Shared hosting is often the go-to solution for small and medium-sized businesses looking to launch websites. It’s a practical and economical starting point. As businesses grow, though, they start running into the limitations of shared hosting.
As your website gets more sophisticated and your traffic increases, you almost always see a drop off in performance. The server resource demands start pushing the edges of what your account allows.
At this point, you might start thinking about getting your own server. It’s one solution, but they’re expensive and need expert maintenance. A different, cheaper option is to buy VPS or a virtual private server.
VPS offers most of the benefits of your own server, but with fewer headaches. Before we dive into the awesome reasons to buy VPS, let’s take a brief look at VPS.
What is VPS?
A server is essentially a very fast, very powerful computer with a lot of memory. Most SMBs don’t need all of that power and memory for their websites.
A VPS works like a scaled down version of a physical server. From your perspective as a user, it looks and acts like a physical server. In reality, it’s created with software and shares space on a server with other VPSs.
Each virtual server gets its own OS, like Linux or Windows, to facilitate software installation and website management.
Buy VPS for Scalability
When you first launch a site, it’s usually small and has limited traffic. As your website adds functionality and attracts more visitors, it starts using more resources on the server.
Shared hosting plans almost always cap how much of the server resources you can use. Once you hit those caps, they either hit you with a lot of expensive fees or disable your site.
Let’s say your product just went viral. Imagine the disaster if your hosting service shut down your site for exceeding the bandwidth cap. You’d lose out sales and probably alienate potential future customers.
A VPS also has resource limits but those limits are fluid. If you’re expecting a lot of new traffic or notice it’s happening, you can adjust your service plan to meet demand.
If you decide to add resource-intensive functions to the site, you up your available memory. Your VPS grows as you do.
VPS is More Reliable
When you work on shared hosting plans every website on a server competes for a limited amount of server resources. Everything is fine if the hosting service does its job.
If the host oversells it’s capacity or a rogue user installs something that soaks up all the resources, your site’s performance suffers. That poses a serious problem, as users often abandon sites that take more than a second or two to load.
When you buy VPS, you buy guaranteed resources. Your site continues to perform at the same level, regardless of what anyone else’s website is doing.
The only exception to this is if someone manages to crash the entire server. Since virtual private servers are typically isolated, that’s very rare.
You Get Technical Support
By the time most businesses decide to buy VPS, they often have an in-house IT person to help. Even IT pros get stuck sometimes, and non-IT pros often find server management daunting.
A good VPS provider will offer you solid tech support either through a ticket system on their website or by phone. Tech support can often walk you through fixing a common problem. They’re also in a better position to analyze what went wrong.
They’ll typically have access to the entire physical server, not just your virtual server. That can prove helpful if your problem is that you can’t access your virtual server after making a change.
Let’s say you installed a program on the server and everything went haywire. The tech service guys should have a good idea of why it causes the problem. Unless it was a cataclysmic problem, they can probably roll the virtual server back to a functional state.
Host More than One Domain
Entrepreneurs often come up with ideas for new businesses or offshoots of their existing businesses. For each one they pursue, they typically want a new domain name for the website. That lets them engage in separate branding and marketing strategies.
With traditional shared hosting, you rarely get enough server resources to host multiple domains on a single account. You can end up needing to create multiple accounts to host the domains and get decent performance. That means needing separate dashboards and sets of passwords for each site.
In other words, it’s a logistical pain.
Multiple domain hosting isn’t an issue when you buy VPS. In most cases, you can allocate resources to each domain and provide access to your teams.
If your current resources can’t cover the demands of multiple websites, you don’t need a new account. You either manually alter the resource levels or contact the VPS host and ask them to do it. You pay for the additional resources, but you aren’t paying for extra accounts.
Server Configuration Control
Shared hosting services often lock down server configuration as a security measure. It helps prevent someone from testing out new computer code that could crash the server.
Server configuration isn’t a deal breaker for everyone. Many businesses use softwares right off the shelf that doesn’t need any server configuration.
For companies that develop software in-house, manual server configuration is a necessity. They often need to change server configurations just to run certain kinds of code.
VPS offers this kind of server configuration control. Since the server is generated using software and isolated from everything else, a bad piece of code won’t crash the physical server. It shouldn’t even affect the performance of any other VPS on the physical server.
There are a lot of awesome reasons to buy VPS.
It’s a scalable and more reliable hosting solution than shared hosting. You still the benefits of tech support when things go really wrong. You get the option to host multiple domains under a single account.
If it’s something you need, you even get server configuration control. As a bonus, it’s usually cheaper than buying and managing your own server.
GBServers specializes in web hosting solutions for SMBs. If you’d like to know more about what VPS can do for your business, contact us today.