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Ensuring the Best Australian eCommerce Hosting

As an eCommerce business, your website performance is critical to the success of your business, so determining what the best hosting solution is for your site, as well as finding a hosting provider that can provide you with the support to ensure that your site is working for you 24/7, is imperative. What should you look for to find the best Australian eCommerce hosting solution?

There are three different hosting options that an eCommerce business should consider – shared hosting, dedicated hosting and a virtual private server (VPS). It’s not one-size fits all when it comes to finding the best Australian eCommerce hosting solution. There are many factors to consider when selecting a hosting solution.

Hosting Solutions: How Do They Compare for an eCommerce Site?

Shared Hosting

Shared Hosting consists of several websites residing on one web server that is connected to the Internet. As the overall cost of the server maintenance is amortized over several customers, this is the most economical option for hosting.

Shared hosting may be more cost effective than dedicated and a VPS; however, as we have learned, you get what you pay for. What may seem like a cost effective solution for an eCommerce site, can come at a price. In a shared hosting solution, you are at the mercy of the other sites sharing the server – if they are slow, you will also be slow. If they are unprepared for a huge spike in traffic and their sites crash, your site will also crash. If you are an eCommerce business and look forward to the seasonal spikes in traffic, this solution may not be for you – as a sudden spike in traffic, from your site, or other sites, can cause the server, and all the websites on it,  to crash.

Shared Hosting Pros

  • Cost: The most inexpensive of the three options
  • Easy to Use: User-friendly web-based control panel
  • Maintenance: No need to conduct technical maintenance on server

Shared Hosting Cons

  • Limited Resources: Shared resources with other users on the server; if a site goes down, your site will go down and if other websites use too many resources, your site will be slow
  • Customization: Inability to modify or customize the server that you are on, including the addition of modules and programs you need to run your website
  • Security: Potential security risk due to the inability of being able to install your own software to protect your site as well as the threat posed by other sites

Who will it work for? A small business site that doesn’t expect a lot of traffic

Dedicated hosting is a good option for large eCommerce sites with high traffic.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated Hosting involves a company leasing an entire server that is housed in a data centre and is not shared with anyone else. This is a more flexible alternative to shared hosting as an organization will have full control over the server(s), including choice of operating system, hardware, etc.

A dedicated host can be a better solution because of the reduced risk of poor performance and potential security issues that can come with sharing your resources with other sites. The downfall of dedicated hosting is that it can be more expensive than both shared and a VPS. For a small business with one website, the cost may not be feasible, nor the need for a dedicated server necessary.

Dedicated Hosting Pros

  • Customization: The ability to install applications and software on your server
  • Bandwidth: The ability to scale up or down to accommodate your needs
  • Security: Dedicated firewall protecting the data on your site
  • Performance: Dedicated resources provide a faster performance than that of a shared scenario

Dedicated Hosting Cons

  • Cost: More expensive than both shared hosting and a VPS
  • Administration: Requires an in-house or outsourced IT resource to perform maintenance

Who will it work for? Large and high-traffic sites

A VPS is one of the options for the best Australian eCommerce hosting solutions, offering security, scalability and control.

VPS

Virtual Private Server or VPS is a type of hosting in which a virtual server is perceived to be dedicated to the user; however, it is installed on a physical computer and runs multiple operating systems. The functionality is similar to dedicated hosting but the software component makes it easier for it to be configured by the user and the user can install almost any software that runs on that operating system. A VPS has its own operating system, disc space and bandwidth and has a physical service that resides in a data centre. This server is divided into various virtual servers, with each virtual server representing one client. The space acts as a dedicated server but is in fact part of one big physical centre.

What is great about VPS is that as an eCommerce site, you have the ability to scale quickly to accompany peak traffic– and don’t have to pay for these additional resources until you need them. With a shared hosting provider, they often oversell their space and put several customers on their web services, which causes problems for all customers. This impacts your up-time and performance and, like mentioned, if another site crashes the server, your site will go down too. When you use a VPS, you have full access to your hosting environment, allowing you to make your own configurations; saving your business the time-consuming task of making every single change through your provider. Something most shared environments don’t offer because of the security limitations of having numerous companies on one server.

