A lot of bloggers appreciate the fact that the world of WordPress allows them to create sophisticated blogs that have snap-in functionality that can be served at most hosting providers using a shared account. For the startup blogger or website, that type of engineering thoughtfulness has helped countless business endeavors get their start without bogging them down with cost and technical need.
Yet there will often come a day when your business ends up having a need to grow beyond that type of functionality in order to serve its customers better. And because one of the obvious signs of growth is expanding into software that typically goes beyond the functionality that your hosting provider offers you with a shared account, it means looking at moving some of your set of products or services to a VPS server.
Concrete signs that you need a VPS server
One of the top reasons that people make the move to a VPS server is that the software package that they are planning to use outstrips the resources of the shared account plan that they have. This is typically the case with some major shopping cart packages. The software is designed to be visually pleasing and feature rich, causing it to run slowly on shared accounts that allow it to be installed.
Another reason that people end up moving to a VPS server is that they are not allowed to the configuration changes that they need to in order to make a new web application work the way that they want it to. A good example is when a website owner wants to use the trigger function in Mysql in order to make changes like analytics seamless to the user. In most cases, in order to create and use that type of functionality, the site owner needs to have privileges in Mysql that do not come with a shared hosting account. The only way for those people to implement that type of change is to host their account using VPS web hosting.
Typical software that requires a VPS
Most software that requires a VPS account at your provider is multi-functional and extends the features that your website offers significantly. ERP software is one example. While it can be overkill for a small company, many ERP developers have created modular versions that make it easy to just install the functionality that you need for your particular business. The upside for you is that once you have configured it correctly to match your business needs, everything from your website to your accounting is integrated and the data flows where you need it to without you having to intervene.
Individual components of an ERP like CRM software or translation software can also push beyond your shared account limits at your current provider, making it easier to use a VPS account that allows you to install the most functional and user-friendly package without encountering a performance hit.
Getting ready for a VPS account
If you are looking at using a different type of software for your blog, you might try looking at Bitnami or some of the free images that can be tested on your own machine using a virtual machine image. A virtual machine image is a complete operating system that can be loaded in a window on your own computer. They often contain a pre-configured version of the software package that you want to try out. Doing this locally before you get a VPS will allow you to work with the package that you are interested in. It will also allow you to configure your local test version so that it matches any VPS web hosting account that you plan to get, making it easy to move your updated changes from your local machine to your production webserver.
There are a couple of companies that offer free software that can play virtual machine images and the software runs on top of most existing operating systems. The largest reason to use a container like a virtual machine image is that you can keep a base image and then add and track changes to it using configuration management software without making your everyday operating system get cluttered up with developers tools and code.
What about Dedicated servers?
In most cases, dedicated servers will offer you even more features than a VPS will. One of their biggest traditional advantages is that they reside on their own physical computer space that is not adjacent to other virtual servers. You therefore do not share hosting resources in the same way- and end up with the potential of more security options.
The downside for small companies is that dedicated servers tend to cost a lot more each month than a VPS will. It is for that reason that most companies that are growing use a VPS as an intermediate step that puts their website in its own space until it grows enough to justify moving it to a dedicated server.
On the other hand, because many cloud hosting companies have blurred the lines between what actually constitutes a dedicated server on the hardware side, the key for bloggers that want their website to grow is to find a company that offers both types of services so that when you are ready to add more resources, you can do so without having to worry about an extended transition. In some cases, companies that offer a VPS type of account have created enough resources so that the question of a dedicated server never even comes up. A website owner that wants to add resources just continues to add resources virtually until their site meets their requirements.
VPS servers end up being a great way for people that blog to take the next step with their company without blowing out their budget or the amount of time that they need to spend as a developer complementing their content.