Do I Need a Dedicated Server for My Startup?

The UK has been blessed with an abundance of entrepreneurial spirit. According to Companies House data, 2016 saw a record number of new businesses formed. That figure – 657,790 – continued the progress of record years in 2015 (608,110) and 2014 (581,173).

Dedicated server

That means a lot of people are taking those tough first steps into the world of business right now. From reaching out to new customers to finding the funds needed to get you up and running, there’s a lot on your plate as a start-up.

In 2017, your website is right at the top of your to-do list. It’s how customers can find you for the first time and it’s either a showcase for your services, a place to sell goods or, quite possibly, both.

As you set up your website, you have to make a decision on how to host it. The offline equivalent is making a decision on your premises. Do you want a building to yourself or would you like to take a room in a shared office space? Online, this means deciding between a dedicated or shared server.

Why you would consider a dedicated server for your start-up?

A dedicated server, like your very own office space, puts you in control of everything. There are a range of different packages (see www.westhost.com for some examples) but each gives you the freedom and power to what you want with the site.

It’s great for:

  • Companies who handle lots of sensitive or financial data and want to go for a server that delivers the best possible level of security.
  • Firms who are concerned about having to share server space with someone else.
  • Businesses who want to be able to rely on a lot of storage space and the best level of performance to cope with spikes in web traffic.
  • Companies who plan to grow their enterprise quickly and need to be able to scale up their website in line with this.

What are the benefits to using shared servers?

All of this comes at a price. Dedicated servers, like your own premises, are a bigger cost. Most start-ups need to watch what they spend, especially as they find their feet and build towards turning their enterprise into a money-making business.

Shared servers, therefore, are ideal for:

  • Companies with a tight budget
  • Businesses who don’t need a high-performing website and are unlikely to be selling goods and services from their site
  • People with little or no technical knowledge
  • Companies who don’t want to have the task of managing their own server

Questions to ask yourself

By now, you should have got a feel for which type of server is more suited to your needs. However, if you need a bit of help, why not weigh up the following questions?

  • Does your site need to cope with high levels of traffic or a large amount of content? (especially lots of videos)
  • Are you expecting to handle sensitive data – such as the financial information of customers?
  • Do you expect to grow to the extent that your website will need to become ‘bigger’ in a short amount of time to match the growth of your business?
  • Do you have the technical expertise to manage a server as a business?

If you’re answering yes to all of those questions, then it might well be worth investing in a dedicated server space.

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