I’ve never had any major gripes with them and I’ve not had to really call on their customer service for some time.
As Endurance International Group, Inc. (EIG) own both web hosts though, perhaps they no longer have such an incentive to keep their customers happy.
EIG now owns a plethora of hosting companies and that surely isn’t good for either customer service or competition.
At the moment, I’m staying put with HostGator because they haven’t given me any reason to leave.
I’m hoping I can say the same thing until I’ve outgrown a shared web hosting account.
It’s kind of got me thinking though as to when the best time to move away from shared hosting might be and what the options are.
When Should You Make The Move From Shared Hosting?
Your website is using too many CPU and RAM resources
HostGator allows a maximum of 25% CPU usage limit, which may only be exceeded for no longer than 90 seconds.
It’s worth checking with your web host what the maximum is for your account and how to find out how much you’re using.
In my cPanel, I can view a graph showing CPU usage and I watch this quite closely.
Ever since I had the problem with a plugin I’ve been more aware of keeping on top of this.
I don’t want to get the dreaded message – Your account has been temporarily restricted – again any time soon!
If you do start to regularly exceed your CPU and Memory resources though, it’s time to look for an alternative home for your website.
You want more control over your hosting account
If you want to install software on your account or even just delete something that’s already installed, you may not be able to under your shared hosting account.
Upgrading will give you more control over what’s installed and allow you to make changes that your web host doesn’t allow under a shared account.
You want better performance and stability
Shared hosting is great in that it’s low-cost but you’re sharing your server space and resources with others.
It can really slow your website down. Also, if anything goes wrong with another website on your shared server then it could bring yours down too.
Equally, with shared hosting, whilst there’s often a guarantee of 99.99% uptime this doesn’t always guarantee your site will be accessible.
In my case, routine maintenance doesn’t count as downtime so that can also add a significant amount of time when my website isn’t available.
You want more flexibility to allow your site to grow
It’s only a matter of time if your site keeps growing and you get more traffic before you will outgrow a shared hosting account.
Upgrading your account to a different type of server will allow you to expand and make your resources easier to get access to and manage.
If someone hacks into a site on a shared server, your site is also vulnerable because you’re sharing the same space.
With accounts where only your site is hosted, there’s less chances of acquiring viruses, malware and spyware and you’ll have better security.
What Are The Options On Upgrading Your Shared Hosting Account?
A Virtual Private Server (VPS) gives you access to a web server’s hardware to share with others without sharing the software on it.
You have full control over your part of the server, although you still share the CPU, RAM and bandwidth with others on the server.
Effectively, this means you can install whatever you want so long as it runs on the operating system your server runs on.
VPS servers are a step up from shared hosting and are usually far less expensive than cloud or dedicated hosting whilst still providing some of the same benefits.
Cloud hosting is based on cloud computing technologies and allows an unlimited number of servers to act as one system.
With cloud hosting, your website isn’t dependent on just one machine, but is guaranteed by many servers.
This also allows a more flexible way of upgrading your website as it grows because cloud technology is not constrained by one server.
Thus making it easier if you want to add more space or RAM to your account.
If you want ultimate control over your hosting then you need a dedicated hosting service.
Dedicated hosting will get you a server just for you; only your stuff will be stored on it and nothing else.
This gives a huge boost to your website’s security because no-one else has access to your web server.
You can either choose unmanaged or managed hosting for your account; with managed being much more expensive as your web host will actively manage your server administration for you.
If you choose unmanaged, you’re going to need to know your way around a web server as if you break something you’ll either have to fix it yourself or pay someone else to do it for you.
Have You Outgrown Your Shared Hosting Account?
How are you getting on with your shared hosting? Have you decided to upgrade to VPS, Cloud or Dedicated Hosting? What’s been your experience? Did things go to plan?
Please let me know in the comments section below.
Photo Credit: Turn Around by PaintedWorksByKB.com CC BY 2.0