Is Your Business Ready to Move from Shared Hosting to a VPS?
When it comes to website hosting, VPS (Virtual Private Server) is the natural progression from a basic Shared Hosting plan. As your website grows, at some point, shared hosting just won’t be enough anymore and you will need more resources. Your aim, therefore, should be to know if your business is ready to make a move from shared hosting to VPS, i.e., when is the right time to upgrade to VPS hosting.
In this article, we’ll talk about why you should change your hosting plan and how you can prepare yourself for the smooth transition, but before that, let’s take a quick look at what VPS hosting is.
What is VPS Hosting?
Virtual Private Server or VPS is a type of hosting that virtually mimics a dedicated server environment within a shared hosting server. VPS hosting has become a popular choice as it is generally lower in cost than a dedicated hosting plan but provides better reliability, security & performance than shared hosting. Moreover, it provides users with root access to the server, giving them the freedom to install applications & make changes without the need to go through the hosting provider, as they would with shared server hosting.
VPS hosting is often considered a great option for SaaS providers, game makers, programmers, businesses that have outgrown their shared hosting plan, and any company that needs a secure & affordable backup environment.
To make a move to VPS hosting worth it, first, make sure it is what you need.
Why Do You Want to Make a Change?
A good business plan is all about knowing when to make a move to the next level of hosting. However, it may seem like a tough call, but a good VPS provider can actually increase your business capacity & improve your company’s ROI. Below we have outlined the common reasons people change their hosting plans and make an upgrade to VPS.
You are getting a lot of traffic: The main reason why most businesses switch from shared hosting to VPS hosting is an influx of traffic. A shared hosting account can typically handle low to medium traffic spikes. Also, the resources in shared hosting are shared with other websites, which can slow down your website. This is where VPS will provide better & faster performances for your websites/applications.
You want to install an application that your shared hosting account doesn’t allow you to: Most shared hosting plans are limited to certain applications & services. There are quite a lot of apps that you cannot install on shared hosting because of the unavailability of the required modules. If, on the other hand, you use VPS hosting, you can install any application you want — the only criteria is it should meet the hosting provider’s policies. With shared hosting, you are stuck with the PHP version chosen by your hosting service provider. But if you get a VPS, you can easily install any PHP modules you need.
When you need more resources for emails, databases, FTP accounts, etc.: Shared hosting plans are usually limited to a certain number of email addresses & mailing options that you can use. The same goes for FTP accounts, databases & any other resource. On the other hand VPS gives you far more bandwidth, disk space and also provides you scalability.
Get ready to move from Shared Hosting to a VPS Hosting
Before moving to VPS hosting, you need to be aware of the new responsibilities you would acquire. This way, you can prepare for the basic systems administration required to best use a VPS and ensure that your transition goes smoothly. Things you should be mindful of while making a move are:
From Automation to Administration
Shared hosting servers are typically configured with a ‘one size fits all approach’. Everything that can be automated on shared hosting is automated. A VPS hosting, on the other hand, will not do this by default. The upside to this is you can configure your server to work best for your website. You can set up any non-standard software & configurations if you need to. This setup can be anything from a non-standard version of PHP to custom framework installations.
The only downside to this is that you might forget a few things. A VPS server won’t make decisions for you. If you forget to install a critical security update, no one else will do it for you. For instance, if one of your clients uploads pirated software, the rightful owner will ask you why you did not take it down. With all these new responsibilities, it is important to know what problems you need to watch out for.
Root & SSH
If you’re planning to get a VPS, you must get comfortable with using the Root access. However, this may seem a bit intimidating– you may worry about breaking something! Take your time & always look for more information or check with your service provider’s Support Team if you have questions. Checking from the root access is the only way to get the full picture. No other account will have accurate & complete information about the server. Also, you can only change certain configuration settings using the root account.
Now that you’re a system administrator, you would also want to give the command-line interface (CLI) a try. You would want to set up a Secure Shell (SSH) connection to your VPS hosting– don’t forget to add an IP address to the VPS firewall! This terminal can be a bit intimidating if you have never used it before. Don’t worry! You can easily get great tutorials for free. Get started with something simple like this great introduction from a Linux Survival.
Don’t Forget Backups & Snapshots
Backups are crucial! Make sure your site backups & cPanel backups are in place, or at least available, for all your websites & clients. Don’t wait to set them up! Now that you are on a VPS, you can even schedule the cPanel backups regularly from within WHM.
Moving to VPS hosting gives you the ability to create server snapshots. These snapshots are a copy of your entire server stored on an external drive. However, you should not rely on these snapshots as a ‘regular’ backup. Consider them as an emergency use backup that restores the entire server to what it was like on the day of the snapshot. Also, make sure to enable your snapshots in the Account Management Panel (AMP)— otherwise, they won’t be there whenever you need them.
Plan for Updates
If you’ve ever managed a website, you would know how important it is to keep things updated. This applies to the software of your server as well! Everything from your OS to cPanel will need to be updated. Make sure you are well informed about when these updates come out. You can update this software yourself or get help from the Technical Support team of your service provider.
Watch out for Your Clients!
Remember, you are responsible for your clients’ & the accounts you are hosting on your server. A great example of this is your IP address. Say if one of your clients is flagged as sending spam emails, they may end up getting your VPS IP blacklisted. Thus, anti-spam websites will list the IP as a known spammer, causing all mails from that IP to bounce back. Then, you will need to both stop their inappropriate behaviour & go through the time-consuming process of ‘delisting your IP. This can be quite a hassle!
So, it is always better to prevent the problem before it happens. Make sure your clients are well aware that spamming will not be tolerated. Keep an eye on their activities & watch out for significant amounts of bouncebacks. Use strong authentication protocols. This will help you to keep a small inconvenience from becoming a real issue.
There’s a lot to keep track of with VPS hosting, but most of it is pretty straightforward! The key here is preventing problems before they happen. Once you know what to look out for, it won’t take much to keep your VPS plan running smoothly!
Ready for Smooth Migration to VPS?
Contact BigRock for a smooth migration to VPS hosting! We will help you set up your server & will do all the server work for you. If you are not sure about which hosting plan to choose or if you need any advice regarding your VPS, feel free to contact us as we are available 24/7. We’ll make sure your transition from Shared to VPS hosting is as seamless and as easy as possible.