This article is a 3 part article that goes into the detail you need to make sure your website is hosted on hardware that makes sense.
I’d say it’s useful to have some idea of how you might host a website you’re building, and to do that you’d need some idea of how many people you’re expecting to visit, how many people you’re expecting to buy from it (if it’s a site that sells things) or interact with it. Usually, this should come from the business case for a particular project, which will either be decided by the client or by the strategist developing the campaign.
There are a number of options you can choose from when it comes to actually getting your site up on the web, and each has it’s advantages and pitfalls. How do you choose, and how do you make sure the people who are building the technical infrastructure of the site are providing the right solution for the specific requirements of the project?
For clarity, it is important to remember that there are a couple of main groups of people involved in building a website from a technical standpoint: Developers, who would be building the project, and System Administrators, who would administer the hardware platform on which the application or website sits. For the site to function adequately, the hardware specified has to be sufficient for any strategic goals devised by the account teams or the client to be met. That means two things are absolutely imperative in making sure any hardware platform is going to work for any given project: planning and consultation.
The ideal way of working is that the developers would plan their software stack, providing this to the system administrators who, in consultation with both the accounts team and the developers would come up with a hardware platform that suits both the requirements of the software and the ability to achieve the business goals set.
Once you’ve got the basic parts of this, you then have to make a choice: Dedicated hosting, virtual hosting, shared hosting, or cloud hosting? I’ll dismiss shared hosting for all but the smallest of sites with no security concerns. Every project should have its own hosting platform uncontaminated by other elements. This means the underlying software can’t change and break your application because someone else upgraded theirs, and other sites hosted on a non-shared platform can’t access each other’s data.
In the next article I’ll go into the pros and cons of dedicated hosting. Stay tuned.