How to Rebrand Your Business Without Losing SEO

If done prudently, rebranding allows you to employ your previous branding experience with updated SEO knowledge.

This translates into a new and robust brand positioning with a prominent web presence.

Unless it is a simple logo redesign, rebranding brings changes to your brand name, domain, content, positioning, and whatnot.

Without a strategic rebranding plan, you can even lose all the SEO value your brand gained over the years.

So, how do you plan your rebranding strategy while retaining your SEO value?

 

12 Steps That You Must Consider

1. Use 301 Redirect to Transfer Your Authority across the New Brand

Rebranding unfolds a plethora of perks, but you wouldn’t want to lose your present SEO value.

And so, 301 redirects can help you preserve a significant amount of SEO value. These redirects will transfer your link juice from the old site webpages to new rebranded pages.

You must analyze all the pages that draw some considerable SEO value to your present website. Create a list of these pages across their relevant web pages on the new site.

The next step is to redirect all these pages via 301 redirects. To set up this redirect, you would want your developer to add the redirection code in the .htaccess file of your old site.

The 301 redirects will pass your hard-earned site authority to the new (rebranded) site.

Moreover, crawlers will follow this path to find your new site faster and index it.

Ensure that you use the redirects once you make the new site live.

 

2. Draw Value from Your Old Content

As an ideal practice, you might want to give your site content a fresh spin into your new brand’s attire. You might introduce a new brand ideology and modify your mission and vision statements.

But what if this new content fails to preserve your previously-gained SEO authority?

Therefore, while you do a content dress-up, you shouldn’t destroy its core SEO value.

Crawlers have been indexing and leveraging your content for relevant search queries. And this has built authenticity and authority around your content over time.

So, you must analyze your top-performing content pages and their keyword combinations.

You must use a part of this content or its replication in your new site. This approach will help you transfer your content’s authority to your new site. And you can keep your rankings intact in the SERPs.

 

3. Try to Retain the Consistency between the New and Old Site Structure

A crucial part of rebranding is redesigning your site. And it might be about building an entirely fresh site structure from the ground up.

As long as it communicates your prominent brand value, you can bet on it.

But, a completely new site structure might trigger negative unfamiliarity for your loyal customers. This can even increase your bounce rate.

Moreover, there can be a striking contrast between the old and new site structures. This will belittle the efficiency of the 301 redirects and make them look irrelevant.

Make sure to check every redirect using redirect checker online.

Redirect Checker

Thus, a distinctive site structure might cost you a significant loss in your SEO value and rankings.

Here are some tips:

  • Follow an ideal URL structure, as per SEO best practices. (Eg. yoursite.com/web-service)
  • Follow some consistency in the site structure to make the transition easy for the regular visitors.
  • Create new site equivalent pages against the top-performing pages in the old site. This will make the redirection relevant and rewarding.

 

4. Do Not Be in a Hurry to Shut Down the Old Site

Let’s consider you rebrand and launch your rebranded site. And you also point the 301 redirects from your old site to your new site.

But, you delete the old site before the web servers can figure out the redirects to the new IP address.

Here, you just crossed the Rubicon, and you now have to start your SEO from the ground up.

Sound disheartening, right?

So, you must let the old site hold the fort till the web servers understand the redirects.

Ideally, web servers require 72 hours to comprehend that the old domain points to a new IP address.

However, the best practice is to monitor the analytics of the new website. Once you start seeing the redirected traffic on the new site, you can delete the old site.

To keep all the odds in your hand, you must keep the old sites on the old IP for longer. You can postpone the old site shut-down timeline by at least two weeks.

This timeline copes up for any possible delays in the process.

 

5. Plan the Social Media Profiles for the New Brand

Your social media presence has a say in your brand presence and online visibility. And you must consider acquiring your brand-centric usernames on various social media platforms.

But, you might not get the exact username combination since most of the names are already acquired.

Therefore, it is better to acquire the usernames well before the actual brand launch.

You might also need to negotiate and convince a user who has already acquired this name. Or, you might have to try some closest combinations.

Moreover, Facebook allows you to change your brand’s name only once along with your reserved URL. So, if you have plentiful followers on Facebook for your previous brand, you can preserve them.

LinkedIn is more generous in this case, and it allows you to change your brand name easily. You can make an easy switch without losing your followers and social presence.

