A good web hosting company ensures that your website is constantly up and running, while being strong enough to handle the traffic spikes when your posts get featured on Business Insider, Mashable or Huffington Post.
The problem? Most web hosting companies can’t and they suck.
That’s a tough fact to swallow and more importantly, it is a bold statement. If you are in the web hosting industry for long, you would know that I am not bull-sh*ting about this.
Allow me to share some quick stories with you below before we go into the real discussion, Shared Web Hosting versus Virtual Private Servers (VPS).
The common web hosting scenario
You signed up a cheap web hosting (that costs you under 5 dollars a month) and before you can sit down and say “argh, life is good …”, you received notifications from your good friends on social media that your website is slapping them with multiple errors.
Your website had just crashed thanks to the article you had shared and it just got viral. You scrambled, turn on your laptop and tried hard to reach out to the web hosting support only to be greeted with the “we are currently close” and “we will get back to you within the next working days”.
That sucks. Period!
Imagine the traffic, leads and revenue lost during the outrage. It is unbearable, I know.
The above scenario happened to every 3 out of 5 website owners and it is simply because web hosting companies are known for overselling.
Overselling is a process where each hosting server is jammed pack with users to maximize the company’s profit.
What happens when your website goes down?
Bad thing happens when your website is out. It could be from a massive DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack to website outrages due to traffic spikes, you are bound to lose more than just patience.
When that happen, your action would probably be this:
For beginners, you are losing out the crucial great first impression for new visitors. You are also losing out the important traffic from various channels. And it just gets even worst when your sales posts are down.
You get zero income, yes – a big fat ZERO and even though it may just be a few dollars in ads revenue.
If you run a business, you are talking about a big loss. Not only you are losing potential revenue, you are losing the much awaited leads as well. And it gets even worst when your social ads are still running (and pointing back to your website).
Need a real life story? Here’s mine.
It was back in 2009 when I first started blogging. Just a few months into my blogging to be exact.
Like the thousands of blogs out there, I wanted to save money (and partially, I’m pretty stingy) and choosing the cheapest web hosting service just makes all the sense to me.
Without thinking, I signed up for a shared web hosting account and the website was up (and running) within hours. If you think that sounds good, wait until you hear the second part of the story.
Weekly later, I noticed my website is struggling to cope up even with a mere 300 visitors a day. Until one day, one of my articles was mentioned on Harvard University blog and Yahoo! Small Business. That was then all hell break lost.
MY WEBSITE WENT DOWN!
For over 8 hours to be exact.
My then web hosting support said they would look into the matter after I frantically try to reach out to them in any means I could; email, forum, social media and phone — the whole 9-yard.
After hours and hours of waiting, my website was still down.
Long story short, they managed to bring my website back to life but the damage was done. I lost thousands of visitors, potential email subscribers and not to mention, the affiliate sales I could have earned.
I move over to a managed web hosting service after that incident and I never … n-e-v-e-r, experience a downtime. Ever.
The moral of the story is simple. You really get what you pay. In this case, paying $3 to $5 a month is definitely not worth it especially when you compare to the sales or traffic you can earn from the traffic spikes.
So, how do solopreneuers, bloggers and businesses solve this issue?
They scout the web for better solutions and that is literally the “good bye” to shared web hosting.
Most of us are smart consumers and scouting for the best web hosting solution is common.
Sure, there are a few who will migrate to another shared web hosting but majority of them would opt for something better (and more powerful) such as virtual private servers (VPS) or managed hosting.
Why should you choose Virtual Private Servers (VPS) and managed hosting?
You get performance, stability, scalability and security – all under one roof.
Most importantly, you get a peace of mind that your managed hosting or VPS is constantly up and running.
Unlike shared web hosting service where you are literally sharing the same amount of hosting resources with thousands of others, you are getting specific resources to yourself and for yourself only.
VPS and managed hosting are usually more performance based and they allow you to scale easily based on your traffic. When your business grow, the threat in the online world should be taken even more seriously. This is where VPS and managed hosting come into play.
The way the web hosting servers are being setup would ensure that your website will not be compromised even when your (virtual) neighbours are being hit with virus or malware.
Apart from that, there are also the automatic daily backup done to your site compared to shared web hosting that runs approximately once a week at most.
Alright, now, you will be thinking, “Reginald, do I really need a better web hosting service provider?”
Maybe — take a look at the below to help you make the decision.
How to determine if you need a managed web hosting or a VPS service?
