In the digital life of many businesses, there comes a time when they are ready to make the move from the simple services of shared hosting to a larger, more capable platform that can support more advanced web activities.
In fact, as consumer expectations for customer service and websites have risen, the size of the business that needs such advanced features has shrunk, which means more and more companies are opting for service upgrades to a VPS (virtual private server) model.
Long considered a handy stepping stone between shared and dedicated hosting, VPS hosting can offer plenty of solutions for the average company. If you’re planning a VPS upgrade, here are several things you should watch for.
Let’s start with an overview of VPS and what it means to move up from shared hosting to the more adaptable platform. The “virtual” part of VPS means that companies may still be sharing server space with other businesses that have bought the same services; but they still receive their own private digital space to customize.
This includes not only a lot more bandwidth than is available from shared hosting, but also memory, disk space, and other key features. This makes services far more dependable and allows your business to create and manage more independent web content.
Many companies choose to move to a VPS model when they expand or adopt a more complicated online framework. VPS hosting allows a firm to do several things it could not with shared hosting, such as creating two different websites, storing large amounts of customer data on the cloud, and providing types of media that require significant bandwidth.
Some companies may simply switch because they’re tired of dealing with the slow services of shared hosting when their web traffic is growing significantly.
One of the first questions always asked about VPS is how much it will cost over the long term. This depends on the type of package you choose, and whether you’ve chosen managed VPS (which gives you more services and greater support for a higher price) or not.
In general, you should expect significantly higher prices than were charges for your old shared hosting plan. If you need a lot of disk space and features for a complex website, your monthly prices may climb from $20 to $100 or more.
The lowest VPS prices will still be more than twice as much as the highest shared hosting cost. However, most online offers will give you at least several free or discounted months when you sign up.
But remember that you’ll be saving money on some key features. Migration to another server, for example, will become fast and inexpensive. Once you switch to VPS, scalability becomes far less of an issue, which means you can handle even sudden leaps in traffic volume easily without incurring additional expense, which sets you up well for plenty of potential growth.
Among many the other advantages, choosing VPS allows you to run your own batch files as needed. This essentially allows you to modify your virtual server’s functions to create a wide variety of services.
However, you should check with IT specialists before rolling out any new plans, because some applications do not work well in virtual environments and may need to be modified or switched out for alternatives so you can offer all the services you like.
It’s also wise to remember that this is your chance to upload a lot more dynamic, streaming content on your site. However, it’s a wise idea to map out your bandwidth, RAM, and CPU needs beforehand so your content fits the VPS package you’ve chosen.
A virtual server also comes with its own benefits. For example, with a physical server you have to go through a time-consuming reboot process every time you load new software, update content, or make other changes. With a virtual server, many updates become much easier, since a digital reboot process may take only seconds.
This makes it much easier to implement changes, check their effects in real time, and make any necessary alterations to get the best results for your web page visitors as quickly as possible.
Depending on the package you choose, there may also be room for specific resource features. One popular example is a “burst,” or an agreement that if web traffic or stored data needs suddenly increase, the host will meet the change with a temporary boost in bandwidth or other required resources.
Support does vary, based on the provider that you choose, but generally you can expect far more service and support options than shared hosting provided you. Even unmanaged plans offer you advantages such as server maintenance, notifications of server issues, and contact numbers you can call to ask specific questions, get advice, and so forth.
You should also get a customer service email address to contact when necessary.
Managed plans, on the other hand, tend to add a lot of automatic support features. They include the management of all security and software updates, backup services in case you lose your valuable data or a server goes down, and other advantages.
You lose a little bit of the traditional VPS customization, but you gain specialized support in areas you may not have experience in, as well access to server performance reports. You can also expect a certain amount of guaranteed disk space with either plan, usually starting at around 10 GB and going up based on your package.