In both cases, VPS and dedicated servers offer more options over a shared server. You can choose which software you install on your server, how much memory is allocated to different tasks, the number of CPUs the server can access and much more. While shared hosting is cost effective for small websites, higher traffic and customization needs will require you to choose between a dedicated server or VPS. The question is, does your business need a dedicated server or can you save money with a VPS service?
Lower Cost Compared to a Dedicated Server
On the surface, it’s easy to look at the cost of several hosting plans and think one costs less simply because the monthly premium is lower. However, this does not take efficiency and time-management into account. Comparing the monthly cost of a dedicated server with that of a VPS shows that a dedicated server will cost you much more. Beyond the savings on the monthly premium, however, a VPS can save you in terms of efficiency and time management.
As your business needs change your server needs will also change. Times of peak business will require more server resources than slow times. This can be seen in business cycles that change with the seasons and with internet content that goes viral or is picked up by the news media. When you choose to use a dedicated server, you’re stuck with the resources on that machine until you go through the hassle of moving to a different server. On the other hand, VPS configurations are elastic and easily expandable. This means you can scale up your services when you need to, and scale down to save money during lean times. Many VPS resources are billed by the hour and allow you to match your server resources to the ebb and flow of your business.
If you’re like most businesses, your IT department is already overwhelmed just keeping your regular business needs running — if you even have a dedicated IT department. This means you don’t have time to configure and maintain a dedicated server. Choosing this option will require you to take on the cost of the additional staff needed to keep the server running. However, this can be avoided when you choose the VPS option. You will still need to install and configure the software you want to run on the server, but you’ll rely on a hosting company to keep the server online and assist with cyber-attacks.
When you do make the move to a dedicated server or VPS you’re going to be taking on more of your own maintenance tasks. Some hosting companies offer additional services to maintain your VPS configurations. However, you’re on your own when you get a dedicated server. Even if you have the knowledge required to setup your server, perform regular maintenance and protect your server from cyber-attacks, you’ve got to ask if this is the best use of your time. Using a VPS it’s possible to contract out the maintenance and focus your attention on building and managing your business.
When choosing between a dedicated server and a VPS it comes down to your specific business needs. A dedicated server is a great choice if your business can afford the monthly premium and has an IT team with some spare time. On the other hand, if you’re working with a tight budget and limited time then you may want to consider a VPS. Both options will offer a great deal more customization over shared hosting.