there’s simply, at least with existing technology, no way around it. However, the reliability of the company is judged by the level of redundancy it offers.
The process of creating backups so that data isn’t lost in case of a failure is called redundancy. The redundancy strategy varies from company to company, and it’s important to find out what your Dedicated Hosting company offers.
At the very least, a company should fulfil this criterion: There should be three distinct copies of data that are stored in two different physical locations with one of those locations being an offline storage location.
A slight relaxation to this rule is that it’s okay if a company doesn’t offer offline storage. You can always create a backup and store it in a hard drive. Industry leaders often go above and beyond this rule. Obviously, that’s a good thing. However, at the very least, the above mentioned backup conditions should be met.
When asking about redundancy, ensure that you ask about disaster recovery strategy as well. Just having a backup isn’t sufficient. Websites cannot be down for too long. It’ll hurt SEO, reputation, and sales. So, your hosting company should have a data recovery strategy that allows you to quickly get your website up and running with the latest possible backup copy of your data.
How long has the company been in this business?
While this might seem like an obvious question, its importance cannot be overstated. While there might be plenty of amazing new companies on the block, old companies are, in some ways, a testament to the service they provide.
Hosting companies close down all the time. It’s a cutthroat business. So, if a company has been in the business for a relatively long time, it means that they’ve kept their customers happy and they have a core group of customers who have stuck with them. This is a good sign.
What kind of support do they offer for your plan?
Support is where companies distinguish themselves from the competition. Leading web hosting companies all have one thing in common — they provide great after-sales service.
So, before you go ahead and sign on the dotted line, ensure that you ask them all about the level of support that they offer. Do they have phone lines that work 24/7? How is their support on email? Are they on social media and if they are, do they take queries there? How fast is their response time and is that on par with the industry standards?
These are important questions that will need answering. So, ask them all about it.
Good companies will not shy away from answering your questions. They realise that these are important details that you need to know before buying a plan. So, ask as many questions as you want.
Finally, it’s crucial to understand the importance of partnering with a reputed company. Industry leaders in Dedicated Hosting place a lot of emphasis on security, reliability, speed, performance, latency, uptimes, and things like that.
HostGator offers robust Dedicated Server Plans. Get Solid State Drive Storage, choice of managed/unmanaged support, 24×7 expert support, data redundancy, Neustar DDoS protection and instant server provisioning. In the long run, these are the things that matter. If the fundamentals of your Dedicated Server are strong, you can stop worrying about the technical problems and concentrate on actually growing your business.
To know more about the other web hosting categories and to choose the right option for your business, visit our Hosting Blogs Category.