Whether for a business or a personal blog, most website owners are using what is known as a shared hosting service. This is the most common and preferred method, as a shared hosting platform is the least expensive option when it comes to getting a website up and running, but what happens when your website outgrows its hosting platform?
As your business starts to grow and your website gains traction with your audience, a shared server probably just won’t cut it anymore. You may not be ready for a dedicated server, yet, but you are definitely ready for an upgrade. So, it’s time to consider Virtual Private Server hosting or VPS.
The problem with shared hosting is that it puts multiple sites on one, single server that shares the system’s resources. Dedicated hosting, on the other hand, only caters to your account through one server. The compromise between these two low and high ends of the spectrum is VPS. VPS is where you want this first upgrade to be. It gives you a dedicated server on a virtual machine that shares resources. You will pay slightly more than what you did for your shared server, but much less than what you would for a dedicated server. It’s a no brainer!
So, the only question left is, how do you know when it’s time to make the switch to VPS hosting? Well, it’s simple – just ask yourself if you’re experiencing any of the following:
Spike in Daily Visitors
If your website is getting more than 300 daily visitors and a few thousand page views each day, then it’s probably time to make the switch to VPS. Website traffic is major for business, but only if you’re prepared for it. If you’re on a shared site while experiencing this kind of spike in web traffic, then you’re likely going to see it start to seriously underperform. This happens when you share resources through a shared server, as there simply aren’t enough resources to be equally divided among all accounts. But, when you switch to a VPS, these problems will go away because you will have a dedicated server that can handle more duties.
A slow website is never a good thing. In our modern, fast-paced world, users are becoming more and more impatient. Don’t drive them away simply because your site isn’t able to handle the spike in traffic. When your site starts to load slowly, it means that it’s too busy for your shared server to keep up with. It simply can’t keep up with all of the requests, so it’s time to move on.
If a slow website isn’t bad enough, downtime is a real killer. Shared servers can often become overcrowded by requests from other sites, causing them to slow down and eventually stop altogether. When this happens, there’s nothing that you can do until it’s back up and running. The truth is that all hosting service platforms will experience downtime every now and then. But, with a VPS, you can certainly decrease your risk.
If your website generates revenue for you and your business, then it is absolutely time to upgrade to a VPS, as downtime can end up costing you both money and customers. A private server ensures that your site receives uptime, as well as high-performance levels, reliability, security and support. These elements are crucial in protecting you from not only problems with other sites, but protecting your customer’s sensitive information. You simply can’t do business on a shared server.
Multiple Website Management
While it is possible to manage multiple websites through a shared server, it’s not exactly a one size fits all kind of deal. Say, for example, that one of your sites is used to generate revenue. To keep things up and running in top fashion on this site, you may want to have a dedicated IP address, but you can’t do this through shared hosting. But, if you move all of your websites over to a VPS, you gain the flexibility that you need in order to control each site as they continue to grow.
You Want More Control
If your website has simply grown to the point where you’ve decided that you want to take full control over its appearance and settings, then a VPS is your answer. Along with a dedicated server, you will be able to custom design your website in a manner that best fits your business needs and its continued evolution.
A shared server may be working for you now, but if you want your website to continue to grow and succeed, you should already be thinking ahead. Experiencing any of the above-mentioned signs may mean that it’s time for that upgrade to a VPS, and if that’s the case, the Realnets team is ready and waiting for your call. Contact us at 773.631.6851 to get started.