Shared web hosting is a wonderful thing. It lets anyone start their website for a few dollars a month, without locking themselves into a software platform that stops them from migrating to other services. It’s by far the most common form of hosting, and especially with a good web host like NameHero, it can serve you well forever, depending on your needs and your package details.
However, sometimes you need to move on. The next step up from shared hosting is a VPS. However, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Managing a VPS is a whole different beast compared to shared hosting, and you need to be sure that you’re moving for the right reasons. When I migrated my website WP-Tweaks.com to a NameHero VPS, it took me a while to get everything right.
So here are three signs that you’ve outgrown traditional shared hosting.
1. You Need to Install Custom Software
Standard shared hosting on NameHero comes with the “Softaculous” cPanel app, which allows you to install a huge variety of software. This should fit most needs. However, sometimes you require software that’s not available through the standard shared hosting channels. A good example would be if you want to install an object cache like Redis or Memcached and your shared hosting server doesn’t allow it. Another example is if you want to switch to a web server like NGINX. NameHero uses the LiteSpeed web server, which is superior to NGINX, but you might want to choose a different web server for unrelated reasons.
For these situations, shared hosting just won’t cut it anymore. Shared hosting has a standardized environment so everyone can get along nicely. There’s no way a web host will let you install custom software. Your best bet is to either find a shared web host that offers what you’re looking for or bit the bullet and switch to a VPS if your requirements are non-negotiable.
2. You Need More Storage
This usually isn’t a problem with NameHero, since you get unlimited storage with shared web hosting. However, NameHero’s unlimited storage comes with restrictions on the number of iNodes – 250,000 for the basic shared hosting plan, and 500,000 for the highest-tier plan. These limits are more than enough to deal with more shared hosting requirements, but your installation might require more.
Typically, this would be a problem if you start hosting lots of websites and you start bumping into the iNode limits. Past that limit, you should no longer rely on shared hosting, and it’s time to upgrade to a VPS.
3. You Require Lots of Processing Power
Unsurprisingly, shared hosting throttles any account that hogs a server’s CPU or disk operations. So if your application requires regular and exclusive usage of the CPU for long periods of time, you should consider migrating to a VPS.
A good example of this is backup plugins like UpdraftPlus which are very heavy on the server. Most shared hosting accounts will throttle this because it impacts the other accounts on the server. You should either find a way to achieve backups without this overhead – like using SFTP for example or migrate your operations to a VPS.
The same is true for any custom scripts you use for intensive data processing. A shared environment will do its best to juggle CPU time and give you “burst” resources, that allow you to monopolize the server for short periods of time. But if it becomes a regular feature, you’ll find that it throttles your application. This will have severe impacts on your website performance, particularly on the backend.
So if this kind of functionality is important for you, it’s time to move from shared hosting to a VPS.
It’s Not an Easy Decision
Moving to a VPS is quite a big leap. You have to leave the comfort of shared hosting, and learn how to handle your own server. Fortunately, NameHero’s managed VPS service is quite comprehensive and takes care of important stuff like upgrades and security. But the rest is up to you!
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!