Finding a new dedicated server provider for 2017

2017 is here and it marks that time of year where we revise everything in our lives. Whether you’re looking to detox, declutter, save or reduce things from your life, for many techies and small businesses, it brings together the discussion of revising their current hosting provider.

Choosing to move from a hosting provider is not a straightforward decision to make. You can’t just pack up and migrate to another provider as there are lots of considerations to take into account when finding a company right for you and your business.

So what should you look out for when looking for a new dedicated server provider?

Price

This may seem a simple question of ‘who is the cheapest’? But as you may have figured already, ‘you get what you pay for’ swings into mind.
Take shared web hosting for example. If you see unbelievably cheap prices from £3 a year, and it is a legitimate offer, it would be very hard to sustain a level of service quality that you may need for professional level hosting. Having said that, if it could be provided for this low price, it would be most likely be promotional pricing that will eliminate cost savings in the long run.

If you see dedicated servers for prices significantly much cheaper than what you would expect from the market, it begs to question what kind of service and support are you getting with this server? This brings us to the next topic.

Comparing like for like

When it comes to comparing dedicated servers, you’ll find it somewhat difficult to compare like-for-like. Due to the highly configurable nature of dedicated servers, infinite combinations may exist. To compare on a price level, you may find that one package is providing a server utilising an older chipset or processor, or at least there is a tradeoff on the configuration somewhere.

Hidden Costs, Terms & Conditions

Seen some dedicated servers completely free for a year? Make sure you deep-dive into the small print, more often or not you’ll notice a caveat which ties you into a 2 year contract where the 2nd year significantly outweighs any cost savings to be had.

Don’t get stung by additional costs for technical support; the last thing you need when your server gets hit by a DDoS attack is to be told that nothing will be done about it until an additional fee is to be paid, or even worse, to find out the cost after the work was carried out.
If the company has a chat or phone number, it’ll be worth taking advantage of those and find out from a company representative to make sure rather than assume before it’s too late. You’ll be surprised what DOESN’T come as standard these days.

Don’t leave this check before it’s too late. The last thing you want to hear was that the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months…*

Flexibility

Flexibility is also a prime consideration, too. What happens if you don’t like your new provider or you don’t need the package level you anticipated? If you’ve entered into a minimum term contract, there may be penalties to leave early. These are the things you have to consider when entering a potential lengthy and costly agreement with a new provider for your dedicated server.

Scalability

When it comes to running critical revenue-earning websites or systems, having the ability to scale up any part of the plan is important. Whether it be an hardware upgrade, capacity & connection upgrades or even more support or assistance required. These things could be crucial to the success of your business or site, and having the ability to amend your package quickly and easily is paramount.

Location & support

There are two benefits from having a dedicated server from a location close to you. One is that if you’re looking for better performance from your web host, it’s better to have a server in the same region as people who use your site. There could be SEO benefits too from this performance boost.

The other benefit of using a company in the same region is that you’ll benefit from being in the same time zone when you need to call up the company for support or account assistance. On top of that, you won’t be charged an overseas calling tariff for doing so.

Scope out the company

It’s worth scoping out the company that you’re dealing with. Not all hosting companies own and manage their data centre themselves and this could be an issue when you experience real issues with your dedicated server. Problems may take more time to resolve than usual, and what’s worse, you could find that the company no longer exists.

It doesn’t hurt to check the company out on any review sites, see how responsive they are on social media, or open a dialogue with them over the phone or live chat.

*our feeble attempt to reference the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.