What exactly is a dedicated server, and is it the best option for you? Let's find out...
Shared hosting is often the beginner’s first dabble in website building – it’s cheaper, after all. The perils of a shared server, however, far outweigh the benefits. Slow loading times can eat into your bottom line – a 1-second delay could limit your conversions by as much as 7% – and other users could hog the RAM and bandwidth just when you need it the most. In fact, the whole thing could end up looking like a DIY job, and that’s not going to encourage customers to trust the website or the brand behind it.
Growing agencies that handle multiple client sites recognise the need for hosting exclusivity, but what exactly is a dedicated server, and is it the best option for you? Let’s find out…
Dedicated server hosting (also known as a private cloud) is when a single client has exclusive access to a physical server that is solely for their own particular use. This customisable server will be aligned with the client’s needs and budget.
Having dedicated server hosting allows greater flexibility as you can choose the hardware and operating system you would like to use.
Dedicated servers don’t necessarily have to be on-site, they can live in data centres where the provider owns the hardware, but the client enjoys all the benefits of a private server.
The decision to have a dedicated server will depend on several factors. Primarily, it will be prompted by the nature of your business and what your current and future needs are. Organisations choose dedicated servers for the following reasons:
If you handle private data, you’ll have peace of mind that your sites are optimally secured. Businesses that take payment details or personal client information online rely on dedicated servers. You’ll have authority over the security features implemented across your server and the flexibility to ramp them up when needed.
Websites that anticipate high traffic and businesses that are going to grow their online service delivery need dedicated servers to ensure high-quality user experiences (UX).
Websites that use audiovisual content, animation, and multi-layered content management systems require dedicated servers to support fast uploads and uncompromised engagement.
Bandwidth and memory are your own, so there’s no risk of being sidelined just as your traffic spikes – as can happen with shared servers. You can’t be booted out of your own server space by other users, meaning no delaycs or unforeseen problems.
With full control over what comes into your server, you can rest assured that baddies are kept at bay. Around-the-clock support means your server is always monitored and your systems are regularly updated; this limits your exposure to security breaches and malware attacks.
Scaling businesses need to make fast and agile decisions; a dedicated server enables you to grow at your own pace without being affected by the requirements of other users on the server.
Your website may be growing its multimedia content catalogue and drawing in even more visitors. With a private cloud server, you know things won’t be slowing down when traffic peaks, encouraging more interactions and sales.
Who is dedicated server hosting for?
Shared hosting is often trialled by startups and businesses on a budget. Every user on the shared server will have their portion of CPU usage, memory and disk space. Eventually, the limitations of this type of hosting may put the breaks on your website’s responsiveness and ability to handle growth.
Who is shared hosting for?
Blogs and small static sites.
Cloud hosting, in terms of what Nimbus offers, is a virtual private server, or a VPS. This off-site server is split into several private servers that provide a dedicated amount of resources to a user and cannot be affected by others on the server. VPS is a more cost-effective alternative to dedicated physical servers. It offers the security and reliability that most companies look for in a dedicated server, making it a fantastic option for growing agencies.
Who is cloud hosting for?
Agencies and smaller growing businesses who need to keep things feasible but highly optimised.
Managed or unmanaged
With unmanaged hosting, you’ll require a team of on-site web development and system administration professionals.
Managed hosting helps businesses who don’t have the time or resources to keep up with the technicalities of maintaining and operating their server. A hosting provider will offer all the support you need when it comes to updates, security, troubleshooting, and monitoring.
Server management may include:
When you choose to have a dedicated server solution on your own premise, you will fall into the unmanaged service option and will be fully responsible for all things associated with the server; however, if you choose to have one in the data centre the hosting provider owns, they’ll look after the hardware and ensure that the server tech is always top of the range.
When you choose a dedicated server that uses Nimbus’s control panel, STORM, you can expect to gain the full benefits of a managed hosting provider that is outlined above.
Choosing a dedicated server with an option to use a virtualisation layer (VDS) gives you the ability to split your main server into separate sections that can each be tailored to the required spec of RAM or disk space you need them to have. This allows agencies to manage their clients’ websites with more flexibility than what a fixed package gives you.
