After finally realizing that shared hosting does not make the cut anymore –which is excellent news, because it means that your site receives a high amount of traffic, you are making more sales, and that your business is growing– you need to make a key decision regarding technology: Which hosting service should you upgrade to? You have heard of Virtual Private Servers and Dedicated Servers, maybe you have looked into it, but now is the time to seriously analyze which option is the best fit for your growing business and site.
To make sure you make best decision, start by asking yourself what are your business needs? What are you seeking to accomplish? To figure this out, take the following into consideration:
- The daily number of users visiting your site
- The amount of data you’d want to store
- The level of security you want and need.
Keeping these answers in mind, let’s go over the difference between a VPS and a dedicated server so you can make an informed decision.
What is a Virtual Private Server or VPS?
As the name indicates, the hosting services provided by a VPS are entirely virtual. How does it work? A server is divided among different virtual servers. Imagine a piece of hardware divided into separate virtual spaces. You do not own the hardware, which means you are sharing it with other sites. However, your virtual space is entirely yours, and you do not share the server’s resources with other “guests,” only the server.
If your main concerned is user experience, there’s nothing to worry. Your CPU, RAM, and bandwidth are yours. No matter the number of sites sharing the server, they will not consume the resources that are reserved to you.
Let’s say you are not concerned with any of the things above and your only concern is security. Even then a VPS may still be the right choice for you. Your account is isolated from other accounts, so even if one of your neighbors gets hacked, your account will be okay.
As you probably imagine considering the benefits, the cost for a VPS higher than the cost for a shared server. There is more privacy because you do not share your resources. It may not be as good as a dedicated server because you have more limited resources, but it is better than having shared hosting.
What is a Dedicated Server?
Purchasing a Dedicated Server is like buying a house. You do not share your space with anybody, whether it is virtual or physical. The server’s resources are yours and only yours. Owning a dedicated server means having a more considerable responsibility: setting the server up and assuming the entire costs. Dedicated Server Hosting is the right option for companies seeking high-security, more resources than a VPS, and the freedom to implement anything they like.
Now that we have a better understanding of the differences between a VPS and Dedicated Server, let’s go over when it would be best to choose one or the other.
When to choose a VPS
Let’s say you have been using shared hosting and until recently, you were satisfied with the results. However, you have been noticing a lack of speed in your site that is affecting user experience, or even affecting your team internally any time they try to add more content.
Moreover, you are getting 503-server errors. In other words, you are experiencing a lack of resources. Remember, you are sharing them with all of your neighbors; this was going to happen one day. Then, it’s time to make the switch to a VPS.
Another reason why you should consider an upgrade to VPS is if you need to run a particular software for your business. Sometimes, Shared Hosting will not make the cut, and the need to upgrade will be imperative.
When to choose a Dedicated Server
Congratulations! Your business keeps growing. This is great news, but that also means that probably some changes will need to be made soon. Upgrading from a VPS to a Dedicated Server is product of the same needs that made you upgrade from Shared Hosting to a VPS in the first place.
Traffic keeps increasing, more and more data is being stored every day. What happens? User experience has been downgrading slowly. Don’t wait until getting 503-server errors before making the switch.
Server congestion ceases to be an issue with a dedicated server. With shared hosting, the risk of congestion due to the traffic, usage of resources (CPU, bandwidth) is significant and can be detrimental for your business. Dedicated hosting ensures that this issue is practically nonexistent. Also, if your site is resource heavy, then dedicated hosting is the way to ensure that other websites are not affected by yours.
Furthermore, if you need top security, then there is no other option than a Dedicated Server. Having your piece of software is the best way to be protected from hackers.
If you’re not technical savvy, it’s ok. Some companies offer 24/7 customer support, and the setup is included in the initial price.
The best decision you can make entirely depends on the specific needs of your business and site, their size, level of growth, the software that you need to run on your computers, the level of security you need, and other facts that nobody but you entirely understands. Get to know your business on a deep level. Both options are good and reliable depending on your requirements! What do you want, an apartment or the entire building? It basically goes down to that!