When taking your business online, choosing the right web hosting solution to host your website is of utmost importance. Usually, most small websites and businesses opt for a Shared Web Hosting solution at the beginning due to ease of use, affordability, and convenience.
But as your business gains more customers with time, you will need more server resources to handle the growing needs and ensure speed and performance. Your needs might change too, like you may need more control over your server or the ability to customise it as you wish. In either case, you’ll have to move on from your Shared Server to a much more reliable, customisable and flexible hosting solution—like VPS Hosting.
In this article, we’ll take you through each of the two hosting solutions in a brief and the right time to shift your website from Shared to VPS Hosting.
What is Shared Hosting?
Shared Server Hosting is a type of hosting where multiple websites share the resources of a single server, but there’s no isolation or exclusive resources dedicated to any website. It’s the most inexpensive and most popular method of hosting a website.
So, who should opt for Shared Hosting? Most new websites prefer Shared Hosting for the affordability and ease of use. Similarly, smaller websites with static content opt for Shared Hosting for the optimum resources offered at low prices.
What is VPS?
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. VPS Hosting and Shared Hosting have an important commonality — multiple websites share the resources of a single server. However, that’s where the similarities end.
In VPS Hosting, each website gets dedicated resources that are exclusive to it and not shared with any other website. Additionally, VPS completely isolates each website on the server through server virtualisation powered by a hypervisor, meaning each website functions as if it were a small, independent server. Hence the name, Virtual Private Server.
When to Switch from Shared Web Hosting to VPS Server Hosting?
Your website starts to become slow
Slow load times are one of the first indications that your Shared Hosting plan isn’t coping with your website too well.
In a Shared Hosting server, hundreds of websites compete for the same finite resources that a server has. Given that there’s no fixed allotment of resources, your website performance is bound to vary.
Slow load time over some time is an indication that your website isn’t getting enough resources that it needs.
Your website traffic is crossing a certain threshold
Shared Hosting is designed for new websites with little traffic. The idea is to make it easy and inexpensive to start and run a website. However, as your traffic increases beyond a certain stage, you’ll see that Shared Hosting simply cannot keep up.
A consistent increase in traffic is the clearest sign for you to shift to a more powerful hosting solution like VPS.
The point at which you desire to shift varies, of course. However, about 300 daily visitors should be a clear sign to move to VPS.
You need more resources
In a Shared Hosting setup, you’re constantly competing for resources. If your website is resource-heavy, Shared Hosting simply won’t cut it. Likewise, if you’re adding pictures, animations, videos, etc., all the time, you’ll see that your website will quickly stop being fast.
If you need space to store more data on your website or faster processing speeds, you need something like VPS that exclusively dedicates resources to your website. Unfortunately, Shared Hosting does not offer the sort of resources you’re going to need.
You need more control
In Shared Hosting, websites don’t have dedicated resources and aren’t isolated. It essentially means that everyone’s the same playing field, and to ensure that everyone has a smooth hosting experience, hosting companies usually lay down a set of rules. These rules usually take on the form of various restrictions.
As your website grows, you’ll need more control over the server-side of things too. For example, you may want full root access, the ability to change a few security configurations, install or remove server-wide applications, etc.
With Shared Hosting, that isn’t possible. Instead, there’s a framework within which everyone has to operate.
In VPS Hosting, you essentially get a small server all to yourself. It means that web hosting companies don’t have to interfere with how you operate. So, you get root access with VPS.
Root access is basically a username in Linux and is like ‘Admin’ in home PCs. It permits you to access all files. Additionally, you can alter any settings you want, configure your ports, install third-party applications that your web hosting company may not natively support, and do much more.
You want greater security for your website
Before starting, it’s crucial to note that Shared Hosting is secure. However, as your website grows, you’re going to need more and more safeguards against a cyber attack.
Again, Shared Hosting doesn’t allow you to customise a whole lot, meaning that you’re usually stuck with whatever the default security configurations are.
There’s no isolation between the websites, which creates a few additional problems. For example, if a malicious hacker gains access to one website, all the other websites on that particular server are at risk too. This is because there’s only a single directory in Shared Hosting servers, and that directory is linked to all the websites on it.
Your website can be potentially at risk with Shared Hosting because of something called the bad neighbour problem, especially if you opt for unreliable hosting providers that do not follow fair usage practices. Your website’s security is partially reliant on all other websites on the server; be cautious. If there’s one website that’s not careful and gets compromised, your website is at risk too. VPS, on the other hand, offers complete isolation.
If your website traffic is going up and you see an uptick in the number of financial transactions, it’s natural to want to beef up your security. Additionally, if your website collects a lot of user data, you must protect that data. Today, people are more concerned about data privacy and loss than ever before.
VPS offers a more robust security structure when compared with Shared Hosting. But, again, if you don’t have a lot of traffic, Shared Hosting security is usually good enough. However, as your website grows, so do your cyber risks. Switching to VPS will allow you to mitigate that problem more effectively.
Both Shared Hosting and VPS are excellent hosting methods that are very popular worldwide. However, they’re both designed to cater to different website owners. While Shared Hosting is the best type of hosting for new websites with low traffic, VPS Hosting caters to more mature websites.
Switching from Shared Hosting to VPS is a natural progression that many successful websites go through, and switching at the right time will help you accelerate your website growth.
When looking for a VPS Hosting plan, make sure to get it from one of the leading VPS Hosting companies in the market. We at HostGator offer powerful VPS Server Hosting solutions with an integrated cPanel, full root access, and more to make your web hosting journey a breeze.
So, if speed, reliability, control, and security is what you strive for, for your website, make sure to check out our services and choose a suitable VPS Hosting plan for your business.