Choosing the best hosting solution for your eCommerce business can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not really very technical and just want to get your business and shop online. For business owners, this is an even challenging task when you come to comparing shared hosting vs VPS hosting.
While most entrepreneurs will start off with the shared hosting plans because they are quite inexpensive and accessible and most readily advertized.
As the business starts to grow, and the site starts to experience slow response times, it amy suddenly dawn on you (maybe after speaking to a developer) that you should have invested in a more scalable and reliable hosting plan.
When compared to shared hosting, VPS hosting is superior by all standards and would be the best choice for an online shop.
In this discussion, we’re going to discuss five reasons why you should either go for a virtual private server in the first place, or why it’s time to upgrade asap.
1. Dedicated resources, better performance
While technically speaking, VPS hosting still uses the principle of hosting several websites on one server, unlike shared hosting plans, a VPS account uses sophisticated technology to completely isolate the different websites from each other.
Each website is assigned dedicated resources that will not be shared with other websites.
Even though some shared hosting providers claim to provide unlimited disk space, they usually use the “fair use” approach in which resources are shared fairly amongst all users on the server. In layman terms, this means the unlimited disk space is actually limited. The only way to get guaranteed dedicated resources is to use VPS hosting.
2. More control (direct access + root)
Every website has unique challenges and requirements. It may, therefore, become necessary to install some software on your server at some point.
If you are on a shared hosting, some of these tasks will not be possible because root access will not be provided.
Since different websites are stored on the same server, granting one user root is a security threat to the other websites.
However, with VPS, you are the only one using the given resources so there is no risk of harming other websites.
3. More rankings, due to better speed
On a shared hosting plan, the different websites on the server will be competing for the same resources.
This ultimately impacts on the speed of the website, particularly during website traffic peaks.
Even during normal website traffic, cheap hosting servers will overwhelm their servers to keep costs down.
The problem with this is that website loading speed plays a huge role in search engine ranking.
On April 9, 2010, Google announced that page speed will be used as a signal for ranking web pages in their search results.
Initially, this only affected desktops and laptops but early this year (2018), the search algorithm was updated to factor in mobile website speeds as well.
You can see such recommendations even in Google Search Console, or other tools provided by Google to help you identify speed issues with your site.
If you are using a VPS plan, the speed of your website cannot be impacted by what another website is doing to the CPU on the same server. That’s because the CPU allocated to you is only accessed by you. VPS hosted websites will therefore always load faster than those hosted on a shared hosting service.
It is therefore advisable to go the VPS way if you want your online store to rank higher both on mobile and desktop devices.
4. Better, faster support
When buying a VPS account, you are opting for a premium service and VPS customers are always treated like VIP customers.
The web hosting companies will, therefore, provide more reliable customer support to their VPS customers.
For instance, sending a support ticket when on a shared hosting plan gets you queued using the FIFO (First in First Out) rule. As a consequence, it often takes hours to respond to your query.
This can be seriously detrimental to your business especially if it is an urgent matter, or maybe something which is happening during peak customer times – it could mean a significant loss of business for you.
Even though the VPS customer service will most likely still use the FIFO approach, they have more dedicated personnel for their VPS customers and your issue will be handled almost instantly.
5. Handles traffic spikes better
Traffic is good. More traffic translates to more conversions and therefore, more income for your company.
But traffic spikes can also spell disaster especially if you are a shared hosting plan.
A huge spike in traffic may lead to an exhaustion of your bandwidth allocation. Even before you reach your exact bandwidth limit, your website may go offline due to the fair usage policy employed on most shared hosting plans.
This is why you should host your online shop on a VPS. As we have seen, a VPS gives you dedicated resources so if one of your posts goes viral and chalks up lots of reads overnight, you don’t have to worry about other websites competing for resources on your server.
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to predict when you will get a traffic spike. It is, therefore, better to use a VPS from the start to avoid getting caught unawares.
VPS costs more than shared hosting but if you do the cost-benefit analysis, the extra cost is totally worth it.
In fact, shared hosting may end up being expensive in the long run if you consider the revenue you will lose due to slow speeds and other factors like the security issues that might arise on a shared hosting plan.
A VPS hosting is, therefore, a must-have for any online business.
David is a digital consultant who frequently posts his latest thoughts on CollectiveRay and other influential websites and blogs. After he’s spent much of his time geeking out and growing his (too many) current projects, he can’t stop dreaming of what the next big thing will be.