What to Look for When Choosing Dedicated Hosting Providers

by Allia Vidmer on January 24, 2010

Many online businesses are powered by shared hosting and for some of these it remains the best option. However, many other businesses are realizing that a shared hosting service cannot provide them with the level of service and support they require so they are turning towards a dedicated hosting solution.

This enhanced level of service can offer multiple advantages to an online business that can help take their business to the next level of efficiency and profitability.

For those considering making the move from shared to dedicated hosting, or for those who may be thinking about setting up a new online business and going directly for the dedicated options, there are a number of things to look for in a potential service. These will probably include a high level of efficiency in a server that can support a range of applications which will include messaging, multimedia and high-volume transactions.

The best providers will be able to provide this level of service on a number of platforms, such as Windows, Unix and Linux. Of course, many businesses are unlikely to need more than one, but finding a provider who offers all three is a good indication of their level of professionalism and ability to make good on their service promises.

Beyond these fundamental elements, there are a number of key features that almost all users will require. Perhaps the most important to a business is the “uptime” a dedicated hosting server can provide. Almost everyone accepts that no server will be up all of the time, but any online business will require uptime that is as close to 100% as possible. If a provider cannot offer this guaranteed amount of uptime, you should look elsewhere.

Technical support is a key element and not only should a business expect an experienced support team, but they should look for support that is available around the clock and throughout the year. After all, the user will almost certainly require it outside of normal office hours.

The final key element is security. This is of paramount importance to all businesses and any hosting service should provide 24-hour coverage, monitoring and back-ups.

Beyond these essential basics, the choice of features will depend on a number of considerations, not least the size of the online business. To this end, it is important to look for a provider that offers a range of packages to help ensure a business gets the appropriate level of service.

There are a number of options a business may want to consider. Perhaps the first will be cost. It should go without saying that false economies will lead to a poor match between requirements and services. While bearing this in mind, it’s fair to say that a business at the smaller end of the scale may well benefit from a low-cost option that offers a level of simplified manageability.

For bigger or more complex online businesses, the ability to perform enhanced multi-tasking is an option that should be seriously considered. If a business expects to experience large workloads, then a package that can cater to this level of activity should certainly be considered.

Similarly, if a business wants to run multiple sites, then a provider who can offer a greater level of bandwidth will be essential. Even better, if this is combined with a competitive cost structure then this may be the best package for the business. The essential point is that a business can choose between a number of options to find the one best suited to its needs.

Whichever level a business is at, it is important to make an informed choice of the best dedicated hosting service to help ensure that the provider supplies exactly what is required in order to help the business to flourish and move to the next level.

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