On the other end, Twitter and Facebook may require you to set up a new brand account from scratch.

Having a prominent social presence will add to your preserved SEO value.

 

6. Take a Backup of Your Old Site

While we all have high hopes for our rebranding decisions, we must prepare for the uncertainties.

What if the main pages on your new site fail to rank in the SERPs? Or what if the new content fails to secure the rankings? Or worse, your rebranding decision comes across as a bummer, and you lose customers. BackupWhatever is the case, you must keep your backup ready to hold the fort. Therefore, before you shut down your old site, take a backup of this site’s URLs and content.

This practice brings across a lot of opportunities like:

  • You can A/B test your old content on several pages if the new content fails to perform.
  • You might want to switch back to the old branding or make some important inclusions.
  • You might want to run both sites as individual brands from the same entity.
  • You can refer back to the old data for SEO knowledge.

 

7. Keep Count of Your Traffic and Keyword Performance

Irrespective of the purpose of rebranding, you might aim to outperform your old site. But, what are your comparison parameters, or how will you measure your success?

You need to record the analytics and KPIs of the old site before you shut it down.

Some of the crucial KPIs include-

  • Traffic Metrics: You must record the Google Analytics data representing the traffic on the old site. This must include your organic, referral, and direct traffic. You can compare these traffic metrics with your new site’s traffic. It will also help you with optimization and setting the right traffic goals. Traffic
  • Performing Keywords: Note down your top-performing keywords and their rankings in the SERPs. Check how much average traffic these keywords are drawing to your site. See how these keywords perform on your new site. Check if there is a drop in rankings on these keywords. If you witness a drop in rankings, you might wish to optimize for these keywords. Keywords
  • Backlinks: Record the number of backlinks and the referring domains. You might have redirected most of these backlinks to your new site. The next step is to check how many new backlinks you have gained for your new site.

 

8. Manage Your Inbound Links with Utmost Care

There might be a list of sites linking back to your site. These inbound links bring authority to your site, and you wouldn’t want to lose them.

So, all the pages on your old site that receive quality backlinks hold utmost SEO value for you. And you must redirect these pages to the relevant pages on your rebranded site.

What if there is a page that is no more relevant, but you wish to backlinks referring to it?

In this case, you can also connect with the referring domain webmasters to give the backlink to your new site. Of course, you must have a relevant resource to keep them hinged.

Moreover, you must analyze if some webmasters are pulling off their backlinks owing to rebranding. You must monitor these referring domains and convince them of new valuable resources.

Also, invest good efforts in procuring authority inbound links for your new site. Ensure that you follow the right internal linking structure to share the link juice across crucial pages.

 

9. Add the Sitemap and Robots.txt File

As you plan the launch of your new site, you need crawlers to index it conveniently. Therefore, you must create an XML sitemap for your site. SitemapThe sitemap explains to crawlers the navigation path they must follow for seamless indexing. It enhances the crawlability of your site, which the search engine bots appreciate.

A developer wouldn’t have to invest much effort in building an XML sitemap. And you can submit it via the Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.

WordPress site owners prefer to use the Yoast plugin to generate an XML sitemap or update it.

Next, you must ask your developer to take care of the Robots.txt file. This will further impact your site’s indexing. And you wouldn’t want to ignore it unless you aren’t betting for good SERP rankings.

If you witness indexing or crawling issues, you can check the Robots.txt file. Just open your Google Search Console and switch to the Crawl tab. Here you can check your file using the “robots.txt Tester” option.

You can also use sites like Sitechecker to check your robots.txtRobots.txt

 

10. Make the New Site Comprehensible with Structured Markup

When you rebrand your site, you are most likely to expect an enhanced SEO value from it. But are you willing to take a step ahead and make your content understandable for Google?

You can allow Google to better comprehend the intent or context of your site’s content via structured markup.

For example:

You may add a tabular structure to mention the specifications of a product. Now, your schema markup makes it understandable for the Google bots.

They can understand the fields like dimensions, color, type, etc., of this product. Thus, they will rank your page for relevant search queries.

Therefore, you must add structured markup to several forms of content on your site. Structured DataGoogle draws rich snippets owing to the structured markup categories on your site. And these rich snippets enhance the visibility of your listings into the SERPs. Thus, it triggers a significant growth in your listing’s click-through rate.

You must visit the schema.org site to check the several structured markup categories.

