Did you know that in 2017, 2.1 million Irish consumers bought something from an Irish-run website?
That’s right. What’s more, that doesn’t include services hired and paid for through a company’s site!
This shows how the Irish are getting more and more into online shopping. Which makes sense, seeing that almost nine in 10 households in Ireland now use the Internet at home.
Now the question is, is your business website up to the demands of today’s consumers? If your site is on a shared host, then you may be losing a lot of profits.
It’s time that you consider VPS, which offers more resources than shared hosting. At the same time, it’s easier on the budget of small business owners than a dedicated server.
Why exactly should your business website be on a virtual server though? When does this type of hosting make sense for small business owners?
All that and more, we’ll address in this post, so be sure to read until the end!
A VPS, which stands for “virtual private server”, is one of your three main web hosting options. The other two are shared hosting and dedicated server hosting.
How do these three differ then? Let’s use our imaginations here for a minute.
Think of a dedicated server as an entire pie. Now, slice that pie into say, six parts. Each of the six slices represents a virtual server.
Cut each of those six slices into even smaller sizes, and each tiny bit is a shared hosting plan. As you can imagine, there’s very little that a shared hosting customer will get.
In essence, a VPS is still shared, but it still has the element of privacy. The virtual server (and its resources) will still only go to one customer. A single user gets dedicated or allocated resources with that virtual server.
Unlike a shared host, VPS hosting won’t make you share CPU, RAM, or even speed and performance. It’s more like a dedicated server within a smaller hosting environment. This is why VPS is also more affordable than a dedicated server.
All that said, let’s look at situations that will answer your question, “Should my small business go VPS?”
All that tells us how people live and breathe videos, which is why they’re key to marketing campaigns. You need videos in a high-resolution format so that you can attract more customers.
Videos that keep buffering, however, can turn potential customers into frustrated ones. No one wants to bother with videos that keep pausing and loading, not even you. The thing is, this is very common amongst videos on a website that’s on shared hosting.
Unless you plan to compete with YouTube, then a VPS can give you enough resources for video content. With more space and RAM, your site visitors can watch videos without annoying pauses.
One of the best times to consider VPS hosting is when you’ve noticed a huge increase in site traffic. Your analytics may show you the figures, but you may also have noticed slow-loading pages. Keep in mind that the more visitors you get, the more resources of your site get used up.
Let’s say your website’s traffic has multiplied, from 100 daily visitors to 500 or more. If you’re on a shared hosting plan, the resources you get may no longer be enough to keep up with the demand. This can turn into pesky, even frustrating 503 (Service Unavailable) errors.
Constant 503s means the server can’t handle the request to access a website or a web page. This often happens when the server gets too many requests, resulting in overloading. It can also result from server downtime, which is also common in shared hosting services.
If one or all these are situations you face, then it’s time to upgrade to a VPS hosting service. You’ll get a bigger amount of resources, meaning your site will have far lower risks of 503 errors.
Like with 503 errors, an overloaded server can also pave the way for other errors starting with the number 5. This can be the “500 Internal Server Error”, the “502 Bad Gateway”, and the “504 Gateway Timeout”. All these are errors that occur on the server side.
In many other cases though, an error page wouldn’t show up — just an eternally-loading page. This is bad for business, as visitors are likely to leave that non-loading page. In fact, Google says that half of searchers exit a page that doesn’t load in less than three seconds.
To boost every aspect of your site’s performance, get your site hosted on a VPS. This way, you don’t have to worry about speed or overloading issues. That’s because, with VPS, the “cap” on resources is far higher than what you would get with shared hosting.
Websites on a shared host share more than resources — they also share cybersecurity risks. Now, consider that in 2017, cybercriminals launched over 360,000 malware files a day. If one of these dangerous files infect a site on a shared host, it can spread to the rest of the sites in that host.
All it takes is for one person to click on a link containing malware to start an epidemic. Even if your site doesn’t get infected, if the majority is, it can lead to server downtime as the issue gets resolved. If your shared server is down — even if it’s not your fault — your website will also be down.
If you get a virtual private server for your website, you have much lower risks of malware infections. Again, that virtual server is yours and only yours to use and access. Your entire site security will be completely up to you, or if you want, have a managed IT firm secure it for you.
The bottom line is, much greater security than shared hosting is one of the greatest benefits of VPS.
If so, then yes, you do need a VPS that is lenient and allows for customisation. Many unmanaged virtual servers allow you to install whatever apps you need for your site. Some managed VPS hosting providers also let you do this, although there may be some limits.
Either way, optimising your hosting experience is easier with VPS than a shared host. This flexibility is a plus if you want to install your own custom operating system.
The best VPS hosting providers deliver scalable plans that meet various hosting requirements. For instance, you can start with a smaller plan that comes with 1 GB of RAM and 10 GB of SSD storage space. When the day comes that you need more of these resources, you can quickly upgrade your plan.
In case something happens and you need fewer resources, you can also downsize your plan. You’ll still have your own virtual server, but you pay less for fewer allocated resources.
A dedicated server offers the greatest level of computing power, resources, and speed. After all, as the name implies, an entire server goes to only a single user. Only that specific user can access and use everything that server has to offer.
Sounds like the best kind of hosting, doesn’t it? The thing is, all those perks come at a hefty price, with some hosts charging over €100 each month! For a small business owner, €1,200 a year for hosting alone is impractical, and could even be a big financial mistake.
Whereas powerful virtual private servers for SMEs can cost only half of that amount. Such plans already come with two dedicated IP addresses. You also get to enjoy monthly data transfers of between 250 and 350 GB.
You can also opt for a VPS plan that only comes with a single dedicated IP address if that’s enough for your business. With this, your monthly cost could only be a third of what you’d pay for a dedicated server.
As you can see, a small business VPS lets you enjoy dedicated server-like features. You don’t have to get an entire server for your website unless you have a massive operation (think YouTube). You still get enough resources and speed, but for a fraction of the cost of a dedicated server.
Ready to make the switch to a powerful virtual private server? If so, then feel free to ring us up now! Ask us anything about VPS, and we’ll be more than happy to answer your questions.