Building a website for the first time is an exciting process. You get to design the site, connect with your audience, and advertise your business. As a first website, you likely chose a shared hosting plan, which is a normal beginning step. By growing your business, you may be finding that it is time to transition to a virtual private server hosting plan.
Shared Hosting vs. VPS
Before making the switch, it will be beneficial to understand the difference between the two hosting plans. Shared hosting involves your website using the same server as hundreds of other sites. This tends to be a more cost-effective option, but it means there will be limitations on certain resources. For instance, bandwidth, RAM, and performance capabilities will get reduced, as so many sites are using them at the same time.
A VPS (virtual private server) still involves multiple sites sharing the same server. However, each website has its own portion of the server. The performance will improve as there are more resources available for each site. Typically, a natural progression of website growth takes the form of converting from a shared hosting plan to a VPS.
If someone has a blog or a small business website, they are likely not seeing a great deal of traffic. As your business changes or expands, you will need to tweak your situation to accommodate that. Larger growth usually means that your website has been seeing more virtual traffic recently.
With more traffic on a shared server, the website will get bogged down and may even crash because they do not have many resources at their disposal. A VPS will be better equipped to handle the increased amount of traffic. There will be less downtime, and you will retain more customers because of that. Keep track of your daily website visitors, and make a note of the increase. Also check which times of the day are more popular, and which are less busy. This will help you manage the increased flow, as you can upgrade to a plan that can handle everyone.
Need for Increased Bandwidth
Relating to the increase in traffic, the amount of bandwidth you have available will determine the customer’s user experience. When someone checks how much bandwidth they have, it is referring to the amount of data that can transfer from a website. Having more will result in the website delivering content at a quicker speed, even during busy times.
If you max out the amount of bandwidth you have, your website may become inaccessible to potential clients. This often happens with shared hosting plans, as some sites on the server will consume a majority of it, and others will get hardly any. A VPS plan will come with increased amounts of bandwidth that can serve to handle the new volume of virtual clients.
A VPS has stronger security than a shared hosting plan. This is because none of the other sites on the server will be able to negatively affect yours. With shared hosting, there is a greater chance of your site getting hacked due to the negligence of others and their lack of proper security measures. With a VPS, your site will get protected by a stronger firewall, additional malware scans, monitoring processes, and improved file backup systems.
You may decide that your website needs stronger security for multiple reasons. Maybe you were the recent victim of malware or hacking, and you want to prevent it from happening again. Or perhaps you are starting to request confidential information from customers, such as addresses or credit card numbers. No matter the reason, improving the security of your website is always a good idea.
Making an eCommerce Store
If you have a plan on developing an eCommerce store, you will need to pay special consideration to which hosting plan you use. An eCommerce store requires more backend control and resources than a shared plan can provide. A VPS will allow the user to add customized features and improve the site’s functionality.
You will also need much more storage space than you did before. With an eCommerce store, you will likely want to upload product images, videos, and graphics. Having a VPS hosting plan will provide the user with additional storage space, as the site will no longer be sharing with its neighbors on the same server.
Your website will be running faster with a VPS because there are no other sites on the same server competing for the same resources anymore. This means that there will be minimal or no delays when customers visit your site.
Quick loading speeds are very important because the average client will only wait for 3 seconds for the page to populate. If it is any longer than that, they are far more likely to try a competing site instead, and you will end up losing their business.