Many web designers, developers, information architects, and other professionals that concern themselves with how a site works have some pretty set opinions on the kind of hosting their projects will need. As a general rule of thumb, most of these preconceived notions are probably on the money. After all, if you’ve worked in the digital marketplace for long enough you have a pretty good idea of what a project will entail. But, sometimes, the scope of a project can surprise even the most experienced web developer.
Many factors go into determining what the best hosting solution is for a project. Some of it requires having a bit of an ability to predict the future. Or rather, planning pretty far ahead and assuming some best case scenarios. After all, having so much traffic that you need to upgrade your hosting isn’t a bad problem to have. But, any project manager wants to get things right the first time. That’s why when determining what tier VPS or dedicated server you need, you want to future proof as much as possible. While your hosting company may assist with any migrations you need to perform down the line, you may not like the idea of needing to migrate at all if possible. After all, though you may have assistance with the process, there is always the long shot chance of something going wrong.
Clearly, there are many use cases where you would need a surprising amount of server power to create a reliable experience for your visitors. Let’s look at one specific use case that people often misjudge because on its face it doesn’t sound like a terribly complicated project, but it ends up being a bandwidth beast. Let’s talk about content delivery or editorial sites. There’s a good chance you visit a few every day.
What Do We Mean by Content Delivery?
Doesn’t every site need to have content by definition? Otherwise, you’d be looking at a blank site. Yes, that is true. But that’s why you may want to refer to this kind of site as an editorial one, despite it not being home to opinion columns on current events. Essentially, this kind of site is similar to something like The Daily Beast or Huffington Post. On its face, this may not seem like a particularly demanding site. It’s words and images. Where is the functionality that’s going to bog everything down?
When web professionals think about dedicated servers, they immediately think ecommerce and they’re not wrong. There are many reasons why dedicated servers are the way to go for ecommerce. For one thing, dedicated servers are relatively more secure due to the fact other websites won’t be sharing server space with you. Of course, security comes down to best practices, software installed, and all of the other factors that go into it. But the fact it’s only your site on the machine closes off extra penetration points. Ecommerce sites are also fairly “heavy” from a structural standpoint, they see a lot of traffic etc. But many of the reasons why going dedicated for an ecommerce site is a no brainer applies to content delivery sites as well.
With an editorial-driven site, there is a tremendous amount of content living on the site. There are probably many authors who have access to either a custom or open source content management system. Depending on the way you produce content, there is a strong possibility you’ll at least have some video. Now you start to see how demanding a content site can be. So, here are some things to be mindful of and why dedicated servers make the most sense of this kind of site as well.
Producing content as a business model requires a very different kind of mindset from more traditional revenue streams like selling a product or service. You essentially want to convince as many people as possible to continuously return to your site to consume your content and share it. Unless you’re in a very specialized niche, the probability of your content being completely unique is low. That means your audience might go somewhere else to get the information they’re looking for. Consider every entertainment blog you’ve read. There are only so many ways to report on celebrities. One important factor in retaining an audience is site speed. The longer it takes a site to load, the bigger the bounce rate. Also, slow load times will hurt your SEO. And if you’re in a highly competitive niche, tumbling down the Google pages can be the difference between success and failure.
A content delivery site needs a surprising amount of bandwidth. It needs it in amounts usually only found in a dedicated server plan. This is assuming of course you have a highly trafficked site with thousands of visitors, which you’ll need if you’re intending to make money off of ad revenue. There are some quick back of the envelope ways to determine how much bandwidth you need but it’s hard to get it down to an exact science. There are some pretty clear factors that come into play, though.
The first is obviously traffic. It takes bandwidth to handle not only all the visitors coming to your site, but also how many pages they navigate. If they go from page to page to read different sections, that uses up more bandwidth. Traffic spikes also play a big role. If you create content that suddenly goes viral on social media, you will see a large and sudden influx of visitors. Will your site have enough bandwidth to handle this unusual traffic? The worst thing that could happen is your site going down or slowing to a crawl because too many people are interested in what you have to say.
The second thing is hosting large files. If you optimize your images, they won’t take up too much bandwidth. You ideally want to be dealing with kilobytes and not megabytes. But, it’s videos that can really add up quickly. Most content delivery sites do a combination of video and text to reach a variety of audiences. If you’re hosting that video yourself, you’re going to need the bandwidth to handle it.
If you are looking to launch a dynamic site, you need dynamic hosting. KnownHost is recognized as a leader in the industry and has offered support to businesses of all sizes for years. If your business model depends upon maximum uptime, consistently high performance, and hardware that is capable of handling the large traffic loads you’ll be courting, partnering with KnownHost is the solution you’ve been looking for. Contact us today and our team will go over options with you so you get the right hosting solution the first time.