A Guide to Changing Website Host from Shared to VPS Hosting

E-commerce and web hosting have both come a long way since the early days of the web. The original technologies that gave birth to the asynchronous, page-based architecture of the web formed a capable foundation for some truly innovative and powerful services that now make it possible to launch a business in record time.

But with all that power comes complexity and an imperative for customers, business owners and technology experts to understand the systems they control. One of the most basic decisions those groups of people have to make when deciding how to sell their products online is between a shared server and a virtual private server, or vps server.

The choice between vps hosting and shared hosting is an important one, as it will have a dramatic impact on performance and capacity and will have a considerable effect on a site’s ability to scale with its audience and appeal.

Here are three reasons you should consider the move from shared to vps server for your e-commerce site.

The Basics

Web hosting companies that offer vps hosting, vps windows hosting or any number of other ways to build and make available your e-commerce site are also likely to have a shared hosting option. The two alternatives will likely differ in price and may or may not offer the customer an easy way to determine which will fit their particular needs.

Reason One: Your site is exceeding shared capacity

Shared capacity

Shared capacity

Simply put, a shared web host makes all of its web sites available through a single web server. The server software is responsible to determine which client requests should be routed to which sites. Both the server software and the sites all reside on a single machine with one set of hardware and usually a single connection to the network.

A virtual private server, or vps, on the other hand, does everything the shared server does, except it only serves one site instead of many. Virtual software usually runs as a single encapsulated process on a machine and may run alongside other virtual servers like it. The advantage of a virtual private server is that it can separate the processes that decide which site gets which request and the web server itself. In some cases, this can dramatically increase performance, largely because the context switching software that directs requests from vps to vps is often either in firmware or in the operating system where it has less process overhead from operation to operation.


When an e-commerce site owner wants to learn how to change website host software or hardware or needs to change domain host, the hosting company should be able to describe the benefits of moving from one architecture to the next.

Reason Two: Your audience is growing

Your audience is growing

Your audience is growing

One of the primary benefits is performance. For some sites, especially new ones, performance isn’t an issue and can be easily traded for better pricing. However, at some point, if that site begins to grow considerably, the price and performance advantages will cross each other, and performance will begin to affect the site’s long-term profitability. This is when the switch from shared hosting to a virtual private server is most often recommended.

Sometimes server offerings will be further split into things like vps Windows or vps Apache in order to attract customers who may have considerable investment in one platform or another.

Whatever platform is chosen, the virtual private server is almost always the better choice if the e-commerce site is concerned about responsiveness and performance. Customers expect sites to respond quickly and to efficiently process their purchases. Anything less often results in a lack of trust, which can have a big effect on sales.


Getting a web site from one host to another is usually simplicity itself, provided the web host has the correct tools. If your site is running on a database, or using a content management system of some kind, you will need to make certain your new virtual private server is running compatible server-side software. Most enterprise-class database management systems have highly standardized migration tools, so this shouldn’t be a major issue.

Reason Three: Your revenues will offset the additional cost

Leads to additional sales

Leads to additional sales

Middleware can sometimes be a stumbling block if you are changing platforms along with your server architecture. When you change domain host it is almost always the better option to avoid changing platforms like Apache or IIS simultaneously with an architecture change like shared to virtual. If there are problems, this practice helps encapsulate any potential bugs and will decrease both downtime and associated costs.

One of the keys to quickly recovering the additional costs of moving a site from one kind of hosting architecture to another is to make certain the additional performance leads to additional sales and to avoid any possibility of extended downtime or show-stopping bugs. Standardized tools and software will help prevent the most common problems. A good web host will help you solve the rest.

About Sarah Smith

Sarah is a blogger, marketer and creative in general at Inspired Web and is currently learning about marketing, using the internet. Aside from working on her own business, she likes to use social media, and read travel books.

2 Responses to A Guide to Changing Website Host from Shared to VPS Hosting

  1. Thiraladay says:

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