Also, ensure that you have added the structured data markup correctly. You can check it on your live site by using the Google Structured Data Testing Tool.

 

11. Map Out Your Brand Promotion Strategy 

As you commence with the site launch, you must plan to get the word out.

In fact, some businesses plan a rebranding strategy just to witness a spike in their popularity.

They weave an excellent promotional strategy to create a raging buzz about their new brand. And this translates into a significant boost in brand reach, traffic, and new leads.

Moreover, this traffic spike adds to your new brand’s SEO value.

Prudent marketers consider their brand promotion strategy an opportunity instead of a responsibility.

You must get the word on social media, across the web, existing clients, etc.

For eg. In 2019, Dunkin Donuts changed their name to Dunkin.Dunkin Donuts rebrandingYou must announce the name change in all your social media profiles with an attractive visuals.

For eg. Take a look at this promotion from Pantene in their twitter profile.PanteneHere are some crucial brand promotion activities that get the ball rolling:

  • Email Announcements: Plan and schedule emails about your rebranding news and send it across your list of subscribers. Send these emails to your existing customers, associated vendors, company contacts, etc.
  • Media/Press Release: Get the news on the web by connecting with popular media channels. Shortlist the most relevant media channels that appeal to your target audience.
  •  Social Media Promotions: Instigate curiosity about the new brand through your social media channels. Connect with influencers and your followers to add spark to this curiosity.
  • Guest Posts: Plan creative blog posts around your rebranding experience and get them on popular blog sites. Create and send your pitch across sites that attract a relevant audience for your business.

 

12. Audit and Monitor Your New Brand Site 

It is easy to miss out on something while you are managing the rebranding operations. You might have hundreds of redirects, a new site structure, technical SEO, and whatnot.

And therefore, you must audit and re-audit your new site for any inconsistencies.

Note the analytics, traffic, rankings, backlinks, etc., of your old site before the rebranding. And measure these benchmarks against the KPIs of the new site after the launch.

It might take some time to reflect the transfer of SEO value. And so, monitor your new site regularly for up to three weeks.

If you witness any irregularities, you must check the 301 redirects before you delete the old site. These irregularities can include a drop in rankings, traffic, reduced no. of backlinks, etc.

Regularly measuring your site audit and SEO audit reports might feel overkill, but it is worth your efforts.

how to start a wordpress blog

Start a WordPress blog in 5 minutes (Step by Step)

Online visibility is the most powerful way to present yourself or your business to the world. Your own website can be an effective way to make you accessible. Nowadays you can make a website within just a couple of minutes. I will show you the absolute path of how you can make your website in just 5 minutes.

WordPress is the most widely used CMS for creating any type of website. Personal blog, portfolio, business website whatever you need, it can be created with WordPress. Every day about 50000 new websites are made with WordPress. I will show how you can make great use of the world’s most used blogging platform as well as complete CMS to have your WordPress Blog.

To create a website by yourself, WordPress is the most useful Content Management System even if you don’t have any basic knowledge of HTML or CSS. You don’t need to design anything with coding or hire someone to make your website complete. I will go through step by step to create a website with WordPress from scratch.

What do you need to start a WordPress blog?

  1. An easy, catchy and small domain name (I.e vernalweb.com)
  2. A web hosting account (Where your blog will be hosted)

Choose a WebHost:

To start your website, you need a reliable & affordable hosting provider that suits your need. There are thousands of web hosting companies that provide hosting services. But need to keep in mind that not all the providers are worthy enough to serve you. Let’s see how to get your web hosting account activated within just 1 minute. You can choose WordPress Hosting.

select web hosting plan

Click on the order button and you will be in the domain search panel. Choose a good domain name and hit the search button. With this hosting account, you will get free domain.

If the domain is available, scroll down and click on the continue button.

domain registration

 

And again click on the continue button under the Order Summery section.

configuration

 

If you need domain privacy protection, you can select here. Now click on the continue button.

chhose addons

Now click on the Checkout button.

 

checkout

It’s time to input your personal information to sign up.

signup form

Scroll down and select the payment gateway. Make the payment and you are done.

complete order

You will get your web hosting account activated instantly and all details of your control panel will be given to your email address.

Installing WordPress

Now you are ready to install WordPress with just a few clicks. Login to your cPanel control panel with user and password.  With Softaculous You can install your Blog in less than 1 minute.

