Online merchants and business owners have two options to host their websites. They can either go the traditional way by availing a dedicated server hosting solution or may think of an advanced option of cloud computing. Irrespective of whatever option is being chosen, a reliable and established web hosting provider is essential for ensuring a strong online footprint of the business.
Attributes of ideal hosting service
Any hosting service needs to be evaluated for its performance, security, management, approach to maintenance and support, and pricing. In order to enhance your understanding of these vital characteristics of standard web hosting service, let us understand their roles, individually.
Performance of hosting service
There is couple of important criteria to know how a given host is delivering sound performance. The most essential aspect of performance is the network uptime of the service. In order to keep your business website always up and running the host must offer guarantee of 99.99 percent uptime based on SLAs.
This is followed by religious maintenance of servers and other hardware to make sure that there are no hardware related issues as far as CPU, RAM, and Disk of servers are concerned.
Cloud based hosting is a better option for maintaining reliable availability of website due to presence of multiple servers in a cluster to ensure redundancy. In a cloud environment the website does not rely on a single server and draws its resources from number of scattered servers. If any of these servers is a victim of technical glitch, the website continues to operate without any interruptions.
Security of digital assets
Security of website information is a critical aspect of a web hosting service, since the very existence of any online business depends on availability of the website and business data. Dedicated servers are known to be more reliable for delivering assured security of information than its cloud counterpart. Security in cloud environment is slightly less reliable than a dedicated server, although cloud hosting providers are implementing sophisticated security measures to protect clients’ digital assets in cloud.
Dedicated servers can take considerable time to scale up or down in response to variation of demand. Vertical scalability is a complex issue in a dedicated environment. In contrast, cloud hosting is regarded for auto scaling features. Sudden traffic spikes are more efficiently handled by cloud solutions due the feature of dynamic scalability in cloud. Similarly resources can also be scaled down as soon as the demand subsides. It should be also noted that scope for horizontal scaling in cloud as well as dedicated server is similar.
Approach of management
In a cloud hosting option there is a greater integration between back end and frontend application as far as provisioning and management tools are concerned. Management of a user interface is far superior in cloud ecosystem than in a dedicated server environment.
You need to master exclusive technical skills in order to maintain and backup critical files in a dedicated server hosting. Needless to mention users must be provided with an unrestricted and root access to server for its management and configuration.
Pricing of hosting service
Cloud computing provides a better approach to pricing because users are billed on pay-per-use basis. This utility pricing is one of the most striking features of cloud hosting since users are paying only for the volume of resources that are consumed.
In a dedicated hosting service, the billings is on subscription basis and no matter what resources are consumed by users, the billing is as per allocated resources in hosting plan. In spite of this, dedicated hosting remains to be a cheaper option if the comparison is done on the basis of oranges to oranges.
Cloud hosting services are preferred by large business houses and corporate organizations since these services are ideal on long term basis to establish a stronger web presence. It is observed that small and medium sized businesses continue to rely on dedicated hosting due to greater security and better affordability of hosting solutions.
One needs to exercise utmost care while selecting the right host based on the parameters discussed above. You also need to look at the level of experience and market reputation of the host before finalizing the deal.