6 Questions to Ask Yourself When Selecting a Dedicated Server

When choosing the right dedicated server, there are several questions that you should be asking your provider in order to make sure that you’re getting the best possible solution at the most reasonable price. Make sure to ask these six important questions before finalizing your purchase!

1) What are your storage needs?

The amount of storage you will need will depend on your business. If you are an ecommerce store that has an enormous catalog of products, for example, then you may need more space than someone who only has a few documents and images. Storage also comes in different types: hard drive storage, flash memory, cloud storage and virtual private server (VPS). Once you figure out how much space you’ll need (and what type), compare prices from several hosting companies. Shop around before making any decisions—you may be able to find comparable pricing from several hosts with all-inclusive packages.

2) What kind of bandwidth do you need?

The speed of your website largely depends on your web host and its server’s configuration. A dedicated server is ideal for heavy web traffic because it offers a lot more storage space than shared hosting, so there’s no fear of an overloaded site taking too long to load. However, if you don’t need massive amounts of bandwidth, it could be cheaper—and more efficient—to use a shared account that utilizes multiple servers. In short: select a plan that gives you plenty of bandwidth but not so much you’re paying for space you don’t need.

3) How many users will be accessing the server concurrently?

The number of users that will be accessing your server simultaneously will have a significant impact on which dedicated server you end up purchasing. If you know that your website is receiving thousands of daily visitors, then you might find yourself needing to get a bigger and more expensive server in order to support all of these people. If your website is only going to have 100 unique visits per day, then a smaller server is probably all you need. To get an idea for how many concurrent users will visit your website on average, it’s good practice to check out what kind of numbers other websites in your niche are getting and make sure you’re choosing accordingly.

4) Do you want a managed dedicated server?

If you’re just starting out and aren’t sure what it means when your host says they’re managed, don’t be afraid to ask. Typically, managed service providers handle updates for their clients, so you won’t have to manually upgrade anything yourself. Another thing that makes managed hosting different is that you can typically get direct support from these providers. Since dedicated servers are more complex than shared ones, there may be times when issues arise that require outside help. You may even want to consider paying a little extra for support services in case something unexpected occurs. Think through how much time you are willing (or able) to devote and choose accordingly.

5) What is your budget?

A dedicated server is not cheap. You can expect to pay between $100 and $500 per month for one, depending on your hosting needs and where you buy it from. If you don’t know how much you want to spend on your server, it can be helpful to ballpark what kind of service you want before doing any research. For example, if it doesn’t matter how long your site loads or how many people visit it, you could go with a cheaper option that offers fewer features. But if there are specific features (like unlimited storage space) that are important to you, those will likely cost more money too.

6) How long do you want to keep it?

Do you want to keep your server for two years? Or two months? If you’re not sure, that’s OK—server space is cheap enough that you don’t have to commit long-term. But if you know what kind of work you need done in advance, it’s good for everyone (you and your host) if everyone can plan accordingly. Plus, some hosts may require a minimum contract length before they will even consider hosting your project. Make sure there are no surprises down the road! Remember: The best thing about dedicated servers is their dedication; they won’t be wiped or given away. So make sure you stick with them as long as possible once they’re in use.

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