On March 23, 2010, the health care reform bill was signed into law. This new law states that by Jan. 1, 2014, you must have health insurance.
On Tuesday, the Health Insurance Marketplace opened and health insurance exchanges began allowing uninsured Americans the chance to purchase coverage through www.healthcare.gov. This is a big step in the digital direction for the government and health care, which have been rather slow to upgrade their use of technology. But believe it or not, this website is even responsive (bonus points!).
With easy access from a desktop or any mobile device, more than 2.8 million people logged on to the website by midafternoon Tuesday. Officials said the demand was seven times greater than they had ever seen on a comparable website. This heavy traffic made for slow load times and glitches in the marketplace system.
There is probably not much you can do to avoid delays and glitches when your website has a spike of 2.8 million in half of a day. But for companies with high traffic websites or those just looking to combat a slight jump in traffic due to an event or big announcement, having the right hosting can make a big difference.
Shared server hosting is when you share a server with other sites. This means the same CPUs and RAM are divided up to support multiple websites. If you expect a lot of traffic, hosting on a shared server is probably not the best choice. Sites on shared servers can often be slower, but they are also the cheapest option and better than not having a site at all.
Dedicated servers are more powerful and can usually handle overloads better than the shared versions because they only have to deal with traffic for one website. The drawback of having to manage a dedicated server is that all of your eggs go in one basket. You’re limited to the bandwidth and processing capabilities of that server. If the hardware goes down on the server or there are other issues with the host, your site goes down, and it would take some time to restore your backup with new hardware.
Scalable Cloud Hosting
Newer cloud hosting is the best option for high traffic sites or those susceptible to major traffic spikes. Services like Amazon Web Services, Rackspace Cloud Servers and Windows Azure offer scalable cloud hosting solutions that run your server instance in a virtualized environment. Websites using this method can easily be scaled up to get more resources if there’s an unexpected surge in traffic (or scaled down if traffic is low).
When creating your website, look into all of your options to determine which hosting method is right for you. You can’t predict the future and what traffic will look like down the road, but it’s smart to be prepared.