If you currently have shared hosting, you may be wondering if it’s worth the extra cost to upgrade to VPS hosting. This is something that many web hosts offer, and it’s often presented as an alternative to the even costlier option of a dedicated server. The question is, do you really need to upgrade at all? Let’s look at why you may want to consider VPS hosting.
The Limits of Shared Hosting
There’s nothing wrong with shared hosting, and this is how the vast majority of people begin when they start a blog or website. This is hosting that allows you to easily put up a website, even if your budget is small and you have little technical knowledge.
Shared hosting has a few key benefits.
It’s cheap – you can get it for under $5 per month if you shop around.
Simple – no technical ability required.
For smaller blogs and websites, it provides all of the features you need.
You can always upgrade to more advanced hosting plans later on.
These are the main reasons why most websites use shared hosting. Many website owners don’t even realize there are other options. So why would you want to make a change and pay more for something else if shared hosting is so good?
Many websites reach a point where they outgrow their hosting plan. This could mean an increase in traffic, a need for more customized features or wanting more security. If you have a large number of sites you may also want to think about moving on to something like VPS hosting.
The major drawbacks of shared hosting are:
It’s the least secure type of hosting.
You have limited access to customer support.
Resources such as bandwidth and disk space are limited.
Other websites on your server can affect your site’s speed and performance.
You cannot configure or customize anything on the server.
Again, for the average small website, these are not problems. Yet if you have multiples sites, busy commercial sites or any type of high traffic site, you may find that shared hosting is no longer appropriate. This is a good time to consider VPS hosting.
Advantages of VPS Hosting
VPS stands for “virtual private server.” The name indicates that you are getting “virtually” a private server, or the next best thing. An actual private or dedicated server is another option, but that is by far the most expensive type of hosting plan.
With VPS hosting, you have your own unique resources allocated to your site. This gives you more flexibility and security than you can have with shared hosting.
Some of the reasons to consider VPS hosting include:
Better Performance -your site will load faster than with shared hosting. Performance will not be slowed down by other sites on the same server.
Flexibility – you can install and customize software on the server.
Security – more secure than shared hosting. Harder for your site to get hacked.
Support – with this type of hosting you will have access to more comprehensive customer support.
Cheaper than a dedicated server with some of the same benefits.
To find out more benefits of VPS hosting, you can read this great article on 100webhosting.com. Although it primarily talks about BlueHost’s VPS, but I find the article informative and provides valuable information. BlueHost is a very popular web host especially in the shared web hosting sector.
VPS Hosting: Is There a Downside?
No type of hosting is perfect for everyone, and there are some possible drawbacks to VPS hosting. The main one is expense, as it is more costly than shared hosting. However, most web hosting companies that offer VPS plans give you several alternatives to choose from.
In some cases, the least expensive plan is around $20 per month (For Bluehost, it starts at $29.99/month). Although this is more expensive than shared hosting, it can be well worth it considering the benefits. You may see ads for extremely cheap VPS hosting. This is something you should be wary of, as it probably indicates a lack of quality or that you’re dealing with a company without much experience.
Another reason some people are reluctant to try VPS hosting is that it requires some technical ability to make changes to the server. For people who are not technically savvy, there are a couple of options. Many companies offer managed hosting accounts so that you don’t have to worry about things like installing software or customizing the server. Another possibility is to hire someone to handle these tasks for you. These, of course, require additional expenses on your part.
If you have an online store or any type of web based business, the above are not really disadvantages, but merely part of the costs of growing your business.
Conclusion: Why VPS Hosting is a Good Value
VPS hosting is not something that everyone needs. However, if you need more flexibility, security and resources than shared hosting can provide there is no better value. While some businesses opt for a dedicated server, this is an even more expensive choice that you may not need. VPS hosting is often the ideal middle ground between shared hosting and getting your own server.
In my opinion, VPS hosting is worth considering if you want to expand your capabilities and get good value for the money you invest in hosting.
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