When customers place an order for a dedicated server, there is one question that is very commonly asked- how many websites can I host on the server? Well, there is no single answer to that question. While a dedicated server can accommodate several websites at a time, the actual number would vary according to each customer’s requirements. Broadly, these are some of the factors that influence the number of websites a dedicated web server can accommodate:
A lot depends on the web designing software and platform used to design your website. Your website can be either a static HTML website or a dynamic website.
Static HTML sites typically have very simple web pages with little information. These websites are smaller in size due to the simplicity of design and usage of fewer elements to be processed.
Dynamic websites have more complex pages with ever changing content. These websites are usually created using a Content Management System (“CMS”). The CMS systems use PHP, MySQL databases and a WYSIWYG (“What You See is What You Get”) editor to manage the website content.
So, what does all this have to do with your server? Well, if you intend to host mainly static HTML websites you need a server with larger hard drives and faster spindle speeds. On such a server you can easily host 250 to 500 websites on the same server.
If a majority of the websites are CMS based, you will want to increase the CPU and RAM on the server to process the MySQL database requests quickly. A moderate dedicated server configuration should be able to run 150 to 250 websites.
It refers to the volume of data that is transferred from your website over the internet through the web server. Bandwidth consumption is determined by the number of visitors to your website and the kind of content you wish to host on the website. Heavier files like streaming media and photos etc… require more bandwidth, if your websites are likely to be hosting high traffic websites, you should make sure that you have the proper disk space allocated. CPU and RAM also need to be more to cope with the high traffic and the occasional traffic spikes.
Your dedicated server is customized with applications and software’s to match your specific needs. Server add-ons, control panels and any third party applications you wish to install will also consume the server resources. For example, cPanel a minimum of 1 GB RAM to be available when hosting a larger number of accounts. You must know how many resources each application will consume from the server resources so that they run well. The more websites you host and the more applications you have running, the more resources you will need to support them.
When you offer email services to customers, you need to take into account the growing volume of emails passing through the websites each day. On a basic web hosting package we recommend offering 25 GB of disk space and 100 email accounts, this should allow you to host approximately 250 sites on a dedicated server with moderate resources. Again, the number of sites you can host on a server will depend on the types of applications you are running on that server.
If you have a fast growing business with rapidly growing client base you would need to frequently upgrade drives, CPU, RAM, etc on your server. An overloaded server with inadequate resources to meet with the demands will result in slower websites and some websites not working at all. Thus, you need to anticipate the growing needs and make changes accordingly to make sure all sites hosted keep working perfectly.
Talk with your provider and find out what their procedures, timelines and policies are for performing server upgrades before it becomes an issue that is problematic for you.
Now that you know the factors affecting the number of websites that can be hosted on a dedicated server, you can ask your web hosting provider specific questions. Let them know of your needs in terms of what software’s and applications you need to host on your server, the way your websites are designed and the nature of your business. Consult with them extensively to get the best configuration for your dedicated server.
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