Now go to the “SOFTACULOUS APP INSTALLER” section and select WordPress.

softaculous app installer

Click on the “install” section in the menu and input the following information:

wordpress installation

Please keep your administrator “User” & “Password” in a safe place. You will need them to login to blog dashboard. And make sure that your email address is authentic.

You are now in the final step of installation. Click Install and now your WordPress Blog has been created.

wp install button

You can login to your WordPress Blog dashboard and publish your first blog post.

Using Your WordPress Blog:

WordPress has two parts. One is the front end and another is the back end. The front end is visible to the public. Your visitors will see is part. And back end is used for only the website webmasters. You can maintain your blog/website in the back end which is called dashboard. You can change the content of your website on the dashboard. To access your dashboard, you will need the administrative user and password.

wp login

Making your first blog post:

To create a blog post you can go Posts -> All Posts and see there is already a default post “Hello World”. To make a new post click on the Ad New link and you will be in the post creating page. Here you can add the title and start writing your post.

blog post creation

If you want to include any image, you can click on the “Add Media” button, and then you can select and upload an image from your folder. You can adjust the image size and alignment it; after you are done, you can simply click the “Insert into post” button.

If you are done with your post, click on the “publish” button on the right side.

You have published your first blog post. You can browse your website and you will find the post. Now anyone can visit your website and read your post.

affiliate marketing

Affiliate Marketing Guide for Serious Marketers in 2021

Affiliate marketing has become one of the most attractive sources of passive income. If you can drive in the right way, it can be a growing machine for you. 

You should know that affiliate marketing is a kind of promoting other company’s website and earning a percentage of the profit as commission. If someone purchases a promoted product or service using your affiliate tracking URL, you will earn a commission on that purchase.

Today, we will talk about insights, roadmap, and strategies and give you an ultimate guide to start your affiliate marketing journey.

Let’s get started.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

VernalWeb Affiliate Program

 

Affiliate marketing refers to promoting products or services of other companies where a portion of the profit is shared as a commission on the resulting sale. An affiliate joins various popular affiliate programs, promote quality products or services, and generate sales to earn a commission.

Affiliate marketing is actually a great way of making passive income. 

Let’s take an example to clarify.

For example, you have a blog on a topic like SEO or something else and you share your knowledge on this blog. You have built an audience that trusts you. Now you’ve found an SEO tool that really helps digital marketers. 

You can write an article on that tool using method, pros & cons, and offer them to buy this tool. Your audience will be benefited and at the same time, you will make a good amount of money from the generated sales.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

affiliate marketing working process

Although the affiliate marketing process may seem a bit technical, it should not be difficult to move on. Affiliate marketing involves promoting other company’s products on your website. There are three or four groups involved in this process:

Affiliate Marketer: Affiliate marketer is also known as a marketer. He runs a website and promotes products using affiliate links.

Consumer: The person who visits the affiliate site and purchases the product by clicking on the affiliate link.

Affiliate Network:  This is an internal or third-party platform where the affiliate program is operated by the merchant.

Merchant: This is the company that actually sells the products or services promoted by the affiliate marketer. In some cases, merchants use their own affiliate network and no third party platform is involved there. In that case, we may combine the affiliate network and merchant and turn them into the merchant.

Now you have a good understanding of the affiliate marketing process. Is it still confusing? Well, let make it clearer:

  1. The affiliate marketer joins the merchant’s affiliate program (affiliate network). He gets a unique ID and affiliate URL to using while promoting the products.
  2. An affiliate marketer promotes the products on his website. There are many other ways of promoting such as sending emails to the users, publishing videos on video platforms like YouTube, and many more.
  3. Consumer clicks on the links and purchases the promoted product or any other product from the same company. 
  4. The affiliate network is used to operate and track the sales generated from the affiliation. (I am not going to make you more confused with further technical factors.)
  5. Merchant is the product or service provider who sells and pays the commission to the affiliate marketer as a reward for promoting the products or services.

Actually, the process is pretty straightforward and it should not be confusing, right? A marketer gets paid whenever a consumer makes a transaction. The transaction may vary from business to business. It can be a click, lead generation, or a monetary transaction. 

