Most people start out online with a basic shared hosting plan that lets them build a small website and become acquainted with the web hosting world. However, it is not often that someone remains content with this kind of hosting setup, especially when operating an online business. Sooner or later, the urge and need to upgrade will be unavoidable, and at this point the webmaster begins considering more robust hosting plans such as VPS and Dedicated hosting plans. The problem is, it is not always clear when the best time to upgrade is. In fact, in many cases you can get by with a basic hosting plan for years. However, “getting by” is simply not enough if you are trying to strive, and slow-loading pages or site downtime is just one of the many hurdles you’ll encounter if your site is running on inadequate server resources. So how do you know when it is time to upgrade?
How Many Daily Visitors Does Your Site Get?
If your site is receiving more than a few hundred visitors on a daily basis, then you may want to consider upgrading from a basic hosting plan. This is especially true if you host a lot of multimedia content. If there are many people browsing your site and watching videos at the same time, the bandwidth will quickly dwindle and the browsing experience will become less enjoyable for your visitors. In many cases your site could lag to a complete standstill, causing your visitors to leave your site altogether. Upgrading to a dedicated server will give you the resources needed to accommodate thousands of site visitors on a daily basis.
How Many Sites Do You Have?
If you have more than five sites that receive a decent amount of traffic on daily basis, then it may be time to upgrade. Likewise, if you have one large website that is receiving a lot of traffic you will still need more server resources. Keeping all of your sites on a shared hosting plan is not wise when you consider the limitations of your current hosting setup. With a dedicated server you can host up to 50 high traffic sites without any problems in most cases, especially if you are renting a powerful server.
How are Your Sites Performing?
Ultimately the true test is the actual performance of the websites you own. If you are still able surf the sites without any slow loading pages, and you aren’t experiencing any down time, then it may be okay to stick with the plan you have. However if your sites are down more than once a week and it takes longer than 10 seconds for a page to load on a broadband connection, then you should definitely consider upgrading. A site’s performance will greatly affect it’s bounce rate and how many repeat visitors/page views per visit are received. Shared hosting can only take you so far before an upgrade is absolutely necessary.