Every single type of website can benefit from upgrading from basic shared plans to virtual private server/VPS hosting—especially since the two often have similar price points. However, it can be especially beneficial to e-commerce sites this time of year. E-commerce sites often have very dynamic sites, brimming over with photos, descriptions, videos, and shopping carts. If you have a lot of inventory, or videos showcasing products or services, your site might already be slowing down. With a basic shared hosting plan, you have no way of knowing who you’re sharing a server with and what they might be overloading the resources with.
VPS hosting is kind of like dedicated hosting, but costs the same as basic. You still share a physical server with others, but that server is sliced up into many virtual servers that act like dedicated servers. This is a critical point for e-commerce sites who have just over a month to ensure they’re in the black. Cyber Monday will help, but keep in mind that shoppers this time of year are tenacious. They don’t have time to waste, especially waiting for a slow website, and those with basic plans might be missing out on some incredible shoppers and profits.
Making the Change
Unfortunately, many e-commerce site owners are wary about changing to VPS hosting during the holidays. They worry about the site being down for the transition, or that there might be troubles after the change. This is especially true for those who might need to change web hosts in order to get VPS hosting. However, with proper research and planning, this shouldn’t be a problem. During the transition, you may have two hosts at once, but not for more than one day. Ideally, if changing hosts, your former host won’t even know about the change until after it’s complete.
Of course, this also requires that you have a current web host who hasn’t locked you into a contract. They shouldn’t, but this is a common habit of shady web hosts. Hosts should offer scalability and an easy out clause for all of their clients. Double check before changing hosts, particularly since the majority of hosts in North America don’t offer VPS hosting.
Benefits for Shoppers
A faster site is just one of the benefits of switching to VPS—albeit a very important one. Changing to VPS can also help with security, which is paramount since cyber criminals love wreaking havoc during the holiday season. VPS hosting offers more control, too, which is a must if anyone on your team has a systems admin background or training. With root access, you can take care of upgrades and maintenance as you see fit, not depend on your web host to get around to it when it suits them.
Finally, VPS hosting is easy to scale. You might find that you need to massively scale up or down during or after the holiday season. Being able to do so instantly, without calling a technician, is important for your business to run smoothly.