VPS Pros

  • Cost: Less expensive than a full dedicated hosting plan with a physical server
  • Customizable: Fully customizable to the needs of the business
  • Control and Scalability: The ability to scale resources up or down to meet peaks and lulls, and the ability to pay for only what you need

VPS Cons

  • Cost: More expensive than shared hosting
  • Resource Allocation: Some hosting providers do not allocate resources appropriately and this can cause performance problems

Who will it work for? Companies with sites of all sizes looking for customization and scalability for their website needs

Regardless of what hosting solution is best for your eCommerce site, the key is to find a partner who will help guide you through the process. Talk to your provider not only about the short term goals of the company, but also the long term goals. If you have a promotion or an event coming up in the future, it’s important that they are aware of this. Keeping your provider informed of potential spikes in traffic can help them ensure that your site is ready to take on any traffic that will come its way. Regardless of whether you select a shared, dedicated or VPS hosting solution, planning is key to ensuring that you have the resources available to succeed. Finding a the best Australian eCommerce hosting solution, as well as a hosting provider who can provide you with the support that you need to keep you site up 24/7, is imperative to the success of your site, your brand and your company.

Finding the Best Australian eCommerce Hosting Solution

Since 2002, StudioCoast has been providing exceptional customer service and technical know-how to clients. StudioCoast is dedicated to innovation and providing small businesses with managed VPS hosting services to deliver industry leading performance at an affordable price. If you would like more information on how StudioCoast can get your small business started with a Hyper Windows VPS solution, contact us today.

Best Australian Web Hosting for Small Business

The number one question we get from our clients is, “What is the best Australian web hosting for small business?” We get this question a lot. Maybe it’s because we’ve been around for a while, so we have become a bit of a trusted source for hosting on the Gold Coast. The small business market seems to have the most questions when it comes to hosting needs and this simply may be because small businesses don’t always have a dedicated in-house IT resource, and therefore require our expertise. Regardless, we are just happy that we can help the small businesses answer their questions about finding the ideal web hosting needs for their sites.

When a small business client comes to us and asks us to help them decide between shared, dedicated or VPS, we always need to consider several factors before determining which one is best for a particular business. In our opinion, if you are looking for the best Australian web hosting for small business, a VPS is the best choice, and in this blog we will cover why.

What is a VPS?

A Virtual Private Server or VPS is a type of dedicated hosting in which a virtual private server runs its own copy of an operating system, and customers have user-level access to that operating system, allowing them to install almost any software that runs on that operating system. In many cases, a VPS is functionally equivalent to a dedicated physical server, except that it is more easily configured.

VPS Is the Best of Both Worlds

A VPS is the best Australian web hosting for small business because it provides you with the best of both worlds when it comes to your hosting needs. As mentioned, much like a dedicated server, a VPS has its own operating system, disc space and bandwidth, and has a physical server that resides in a data centre. This server is divided into various virtual servers, each virtual server represents one client. The space acts as a dedicated server but is in fact part of one big physical centre. The functionality is similar to dedicated hosting but the software component makes it easier for it to be configured by the user. Virtual private servers have all the benefits of a dedicated server plus the flexibility of adding resources as your needs grow, without the dedicated server cost.

How Does VPS Compare With Shared Hosting?

As mentioned, the functionality of a VPS is similar to dedicated hosting; whereas with a shared environment, it’s not uncommon for a hosting provider to oversell their space and put several customers on their web services, which will cause problems for all customers. This will impact the uptime and performance of all sites on the server, and if another site crashes the server, your site will go down too. This is something you don’t have to worry about with a VPS.

Most small businesses, especially start-up’s, will agree that the biggest advantage to a VPS is that it is easy to add more resources when needed. As a new business owner, you may not know what the future holds for your website, nor do you want to pay for resources that you don’t need. You also don’t want to find yourself unprepared and have your site crash due to a spike in traffic. A VPS will allow you to add or reduce resources as you need them, and only pay for what you need. When you use a VPS, you have full access to your hosting environment, allowing you to make your own configurations, saving your business the time-consuming task of making every single change through your provider. Something not possible with most shared environments due to the security limitations of having numerous companies on one server.

A VPS is the best Australian web hosting for small business option because it provides you with full access to the hosting environment, making it easy to add more resources when needed.

What Benefits Will a Small Business Enjoy With a VPS?

Speed

Forty-seven percent of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less, and forty percent of people abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. A VPS will provide you with better performance than that of shared hosting.

Cost

A VPS is less expensive than a dedicated host and slightly more expensive than shared hosting; however, the advantages that come with a VPS will actually help you save money on internal resources. What’s great is that you will only pay for what you need, so you aren’t paying for resources that you aren’t using.

Scalability

A VPS allows you to scale your resources to accommodate spikes and lulls in traffic. It’s extremely easy to add resources and when doing so, you won’t impact your site whatsoever. In a shared resource solution, your site can be impacted by problems with other sites’ scalability issues.

Security

A VPS is similar to a dedicated server because it’s like having your own server and you aren’t impacted by the security issues of other sites. Your hosting provider will also provide the security updates for you, ensuring that your site is protected and secure at all times.

