Yes, VPS is a powerful and versatile type of hosting that many companies will find meets their needs. If you’re already hosting in a different type of environment, you may be wondering whether it’s worthwhile to migrate to VPS. This is an important discussion to have with each prospective hosting provider in order to understand how they handle migrations, what would be required from you, how long it might take, and any costs associated.
You’re paying more, so there SHOULD be a minimum uptime guarantee and better server speed. Look for a host that offers 99.5% at a very minimum, although ideally, I’d rather go with someone who offers 99.9%. Search through some reviews as there are many who have put this to the test. For example, any of WHSR’s many web host reviews include an uptime record as one of our key tests.
Do you remember those times when you were living on a college campus with very noisy roommates? Or maybe they were super quiet and you enjoyed every day? The point is, it was a gamble - you never knew whom you ended up with. This is pretty much the same as having shared hosting account - you haven’t the faintest idea who is your roommate on a server. The analogy may sound funny but if someone on a shared server becomes a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack target or get blocked for mass mailing, other accounts on the server will be affected as well. Also, if a shared account abuses server resources, the whole server will be impacted. Using a VPS is like owning a house with a 9 foot privacy fence. You won’t be bothered no matter what your neighbors are doing.
One of the reasons that VPS hosting has become popular is to have a staging environment. For instance, one private server could have the actual website or application and the other a copy of it. If a critical update of the application or software needs to be made, the update may be tested on the staging server before committing any changes to a live production server. This permits testing before scheduling and performing maintenance and upgrades to a live production environment.
A VPS doesn’t just have more RAM, disk space, and a proprietary share of CPU than a shared account. Depending on the provider, some VPS plans offer burstable memory, which is a pool of RAM set aside for extraordinary events. This is the stuff that can help counter the so-called “Digg-effect,” that much-whispered about occurrence that’s the simultaneous hope and fear of everyone who runs a web site. When you have an unexpected high traffic event, burstable memory will call on a pool of reserved, shared memory to satisfy the needs of temporary high traffic. This is not available on shared servers and, while the necessary memory is available on a dedicated server, your site might not get the kind of traffic on a daily basis to justify the expense of a dedicated server. Again, not all VPS plans have burstable memory, so ask your provider if their VPS plans do.
Similarly, in a real dedicated server, you will pay for the entire server that is not shared with anyone else. You will get complete control over all services. Unfortunately, it is also the most expensive hosting option and needs some technical expertise to manage. It is commonly used by those who have websites with specific scenarios, most commonly extremely high traffic and tight security requirements.
A great advantage of VPS, compared to both shared and dedicated solutions is snapshot technology support. A snapshot is a state of a system at a certain point in time. It works like game saves in your favorite computer game. If a game is not going well, you can exit and start from a checkpoint. A snapshot works the same way; if you need to go back in time, your system can be restored from a snapshot to its previous state. It is extremely useful in case of a system failure or simply if you run complex tests and wish to save your progress. Unlike a backup option that copies the whole system each time you run it, a snapshot contains only changes. This means that a snapshot takes less space than a backup and can be created/restored quicker. It does not mean that you do not need backups though. Backups are still life-savers in case of operating system failure. Don’t forget to store them externally.
If you are just starting your website and don’t receive very much traffic, then shared hosting is the ideal solution. However, if your website’s audience is consistently growing, you’ll want to consider upgrading. You don’t want to run the risk of your website running slowly or, even worse, your server crashing because it can’t handle the traffic. If you anticipate an increase in visitors, do yourself a favor and switch to VPS.
InMotion VPS hosting offers a managed server with a management and security update plan, so business owners can concentrate on the business itself, and leave the complicated matter of site management to InMotion’s team of experts. This is generally a more popular option instead of self hosting, as the majority of business owners are not computer experts, and don’t have a dedicated website manager on staff.
Essentially, here’s the criteria I would use to judge things – if your site is made up of primarily static, HTML-based content, then you probably don’t need a VPS package. However, if you have a large amount of files stored, multiple sites, dynamic content, and the possibility of major traffic from time to time, then you might consider upgrading to a VPS. It’s a powerful package that allows you to do more than you could with a shared hosting plan, but requires less investment than a dedicated server.