When Should I Move to a VPS or a Dedicated Server?

by Daniel in 42 Comments — Updated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Questions And AnswersThis post is part of the Friday Q&A section. If you want to ask a question, just write a comment below.

Joel asks:

Currently I am using a shared hosting account, but I see a lot of talk about VPS hosting and dedicated servers. When should I consider those solutions?

My short answer would be: as soon as you start making some money with your blog or website.

Shared hosting is fine when you are starting out. If I remember well I stayed for around one year on shared hosting, and my sites were already getting a decent amount of traffic at the time.

The problem with this type of hosting, however, is that your website will be in a server with dozens, if not hundreds of other sites. As a result, if any of these site owners screws up, you are likely to have problems, too.

For example, if one clueless site owner runs a script that crashes the server, your site will go down too, even if you had nothing to do with it. Secondly, if one site owner leaves some security holes open, your site might get hacked too.

These are the two main reasons for moving up to a VPS or, preferably, to a dedicated server whenever you become able to.

I don’t recommend that you start right away on a dedicated server, because you could end up wasting money for a website that won’t go far anyway. But as soon as you start making some money with your site it would be idea to make the switch, as this would protect your site and its income.

How much should you be making? I would say that when you reach $200 monthly or so you should consider getting a VPS (which costs around $40 monthly), and when you reach $500 monthly you should consider getting a dedicated server (which costs around $200 monthly).

Apart from the benefits mentioned, having a VPS or a dedicated server should also make your sites more responsive, as you’ll not be sharing the server resources with dozens of other websites.

Finally, if you want a recommendation for a VPS or dedicated server check out HostGator. I rent a dedicated server from them, and I am very happy with it.

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42 thoughts on “When Should I Move to a VPS or a Dedicated Server?”

  1. Hi Daniel

    It is almost more than a year, I am using the Shared hosting server from Hostgator for blog- yourdigitalspace.com.Last two days it has used more that 25% CPU..

    I think it is the right times to shift to VPS. I am planning to use either Hostgator VPS, Linode or Knownhost.

    Which you thinks the best for VPS ?

  2. I moved from shared hosting to VPS hosting at eboundhost. My website loading speed has improved and I feel more secure with VPS because I have my own IP address.

  3. Ok, I am confused now. I have a shared hosting account with Startlogic. It has been fine but I have noticed that quite often I can’t access my websites (wordpress blogs). I get a lot of 500 server errors.

    I have one blog on the shared hosting which is getting around 2000 UV’s a day and is currently earning me around $300 a month.

    My hosting plan expires in a couple of days and I am considering upgrading to a VPS plan.

    I have spoken to their tech support and I have to move the sites to the new server myself. I am actually a computer technition and manage a few Small Business Servers but have no experience with VPS hosting.

    I’m just wondering whether upgrading the plan is going to solve my errors and will I notice a performance increase.

    I am just worried about moving my blog as it is starting to make some nice money for me.

    Although I also think that I could be missing out on more money buy not upgrading to a VPS!

  4. Hey Daniel ,
    Please write an article about wordpress security tips. How do people hack our wordpress blogs ? And how can we prevent hackers from our blog ?

    Thanks Mate !

  5. 1. Reliable hosting even if it is shared will not be crashed by a clueless user (mine is not).
    2. Your dedicated server is your pain in the @$$. If it crashes it is all your problems.
    3. You should get your dedicated space in the web when two things intersect in your life: you can afford it and your shared hosting account is not fast enough.
    IMPORTANT – if you hosting provider gave a lot of downtime on shared hosting, you will likely have issues with dedicated server space with them.

  6. Daniel,

    May I request you to do a post on keyword research and using Google’s keyword tool.

    My question for Q&A is: How do you market your services when the market is not ready yet?!!!

  7. I still run on shared hosting server from GoDaddy.com and I think it sucks sometime. Please advise some good server while its still on sharing mode.


  8. The transition from shared hosting to a VPS hosting can be a nightmare if you are movings hosts. So I suggest when you choose a host, select one which has VPS as well as dedicated hosting. This makes the transition process easier.

  9. I have been using a VPS server for the past 1 year. I started off with a dedicated server and since it was too much to pay for the to little traffic, I downgraded to VPS. I haven’t had shared hosting personally, but from what my friends have informed me, the loading speed of websites is almost the same. it is just the traffic handling capacity.

  10. Thanks for offering this q and a.

    My question is: Is it a smart move for a techlexic like me to test idea(s) for a blog on wordpress.com and then migrate to wordpress.org platform later?

  11. My question for Q&A is simple.

    I’m done updating some websites because I’m not motivated anymore. And I can’t find why, I just don’t want to. Any idea or tip on how to get motivated for something we really do for MONEY? Just “money” isn’t motivating enough.


    PS: portugueses no seu melhor, hehehe 🙂

  12. I’ve used many VPS hostings before I use SoftLayer Dedicated Server, because I don’t want to share resources with other websites, and dedicated server is suite for one of my big website :mrgreen:

  13. That’s quite the impressive traffic you have Kang.

    I am contemplating switching to VPS for one of my websites, but so far we don’t have any problems with our host, pretty fast all the time, and rarely crashes, but the reason we want to switch is to avoid things like you said about having one of the sharing sites crash things in the future.

