If you are a small business website owner, I understand that you’ve gone through this situation, especially if your website is a busy one. That’s right – your hosting provider says that your small business website is taking too much resource, in such a way that access to your site is suspended temporarily. That typically happens in shared hosting plan, in which resources are shared by a certain number of users.
Then some people recommend you the same thing – just upgrade your web hosting to a VPS hosting. I know, because I’ve taken such recommendations – without further research – and just like in anything in life, taking the wrong advice from the wrong people can lead you to future problems.
I am running some websites as a business, not hobby. From my portfolio, most of them are blogs. One of my blogs turns out to be a hit, raking in 3,000 visits a day – quite decent, I guess. When it was surpassing 1,500 visits a day, the blog was experiencing what most busy blogs experience hosting with a shared hosting: Your site has got suspended for excessive CPU load.
I finally move the busy blog to a VPS plan. It was a basic, self-managed plan (self managed means you manage your own VPS back-end.) It turned out that I lack resources; I tried another VPS hosting provider… I’ve been recommended to upgrade, and I decided to sign up for a VPS Level 3, managed (meaning that a server admin will do any installs and such for you.) So far so good.
To cut long story short, it was fine for 10 months, until one day, access to my busy blog was interrupted for 4 days. It turned out that I – again – lack resources with my current VPS plan, and guess what? I was recommended to… upgrade. Again.
Then I finally realized that I take the whole web hosting thing the wrong way. I thought VPS is the next great solution after a shared hosting and before a dedicated server. Technically, it’s true. But many don’t share the whole story.
Some small business website hosting facts and tips
So, if you are thinking about moving to a VPS after your shared hosting resources are not enough, here are some facts and tips for you:
1. Shared hosting is actually having more resources than a VPS!
Up to a certain service level, some VPS plans are actually having fewer resources than shared hosting. I’ve read about it somewhere on the web AND was confirmed by a web hosting system administrator. So, it’s recommended to upgrade to a better shared hosting plan than going to VPS right away.
2. Only sign up for a VPS/dedicated plan if you have the knowledge/have someone with the knowledge
Even if you sign up for a managed VPS, you still need to take care of things on the back-end. You must understand how to SSH; moreover, you need to know the right question to ask or the right instruction to give to your system admin. Otherwise, the tech support team assumes that you have the knowledge about how a server work – and command it to do what you want to do (if you know what you actually want – got it?) If you a total noob in server management, from my experience and some recommendations, you should stick to shared hosting.
3. Instead of upgrading right away, there are many things you can do to optimize your small business website
Save money by optimize your site. In many cases, it was your site that is resource-intensive (especially if you build your site on a platform like WordPress.) If this is what describes your site, then you need to optimize your site. You can start by caching pages and/or incoming traffic, removing non-critical add-ons and plugins that take too much resource, and many other things.
4. What if the shared hosting’s best plan is not enough?
There will be a situation in which your small business website needs more resources that those given by the best shared hosting plan available, but you don’t want to go VPS. There’s an answer; the answer is: Go cloud! You might want to sign up with a reputable cloud hosting provider, such as VPS.NET cloud hosting solution.
Sure, the power of the cloud hosting lies in its elasticity (your server will always be “on” 24/7, thanks to ability for the cloud to automatically allocate resources to the right location,) flexible payment plan, the ability to scale up and down on the fly, and many more goodness of the cloud.
Again, if you don’t have the knowledge required to manage your own server, you should try to look for shared cloud hosting. Although considered as a non-true cloud hosting, shared cloud hosting combines the power of shared hosting (read: A plan which requires no involvement on your part) and cloud computing.
Before you decide whether it’s time for your small business website to hop on the better hosting plan, be sure you do the due diligence. Surf the web for real advice; talk with an experienced techie guy; read books; read blog post like what you are reading right now (lol) and so on.
The bottom line, don’t take any advice for granted, especially when it comes from a web hosting sales person – nothing personal, it’s just the right thing to do.
So, there you go – happy researching!