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