When you first started your online business, you needed a web hosting service, and the idea of using shared web hosting probably made a lot of sense at the time. After all, it’s an economical option because the cost of maintaining the server is distributed over many clients.

However, as your business grew, you probably noticed a few hiccups in your operations. Perhaps, you noticed that your shared hosting solution no longer provided the performance, service, or range of options that you needed to optimize your website.

What should you do when your shared environment is no longer serving you as reliably as before? The answer is simple: it’s time to move on. You should take the limitations you’re experiencing as a cue to move to a dedicated server.

Still, it’s not always clear when your business has outgrown the benefits of its shared hosting solution and you need to shop for a dedicated server from a hosting service like iPage that offers independent control, dedicated resources, and cloud-based flexibility.

When Should You Make the Shift?

Here are some issues that you will notice when it’s time to make the shift:

  1. Your website doesn’t appear to perform as well as before.

When you get heavy traffic, you may notice a lull in performance. However, this may not be the case if you’re paying for the premium hosting package. In addition, even if you’re not using premium packaging, but your website is static, that is, mainly text without database content, then a surge in traffic might not result in performance issues.

You will only need to shift to a dedicated server if a rise in traffic becomes problematic. This will occur if you have a forum which demands plenty of database activity. It will also occur if you have plenty of multimedia. In this case, heavy website traffic will cause performance issues.

Here are three common signs that your website is having performance problems:

  • 1. Visitors complain that your website has slowed down and it takes time for pages to load.
  • 2. The database starts showing error messages because it’s receiving more requests than it can comfortably handle.
  • 3. If the server is overloaded, pages may not be served at all.

You will be able to identify these issues by checking your error logs. Also, ask several people to visit your website during peak traffic times to see if they have difficulties with navigation.

These performance problems arise for two possible reasons:

  • 1. They arise because a variety of websites are hosted on the shared server, with some of them being heavily-trafficked websites.
  • 2. Your website has buggy code. This usually occurs with CGI or PHP. Performance degradation is due to this inefficient code.

If performance issues are due to the mix of websites on the shared server, then moving to a dedicated server will resolve performance problems. However, if the problem is due to buggy code, then moving to a dedicated server will not eliminate performance problems.

Before you decide to move to a dedicated server, you should look into the reason for your performance issues. Contact hosting service to get some intel on whether the shared hosting server has some traffic-intensive customers that might be affecting your website. Also, be sure to check your code to see if it’s efficient. Once you get a clear idea about what’s going on, it will be easier to make the right decision.

  1. Your server does not give you all the options you need.

As your business grows, you may need more options but only come to discover that your web host does not provide them.

  1. Your website needs more server resources.

If you want to scale up your website, you don’t have much control with a shared server. Although you are leasing a dedicated server, you get to use the entire server. This means you can get a faster CPU, more RAM, a gigabyte of memory or other resources. You have all the advantages that would come if you bought the PC.

Benefits of a Dedicated Server

If you decide to move to a dedicated server because your website has outgrown the advantages of shared hosting due to problems with performance, options, or resources, you’ll be glad you made the shift because with dedicated hosting you’ll not get enhanced performance, advanced security, more flexibility, and a unique IP address.