Reliability, speed and security. These are three basic buckets your business should think about when it comes to hosting.
Reliability is about being available and reduced server down time. Most commonly down time occurs during a code or server update. For most being available 100% vs 98% of the time is not critical. But there are strategies to prevent this down time if you need it.
To prevent code update down time developers should use a “zero down time deployment” strategy. By using best practices code can be updated without experiencing down time.
When a server needs to be rebooted and updated you will want a “high availability” server configuration. When one server goes offline another server online to take its place in a highly available setup.
Speed is emotional. Its about an interface feeling smooth and natural. Its also about having the right computing resources at the right time. Seasonal business will need more resources in peak seasons and a strategy to handle the demand. Virtual severs are scalable and can be deployed quickly making them the prefect fit for seasonal industries.
A Content Delivery Network will boost the speed of an ecommerce site by taking the load of assets off the server and distributing them to locations physically closer to customers. File compressions and minification help with downloadable resources as well.
Security is a big deal. Sites get hacked. Database injection attacks steal and corrupt information. Viruses threaten everyone. Denial of services attacks look to take you offline. Brute force attacks scan for usernames and passwords.
Hackers behind security attacks are not people who sit at a computer and click around your site looking for holes. Hackers write complex programs to scan hundred of sites in seconds looking for weaknesses.
To deal with these security threats there are three things you can do to be ready.
First, have a solid backup and recovery plan. Second, preform penetration testing to check your architecture for venerabilities. Finally, have a solid security team to help you when you need them most.