Finding the right hosting service is one of the toughest parts of running a business online. It’s not just a matter of choosing the right host; you also have to make sure you get enough virtual server space. You definitely don’t want to run out of space, but you also don’t want to risk overpaying for space that you don’t need. The good news is that once you understand how server space works, you can figure out the amount that will work best for you.
Types of Virtual Server Space
Virtual server space would be a lot simpler if it just came with one type of measurement. However, because websites store and deliver several types of information, they need many types of storage to manage that information. When you look up web hosting plans, you’ll notice different terms for server space. Some people treat these terms interchangeably, but the truth is that they’re all different.
First, there’s bandwidth, which determines how much information can get from your server to your visitors. Think of bandwidth as a road with your site at one end and your visitors at the other. Low bandwidth is like a one-lane road. It only has enough space for a small amount of information. High bandwidth is like a multi-lane highway with a high speed limit. It can deliver lots of information at once. You can also find bandwidth speeds in between those two options,.
For some websites, the one-lane road option is fine. They may have a relatively small website and a small audience. In these cases, having a high bandwidth would be like having a single car on an otherwise deserted interstate. For other sites, however, only the multi-lane highway option will work. If their road gets too small, then they’ll have traffic jams on their hands. (In this case, a traffic jam looks like an error message for your end user.)
Your bandwidth needs will depend on the amount of data that you use,. The more data your site needs, the more bandwidth you’ll need to deliver that data to your visitors.
A CPU, or Central Processing Unit, is the next type of virtual server space. It’s the hardware that handles all of the processing associated with your hosting needs. In the case of virtual server space, the CPU is stored on the hosting company’s premises. You can have a single-core processor or a multi-core processor, depending on how much storage space you need. The bigger the processor, the more information it can store. Low-traffic sites can be fine with a single-core processor. Sites with higher traffic are better off with a multi-core processor.
RAM stands for Random-Access Memory. RAM is temporary memory storage for computers and websites. It holds on to the memory that websites need to perform several tasks at once.
To understand RAM, it might help to remember that humans have their own version of RAM called “working memory.” Working memory is different from long-term memory. You use working memory when you do multi-step tasks such as making dinner. As you cook, your working memory processes the fact that you have food in the oven, that you’ll need to heat the sauce in a few minutes, that you’ve turned on the sink to rinse the vegetables, etc. You won’t store any of these facts as long-term memories, but you’ll keep all of them in your head while you complete your task.
RAM is like working memory for computers and websites. It deals with the memory that your site needs in the moment. Dynamic websites, or sites that customize content for each user, need more RAM than static websites.
The next type of virtual server space is called disk space. If RAM is like working memory in humans, then disk space is like long-term memory. It stores your website’s content. The more disk space you have, the more information your website can store.
How Much Virtual Server Space Do You Need?
What does all of this mean for your own virtual server space? When it comes to RAM, CPU, and other forms of virtual server space, the bigger your traffic goals, the more space you’ll need to accommodate those goals. When in doubt, know that it’s better to overestimate your storage space needs than it is to underestimate them.
However, for a more specific measurement, there are calculators online that can help you choose the right amount of server space. You can input the amount of web traffic you get (or want to get), and you’ll get a server space recommendation in return.
Find a Trusted Hosting Provider
When choosing your level of server space, you can always ask your hosting provider for recommendations. However, make sure that you’ve found a hosting provider you can trust. Some providers may try to sell you space that you don’t need, and while more space is better than not enough space, you still don’t want to pay extra money if you don’t have to.
How can you tell if you’ve found a trustworthy provider? Look for a few factors. First, look for hosting providers that work with a lot of small-to-medium businesses. These providers understand what SMBs need, and they don’t overlook SMBs in favor of bigger clients.
Next, look for providers that offer some scalability with their products. If you outgrow your virtual server space, you’ll want a provider that makes it easy for you to upgrade. This way, you can rest assured that you’ll always have what you need, no matter what changes you make.
You should also look for providers that have good prices and excellent reviews. When a lot of reviews mention good customer service, then you’ve probably found a trustworthy hosting source.
Finding the right amount of storage space isn’t easy, but it can help you make the best server choice. Once you’ve narrowed your choices based on virtual server space, you can find your ideal hosting team fast.