When it comes to choosing the operating system for your server, it will tend to be between Linux or Windows. At Nimbus, we can customise your server to support either, along with giving you the option of using Nimbus’ own managed control panel, STORM – if you choose to install Linux. STORM was specifically designed for agencies to offer an intuitive dashboard and easier management of digital projects.
Your hardware choices will depend on the speed of your company’s operations. RAM size and bandwidth are also an essential consideration here. Server RAM (random access memory) supports your computing tasks and allows your server to write and read information accessed by the CPU. More RAM means more speed. Bandwidth will affect how your website handles traffic. For sites with high traffic volume, server packages with more bandwidth are always the clear winners.
Your hosting team could make or break your company’s reputation, particularly when an issue veers its ugly head. Sure, the ease of digital communication has made global connectivity easier, but that doesn’t mean a hosting provider on the other side of the world is going to be available at a time when you need them the most.
If your agency’s home is the UK, you’re likely to be serving UK-based businesses, who, in turn, cater to UK customers. If your server is on a different continent, data has to travel there and back every time your website has a visitor. The delay may not be huge, but it could be significant enough for you to lose that customer if a page slows down. Latency increases with distance, so the closer your agency is to its server, the quicker the load time, and vice versa.
UK-based servers also make complying with UK laws easier. You won’t have to spend time figuring out the legalities of other countries, and you can rest assured that your website is in line with the GDPR requirements in the location where your agency conducts its business.
Going local with your server also gives you access to fast, reliable support without language or timezone barriers. What’s more, a UK-based hosting partner knows the market you operate in and the rules you have to play by, so the advice and support they offer will always be the most up to date.
The right UK-based hosting company will only use quality servers in secure local data centres that maximise your uptime and support high levels of productivity.
When you partner with Nimbus, you gain a team of hosting experts in your corner, dedicated to running top-performing websites.
We provide dedicated servers that can be customised to your specific requirements, and all Linux based dedicated servers can use STORM – our purpose-built control panel, designed specifically for agencies, developers, and creatives. We’ve made looking after your clients’ websites a straightforward job thanks to an intuitive dashboard designed to simplify and optimise your day to day activities.
However, if you’re looking to make the most of their budgets by receiving a top-end hosting service without the expense of a dedicated physical server, our cloud hosting solution enables you to enjoy the perks of a private server, without actually having one on-site. Although hosting will be split between several private servers, you have the reassurance of a dedicated amount of resource that cannot be affected by other users on the wider server. Your websites function at top speed, protected from any security breaches that may be affecting other users, and your business has the flexibility to expand whenever the opportunity arises.
In the event of a setback, you can quickly restore your website without stress and panic. We run onsite backups so you have the reassurance of a secure and efficient way to resurrect anything that may have been lost. We also provide offsite backups too for extra security and your peace of mind.
It may be that you need a server that requires some sites to have onsite backups and others with offsite backups. We can create multiple virtual machines (VMs) on your server, so you can have the best of both worlds.
Our HP Enterprise hardware ensures superfast websites that outperform your competitors.
If STORM is for you, we’ll manage your entire migration for free. In the process, we also ensure that your site is optimised and ready to hit the ground running from day one.
We want you to get the full benefit of a private cloud server and will help you to build the right solution for your needs.
Our super-secure websites are thoroughly protected. With regular OS updates and security patches, you can avoid security breach nightmares. Also, our 24/7 support means you’re never left to firefight on your own.
Guaranteed 99.995% uptime, so your website is always available and you’re never at risk of losing or frustrating your customers.
We’re automatically monitoring your website, but if you need us, we promise to respond to support requests within 2 hours. In fact, 97% of our support tickets are answered within an hour! Plus our friendly and helpful UK support team are available by phone in a matter of seconds.
You may have to bring on board, Nimbus’ cloud hosting, along with our user-friendly software, STORM, is the hosting solution for you.
You can view all of our hosting packages here and find the price plan and spec that fits your needs. If you’d still like your own dedicated server, we’re more than happy to set that up for you, too.
We’re committed to building lasting relationships that support the growth of our clients and provide all the features they may need from a hosting partner. We can answer all your hosting questions and advise on the best fit package for you. Get in touch with us today.