Oct 09, 2014
Much like a young family that moves into a bigger house to accommodate its growing children (or an elderly couple moving into a smaller apartment once all their grown children have left home), it’s crucial for site owners to know when they should expand or downsize their online domains. Shared hosting services are at the very foot of the online hosting food chain, with their limited space, virtually absent security, and free of charge nature. Dedicated servers are definitely top-tier: their extensive storage, top of the line features, and reinforced security allow them to charge top dollar on a regular basis.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) platforms are decidedly in the middle. Since they’re available for a certain fee, they’re not exactly the cheapest option out there. But since VPS platforms simulate rather than actually provide individual servers (and with a handful of managed hosting providers appearing on the market), they are nowhere near as pricey as dedicated servers either.
For site owners currently operating on a shared hosting platform, the following can serve as good reasons for upgrading to a VPS server:
•Traffic volume on the site has increased to the point that operations have slowed down noticeably.
Shared hosting services are ideal for experimental ideas or initial forays into online commerce since they are cost-free, but this also entails limited processing capabilities. Thus, the more popular a website becomes and the more hits it generates every day, the more frequent site lags will be on a shared hosting platform. Managed hosting servers typically offer better processing speeds and capabilities at a marginal cost.
•Site visitors have recently and frequently experienced site crashes upon viewing the website.
Since shared hosting services are basically a free-for-all when it comes to the resources available to all its account holders, any disruptive activity initiated by fellow users can affect everyone linked to the hosting platform. VPS platforms, while still operating out of a single server, are partitioned into segments that behave like individual servers, shielding its users from the effects of each other’s activities.
•The website or online business deals with sensitive transactions.
Shared hosting services are equipped with a modicum of security, but it’s nowhere near the level necessary to protect against potent malware attacks or security breaches that could compromise delicate information like corporate bank accounts, customer credit card numbers, or shipping addresses. VPS platforms, on the other hand, are a considerably more secure option.
•Some special programs need to be installed for certain website operations.
Shared hosting platforms don’t offer much by way of control over the site environment, so installing additional programs is pretty much out of the question. The virtual environment afforded by VPS platforms, meanwhile, allow for plenty of customization as needed, certain program installations included.
•The site’s popularity is growing exponentially and rapidly.
This is particularly true for e-commerce websites. Once a website or an online business hits the jackpot, daily visits and overall activity increases greatly on the site, simultaneously creating at least enough revenue for added services (or perhaps those of a managed hosting platform) as well as initiating the need for them.
For site owners considering downgrading to a VPS platform from a more costly dedicated server, the following factors need to be considered:
•A lot of the features that came with the dedicated server package are greatly underused (if they’re used at all).
Not all prominent websites necessarily need all the bells and whistles that come as part and parcel of the usual dedicated server platforms, but a lot of them still end up paying full price since these features generally cannot be unbundled from the service. Quite a few managed hosting platforms, on the other hand, offer clients the option to choose which features are the most important for them and then pay a corresponding fee per feature so they can save on the overall cost.
•The company or people who own the site aren’t too keen on micro-managing the site.
Dedicated servers tend to allow for clients to build their sites from the ground up, thus necessitating a certain skill set. Clients or users who would rather focus their time and efforts on furthering the popularity of the site or the business can switch to a VPS platform that offers semi-managed servers, where the domain owners themselves carry out the needed maintenance and upkeep for their account holders.