If you’re using shared hosting when you should be using VPS hosting, you might be missing out on some great perks. In this article, you’ll get six definitive signs your website needs VPS hosting instead of shared hosting. But, just in case you’re looking at the screen going, “What is VPS hosting, what is shared hosting, and how did I even get here?”, I’m going to give you a crash course.
Here’s a quick run-down of all the things you’ll learn in this article:
- First of all, what is hosting?
- What is shared hosting, and why do some people choose it?
- What is VPS hosting?
- Six signs you should be using VPS hosting instead of shared hosting
- How do you choose the best VPS hosting service?
Table of Contents
First of all, what is hosting?
“Hosting”, in this case, means web hosting. Web hosting companies let you store your website on their servers. This way, you can have a great website without spending tons of time and money running your own server. If you get managed VPS hosting, they’ll even manage the server for you – but we’ll get to that in a second.
What is shared hosting, and why is it so popular?
When you get shared hosting, you’re sharing space on a server with at least one other user.
Most people choose shared hosting because it’s cheaper than dedicated hosting (which is what it’s called when you’re the only user with access to a hosting company’s server).
What is VPS hosting?
“VPS” stands for Virtual Private Server. With VPS hosting, you get a “shared” server that acts like a dedicated server. A VPS is really one server that’s been virtually split into different servers, each with its own operating system. Because you’re sharing the server, a VPS costs less than a dedicated server, but you get all the privacy benefits of having one.
You also avoid some of the issues that might happen with shared servers. For instance, you don’t have to worry about another user getting a traffic spike that crashes your website or misusing the server and getting your website blacklisted.
Six signs you should be using VPS hosting instead of shared hosting
1. Your website has been sluggish lately
When your website spends ages loading, your customers click away and take their business elsewhere. If your website has been performing poorly, this means you need more server resources than you’re currently getting. If this sounds like your website, it’s time to upgrade to VPS hosting.
2. You run an e-commerce site and need your own SSL certificate
To lower costs, some hosting companies offer a shared SSL certificate. If your customers try to visit your website and see an error message that says your SSL certificate doesn’t match your domain name, they’ll peel off running in the opposite direction. Identity theft is a very real threat, and most people aren’t tech-savvy enough to know what different error messages mean. They’ll have some vague idea that “SSL” has something to do with safety and assume your website is unsafe. So, if you have an e-commerce site, your best bet is to choose VPS hosting instead of shared hosting.
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3. You’re expecting to get a lot of website traffic in about a year
If you’re expecting a lot of growth in a really short period, a shared server probably won’t be able to handle the demands on your bandwidth. Choose VPS hosting from the beginning, and you’ll avoid having to spend extra money making the switch later.
4. Your website has already been getting more traffic
If your website has been getting more traffic, it won’t be long until you start needing more resources. Don’t wait for your website to start slowing down before you make the switch to VPS hosting. If you annoy your customers with your website’s sluggish loading, your customers might not be there when you finally do make the switch.
5. You need more control over your server
Each VPS acts like its own dedicated server, which means you can start and stop services at will, and even install complex software. The best VPS hosting providers will even let you decide how much RAM and disc space will go to specific pages on your website!
6. You need tougher security for your site
Nowadays, shared hosting is pretty secure. But, even with the most top-notch security, bad neighbours can still compromise your server. If your website collects lots of sensitive data (for example, if you run an eCommerce site or need to collect clients’ information for some other reason), you need the extra security of VPS hosting.
How do you choose the best VPS hosting service?
The best VPS hosting service for you will depend on four main things:
- Are you great at fixing technical problems? If you are, then you’ll be fine with unmanaged VPS hosting. But if just thinking about server maintenance is starting to make you dizzy, you want managed VPS hosting. This means your web host will manage the servers 24/7, using their own technicians. You won’t have to give it a second thought!
- What’s your budget like? You shouldn’t skimp on web hosting, but you don’t need to spend triple figures every month on it, either. Choose a hosting service you can comfortably afford.
- Does the hosting provider have great security? The best VPS hosting providers will have nothing less than 24/7 on-site surveillance. They’ll also manage, monitor and back up their servers daily.
- Does the hosting provider have great customer support? The best VPS hosting providers will give you 24/7 customer support, so that if anything goes wrong, you’ll always have someone to talk to.
Your website is crucial to your business, so take the time to assess the advantages of switching to a VPS. If you want to keep it safe and running smoothly, you’ll love the extra security and server resources you get when you choose VPS hosting.