Most website owners start out with Shared Hosting. And why not? It provides an affordable way to get started on the web with many features that make running your website easy.
But then it happens. You’ve added so much content and cool features that your site takes way too long to load. Visiting your home page reminds you of the days of dial-up internet. The traffic to your site eats up your available bandwidth, your site crashes regularly, and you begin to wonder if someone has broken the internet.
Fortunately, there are some easy things you can do to get your site running like new. The above symptoms are usually signs that you’ve outgrown your existing hosting plan. To fix that, all you need to do is upgrade your hosting plan.
Shared hosting like living in a house with a bunch of roommates. Most of the time, you get along great. You barely remember that you’re sharing living space. But then everyone’s stuff starts piling up. Dirty clothes spill out of rooms and shoes clutter up the common areas. You also love taking long showers, but between you and the roommates there’s never enough hot water. This is like shared hosting.
In a shared hosting environment, your site lives on a computer with a bunch of other sites. You share space and resources. When you add too much stuff or get too many visitors, your website uses up resources like disk space and bandwidth. This can impact the other sites on your shared drive and degrade your visitors’ experiences, as well.
Signs You May Need to Upgrade
Of course, many things can cause sites to slow down or perform badly that have nothing to do with the type of hosting you use. But, a few things may indicate that the time has come to move to a more powerful hosting plan.
Slow Site Performance
If your site used to load very quickly, but now seems to creep along, this may be a sign that you have reached the limits of your current hosting plan’s capacity. Check your site’s optimization to make sure it is running as efficiently as it can in its current hosting environment. If that doesn’t do the trick, consider moving up to a stronger hosting package.
Site outages are a common occurrence for sites needing to upgrade, and they can cost you sales and reputation. While InMotion Hosting offers a 99% uptime guarantee, your site may appear to go offline to visitors when it has outgrown your shared hosting package even though the server continues operating perfectly. You may be getting more traffic or using more resources than your neighbors, and the server cannot return responses fast enough. Again, check that you have properly configured your site and have optimized it for best performance. If that checks out and you still notice outages, move up to a more powerful plan.
Simply Not Enough Space
Just like a hard drive in a personal computer, web servers have limited resources. If you want to add a new post, video, tool, or other feature, but get messages indicating that you have run out of space, you need to upgrade.
Upgrading to VPS
Sometimes, you can simply upgrade to the next highest hosting package (for example, a better shared hosting package) to see immediate benefits. However, if your site performance has degraded to a very noticeable point, you probably need to jump to the next highest product tier. For people using shared hosting, that means jumping up to a Virtual Private Server (VPS).
A VPS is like a luxurious private apartment. While you share a building with your neighbors, you don’t share resources. You can take as long of a shower as you want without worrying about your neighbor using up your hot water. You can add much more stuff to your place without running out of room. On a VPS, while you share a server with several other users, you do not share server space or resources. Another user’s site will not slow your site down or eat into your bandwidth, and your website will not negatively impact theirs either.
InMotion Hosting offers both managed VPS hosting and unmanaged VPS hosting with an array of powerful tools and optimizations. For those moving from a shared hosting environment, a managed VPS solution probably makes the most sense. You get virtually identical ease-of-use as you would with a shared hosting plan, but with greater control. This should provide the solid step up in performance and reliability that most sites need while keeping costs relatively low.
The upgrade process is convenient and quick. If you have questions about it, we’re always here to help.