How to Know if You Need a Dedicated Server for Your eCommerce Site
If you run an eCommerce business, your website likely processes sensitive information regularly. Anytime a customer makes a purchase, they enter financial data (such as credit card numbers) and contact information with the expectation that the transaction is secure.
Unfortunately, data breaches have become an increasingly common problem among eCommerce businesses of all sizes and scopes. And when a data breach or other security issue occurs on your site, this can affect your business and your customers.
The good news? One of the best practices you can follow to strengthen your eCommerce website security is to simply upgrade your current hosting plan to a dedicated server – if you haven’t done so already.
What is Dedicated Hosting for eCommerce?
So, what is a dedicated server, anyway? In simple terms, a dedicated server is a web server that you purchase for your business’ exclusive use. All the hardware is housed and maintained by a third-party hosting company in a secure data center. So even though you never need to worry about physically maintaining or storing your server, you can rest assured that all of its resources are being dedicated to your eCommerce site at all times.
Compared to a shared or cloud-based server, this means never having to share resources (such as bandwidth or RAM/memory) with other websites.
Benefits of Dedicated Hosting for an eCommerce Site
There are many potential advantages to switching from a free or shared hosting platform to a dedicated server for your eCommerce site. Perhaps the most important benefit is enhanced security. Dedicated servers are housed in data centers with physical and digital security features in place. These can range from 24/7 guard staff on site to video surveillance and redundancies for your protection.
Likewise, these days, many dedicated hosting plans come with additional security features that free or shared hosting plans may not. This may include protection against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which are becoming a real threat to eCommerce sites around the web.
With better security from a dedicated server, you (and your customers) can rest assured that every precaution has been taken to protect sensitive payment data and personal information. This, in turn, can boost your company’s reputation and reduce the likelihood of your business falling victim to a data breach that could tarnish your reputation and cost you a lot of money.
In addition to the security benefits of dedicated hosting for eCommerce businesses, your site can also enjoy greater reliability and less downtime. When you consider that even a small amount of unexpected downtime could cost your business thousands of dollars, it’s easy to see why uptime matters so much. Many dedicated hosting companies even offer an uptime service level guaranteeing your added peace of mind.
Finally, a dedicated server will deliver unrivaled speed, which can keep customers browsing and making purchases on your site. Slow page-loading speeds are one of the biggest contributors to website bounce rates – so if your site speeds are suffering due to an unreliable server, it’s probably time to make a switch.
What to Look for in Dedicated Hosting for eCommerce
If you’re thinking about upgrading to a dedicated hosting plan for your eCommerce site, there are a few things worth looking for in your new hosting plan. For starters, make sure that the hosting company you choose has a reputation for security; ideally, you’ll want to choose a plan that comes with free DDoS protection (and the option to purchase additional protection as needed).
You’ll also want to find a hosting company that offers round-the-clock service and support 365 days per year. This way, if you do have a question or pressing concern with your server, you’ll be able to get in touch with a professional who can help you right away. The last thing you need from any hosting company is to experience issues with your server and be unable to get ahold of technical support staff.
The Bottom Line on eCommerce Dedicated Servers
When you process so much sensitive customer information, you are responsible for keeping this data as secure as possible for your customers. If you’re not already hosting your eCommerce website on a dedicated server, you may be putting yourself (and your customers) at risk of a data breach, phishing attack, malware, or other security problems. And, of course, all it takes is one publicized security breach to tarnish your company’s reputation.
Not all dedicated hosting companies are created equal. To make sure you’re getting the best service and value, be sure to shop around until you find a hosting platform that will be there for you when you need them most. From there, you can make the switch to dedicated hosting with confidence.