Here are some common affiliate marketing models:

  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC): The marketer gets paid from all clicks generated from the affiliate links.
  • Pay-Per-Lead (PPL): In this model, the merchant pays a commission to the marketer based on generated leads. Lead refers to form submission, trial purchase, or just signup.
  • Pay-Per-Sale (PPS): The marketer gets a commission based on the sale. The more he generates sales, the more gets commission. This is the most commonly used affiliate marketing model.

Is There Any Cost to Start Affiliate Marketing?

Actually, there is no primary cost on joining an affiliate program but your operational cost will depend on how you want to move your affiliate marketing on.

To be realistic, making money with affiliate marketing may need a decent budget. If you hire people to write for your blog or make videos for your YouTube channel, you should have a budget. Again, hiring a person or company to implement SEO strategies for your website will cost money. There are many sections in affiliate marketing where you may need to pay someone.

The marketing strategy will determine how much you need to invest. Using a blog or website for promotion makes you pay for purchasing a domain and hosting service. Working with paid ads costs you money. 

So, before starting, you need to calculate your estimated investment that includes setup and ongoing marketing costs.

Why You Should Choose Affiliate Marketing?

Making money with affiliate marketing fun. While you are passionate about something and interested to share your learning with other people, you might have a blog. Introducing a product to your audience is not only making your business, your audience will be benefited from the information. So monetizing your blog with affiliate marketing is great for all associated parties. 

Let’s share some benefits of affiliate marketing:

  1. You can start your affiliate marketing with almost no money. I am not sure if there is any other business model that generates passive income.
  2. Who doesn’t like to earn money while sleeping? This is the most interesting advantage of affiliation.
  3. There is a great scope of synchronizing affiliate marketing with other business models. You can publish ads and promote affiliate products at a time on your blog. Even if you are selling your own products on your website, you can still promote another company’s products. So, you can use multiple sources of revenue on your website.
  4. You can promote as many companies as you want on a single blog. 
  5. Your audience will also be benefited. They will be engaged with your blog and invite more friends on your blog.
  6. If you promote subscription-based products or services, you can generate recurring money from a single sale.
  7. You can start affiliate marketing without being an expert.

How Much Can Be Made From Affiliate Marketing?

You might be wondering, how much can you earn from promoting affiliate products. The affiliate marketing industry is growing faster. Statista reported that spending on affiliate marketing only in the U.S. is expected to rise to $8.2 billion by 2022. So, you have a great scope of establishing your business and earn from it. 

STM Forum conducted a poll on “How much do you earn in a year?”

Here is the result:

how much can you earn fromaffiliate marketing

This chart may make you ambitious about earnings from affiliate commission but along with people, there are still thousands of failure stories out there. 

Making money from affiliate marketing is more about generating profits rather than revenue. Generating organic sales through marketing is an important factor for this business model. Earning $700 for no cost is ideally better than $2000 at a cost of $1700. To be successful, you have to align your expectations to your earning potential.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing? (Step by Step Guide)

Due to the low startup budget, affiliate marketing has been popular among marketers. To help you get started easily, we will go through a step-by-step guide that will help you turn your blog into a successful affiliate website.

Step 1: Select a Suitable Niche

If you are a first-time affiliate marketer, you’ll need to be careful in choosing a perfect niche to work in. Your niche will determine what kind of article you will publish on your blog, what kind of product you will promote, and how you will create your marketing strategy.

Choosing a niche that suits you most is a crucial decision. You need to select a niche that makes interest in people who will turn your promotion into the sale. Picking up the best niche from thousands of options will help you become successful. Keyword research can be a smart way to find your expected subject. This method will help you find a topic where people have enough interest. Doing the keyword research perfectly, you will learn what kinds of keywords are driving most traffic from search engines. 

However, niche selection is not just about the product line that pays you most. You’ll need to choose an area of focus where you have enough knowledge and you are interested in. Choosing a niche that you already know very well, will give an advantage in sharing authoritative and engaging resources. 

Keep in mind that, it doesn’t matter how good your niche is or how much commission you will get from each sale unless you can create public interest in your content. You have to convince your audience to purchase from your affiliate links. That’s why you’ll need a vast knowledge of your niche. The more you know about your topic, you better content you will be able to publish. 

Understanding your target audience’s needs and interests is another important factor. You have to put yourself in a position that your audience can trust you. If they can trust your suggestions and recommendations, they are more likely to purchase from your affiliate links. So, focus on choosing a niche where you can create useful and reliable content for your potential customers.

