A Virtual Private Server, or VPS, is a hosting solution that provides much of the functionality of a dedicated server at significantly lower cost. With a VPS, your virtual server will share the resources of a hardware server with the other virtual servers running on it.
The best way to evaluate whether or not you need to upgrade to VPS is to take stock of your website. Here are eight tell-tale signs it’s time to go virtual.
1. You’re Worried About Security
If you need enhanced security features, advanced monitoring capabilities, more backup space, improved website reliability, or plan on taking any form of online payment, then you may want to consider VPS. With VPS, you get reliable resources and can count on top-notch security features.
2. You Start to Experience High Traffic Volumes
If you are just starting your website and don’t receive very much traffic, then shared hosting is the ideal solution. However, if your website’s audience is consistently growing, you’ll want to consider upgrading. You don’t want to run the risk of your website running slowly or, even worse, your server crashing because it can’t handle the traffic. If you anticipate an increase in visitors, do yourself a favor and switch to VPS.
3. Your Website is Consistently Running Slowly
Shared hosting is not meant for websites that use large amounts of RAM. As your website grows and you add more and more content, you will start to see a decrease in your website’s load times. As soon as this happens, it’s an indication that you are maxing out your limits. Upgrading to a VPS will enable you to scale your website without having to worry about slow load times.
4. You Have An Online Store
The moment you plan on running an online store is the moment you should upgrade your hosting plan. Why? Because with VPS, you have a secure and dedicated virtual server where you are more likely to pass a PCI compliance test. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard was established by major credit card brands to protect against cardholder data theft.
If you are accepting credit cards on your website via a payment gateway, you want to do everything you can to ensure the safety of your consumers’ financial information. Since VPS is more secure than shared hosting, it’s the better option for e-commerce websites.
5. You Need To Install Custom Software
Shared hosting is great for website owners who build their site with WordPress or other common Content Management Systems. However, if you reach the point where you need to install custom software, use a custom server configuration, or engage in any other advanced programming, then you’ll want a hosting option that affords you more control.
Similarly, several standard tax, billing, bookkeeping, and other integrative programs require around-the-clock server availability as well as high-speed internet. To run these applications successfully, you’ll need either a VPS or dedicated hosting account.
If you operate on a shared server, you’ll only run into frustration when you learn advanced actions are forbidden or that apps don’t have the support needed to function properly. Instead of dealing with this potential problem, upgrade to VPS hosting and immediately gain more control over your programming actions.
6. You Run Into Server Errors
Do you encounter “Service Unavailable” errors, any 50X errors, or the “Internal Server Error” often? When you see errors, it’s likely that your potential customers are too. While you can troubleshoot downtime issues, there is simply no room for server errors if you’re running an online business. Pre-empt this problem by upgrading to VPS.
7. You’re on a Budget
While it’s true that a dedicated hosting package can address many of the problems on this list, it’s important to remember that a dedicated plan is a much pricier option. If you need to improve your bandwidth, increase your security, and get more RAM, then the most affordable option is to opt for VPS hosting.
8. You Build Websites For Your Clients
Is it part of your job to build websites for your clients? With a VPS, you can host an unlimited number of domains all while making sure you have enough RAM for each site to function properly.
The first reason would be for scalability. As mentioned before, when your website runs on a shared server it is competing against the other sites on the server for resources. With a VPS you are assigned an amount of RAM, disk space and CPU allocation that can be used to run your website, service or whatever you feel like doing with the server. You also aren’t limited to the amount of resources that you can use.