It is common to have first-time website owner go for the most affordable, less technical and beginner-friendly hosting plan, which is usually a shared hosting plan.
However, as your website grows with more traffic and content, your shared hosting plan (depending on what your hosting provider offers) may not be able to sustain the growth or there may be a need to expand drive space or bandwidth.
Why You Might Need to Upgrade Your Hosting Plan
Shared hosting is a smart choice if you’re new to running a website and need a budget-friendly option.
Simply put, most first-time website owners don’t know a lot about hosting. They opt for the cheapest plan they can find and go back to focusing on designing their site and creating content.
This is not a bad idea. In fact, basic hosting like shared hosting can serve you well during your site’s early stages.
Shared hosting is a convenient, low-cost, and beginner-friendly option. It involves renting space on a server, which is shared with hundreds or thousands of other websites. It is good for a brochure type website or a newer website that doesn’t get a lot of traffic. This type of hosting is a great way to get started as it requires little maintenance.
For some sites, shared hosting is, ultimately, the best option. If your site is small, doesn’t see a ton of traffic, and doesn’t require a lot of resources, you may never need to upgrade your plan. Websites fitting this definition often include online portfolios and personal blogs.
However, it’s important to realize that shared hosting comes with certain limitations.
Once your site has been up and running for a while, you should consider whether it’s time for a hosting change. Fortunately, there are some clear signs that will tell you when an upgrade is worth your while.
When You Should Consider Upgrading Your Hosting Plan:
Your website is slow:
Speed and performance are very important for any website. This is because they play a big part in SEO ranking and user experience. A slow website repels visitors, making them look for the next available option (your competitors). Most people expect any site they visit to load in two seconds or less, so if yours is slower than that, you may need a hosting plan with more resources. You can test your site’s performance easily with Pingdom, GTmetrix, or WebPagetest. You may also consider to make sure your website is optimized for speed.
Your site is experiencing constant downtime:
If people visit your website and it’s unavailable, chances are that they may never return. This could hurt your business in terms of revenue and visibility, especially if you own an ecommerce website. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect about 99 percent uptime on your site (Tucana guarantees that).
If that’s not the case for you, it’s possible you are getting more traffic or using more resources than your current hosting plan can handle.
Your website is not safe:
No platform can confidently boast of 100 percent security. Regardless, you should take steps to secure your website against malicious attacks.
Shared hosting is fairly secure as long as you’re using a quality hosting company. That said, as your site grows, you may find the advanced security features offered by non-shared hosting plans can help you sleep a little bit easier at night.
Your current plan doesn’t provide enough space or resources:
If you update your website’s content from time to time, such as videos, images and files, your website will take up additional space and require more server resources. Likewise, if your website attracts more traffic and generate more user activity.
If even one of the above applies to you, it’s worth looking into other hosting options. A simple upgrade to a larger, more comprehensive plan might be all you need to eliminate these problems and secure the best possible experience for your users.
Hosting Upgrade Options
VPS (virtual private server) has its own operating system, disc space, and bandwidth. The website owner who is put on the virtual server has control over the virtual environment and can reboot their server or use it as if it was their own dedicated server.
This hosting is best suited for websites that need greater control of the server and those that are wary of the technological expertise needed to operate a dedicated server.
With VPS hosting, you are likely sharing the server with tens of websites, rather than hundreds or thousands. Hence, a larger percentage of the server’s power, memory, and storage space are allocated to your website, which brings about more speed and power than shared hosting
VPS hosting provides you with more resources than shared hosting and with more reliable performance. It’s also very scalable, meaning that as your site grows, you can simply upgrade the size of your virtual server to match the resources and RAM you need.
Tucana’s VPS plans are fully managed, meaning we’ll take care of all the nitty-gritty technical stuff for you.
A managed hosting plan is one where your web host manages your server for you. This takes most of the responsibility for keeping your site running smoothly off your hands so you can focus on what really matters: growing your website!
And that’s exactly what our WordPress hosting does for WordPress users. We’ve specifically built this technology to optimize your site’s performance on the world’s most popular CMS — delivering lightning-fast load times, upgraded security features, and access to our in-house WordPress experts. Plus, with our WordPress hosting plan, your site gets its own allocated resources just like it would on a VPS plan.
Of course, the features you get with a managed WordPress hosting plan will vary depending on the company you choose to work with. One thing that’s certain: advanced features usually come at a higher price point than a shared plan.
The most expensive upgrade option, dedicated hosting gives you full control over your server resources.
Lastly, we have dedicated hosting. This is where you rent an entire physical server from your hosting provider. This server is only used to run your website and isn’t shared with any other users. This gives you access to a lot more resources than you’ll see with shared hosting.
Since nobody else’s website can pull resources away from your site, it’s easy to ensure high performance and consistent uptime with dedicated hosting. Plus, you get full control over your server and can customize it to suit your exact needs. Security is also enhanced, as no other users can access your server.
Of course, all of these benefits come at an increased cost. Dedicated hosting is usually quite a bit more expensive than shared hosting. And most of the time, it lends itself to more advanced users, who know enough about hosting and optimization to personalize their own servers. However, at Tucana, we offer managed dedicated hosting, meaning you can focus on running your big-time website while we handle the technical to-do list.
How to Start the Upgrade Process
Once you’ve settled on the type of hosting you want, you’ll need to find a suitable plan. If you’re happy with your current web host, awesome! You can contact your provider directly to find out if they offer the type of service you’re looking for and to ask how to start the upgrade process.
However, if you aren’t 100% satisfied with your current host — or if it doesn’t offer the type of plan you want — this is the perfect time to shop around for a better option!
You’ll want to look for a quality host with a reputation for excellent performance and security, and check out reviews from current customers. It’s also important to look closely at the specific plan you’re interested in to ensure that it has all the features you need. Don’t forget to make sure that the plan’s price is a good fit for your budget as well!