Are you a blogger? You have been writing since a while and so, your blog is now gaining good traffic. Writing a post takes a lot of time and also, creating images for that is not a minor task. Whenever you post something, you expect good number of unique visits, right? You also get high traffic from the search engines that have indexed your previous content.
All these things we talked about are placed on a server in the form of large load and as time passes, you as well as your visitors will notice that the performance of your website is getting down.
Why does this happen and what to do now?
Should You Upgrade Your Hosting Plan?
The first thing you need to consider is about upgrading the type of hosting that you are using. Have you still hosted your website on the shared hosting plan? If yes, then it’s time to upgrade now and think about shifting to a VPS or a dedicated hosting plan.
In this article, we will be learning about both VPS and dedicated server hosting. You will get to know the similarities as well as differences to make it easy for you to select the best option to upgrade.
Find Your Baseline
Prior to discussing the differences VPS hosting and dedicated servers, check the basics of selecting a web hosting plan as below:
Generally, you should choose the hosting plan based on:
- The number of CPU cores.
- The amount of RAM you want.
- The amount of storage/disk space you need (as well as whether you want a faster SSD or a cheaper traditional option).
But, selecting a hosting plans based on resource allocation is just one aspect to consider. Additionally, you will need to consider number of websites and blogs that are allowed to use the server’s resources.
Probably, you will need to do some calculations to find your resource needs.
VPS Hosting – It is Virtual Private Server Hosting
A VPS server hosts the several websites on a single physical machine. But it uses a hypervisor or software designed to create individual virtual machines on the server. You won’t see this in shared hosting. Since there is a strict separation, it helps to protect your website from other websites, even though you all are still accessing the “shared” pool of resources.
The VPS is known as a Virtual Private Server because all users on the server appear as if they are on a separate dedicated machine. It imitates this environment, reducing the number of resources and cost.
The software and availability of resources are the two factors that differentiate virtual private servers from shared servers. It’s a fact that the structure of both is physically similar.
VPS is considered to be superior because you get more resources such as running CPU, memory, computing power, or graphic-intensive software or modules as compared to shared server hosting. In addition to this, a VPS server also offers a guarantee for the resources a client may use but shared hosting doesn’t.
Take an example of a condo. Everyone living in a condo can decorate their home as per their satisfaction — but they can’t break down walls and take over their neighbor’s living room.
Dedicated Server – It is Completely Yours
As the name implies, dedicated servers are the servers which are completely dedicated to serve your blog alone. Those aren’t shared with other users. Basically, it’s an empty server given to you on which you can host whatever you want to.
In general, a web host will provide you with several physical server configurations from which you can select the one that suits your website. Some web hosts will also help you in building a server that exactly matches your requirements.
A dedicated server is a contrast to a shared server (on which you have little or no control over the server environment) and a VPS server (on which you have some control over the server environment, but the web host still puts on some limitations). Similar to getting the selected hardware, you get 100% control over the software installed on your server.
Comparison of VPS and Dedicated Hosting
You will find a lot of similarities between VPS hosting and dedicated hosting.
With both types of hosting, you get increased control over your hosting environment, especially in terms of the software that is installed. Both offer you the option of purchasing the features that you need in terms of hardware.
Though this sounds very simple, you can think of VPS hosting as a lower version of a dedicated server. In VPs hosting the server is set up similar to a shared server but acts like a dedicated server. With VPS hosting you get a chance to try out the most premium hosting option, a dedicated server, without the cost.
You will be surprised as the VPS plans are cheaper as compared to the dedicated servers. It’s a fact that when a web host allows multiple customers on a single server, they charge less to each customer.
Managed vs. Unmanaged Options
In a fully unmanaged plan, you are the only one responsible for everything that is related to the software installed on the server. In case of a VPS plan, you will be provided with a virtual machine and the rest will be left to you.
While in a fully managed plan, the web host will take care of everything on your behalf. You just have to decide on what you want and the web host’s team will install, configure and maintain everything for you.
There are some web hosts that fall somewhere in between these two types. In that case, you will first need to find what exactly they offer and what they don’t. All managed hosts don’t operate in the same way or offer similar services.
Additionally, you will need to think upon how much of these administrative tasks you can handle on your own.
Apart from this, you will also need to consider your budget. There isn’t any prediction about how much managed services run, but yes, they are sold at a particular cost.
One of the benefits of upgrading from a shared hosting plan is getting full control over the software involved.
Selecting the operating system you want to use is one of the biggest decisions that you will have to make while upgrading. There are choices but even those are limited to Linux and Windows that are commonly used while Macintosh is still unheard of.
In general, if you select Windows hosting, you will have to pay the high cost for it. This is because Linux is an open-source and free to use but Windows requires license from Microsoft for its usage.
Apart from flexibility and performance offered by VPS and dedicated hosting, security is also another reason for considering them.
When your website is hosted in its own space, you don’t have to worry about what your neighbors are doing or who is disturbing them. For instance, if your website is hosting on a shared server and there is a DDoS attack on your neighbors’ websites then your website too can get affected. This isn’t the case with VPS or dedicated plans as your website is hosted in an independent environment. So, there are fewer chances of your neighbors putting you into any trouble.
But, if you require highly secure environment then dedicated servers are the best since they’re completely dedicated to your website.
VPS and dedicated plans mostly include dedicated IP addresses (some hosts offer more but one is standard). Due to this, there are less chances of your site getting misidentified with another site, get benefits for email marketing, and (with an SSL certificate), get high security for handling payments if you have an e-commerce site.
Customer Service and Technical Support
Though both VPS and dedicated hosting come at high prices as compared to shared hosting, you get the top-notch customer and technical support. Additionally, many web hosts offer 24/7 customer support with their web hosting plans.
The specifications will differ from one host to another. But being a premium customer, you won’t need to spend more time on finding a host who is interested to work with you on your questions, comments or issues.
Basically, getting a good customer service with this type of hosting is very common. So, if you find a company that doesn’t offer such services, it is recommended that you move on and find another one. Ensure that you get a great customer support team with the host you choose.
Coming to the conclusion, let see who should select a VPS and dedicated hosting:
You should select VPS hosting when:
- Your blog traffic is increasing and you need to upgrade but with an affordable option.
- You have basic technical knowledge but not expert.
- You require additional resources but not a complete server.
You should select dedicated hosting when:
- You need the best hosting for your website that offers you maximum RAM, can manage heavy traffic and resources for a heavy website.
- You need highly secure hosting plan.
- You have some special requirements that can be best met if you configure the hosting environment such as app development or other things.