There are many reasons for subscribing to managed web hosting or a VPS, and the below are the common ones:
- You receive a lot of traffic spikes and your current web hosting provider is not able to cope up with that
- Your website is constantly down
- Web pages take forever to load (over 3 seconds is slow)
- You are worried about website security
- You constantly need professional help in web hosting configurations
- Scalability is an issue with the current web hosting company
Wait! Don’t decide yet. The next part provides additional information you need to understand before taking up VPS or managed web hosting services.
Additional information about VPS and managed web hosting services
1. Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
VPS simply means that you owns the server and it works just for you. You will have 100% of everything and this literally guarantee massive firepower.
The downside of having a VPS is that you need to have at least a little technical knowledge in servers. Virtual Private Server usually comes in a ‘box’ which is unpacked. You would require to install all the needed software and applications before it can run perfectly.
Also, most VPS doesn’t come inbuilt with cPanel or all those shared web hosting control panel. Therefore, you will be working your way (most of the time) through SSH and command lines.
VPS could cost you a few dollars a month to several thousand depending on the specs you need for the server. Here are two of the best VPS providers you can choose from:
Option 1: Digital Ocean (starts at $5 per month)
- The most popular unmanaged VPS service provider
- You can start a VPS under 5 minutes
- No live support but there is a huge knowledge base and super active forums where you can ask questions (or find for answers)
- It is extremely scalable where you can upgrade or downgrade at anytime
Option 2: Cloudways (starts at $10 per month)
- The most popular managed VPS service provider
- An alternative to many unmanaged VPS hosting because of it flexibilities
- No coding skills required (just click and install) and extremely easy / useful especially for those who do not want to get your hands dirty with codes
- It works hand in hand with Digital Ocean VPS
- If you need bigger performance, you can opt to create VPS on Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform Live
2. Managed web hosting
Make no mistake. Most managed web hosting are based on VPS, but with a twist. Yes, they come with all the goodness of a VPS and as well as several other powerful features such as:
- Security checks (virus checking, firewall protections and hacking prevention)
- Caching features (inbuilt cache feature allows your website to load faster)
- Automatic nightly backups
- The ability to scale
- Servers which are setup for the best performance (no tweaking needed on your end)
- Live support and services
- Staging area (provided by some companies for demo and development)
- Automatic patching and updates allow you to have peace of mind
Managed web hosting is a great choice for those who are serious about their website’s performance, having good security features and most importantly, having live support which is just a click (or call) away.
It is also important to understand that there are many managed web hosting providers which provide different features. The below are the recommended one:
Option 1: GetFlyWheel (starts at $15 per month)
- Inbuilt cache system
- Nightly backup
- Fast support
- Inbuilt billing features (if you are in the business of reseller web hosting)
- The fastest managed web hosting provider (self-tested) – website loads under 1 second
Option 2: WPEngine (starts at $29 per month)
- Inbuilt cache system
- Nightly backup
- Live support
- CDN (content delivery network)
- Free website restoration in the case of hacking
- Staging area (useful for developers)
- Known for managing websites of big brands such as SoundCloud
- Offers premium web hosting services at a fraction of the price
- Inbuilt cache system (you could use your own cache plugin as well)
- Top notch support with live chat, email and phone assistance
- Servers are built with strong foundations for WordPress,, Joomla and Magento
- Staging platform
Most shared web hosting services face issues on a daily basis and as a paying customer, I see no reason why we should bear the cost (at the expense of traffic, money and brand name).
If you are looking for a cheap VPS service (and have some coding knowledge), you won’t go wrong with Digital Ocean. And if you want to keep your hands cleans from codes, try Cloudways instead for some flexible managed VPS services on the cloud.
Serious about the uptime on your business website? Managed hosting such as WPEngine will keep you smiling all the time thanks to their customer service team. For website designers, marketers and resellers, you will find GetFlyWheel the best option with inbuilt cache feature and powerful billing system.
And if all the above doesn’t fit your needs, there’s Siteground that offers above average performance web hosting performance at the fraction of the cost.
At the end of the day, VPS and managed web hosting are always a better choice compared to shared web hosting services. By just paying a little more money, you get ample performance, stability, scalability and security that matters most in today’s online business world.
Questions about shared web hosting, managed hosting and VPS (virtual private servers)? Leave a comment below!
from VPS versus Shared Web Hosting: Who Sucks More? http://ift.tt/1ENBqK6 contributed by Reginald Chan