After running a successful website for some time, you’ve reached a point where that once-awesome shared hosting plan you took out several years ago just isn’t working out for you. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the package itself, it’s simply a fact that you’ve outgrown it to such an extent that even upgrading to your hosting provider’s top level shared plan just isn’t going to be suitable.
Instead, you’ve been thinking about making the serious investment of a dedicated server. You’ve done a little research and you’ve seen the huge volumes of bandwidth, RAM and disk space you could get your hands on, all more than capable of not only meeting the heavy demands of your website as it currently exists, but also providing you with ample room and resources for some serious long time growth.
Then you saw the costs involved, and thus ended the great dedicated server dream. You’re just not sure if spending so much money on a product that you’re not familiar with and don’t quite fully understand is really going to be such a good idea.
The good news, is that there is a way to find out without spending huge sums of cash. Acting as the ideal middle ground between shared hosting plans and dedicated servers, a VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting plan costs much less than the latter whilst providing greater resources and control than the former.
Here’s just a few ways that a cheap VPS plan can help you understand dedicated servers.
Taking it for a test run
Think of using a VPS as an attempt to trial run using a dedicated server without actually spending a lot of money to own one. It’s a chance to take a subtle step from shared hosting, rather than a giant, often daunting leap from that into the world of dedicated server solutions.
Buy one with ample resources, and you’ll be able to see what will happen when you first configure your server. You’ll get some idea of how complicated it is to set up (or not, as the case may be). You’ll be noticing the performance, the speed and all of those little back-end options you need to setup and configure in order for your site to work at its optimum best. In doing so, you can think of it as an experiment, a way of getting your head around what to expect when you do buy a dedicated server so that there’s no nasty surprises waiting for you once you make that big leap.
Learning server management skills
Whilst there are some differences between the two, a VPS goes a long way to bridging the gap between the relatively basic shared hosting and the apparent minefield of options that come with a dedicated server.
If your only hosting experience is with shared then, a VPS makes a good investment, as it will give you the opportunity to learn how things work behind the scenes, to get a grip on partitioning your server for certain elements and maintaining it on an ongoing basis.
A better understanding of your dedicated server needs
Last but not least, making the small investment in a cheap Virtual Private Server initially can save you money in the long-run by helping you gain a clearer understanding of exactly what you’re going to need from your future dedicated server.
It will give you an opportunity to test flexible resource allowances, to get a handle on whether you’re going to need a fully-managed or self-managed service, and even whether the company you were thinking of purchasing from are really up to the job or not.