Oftentimes we’re asked to spec out a hosting solution just based upon visiting a URL, but unfortunately doing that only tells us a very small piece of the story. So what information helps web hosts understand what your website needs to perform at its best?
1. Software/Technology Used
Websites can be built upon many different platforms and software applications. Knowing what Content Management System (CMS), ecommerce platform, blogging software, or other tools your site employs helps us ensure your hosting environment is compatible and high performance enough to support all of your applications.
Plus, each application or platform tends to have its own set of recommended server specifications and licensing requirements. Our hosting solutions experts can help you identify licensing and resource needs often based upon knowing your site structure.
2. Current Resource Usage
The most helpful information for any new hosting provider is the actual resource usage of your current environment. This includes both allocation and actual usage of server resources such as memory, CPU, and storage space. Knowing the current usage allows us to configure a custom solution that keeps your total cost of ownership (TCO) low while still having the highest performance. Knowing your current allocation allows us to understand how much room you currently have to grow, and how over or underutilized the current environment is in comparison to current performance.
3. Database Technology and Usage
There are quite a few options and strategies surrounding database hosting and which one suits your environment best depends on a few factors. First, you want to know the database application and edition you currently use (for example: SQL Express or SQL 2012 Web Edition). Next, you’ll want to know how many databases you use and the physical size of each. This will help your hosting solutions expert determine whether a licensed or shared solution would be more appropriate for your business. Finally, you’d want to know of any special needs or requirements your structure has, such as database replication.
4. Business Trends
Is your business seasonal? Or is it relatively static? How much do you expect to grow in the next 3-6 months? Or even a year? Some sites, such as ecommerce, experience high traffic volumes around special seasons, holidays, or events which can affect which hosting solution is more appropriate. Growth expectations also help determine a future path to ensure your solution is scalable enough to accommodate those expectations.
5. Cost of Downtime
Nobody likes downtime. Everybody wants to do as much as possible to avoid it. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. Even the best systems experience outages. Most importantly though, knowing your downtime cost helps to determine what level of redundancy and disaster recovery you need to plan for.
If you’d like assistance in determining the right hosting environment for your website’s needs, our hosting solutions experts would be happy to help. You can reach us via email to email@example.com, phone at 866-706-8691, or live chat.