Step 2: Create Your Affiliate Website

If you have already selected your favorite niche, you should make your website the right way. Making a website shouldn’t be costly and time-consuming today! You will need to find a domain name according to your selected niche and purchase a hosting plan where you will build your website or blog. 

Once your domain and hosting are activated, it’s time to start building your website. You can create your website using WordPress within a very short time. WordPress is the most popular content management system where you will be able to manage your website using its dashboard without any coding knowledge.

When your website is ready, you should start publishing content there. Try to create audience engagement with useful content. Publish articles on your blog regularly. Make sure your users can share their thoughts via commenting and engage yourself in the discussion by replying to them.

Besides the website, you can use also promote your products with publishing videos on various platforms like YouTube.

Step 3: Find and Join the Right Affiliate Programs

Once your website is ready with a good amount of content, find the affiliate program on your niche. Do some research on available programs and choose the right one. You can select multiple companies and there is no limit. But make sure they are offering quality products and services. Promoting good products will help you build the audience’s trust in you.

While you are choosing affiliate programs to join, you should look at what products they want you to promote. Try to select some brands that are already popular for their products in your niche. Check if they have affiliate programs. For example, if your site is about technology or building websites, you can look for web hosting companies with affiliate platforms.

You will find many giant brands like AmazoneBay who are offering their own programs. These merchants are very much popular for their affiliate programs.

Besides merchant-driven affiliate programs, there are many affiliate networks in the market who are offering affiliation integrating with merchants. Some popular affiliate networks are CJAWinAvangateRokuten, and ClickBank. They are driving thousands of affiliate products from different merchants. You can join these networks and work with several merchants from a single platform. 

Working with the best merchant should give you a good return. So, try to choose those companies that are paying a smart commission. You should also look at terms of services of affiliate merchants to make sure their policy doesn’t make any obstacle to your move.

If you want to learn more from other affiliates, there are several affiliate communities like STM Forum. You will find affiliates are having discussions and sharing their real-life experiences. To get success with affiliation, you must keep yourself updated with the market. You have to study from different forums, blogs, and follow good marketers on social media platforms.

Step 4: Start Promoting Your Affiliate Products

Now you are in a position to share your affiliate products with your audience. Put your affiliate links on your website by focusing on your target market. Implementing links to your site will vary depending on how you are creating content.

For instance, you can promote your affiliate links on a review site. Normally, you can add this as a text link or you can add a banner to your site. However, you should keep your promoted products separate from your original content. This will keep your users away from getting confused.

A good way to promote your products is to keep them separate from your main content. You may use buttons with your affiliate links and place them just below your relevant content. A good example from OutdoorGearLab how they are approaching affiliate products.

  OutdoorGearLab product reviews

Some affiliate programs are providing marketing assets such as banners that you can use to promote their products. These assets will help you keep your products separate from the informative content. 

Your product linking approach and niche should work along with your site’s purpose. Don’t forget to use A/B testing your website. Your result may vary with different strategies. Keep in mind that you must add value to your content according to your audience. Without value, your users won’t trust your recommendations and you will get zero return. Try to get feedback from your users about your content and give your best effort to meet their expectations.

Another suggestion for you is to put affiliate disclosure on your website. This is a crucial part of your affiliate marketing and you must comply with the endorsement guidelines provided by the FTC. Violating these guidelines could lead to legal action which you wish to avoid.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing is a win-win marketing strategy for both affiliates and merchants. With an effective marketing plan and good effort, you can earn a smart amount as a passive income. You can use other monetization methods for your site along with affiliate marketing. This is a rare combination of higher results with less effort.

Are you planning to start your own affiliate website? Check our Managed WordPress Hosting for your dream website. With the highest security and excellent in-house support, you will always be free to take your business to the next level. Learn more about our WP Hosting plans & features.

dedicated server features

What Should You Look for in a Dedicated Server Provider?

As your website grows in popularity & visitors, you may feel down when your website is in a shared server. Resource limitation may affect your website performance & user experience. You may think of moving to a dedicated server.

You may not even be aware that you are surpassing resources of the shared hosting. In the mean time, you may have got an email from your hosting provider that it’s time to move your website to a dedicated server.

Whatever the factor is, you can think of going for a dedicated server and you there are some things you should look for in a dedicated server provider. Technical factors are very important as well as you have be sure that the hosting company can meet your needs as a customer.