Expertise

Probably one of the biggest benefits, especially for a small business owner, is the additional resources that come with a hosted VPS. In addition to the 24/7 customer service you will have, your provider will become an extension of your IT team. As a small business owner, you may not have the luxury of an IT department, so the additional expertise and hands will be appreciated.

One of the biggest benefits of a VPS for small business owners is the additional resources and expertise offered by the hosting provider.

When Is a VPS Good for My Business?

If you still aren’t sure if a Virtual Private Server is the best Australian web hosting for small business solution for you, here are some use cases of how a small business can benefit from a VPS.

  • You are a start-up and unsure of how much traffic your website will receive
  • You are expecting an increase in traffic in the near future – i.e.: seasonal spikes in traffic —  and unsure of how much, and what, resources you will require
  • You are a growing start-up or business with the need to increase resources
  • You are in a fast-paced industry and need to configure and make changes to your site often and in a timely manner
  • You require a redundant infrastructure and disaster recovery
  • You don’t have an IT department and can benefit from a provider’s 24/7 support and customer service
  • Your website has grown too large and can’t be handled on your shared hosting plan
  • You are currently experiencing a slow site due to a shared hosting provider

So if you have decided that a VPS solution will work for you, it’s time to talk to your hosting provider about whether an unmanaged or managed solution is best for you. An unmanaged solution is when your hosting provider provides server side assistance, but doesn’t assist with server performance, installations, and back-ups, etc. In a managed hosting scenario, your provider will take care of all server maintenance, software updates, installations, and security. Regardless of which solution you choose, it’s important to get clarity from your provider as to what responsibilities each party will have in this partnership.

Finding the Best Australian Web Hosting for Small Business

Since 2002, StudioCoast has been providing exceptional customer service and technical know-how to clients. StudioCoast is dedicated to innovation and providing small businesses with managed VPS hosting services to deliver industry leading performance at an affordable price. If you would like more information on how StudioCoast can get your small business started with a Hyper Windows VPS solution, contact us today.

Hyper-V is live!

Click here for our Windows Server 2008 VPS service utilising Hyper-V  starting from $80 per month

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June 26 will forever be remembered in history as the day Microsoft released Hyper-V to the server masses.
Ok, well maybe it isn't THAT memorable but it is still a pretty important piece of software in the Windows Hosting arena.

Why? Well i'm glad you asked…

Hyper-V is a hypervisor-based virtualisation platform that allows multiple concurrent operating systems to share a single host computer.

Now while Virtual Private Server technology has been around for many years now in many forms, Hyper-V, like any hypervisor based technology, brings additional benefits to the table:

  1. Performance

    Both Intel and AMD provide technology to allow Hypervisor-aware operating systems more direct access to the CPU.
    Previously,  VPS software has had to emulate the processor in order to convince the operating system it has a CPU all to itself.

  2. Isolation

    In an effort to get around the performance limitations in older technology, products such as Parallels Virtuozzo sub-divide
    a single operating system instance to give the appearance of multiple separate servers.

    This method of virtualisation has many limitations as it does not provide true isolation. A misbehaving program on one partition could potentially
    access the memory of another and cause corruption or worse.

    Hyper-V on the other hand will have none of those shenanigans. Each operating system instance is completely isolated and it is almost
    impossible for one to interfere with another.

  3. Administration

    Hyper-V comes with many administrative tools that make managing virtual servers a whole lot easier for system admins such as myself.
    We will be integrating many of these features into our hostControl control panel for end users to access.

  4. Friendly Product Licensing

    Friendly product licensing from Microsoft??? It's true, Hyper-V licensing for virtual servers is simple.
    One copy of the Windows Server 2008 Data Centre Edition license allows an unlimited amount of virtual servers on a single machine.

So what does this all mean for the end user then?

Purchasing a Hyper-V based virtual server from providers such as Studiocoast has the following benefits:

  1. A server to call your own

    Install whatever you want, whenever you want with full Administrative access.
    Reboot the server yourself into you're blue in the face if you want, it is all yours!

  2. Need more memory, disk space? No problem!

    Each virtual server can have memory or disk space upgraded at the click of a button.
    This allows you to purchase a server based on what you need now, all with a clear and easy upgrade path for the future.

  3. Economical

    A virtual server is much cheaper than a dedicated server and a whole lot more flexible to boot.

  4. More uptime, less downtime

    In the unlikely event of hardware failure, each virtual server can be quickly copied to a functioning server.
    Virtual servers all use the same drivers regardless of the underlying server so hardware compatibility is never a problem.

 So what are you waiting for? Check out our HyperVPS plans page.

 

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