    I use HostGator for one of my clients, and they are pretty good, their shared hosting is not that great though.

  14. What about having a unique Ip address with your website becuase if someone is spamming google will ban your IP address and your server ip address consider spam and your E-mails also go to spam/junk..

  15. This really seems like a very reasonable way to measure when to move.

    I to love Hostgator. I always get top notch service. They even answer my really dumb questions with out making me feel stupid.

  16. INteresting post Daniel. Nowadays a I have two shares host acounts. One in Hostgator (realy good) and other in Locaweb (brazilian host). Although I am doing more than $500 each month I did not feel yet the need to move to a dedicated server

  17. Interesting post 🙂
    I just moved my hosting from shared to VPS hosting and I really prefer it because as you said. I do not need to share the resource with anyone.

    However, there’s one problem I have with hostgator VPS hosting is that they do not have Fatantisco installed and I can’t install my website directly within 5 second 🙁

    Any advice on that?

    Winson Yeung

  18. So even if it is a web host which has won many awards, and has few, if no complains (like hostgator, ipage, fatcow), then as long as it is shared, we may have problems?

    Even with these great webhosts, we should have a VPS and dedicated server hosting?

  19. Hostgator is the best, even their shared hosting rocks.

    I have been with 2 others major hosts and what separates hostgator is their support. Email replays are instant, round the clock.


  20. My blog got 85,000 visits and 640,000 page views last month.
    I still use shared hosting at Blue Host.
    The server is good until now.

    I want to move to dedicated server, but I have not make enough money with the blog yet. Huh…

  21. i agree with you,
    i am on a shared host since years, even though i am making a decent amount of money online i was lazy to migrate to a dedicated server.

    just as you said, i faced many troubles because of being hosted along other websites, now that you encouraged me i guess i will take that step soon

    the main thing that holds me back is that media temple doesn’t give any support for the upgrade, the person is 100% responsible for the move

  22. One thing to remember too is that with a VPS (or dedicated server) you will have a lot more work to do to keep the server secure and running.

    You will have to keep Apache, PHP, the kernel and everything else updated. Monitor your server logs, apache logs, etc.

    It is fun to learn all that, and the performance benefits are big, but just good to keep in mind 🙂

    • Most hosting companies offer 100% managed solutions these days, since they know the average customer won’t want to dabble with these things.

  23. Oh,
    Can VPS server can perform normally even with high traffic rather than sharing server? Also what are the differences between a VPS and dedicated server? I can see dedicated has much higher price!

    • A VPS is the middle way between shared hosting and dedicated server. On a VPS you’ll share your server with far fewer people (say 4 or 10), and you’ll also have access to more functionalities (e.g, shell access).

  24. I have recently moved some sites from shared (through a reseller account) to VPS and wish I had done it months ago. There is a difference it cost, but the performance is just so much better. I am no longer frustrated by the lack of speed, and that alone is worth the extra cash.

  25. Excellent article and reply.

    For entry level sites its worth keeping it on a shared server. But once it stats picking up a VPS is a must.

    Also on a shared hosting account you could have many more problems then the ones mentioned above.

    Before you choose any hosting provider make sure to ask them how many shared hosting clients they have per server and also the type of server.

    There are many servers that can handle massive loads of shared hosting clients and this means that you would not have any problems with your website

  26. VPS hosting is kind of hard especially when youre transitioning from shared to VPS, it can be a bit tricky especially if youre technophobic.

    How about a reseller?

    • I don’t like reseller accounts.

      Keep in mind most big companies do all the tech part for you though. You just need to send them the money 🙂 .

  27. If you don’t know anything about managing a server, make sure to find a vps with managed hosting otherwise you’ll be lost.

  28. Wow, this info is far different then the advice I got from another trusted person recently. I’m making way over $500 per month, but he suggested that there’s no point in moving to VPS since my traffic is only about 20,000 visits. He said to consider a move around 200,000 visits/month, but I guess that reasoning has more to do with load capacity for the account than potential security concerns.

    At least I’m on Hostgator now. That was a step up.

    • In my opinion the money aspect is far more important than the traffic one.

      What if your website only gets 50,000 visits per month, but makes $5,000 monthly? According to the advice of your friend you should keep that site on a shared hosting, which I think would be crazy.

      • I highly recommend to spend money on your infrastructure so that these can be able to tackle any situation easily.

  29. Hey Daniel,

    Interesting Post. I’m currently on shared hosting and soon i will be on vpn 🙂 !! Thanks !!

    Thanks for this great answer Daniel.


    • Nice to see that you are growing.

      Would love to see your research result about the hosting company and let us know.

  30. Interesting post and it’s true if you are using shared hosting like I do, there are many unavoidable issues you could encounter. A month ago, I can’t log on to my admin panel (I’m using WordPress by the way) and each time I go to the log on page I was directed to a different no good site.

    I contacted my hosting provider and told me there might be a malware and I was advised to restore my files to a previous date in order to remove it. Fortunately it worked and FORTUNATELY my database was not affected.

    I guess I will be considering a dedicated hosting as soon as I am able to. Thanks.


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