Shared hosting is cheap, but it’s not worth the sales loss when customers can’t access your site.
When a website runs on shared hosting servers, it shares server memory, CPU cycles and other hardware resources with several hundreds of sites. When customers start complaining of slow load times, it’s time to think about making a change. A virtual private server (VPS) is one to consider. VPS is not only faster, it’s also more convenient and cheaper than having several sites on separate shared hosting accounts.
Advantages of VPS Over Shared Hosting
The initial cost of VPS typically scares webmasters away. The cost is approximately $50 each month, but it depends on the host. Some hosts offer discounts if the webmaster pays for a full year upfront. The initial cost per year is much higher than the average $5 each month for cheap shared hosting. However, the advantages of VPS are well worth the extra money.
First, a reputable cloud host only charges for the resources initially set up on the VPS. Charging for only the resources used helps reduce the initial cost for VPS. It helps to plan for future growth, so it doesn’t hurt to add a little extra RAM and hard drive space.
The best VPS advantage is moving off the shared environment to a virtual private environment. Although VPS software runs on the same physical machine, memory resources aren’t shared with other web hosting customers, and the webmaster has complete control over the server settings and installed software. The webmaster can install any software she wants, and the server settings are under her control.
Performance is faster with VPS, so no more slow customer connections due to other webmasters using up bandwidth. A good cloud host also offers load balancers for those customers who think they need a little extra power. Load balancers are software or hardware intermediates that direct web traffic to the next available web server. This means that traffic is sent to a server that isn’t tied down with too many requests. If a web server goes offline, the load balancer seamlessly transfers your customers to another server. This means no more loss in customers due to an overloaded or crashed web server.
Server Resources Under Your Control
With shared hosting, the webmaster has very little control over server resources. At a basic level, most webmasters can only upload files for one website and set a default page. That’s it. VPS gives the webmaster more control over DNS, database setup and storage.
Each domain registrar offers DNS forwarding. Instead of forwarding a website to the host DNS server, the webmaster simply creates a DNS “A” record at the registrar, which points the domain to the VPS IP address. No intermediate DNS servers are needed with VPS hosting.
Need additional databases or need to install database software? Instead of paying extra for database support, the VPS webmaster just needs to install the database software and configure the database how she wants it. With shared hosting, the webmaster has no control of the database name, permissions or connectivity. With VPS, all database configurations are under the webmaster’s control.
With a reputable cloud host, storage and resources are totally dynamic. The elasticity of cloud hosting lets the webmaster mold IT costs and requirements to the business as it grows. VPS is just one advantage of moving to the cloud, and the increased performance and server control is beneficial for growing businesses looking for something better than shared hosting.
This is a special guest post by Jennifer Marsh. Jennifer is a software developer, programmer and technology writer and occasionally blogs for open cloud company Rackspace Hosting.