This is a common question among website owners. It’s not surprising really, because many small businesses start their website on a shared hosting plan before upgrading to other plans. It’s much like moving homes as your family grows.
I’ll start this post with the features of a shared hosting plan, followed by those of a VPS and conclude with when you should upgrade. Most hosting providers offer both plans, so it all depends on when you think it’s time to move. In general, the decision is determined by your website functions and business purpose.
Features of a Shared Hosting Plan
When describing hosting plans, I like to use the home analogy because it makes it a lot easier to understand. The shared hosting plan is like living in an apartment complex, all residents reside in the same building and must share the available resources with one another. These may include such things as the swimming pool, parking space, waste disposal area and the gym. Similarly, in the shared hosting plan, web accounts must share the available resources with other accounts on their server. These include CPU time, server RAM and disk space.
A shared hosting plan is mainly selected by customers who don’t have a technical background and want a low-cost hosting package. Its advantages include:
The disadvantages of the shared hosting plan are obvious, as you may have experienced them yourself. Due to the fact that you share resources with possibly thousands of other accounts:
Some hosting providers strive to reduce these issues as much as possible for their customers.
Features of a VPS hosting Plan
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. Back to our home analogy: think of upgrading to a VPS plan like moving your growing family into semi-detached townhouse. You get to personalise your home and decorate it to your own taste; however, you still need to manage your own part of the building. Companies that work with resource heavy applications and highly-secured data usually adopt the VPS plan.
They also have a significant amount of web traffic that can’t be supported by resources of a shared hosting plan. Websites that contain sensitive data like customer details are better off on a VPS plan.
Advantages of a VPS hosting Plan
Like other plans, the VPS has its demerits. However, it is nothing you can’t handle if you are careful.
Disadvantages of a VPS
The major differences between a shared plan and VPS plan
Resources: Shared hosting provides users with resources that they need to share with often hundreds of other users on the server, while the VPS plan offers resources which are dedicated to your use only..
Security: The VPS plan is a lot more secure than the shared hosting plan.
Platform: The shared hosting plan offers a basic range of file system/compartmentalization, while the VPS plan may offer OpenVZ and Xen Linux Virtualization.
When can you upgrade from a shared plan to a VPS plan?
If your business falls under any of the categories mentioned above, it might be time to upgrade.
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