If your website or blog gains popularity and traffic it will undoubtedly consume more hosting server resources. While the cheap shared hosting plans in the $5 to $10 per month are suitable for most sites, they can pose a problem for high traffic sites.
You may have noticed that many shared hosting plans suggest unlimited space, bandwidth, addon domains, databases, etc., etc. There really is no such thing as unlimited. What they are hoping for is that most people won’t abuse the term unlimited. They still have limitations and they will hit you with an excessive resource violation of some kind, which generally means they suspend your account, and usually without warning if you use too much.
The common suggestion among hosts is they would like you to upgrade to a more powerful VPS server where you can usually use more CPU and memory. Of course the price tends to be quite a bit more than what you were used to paying with a shared hosting plan.
The additional price associated with VPS hosting shouldn’t be a major concern if you have high traffic and you are making decent money from your site. In which case you have to spend money to make money.
The problem with VPS hosting, especially when you are accustomed to shared hosting is the additional maintenance and administration involved. It is much more complex, and you really should have at least some server administration experience.
What a VPS host tends to do is set you up with a fairly basic default installation with whatever kind of operating system, control panel, etc. that they happen to be running. They do not go out of their way to optimize it. Nor do they tend to perform any additional hardening and security. Basically they say here you go, it’s all yours have fun with it.
If your VPS plan includes management by your hosting company they will usually help you out to some extent, but they are not going to spend hours upon end doing everything for you.
So keep that in mind and be aware that there is much more to VPS hosting than shared hosting.
A few other types of hosting you might check out before jumping into VPS are business, commercial, or semi-dedicate. They have limitations too, but usually you pay more per month and are allowed to use more server resources. The prices vary and some allow you to use more resources than others. But, usually you do not need to worry about server administration with these types as they are still handled by the host.
VPS can be good if you know what you are doing or willing to spend time learning. They are not something you want to set and forget.
If you have been thinking about VPS hosting or your host is telling you that your site is using too many resources and you need to upgrade to one make sure you know what is involved and what you are getting into first.
Adding additional security measures can take hours alone, not to mention a lot of reading and research if you don’t know what you are doing.
I don’t have a problem with VPS, but I would rather keep it simple and not have to deal with the additional server administration and maintenance if I didn’t have to.