Choosing A Quality Data Center For Your Web Server
Keep a couple tips in mind when you pick your data center and you'll have the best uptime and experience with colocating your server. You want to make sure the data center is close to your main customer base, monitored closely by server administrators, and has redundant, off-site backups.
Data Center Location
It's important for the data center to be near the main users of your web server. If you expect most of your traffic to originate from the United States, choose a data center in the United States. This ensures you have the best site speed for your traffic because the request to your server doesn't have to travel a long amount.
This doesn't mean traffic outside of the country will have a bad experience. But it's been proved that even small improvements in speed increase conversion rates. So you want to ensure your buyers are pleased for better sales. Even milliseconds of speed improvements has been shown to make a big difference.
A data center needs around the clock support for your critical infrastructure. So find out what the technical support hours are and whether there will be advanced support staff available beyond the first tier. When your site goes down, even if it's at 1am, you need someone to be there to help. It is frustrating to wait for regular business hours in order to get your server back online.
The longer your server is down, the more sales you could be missing. And your business' reputation could be harmed as well if customers see your site is down for a long period of time. Though you can't stop all outages, you want to rest easy that you'll have all the help available for when it does happen.
Lastly, if you have fully managed colocation, ask how the server upgrades are taken care of and how consistent they are. Your server will be more secure and perform better when it has the latest releases, such as Apache and MySQL.
Make sure your colocation provider has off-site backups. Having a backup of your server image is important as well. This lets you create your exact server somewhere else in case the data center has a catastrophe that shuts it down. Since it is off site, this helps make sure you have access to it when you can't reach the data center. Check with the provider to see how easy it would be for you to access the backups.