 

Where you can get information about a good dedicated server provider?

Now-a-days, forums like Web Hosting Talk are a great source of information about hosting providers. You can get a clear information, reviews, pro & cons and even promotional information the forums. The discussion is really helpful for the users. Take information gleaned from Web Hosting Talk with a grain of salt. Be wary of anything too enthusiastic, or multiple people raving about a new or unknown company.

 

Ask as many questions as you can

A great way to you can do when trying to determine which company will provide the best dedicated server hosting for your site is to talk to them. The most effective task to talk to their technical support department but in the most cases, you can’t reach them until you are their customer.

You can talk to them via live chat if they have. If no live chat, send an email or submit a ticket. Try to discuss about your website to as many people from various departments as you can. Ask every question you can think of. This discussion will give a sort of idea how responsive and informative the company is.

Your site’s reputation is on the line, after all. And you’re spending a good amount of money for a premium service. So talk to them. If a company isn’t responsive in its sales channels, what are the chances their support will be any better?

 

What is a Dedicated Server?

dedicated server
Landing page template of Dedicated Server Illustration Concept. Modern flat design concept of web page design for website and mobile website.Vector illustration

Okay, so now let’s dig deep into the technical side of dedicated servers.

You may have heard about VPS just like dedicated. But VPS (virtual server) is not same as dedicated server. VPS is a physical portion of server hardware t hat is separated into many independent “virtual” servers. It may seem to you like shared hosting. This is something like this but VPS is something bigger & has it’s own environment. With a VPS, you have the advantage of using a different operating system or configuration than the other VPS on the same machine. But you’re still on the same physical piece of hardware, so if there’s some catastrophic failure of another server on the box, theoretically, it shouldn’t affect your site. But in reality, it can.

A dedicated server is an entire physical server dedicated to one site or customer. You buy, lease, or pay a monthly fee for a server, and you can do whatever you’d like with it as far as configuration is concerned. No other users are on the server, just you. In most cases, you are responsible for server security and maintenance.

Management is crucial factor in server maintenance whether it a VPS or Dedicated. If that’s not your expertise area, you may go for a managed service where you don’t need any technical expertise to manage your server. Your hosting provider will do everything about server management on behalf of you. Server management is a premium service. So the price is, understandably, higher than that of a dedicated server that you manage yourself.

 

How to Choose the Right Dedicated Server for You and Your Site

tension on choosing a server

Choosing a dedicated server provider is really a crucial part of your business or website. But before going on that part, again I am focusing on the previous discussion about Managed vs Unmanaged.

If you are actually confident about server management, if you have previous experience about running a server or you team have a guy who has the expertise on that, you can go for an unmanaged dedicated one. But if you are not that type or if there is no one to do this kinda job for you, Managed service is a must for you. Try to be realistic when evaluating your own skills and proceed accordingly.

 

Dedicated Server Technology

While you are purchasing a pre-configured dedicated server, you will be asked for choosing some technical specs and technology of the server like processor, memory, storage, operating system and some additional features.

The other spec you may have control over is the amount of bandwidth your server can use. That isn’t generally a server feature, but a provider function.

Processor and Memory

They will determine how much power (and as a result, speed) is available to your site. Most dedicated server hosts will offer servers pre-configured with certain processors and amounts of memory. As the available processor speed and memory increase, so does the price of the server.

It isn’t always possible to change the configuration of your server once you’re using it, so it’s often better to choose server configuration that somewhat exceeds what you think your needs will be. That allows you room to grow before you have to migrate to a more powerful server.

Operating System

The OS you choose will depend on the technology your website uses. The vast majority of dedicated servers will support various open-source, Linux-type operating systems.

But if your site uses .NET technology or Microsoft SQL Server, you’ll want to make sure you choose one that supports the Microsoft IIS operating system.

Storage

Hard drive storage has a couple of details to pay attention to. One is solid-state drives (SSD) vs. traditional disc-based hard drives (HDD). For speed and performance, SSD is far superior to conventional HDD. But of course, as with all things computer-related, the faster, better version comes at an increased cost in some cases. But if performance is critical for your site, the expense may be justified.

The other thing to note or ask about is the RAID disk array. You want to avoid any array of hard drives labeled RAID 0. This is because the configuration doesn’t provide any protection against data loss in the event of a single drive failure. You aren’t likely to run into a RAID 0 setup on a pre-configured dedicated server, but it’s something to be aware of.

