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KenBrace

How important is a VPS?

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How much better is a VSP than a regular shared hosting plan?

 

Is it really worth the money?

 

If you've used both then how much of an improvement was it for you to use a VPS?

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It's a night and day difference.  Most shared hosting is for sites that receive very minimal traffic.

 

One of my biggest sites: 

Main Site: http://starcitizenbase.com/

Forums: http://forums.starcitizenbase.com/

 

It receives about a million page views a month.  When starting it was on a shared hosting plan.  Soon it crippled it and I upgraded to a VPS.  It worked well for a while but as the site continued to grow I eventually had to move to the full dedicated box.

 

I think having a VPS is well worth it and if your site is a smaller one you can run it there without any issues, or even several sites.

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Nathan already gave you a good answer. I'll just try to elaborate it a little more. A shared hosting usually has more constrained resources so you are limited by the amount of RAM and CPU you have available (besides bandwdith and hard disk space) because you share those resources with other people hosting their sites there.

 

On a VPS you are still sharing the resourses of the host server with another virtual servers, but usually you have bigger quotas than with shared hosting. Also on a VPS you can control every single aspect of your server so if you want to install a custom app you can do it while on shared hosting you usually can't do that and you are just limited to the software already installed there.

 

The next step as Nathan said is a dedicated server. Once your site grows too big to be hosted on a VPS you can make the jump to a dedicated box. There you won't be sharing any of the server's resources so you can have a bigger site (or app) hosted there.

 

Right now I'm looking for a free VPS for testing purposes. I don't know if such thing exists. I hope it does.

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I'm running two sites (both small) and they are doing fine on a shared hosting plan from GoDaddy. One of my sites has 100 members and the other has like 50. So it will take a while before I will need to upgrade to VPS. Roughly how many members did your site have before you saw the need to upgrade Nathan?

Edited by KenBrace

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I'm running two sites (both small) and they are doing fine on a shared hosting plan from GoDaddy. One of my sites has 100 members and the other has like 50. So it will take a while before I will need to upgrade to VPS. Roughly how many members did your site have before you saw the need to upgrade Nathan?

# of members doesn't really apply, the thing to monitor is how many users you have online consecutively as that's what will cause the server issues.  I really don't know where the threshold is, it really depends on how heavy your application is.  I just checked my server and I have about 300 active users browsing currently.

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# of members doesn't really apply, the thing to monitor is how many users you have online consecutively as that's what will cause the server issues.  I really don't know where the threshold is, it really depends on how heavy your application is.  I just checked my server and I have about 300 active users browsing currently.

 

Neither of my sites are that large so I think I'll be fine with a shared host for now. 

 

On my larger one I get around 150,000 hits per month.

 

I am assuming that I'd need a lot more than that to need a hosting upgrade.

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Posted (edited)

I used to work for a web hosting company, and we offered Virtual Private Servers (VPS), which were set up as multiple virtual instances on one physical server (not to be confused with a virtual server on a cloud platform).

Using this definition of VPS, this is how we explained things to our clients:

  • Shared hosting was for websites that did not use a lot of server resources. 
  • Dedicated servers were for websites that needed administrator access to the server and the resources a dedicated server provides.
  • Virtual Private Servers (VPS) were for websites that needed administrator access but did not need the full resources of a dedicated server.
  • Cloud hosting was for websites that could potentially need more resources than a dedicated server could provide and/or the customer wants the hosting to scale as the website grows.

(Note that sometimes web hosts will use slightly different definitions of VPS and Cloud. This is what we used.)

In your case, you are talking mostly about resources rather than needing administrator access. In that case, I would skip the VPS and upgrade to either a dedicated server or cloud hosting when you need more server resources than your shared account can handle.

A VPS will allow you to have slightly more resources than a shared account, however, you are still sharing a server (i.e. multiple virtual servers on one physical server), so it's just an incremental increase and not as powerful as a dedicated server.

Edited by WisTex

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