Upgrading from Shared Hosting

So you’ve been operating your website on a shared hosting plan, and now your business is growing and expanding. You need more space, more bandwidth and faster servers to ensure your users are getting the optimum experience when visiting your site. So, when do you make that change from shared hosting to another hosting plan? More importantly, what is the best option for you? We’re going to break it down for you.

What is Shared Hosting?

In a shared hosting environment, multiple website owners share one server.

This includes sharing the physical server and the software components within the server. The advantage of shared hosting services is that there is an affordable price point. This is because the cost to operate the server is shared between you and the other website owners.

Normally, the drawback to shared hosting is slower server speeds. However, shared web hosting plan is perfect for businesses, private individuals & bloggers who need reliable web hosting connected to powerful servers, delivering fast speeds and high uptime. Whether you’re starting your first website or need a professional solution for your business, shared hosting plans are flexible enough to accommodate the most basic to usually the most complex website requirements. Unless you have grown beyond shared hosting.

Has your website grown beyond Shared Hosting?

There are questions you need to consider before deciding whether or not you have out grown your shared hosting plan.

Think of shared hosting as a dorm or a shared apartment with multiple people. All the resources and living areas are shared with other people. The only personal space you have is your bedroom. A shared hosting plan is a lot like that. You share server resources and space with other people on one server. So, in order to know if this is no longer for you, review the following question.

1. Are you experiencing a lot of downtime?

One of the more common disadvantages of shared hosting is that depending on the size of your online store or blog and the amount of people on your shared server, you may experience downtime.

A lot of people with a large online store and a good shared hosting plan, find that their high-volume site still loads rather quickly for their users. Therefore, they may not notice any significant amount of downtime.

On the other hand, as your business grows and traffic to your website spikes, you can experience significant down time during peak traffic times that could knock your site down for minutes, hours and sometimes even days.

Website owners with commerce sites and blogs that are solely focused on content creation and engaging followers won’t experience this problem, but it can be a disaster for e-commerce sites and online stores that depend on lead generation.

Think about how many conversions and sales you would lose if your website is down for an hour, much less days at a time. Not only can losing sales affect your business but your online reputation is also at stake. If your website begins to experience any amount of downtime then it is time to switch from shared hosting.

2. Is your website slowing down?

A fast website load time is essential for running a successful website. Online users have very short attention spans and studies show that users expect websites to load within 2 seconds.

If your site is a high traffic site on a server shared with other high traffic sites, it slows down your load time, and will really cripple your website’s conversion rate. Ultra-fast website speeds ensure that user abandonment rate is low and conversion rates are high.

Basically, having a slow loading website negatively affects your traffic and page views, conversions, sales, your brand image and perception with users. Therefore, if you want to stand out in the pool of competition, having a fast loading website is crucial to the overall success of your business and helps give your users an optimum experience. Improving your users’ experience is important if you want to create a loyal customer base and build a strong brand.

Microsoft speed specialist and computer scientist Harry Shum believes 0.25 seconds of difference in page load time, faster or slower, is the magic number dictating competitive advantages for online businesses.

Optimise speed

Your shared hosting may not be the only culprit if your site’s loading time is slow. Many other factors can lead to a slow loading website such as: Huge images, broken links, and other debris can weigh down your site.

A good way to make sure your site speeds remain optimum is by testing its load speed regularly. You can use the following tools to help:

  • PageSpeed Insights: is a free tool from Google that enables you to test your website quick and easy. Simply enter your website’s URL and the tool will analyse its content and generate a report on what you can do to speed up your website.
  • Pingdom: With this tool you can test your website’s speed and its overall performance. It also tracks your website’s performance history so you can make a better plan to continually optimise your site’s speed for users.
  • YSlow: This tool offers to test your website’s speed and offer advice on how to make your site faster. They also offer Chrome extensions you can add to your browser to test your website’s speed.

3. Do you need more server customisations?

Shared hosting plans are usually adequate for businesses, bloggers, and web publishers looking to install a straightforward content management system (CMS).

It’s important to know, however, that the shared servers themselves can’t be customised. Not to individual needs, again consider the shared apartment analogy. This would not necessarily impact your own business, if the shared server’s default configuration suits your needs, but larger companies may want to modify their server and retain more customisation and control. In other cases, businesses may want to keep sensitive client information on one server, make custom server installations and run their business process on another server. In these cases, upgrading from shared hosting not only makes sense but is necessary.

Making the Switch, Improve your Options

If you find that you have answered yes to these questions then making the switch from shared hosting is probably for the best. More importantly if you want more control of your website, more customisations on your server and just have the fate of your website in your own hands; then the time is now to make the change.

The Options

  • VPS Hosting: Is a virtual private server and is a virtualised server. A VPS hosting environment mimics a dedicated server within a shared environment giving you the best of both worlds. It is technically both a dedicated and shared server. VPS hosting gives you the affordability of shared hosting- VPS servers are shared but portions of a server’s bandwidth, and disk space are reserved for a specific company’s private use- no matter what! While at the same time, VPS gives you more power and control like a dedicated server. Install all essential software, run security checks and better manage your website’s portfolio right from your account.
  • Dedicated Hosting: In a dedicated hosting environment, you rent an entire server, meaning no other website owner shares the server with you. This result is faster performance for your website, as you have complete access to the physical server and its software components. You are completely responsible for the cost of the server. This is an excellent choice for websites that require a lot of system resources and a high level of security.

Dedicated server hosting reduces the risk of hard drive crashes and data loss because you have no competition with other users for server space. It is perfect for websites with high traffic, advanced users with large amounts of data and large businesses. Most dedicated hosting plans are carefully crafted and priced to suit varying needs. Get cheap unlimited web hosting here.

Doing the Math

Can you afford a hosting upgrade? The answer is yes. Gone are the days when hosting packages were overpriced. Today, web hosting price packages exist that will not break the bank. Upgrading from a shared server to a VPS or dedicated server is easy. Decide which options works best for you.

In the End

Whichever hosting plan you decide to choose, make sure it offers the flexibility to upgrade to the next step when you are ready, you want to always allow room to grow. Quality customer support that can step-in and help resolve issues and answers questions is also a must for finding success with your hosting.

When it is all said and done, the only question you really need to ask yourself is, whether or not your business or blog will run more efficiently and more reliably with the help of a VPS or dedicated server, or if you’re working just fine on a shared server. Just because you may need a server upgrade one day, doesn’t mean you need to rush the process if what you’re using right now is working for you.