If you think it’s time to upgrade your website hosting, you’re probably right. You know your website better than anyone else, and if you’ve been noticing issues – listen to your gut.
Websites grow and change over time, so it’s perfectly natural to outgrow your hosting service – even if they performed well in the past.
Not sure? Keep reading to learn about everything from the different types of hosting plans to how to know when it’s time for an upgrade.
Let’s start with the basics:
What are the different types of hosting plans?
When it comes to web hosting, there are three different types that most people think of: shared, VPS, and dedicated. Nowadays, there’s a fourth option that’s quickly gaining ground: cloud hosting.
- Shared hosting: Shared hosting is the most basic type of hosting plan you can get, and it’s what most business owners start out with due to its affordability and ease-of-use. A shared web server is one physical machine that is shared by any number of different users – anywhere from two to hundreds of different websites might be housed in the same place. All of the websites share the same resources (like RAM and bandwidth), but the allocation isn’t always equal (in other words, another website can easily use more than its fair share of the resources and affect your site’s performance).
- Dedicated hosting: On the opposite end of the spectrum is dedicated hosting. A dedicated server is an entire physical machine that is yours and yours alone. All of the resources are dedicated to keeping your website (or websites) running and you can customize in virtually any way you want. There are never concerns about other users impacting your site’s performance and security is, in general, much greater.
- VPS: VPS hosting is often considered a happy middle ground between shared and dedicated servers. Like a shared server, your website is on one physical machine shared between many different users. But unlike a shared server, the resources are divvied up evenly, and no one else can infringe upon what is yours. Your site operates in an environment that is completely isolated from the others – it’s essentially a mini-dedicated server within a shared environment.
- Cloud hosting: Cloud hosting is a shared service, but rather than sharing one machine, users share a vast number of different machines. Each bank of servers is held in a different physical location and when any one of them goes down, another one immediately takes over. Despite the shared nature of the service, this infrastructure virtually guarantees better, more reliable performance just because of the virtually unlimited amount of resources.
How do you know when it’s time to upgrade?
You may have noticed that your website has been “glitchy” lately, or that it’s not working as quickly as usual. If you’re a first-time website owner, you may not know what to make of that and may even assume that it’s “par for the course.”
Guess what? It’s not normal for your website to be slow or perform poorly. That’s an indicator that something is wrong – and more often than not, the issue is that you have to upgrade your website hosting!
Here are some telltale signs:
- Your site is experiencing too much downtime. Fact: any downtime is bad for a website – and too much can completely kill your business. The industry standard today for uptimes is well over 99% and anything less than that is unacceptable. If you find that your website is down any more than that, it may be that it is using more resources than your server can handle.
- Your site is too slow. Consumers today expect a website to load in less than three seconds. If yours takes any longer, you risking those visitors leaving and never coming back. Much like too much downtime, sluggish performance might be a sign that your server doesn’t offer the bandwidth or RAM that your site needs to function properly.
- You can’t customize like you need to. Shared hosting plans often coming with little to no customization options. If yours is a business that requires specialized software or custom apps, and you’re on a shared plan, you might just be out of luck. Unfortunately, cloud hosting plans are similarly limited in customization options – but VPS and dedicated servers both offer plenty of options.
- You’re concerned about security. Web security is a huge deal – especially if your website stores clients’ personal information, like address or birthdate. To have that data breached would not only damage your business’ reputation, but it might leave you open to costly litigation. What to do? Upgrade to VPS or a dedicated plan, where your website is inherently less likely to get infected by a virus or attacked by a malicious web user.
Website Hosting with InMotion Hosting
If you find that any of the above applies to you, it’s likely time to upgrade your website hosting. Sometimes, that just means bumping up to a higher level of service. And sometimes it means switching to an entirely different plan.
If you’d like to learn more about your options, reach out today.