When you first put your website online, the chances are that you chose a cheap hosting plan that's most likely a shared hosting plan. Shared hosting from a good provider gets you a good bang for your buck. But as your site grows, it may not be good enough. And if your site is for business, especially if you're selling anything online, you probably want to consider upgrading.
Here are just a few things to watch for… If you see that any of this applies to you, it's time to look at dedicated hosting. Even moving to a virtual private server can help, which is often used to bridge shared hosting and the jump to dedicated.
Your website takes too long to load
How fast your site loads are critical, from a user experience perspective, and it even comes into play for where Google ranks your site in search results. They've been factoring in load speed for a while. Still, it's only going to become more important with the dramatic increase of mobile searches.
There are tons of reasons your site can run slow and many things that can speed it up. But many of those things will take time, and someone experienced at identifying what the hold up is. If you're using WordPress, it may be as simple as getting rid of that growing collection of plugins you aren't even using or probably don't need. If you're a Hostwinds client and need help identifying the cause of slow loading times, get in touch, and we can help you figure out what it is.
There are also many tools available to determine if your site loads too slow, including:
If you discover your site isn't entirely up to par with load speed and you're on shared hosting, it may be a sign that you've outgrown your shared hosting plan and should upgrade to dedicated hosting or even a virtual private server.
Busy times = Poor performance
Do you notice an apparent decrease in speed during times when your site gets a lot of visitors? With shared hosting, essential resources that drive your site are shared with other users on the same server. You're all sharing the same amount of RAM and CPU. So the fact is when your site gets busy with shoppers trying to snag a deal, you may simply be running out of resources to sustain the extra traffic.
With dedicated hosting, you're the only one on the server, and all the resources are for you and only you. Sure, it may cost a little more now, but consider how much you lose in the long run with annoyed customers jumping ship when they're forced to sit and wait in the shopping cart.
Software and system requirements
There may come the point when you need to run software or something that isn't available or permitted on your shared hosting. For instance, you may need the newest version of PHP to run your CRM software, but your host isn't using that version. On a dedicated server, that's not a problem. But you're going to have to suck it up and find a different software if your shared hosting doesn't offer that version of PHP.