At some point, maybe in the first few months or perhaps after a year or so, a founder will want to push a small business into something bigger and more substantial. For that to happen, a few processes might have to change and a few alterations might have to be made – and one of those is a website upgrade. Consider how a virtual private server (VPS) can meet your needs as you grow your business.
How to Know if You Need a VPS for your Business
As a small business owner, ask yourself these four questions to determine if a VPS is right for your business:
- What would currently happen if your website crashed, or suffered from a cyber attack? Would you know who to go to, or even where to find the source of the problem? Would you know how to keep a website and its servers safe?
- Consider a scenario where one of your products becomes popular very quickly, and sales go through the roof. You need to diversify and fast, and modify your site substantially to cope with the e-commerce explosion. How quickly can you scale upwards with your current server?
- Conversely, let’s say you’ve decided to downsize for some reason – does your current plan still represent value for money?
- How quick, or slow, is your website? Has it been struggling with everyday tasks?
What is a VPS?
If you’ve answered negatively to any of these questions, then it might be time to rethink your online strategy – perhaps towards VPS. A Virtual Private Server is essentially a virtual machine that mimics a dedicated server, meaning that you don’t have to shell out on a server yourself, or learn the technicalities of it.
Instead, you can simply find a VPS facility online and transition your site easily and efficiently, no matter the size or scope. All you need to do is upload your current site files.
If you need any more convincing, hosting giant GoDaddy recently declared that it was dropping its cloud services and instead urged users or new clients to move towards VPS.
What should a VPS do for your business?
At the least, an SSD server should offer 24/7 support should the unexpected occur. You’ll get a range of prices depending on the spec you need; from 0.5gb of RAM for small websites and embryonic SMEs through to a mammoth 16gb for complex web apps or running multiple sites. You can choose your location worldwide, and while this should not matter for a 24-hour service you may feel more at ease with a site nearby – or it might mean nothing to you at all. Some VPS’ can also help with the initial web set-up, moving you from an existing provider if required.
The key is the adaptability and the instant ability to change up, should you need to. Let’s take another example; imagine a spate of ransomware attacks that are targeting SMEs, with the intention of extorting money (similar to the attack on the NHS earlier this year). A few simple patches and fixes will largely negate the problem, but what would certainly eradicate it is an SSL certificate. Would you know how to put that in place, and keep your information safe?
Where to start with a VPS
So what’s the first step? Since variability and change are so easy, perhaps deciding on what you need now is the most important step, since you know you can change in the future. Certainly, if you’re administering to several sites or expecting a high degree of traffic for your new site, then VPS might be safer. Shared hosting, often a common starting place for new ventures, can become slow and liable to phishing and spamming attacks; an attack on one website threatens all of the others using the same server.
With low prices in the VPS environment as well, it represents an ideal time to step in – and if your business booms it will be easy to move upwards and upgrade your package.
By Derek Williamson