For most of us, when we start our online journey we don’t think too far into the future. Shared hosting is more than enough for the fledgling business website and small blogging site, but once your site grows you may not see all the performance you need to provide the best experience for your visitors. Shared hosting definitely gives you value for money, but is it worth the saving?
Maybe it’s time to host your own website on a dedicated server or virtual private server (VPS). Why, you may ask? Simple: a dedicated server is yours and yours alone, to configure exactly how you wish. You will have no other domains on that server, which in turn means that others’ actions won’t affect your website performance. VPS share the physical infrastructure, but the virtualization means higher security levels, and each VPS runs independently on the software of your choice; the resources on your virtual machine are yours to manage.
What are the signs telling you it’s time to make the change? Here’s our checklist:
- Your site is slow
There’s nothing worse than a slow loading website. If your website takes too long to load, rest assured your visitors will head elsewhere. If your website is slow it’s definitely a sign that your shared hosting solution is no longer coping with the size and traffic of your website. Maybe another website – hosted on the same server as yours – has suddenly grown, taking up more power and space on your machine.
Search engines will penalize your site for being slow, so it’s important you take the right steps to ensure it’s being served in real-time.
- Your server location is all wrong
Before jumping to the dedicated server level, it is important to consider where your traffic is coming from geographically. Servers far far away might be suffering from bandwidth congestion, and route optimisation might be poor. Even if these are top notch, you will still be better off hosting your website on a server in the country you are catering to. This will definitely impact the speed of your website.
- Your site is unavailable
If your site is down you’ll lose money, it’s that simple. You could be seeing downtime due to noisy neighbors on your server draining the machine’s resources; if another site is using all the bandwidth of the server yours will go down. Additionally if another site on the machine is being attacked by a hacker, your site is at risk of downtime as the malicious entity may attack the server itself. If you own all of the resources on your server – virtual or dedicated – you’ll not have this problem.
- Your content is duplicated on the machine
Some hosting providers automatically create a subdomain of your actual domain, usually in the format: yourdomain.nameofserver.com. This duplicate also contains all of your website’s content, so in effect your website will be crawled twice by search engines. As the search engines favor original content and penalize duplication, your SEO rankings can be affected. This is definitely a good reason to jump ship.
- Your IP address is causing the problem
Last but not least: the rumor mill. If your website shares an IP address with a blacklisted domain, will that impact your rankings on Google? There are so many speculations, but how could anyone even find out who shares your server? It doesn’t sound feasible nor fair. If you are at all concerned about this, just get an individual IP address on top of your hosting package.