While RAID 1 and 5 offer some redundancy and protection against data loss, RAID is not a replacement for backups. You should have an external backup system in place. That applies no matter what kind of server your website lives on. Your host may perform their own server backups, but you should not rely on those backups for your own disaster recovery.

Bandwidth

Your bandwidth needs can be difficult to accurately estimate unless you have historical website data. Luckily, most hosts can accommodate increased bandwidth needs even if a certain amount of bandwidth is associated with your server.

Server Backup

backup server

Remember when I said RAID is not a replacement for backups? Well, what I meant to say is nothing is a replacement for backups. Backups are the most critical element of your server setup that you will hopefully never need to use.

If you have the technical ability to set up a server backup system that backs up to a separate server (meaning a separate piece of hardware, not a partition or VPS on the main server) or storage service like Amazon S3, you should consider a cloud backup service.

While any remote service running on your server can introduce security issues, a reputable cloud backup service can be a lifesaver in the event of a server failure.

Companies like Carbonite or Backblaze can do full server backups. For what it’s worth, I tried half a dozen cloud backup services and found Backblaze to be the fastest and most unobtrusive, so that’s what I use.

Does It Make a Difference Which Datacenter My Dedicated Server Lives In?

data center locations

If you have a choice of geographic location, you may feel better having your server closer to your home or office. If your site has a worldwide audience, as most do, geographic location is less important than the quality of the backbone connection that the datacenter or dedicated server provider offers.

Some dedicated server providers will tell you about their data centers and backbone connections on their websites. If they don’t, you can always ask them. But if you choose a well-known, reputable provider for your server, you’re probably not going to get stuck with a server that’s running out of a garage or someone’s basement.

Fifteen years ago, I would have advised you to do a lot of research about the data center. But in all honesty, that’s not the issue it used to be. Most servers live in data centers now and are adequately connected and sufficiently secured.

But it doesn’t hurt to ask your prospective host about where the servers live.

Should I Choose a Host Based on Uptime Guarantees?

Nope.

Let me tell you a little secret. It’s just us here, right? No one else is listening? Uptime guarantees are meaningless. They’re meaningless for a couple of reasons, mainly because on most networks, failure is unpredictable. So there’s no way, aside from performance history, to provide any uptime numbers.

Secondly, even if your host is on the ball as far as doing all they can to ensure the best uptime in the industry, when there is a failure or downtime for any reason, a guarantee doesn’t bring your website back online.

All the standard uptime guarantee does is reimburse anyone who complains about the outage. That reimbursement is often a relatively small amount based on the number of minutes your site is unavailable (check the fine print that you agreed to when opening the account).

To be clear, I’m not saying that’s bad or malicious behavior by the hosts. It’s just the reality of how guarantees work for most services. So an uptime guarantee shouldn’t really tip the scales one way or another when you’re looking for a dedicated server host.

The exception to everything I just said is a host that offers DDoS protection as part of an uptime guarantee. DDoS protection is a valuable service, and if you have reason to believe your site may fall victim to DDoS, or if you’ve been DDoSed in the past, the protection should be part of your configuration.

Listen What People Say

customer reviews

Customer reviews have pretty much revolutionized the way we buy everything, and dedicated servers are no different. I mentioned sites like Web Hosting Talk right at the outset, and they are an excellent resource for unvarnished customer reviews and information.

There are probably more web host review sites than there are web hosts, but a few of them are reliable and unbiased. Look for sites that have done their own independent testing. It’s a bit difficult to find independent tests of dedicated servers, but there are some out there.

If you keep your skepticism dialed up to 10, you can find some useful review sites. Just be aware that affiliates run many of them (check for affiliate IDs on links), and in some cases, by the hosts themselves. An affiliate is going to recommend whichever host has the largest payout, and that’s not necessarily an indicator of service quality.

So Who Is the Best Dedicated Server Provider?

VernalWeb, of course

It might not be surprising that I would say that. But I do believe in the VernalWeb team because I know them, and I know that they care about what they do.

The reality is there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to who the best dedicated server host is. What’s best for your site might not be best for mine. But hopefully, I’ve armed you with some useful information that will help you make an educated decision, and your needs will be not only met but exceeded.