Just about every business today has a website. Whether it is used to generate sales, distribute information, build brand recognition, or anything else, it should be seen as an essential part of your operations. The vast majority of organizations host a website through third party providers. Here we’ll discuss what you need to host a website in-house.
While using a third-party hosting provider makes sense for most situations, there are times when it is better to keep your web solutions in-house. It will be more expensive, but if you absolutely need to be able to control every aspect of your business, it may be worth the investment.
This page identifies five key things that you will need in order to successfully host your website in your own data center.
The most important thing that you purchase is going to be your web server. There are many great web servers from top brands including Dell, HP, and others.
The thing to keep in mind when looking at web servers is that you have to purchase one that can handle all the web requests that are received at peak times. Business websites often get spikes of traffic when running sales or marketing campaigns. It is precisely during these events that it is most important to have a website that responsive to every visitor.
This means you will need to purchase hardware with specs that are well above your expected average traffic. In general, the most important specs for a web server will be the RAM (memory) and hard disk.
You will definitely want to get a server with a solid-state drive (SSD) since they can read the data and serve it to visitors much more quickly. A SSD will also operate more efficiently so your server does not become overloaded and bogged down.
Once you find a web server from a reputable manufacturer that has enough RAM and a SSD, you can be confident that the processor will also be sufficient. This is because while the process or is a key component, web hosting really is not a very CPU intensive activity.
Dedicated Bandwidth (and IP Address)
You need to get an internet connection that will be able to handle traffic at peak levels. There are several key things to have in place when it comes to your internet connection for web hosting:
- Upload and Download Bandwidth – When most people look to sign up for an internet connection, they are only really concerned with download speeds and bandwidth. For web hosting, however, upload speeds are at least as important since the server will be sending your website data out to visitors. Make sure you choose a circuit that has dedicated bandwidth for both uploads and downloads.
- Data Speeds – The speeds at which the circuit can transmit data needs to be very high. When people visit a website, they are far more likely to click away if the page does not load within a second or two.
- Multiple Connections – If you consider your website a critical piece of your business infrastructure, you will want to have at least two circuits configured for bandwidth. Ideally these two circuits should be run by two entirely separate telephone companies so it is unlikely that they will ever go down at the same time.
- Dedicated Circuits – The best practice for web hosting is to have the data circuit be a dedicated line only for web traffic. If you use the circuit for other traffic in your company, it could cause problems. For example, if someone is downloading a massive file for a project, it could consume all the available bandwidth, leaving your website with slow response times.
The specific type of circuit you need will depend on a variety of factors. Taking the time to find the right ISP to provide you with the level of service you need is critical.
You do not want your website to be offline at all if it can be helped. The best way to ensure your website is always online is to have a redundant system that is in operation. This means purchasing at least two web servers. You can have both of the servers running at the same time with the traffic load split between them.
The other option is to have a primary server that serves all the web traffic and then a backup one that would only be used if there is a problem with the primary.
Malicious Traffic Mitigation
Malicious traffic actually makes up more than half of all data goes over the internet. There are many bad actors online that can try to ‘attack’ your company by taking your website. The most common way that this is done is through a dedicated denial of service (DDoS) attach, which floods your website with pointless traffic until it is overwhelmed.
You can sign up for a traffic scrubbing service, which will analyze the data being sent to your website and block anything that is malicious. These services are able to block massive amounts of traffic so that your server does not have to deal with it.
You can also purchase your own data scrubbing hardware to take care of it yourself, but it requires constant configurations and updates to keep up with the ever-evolving attack traffic.
Related to this, you will need to have some type of firewall in place between your web server and the internet. The firewall will make sure that only authorized visitors are able to access your systems. This will provide you the needed protection from hackers and other people with bad intent.
We’ve got the Internet Security Software you need
Data Backup Solution
The last major thing you will need is a good data backup solution. Most companies rely on the data that is collected through their website and having that data lost could be very detrimental.
Having a good backup solution that stores data on devices outside of your hosting server will help to ensure you never lose key information.
Is Hosting Your Own Website a Good Idea for You?
Hosting your own website properly is not a cheap or easy option. This is why most companies today rely on companies that are experts at providing web hosting solutions.
If your company has extremely sensitive data that you want hosted locally, however, it may make sense to do it yourself. With the right investments up front, you can ensure your website operates smoothly from your own data center.
We can help with these challenges and more at Newegg Business