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Finding the best hosting solution for a fast high-traffic website

When I am online, I mostly read about server optimization, news and op-eds. I usually wait for about 2-3 seconds for a website to load, which is when my patience starts to run out. Once load time approaches six seconds or more, I just close that tab and move to the next one. If you own a high-traffic website or blog, this could be one of your customers—or many of your customers.

If you own a blog and have no idea what I’m talking about, you must read this article from end to end. Let’s start with the basics.

What is web hosting?

Web hosting or website hosting is placing your website on a web server so that people can access it from around the world. Your website includes elements such as files, text, images, videos—you name it! The server your website runs on can be anywhere globally and is managed by a web hosting company.

Most small websites run on a server that also hosts dozens of other websites. These websites share all the resources of the server. This type of hosting is called Shared web hosting or Shared hosting. Shared hosting is extremely popular and will fit the requirements of 90% of the websites around the world with ease—as long as they do not have too much traffic.

What does a high-traffic website need?

A high-traffic website or a website with many daily hits must have a server that can ensure reliability and efficiency at all times. Visitors must get what they need to see, fast! Here’s what a high-traffic website requires:

  1. High uptime : If your website traffic has strained the resources of your shared web host, you may experience downtime. Downtime is the amount of time your website is unavailable for your visitors. For a high-traffic website, this is the worst-case scenario.
  2. High speed : No one likes waiting for pages to open. I know I don’t! Website load times are also essential for SEO optimization in 2021. If your pages do not load fast enough, people will move to a different website, and your ranking will suffer.
  3. Scalability : If you need more space, more bandwidth or more RAM, your hosting should be able to provide you with the computing power your website needs to stay in the top charts!
  4. Security : No one should be able to take a sneak peek into your website’s secret sauce! Security is not an option today. It is a need. Unsecure websites lose ranking and credibility faster than they gained it.
  5. Control : If you are a power user, you need access to your server to optimize your website for performance.

Can shared hosting meet the demands of a high-traffic website?

No. Most shared hosting setups have limited computing power, bandwidth and storage space. When your website takes up too much space or bandwidth, shared hosting will not meet your demands. Additionally, using up a lot of bandwidth can cause other low-traffic websites to become slower than usual, which will cause your provider to lose customer base. However, this does not mean that shared hosting is not suitable for anyone. Most websites around the world that do not exceed 4 to 6,000 monthly visits a month will fare just fine on a shared hosting server.

What is the best hosting option for a fast, high-traffic website?

We’re glad you asked. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, remember that the server you choose today will impact your website’s performance, security and scalability in the long run. With that in mind, here’s a handy guide to help you quickly determine the hosting your website needs:

  • Shared hosting : If your website does not exceed 4 to 6,000 monthly visits at most, shared hosting is the best option for you. Shared hosting is the lowest-priced hosting service that you can purchase.
  • VPS hosting (shared vCPUs) : If your website regularly exceeds the above mentioned visitors count, VPS hosting – shared vCPUs mode – is certainly the next best option after shared hosting. It offers the perfect balance between a high-performance solution and shared hosting at a price that you can afford at.
  • VPS hosting (dedicated vCPUs) :  This option should seriously be considered if the previous option i.e. VPS hosting – shared vCPUs mode, does not satisfy or meet your computing requirements. Difference between this option and the above option is that here you get dedicated vCPUs instead of shared vCPUs. To read more on this, please click here. It is of-course more expensive than shared vCPUs mode, but has the added benefit of dedicated computing power.
  • Dedicated Servers: Dedicated servers aka bare metal servers, provides you with all the resources a server can offer. Dedicated servers come at a price and will not be cheap. Moreover current technology trends are leaning towards VPS hosting especially with dedicated vCPU mode, as it gives nearly same performance as a dedicated server, and at the same time is a scalable solution.

Need to know more about dedicated servers and VPS hosting? Read more here. Our previous blog describes VPS and dedicated servers in thread bare details.

So, what’s the verdict?

If the growth of your website or blog is limited by your shared hosting, it is time to make the switch to VPS hosting. VPS hosting provides nearly all the benefits of a dedicated server without breaking the bank. Also the following article of ours : When to upgrade from a Shared Hosting to a Cloud or a VPS server. A monetary perspective , provides you a a better understanding of choosing between shared hosting and Cloud/VPS Hosting.