Congratulations. The good news is that your website has become really successful. You’re getting thousands of visitors a day and your sales have steadily increased. As a result, you’ve got plans to extend your site, add new features and launch a new marketing campaign to bring in even more traffic. But there’s a problem, your shared hosting package isn’t up to the task. It’s struggling to cope with current demands; adding new apps and increasing traffic requires an upgrade.
What’s the solution? A few years ago, the only option would have been a dedicated server, but these are a big leap forward. It would be like a corner shop moving into a space the size of Sainsbury’s. You’d be paying for far more capacity and computing resources than you would need.
Today, luckily, there’s a bridging point between shared and dedicated hosting, called VPS (virtual private server), which is a kind of hybrid of both. In this post, we’ll explain why VPS hosting is the ideal solution for websites that have outgrown their shared hosting.
What is a VPS?
A VPS is a virtual server, one of several which are created on a single physical server. It’s a little like shared hosting because you only rent part of the physical server for yourself, and this keeps the cost very low. However, the amount of space and computing resources you get with VPS is significantly more than with shared hosting.
The other big difference with shared hosting is that each VPS is completely independent of the other accounts on the physical server. Each has their own operating system and this gives users the freedom to run any compatible apps they choose. It also means that performance is not affected by the activities of other users sharing the physical server. In this sense, a VPS works like a mini dedicated server. Here are our 10 reasons why they are the ideal solution for growing websites.
1. Cost-effective growth
As a growing business, you need to make sure that your IT spend is cost effective. VPS provides a midway solution between shared and dedicated hosting, both in terms of capacity and expense. If you were moving a sofa and couldn’t fit it into your small van, you wouldn’t hire an articulated lorry for the job, you’d go for something more suitable. This is what VPS offers.
To give you an example, at the time of publication, our lowest priced VPS package is £12.99 per month, only £6 more expensive than our top, shared, cPanel hosting package. Our cheapest dedicated server package, on the other hand, is £69.99, over five times more expensive.
2. Freedom to run the apps you want
VPS gives you complete control over your computing environment. As its completely independent of the other VPS sharing the physical server and has its own operating system, you can run any apps you want, provided they are compatible with your operating system. That said, you can also choose which operating system you want to run, e.g. Linux or Windows.
You can also configure your server to suit your website’s needs without being restricted by your web host. With shared hosting, there is one configuration for every user and this is set by the host.
3. High availability servers that don’t go down
Although they are hosted on a physical server, the actual VPS itself is virtual. This means it has no physical components of its own. If the physical server it is hosted on goes down, the VPS, which is backed up as a server image, can be instantaneously be rebooted on another physical server, meaning your applications stay online. This is ideal for businesses with critical applications which need to be online 24/7.
4. No more neighbour drain
A big issue for those on shared hosting is that heavy performance by one website can slow down the performance of all the others. If one user runs a resource intensive application or has lots of traffic, there are fewer resources for everyone else to use. This can mean slow loading websites or some applications stalling.
With VPS, although the physical server is still shared, each individual VPS is allocated dedicated resources that can’t be drained by their neighbour’s activities. Bandwidth, CPU, memory and storage capacity are guaranteed.
5. Tighter security
VPS is substantially more secure than shared hosting, so growing businesses can be confident that their website and data are much less likely to get hacked or infected. The main reason for this is that, as a single entity, the apps and data stored on the VPS are completely separate from those of other users. If another VPS user gets a malware infection, it’s impossible for it to spread to yours. Similarly, hackers cannot use a backdoor from one client’s files to another’s.
As a managed service, you’ll also find that your host provides a range of security measures, including OS updates and patching, firewalls, intrusion monitoring and remote backups.
6. Easy hosting upgrades
One of the best features of VPS is that it is really simple to upgrade to a bigger package as your business continues to grow. There is a range of hosting packages to choose from, each offering more processing power, storage capacity and memory. What’s more, you are also free to downsize if your existing package is too big. In this sense, VPS is one of the most scalable hosting options available.
7. You can use multiple VPS
As a low-cost alternative to a dedicated server, VPS enable growing businesses to use multiple VPS to run different applications. So, for example, if you want to run a completely separate development server, or have two VPS with different configurations for different applications, it is possible to do so. You can run your website from one and your operational apps from another. Doing this using multiple dedicated servers would be far more expensive, especially if done in-house.
8. Hardware taken care of
For optimum performance, growing businesses need their websites to run on the best hardware. This ensures that website loading speed is super-fast and that, no matter how demanding your apps, your server performs flawlessly and without problems.
As part of the managed service provided for VPS users, not only is your software taken care of but the hardware too. Servers are constantly upgraded, monitored for performance and maintained, helping you stay ahead of the competition.
For growing websites looking beyond shared hosting, VPS offers high performance at affordable costs. You get all the power of a mini dedicated server with the mini cost to boot. It provides far more storage, memory, and processing power than shared hosting, is more secure, easier to upgrade and is managed for you.