How Does VPS Hosting Improve Website Page Speed?
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting has long been acknowledged to bring many benefits over shared hosting. One of the elements most highly coveted is the ability of VPS to improve website page speed. But how exactly does this happen?
Before we consider that we need to discuss the element of price. VPS today has begun to narrow the price gap with shared hosting. ScalaHosting prices its VPS plans extremely competitively and in some cases, it is cheaper than shared hosting plans others might offer.
This allows customers to gain access to VPS plans much more easily. Today, we’re going to examine how VPS can help you improve the speed of your web pages.
The following review includes essential information, such as:
What is Website Loading Speed?
Most simply put, website loading speed is the amount of time it takes from when a request is made until a web page fully loads. As with many things else, the faster a web page can load, the better it will be.
Think of it as similar to starting a car. The faster it is from the time you turn your ignition key until the vehicle becomes ready to drive, the better it is. Fast website loading speeds are important for all websites. A major reason for this is its contribution towards User Experience (UX) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Impact of Loading Speed on UX and SEO
UX and SEO are actually recognized as being partially intertwined these days. SEO as a whole, governs how well a site can rank on search engines like Google. UX contributes to SEO potential.
UX is a technical rating of how average users feel when they experience a website. Given increased connectivity speeds, users today have become more impatient when it comes to waiting for websites to load. Because of that, speed has become a critical factor of UX.
Since search engines recognize this, part of SEO requirements is that websites must be fast. Google for example recommends that web pages load within three seconds. For eCommerce websites, the recommended load time is less than two seconds.
How Does a VPS Server Impact Website Loading Speed?
Because of the nature of VPS servers, it has the potential to vastly speed up website loading speed. Of course, this is taken in the context that a few pre-conditions are met. For example, if the web host providing the service offers web servers that respond quickly.
Other important elements of VPS that affect website loading speed include how the VPS is configured, as well as the design of the website itself.
Why Does it Impact It?
VPS servers by nature have fewer accounts per server. Each of the accounts are guaranteed a certain amount of resources including CPU time, memory, storage space, and bandwidth. This allocation is invaluable at allowing websites to respond rapidly at any time.
Aside from that, accounts on VPS servers are hosted in isolated environments within each server. This account isolation means that individual users will not be affected by anything that happens to other accounts on the same server.
Shared Hosting and VPS Speed Compared
In theory, the server types that are configured as shared and VPS can technically be of the same or similar specifications. The core difference that leads to potentially different speed performance lies in the resource guarantees discussed above.
Let’s take two scenarios as an example;
Case #1: Low load on shared and VPS servers
In this case, all the accounts on both servers might be facing low traffic volume. Because of this, both servers are able to manage it smoothly and performance of sites on both might not differ greatly.
Case #2: High load on shared and VPS servers
When traffic flow starts to increase, shared hosting servers will have to decide which of the accounts it hosts gets higher priority. No matter how this happens, other websites on it will suffer from lower performance. Meanwhile, because of dedicated resources, performance on VPS servers will remain consistent.
In Which Situations Might Your Website be Slow and Why?
There are many situations in which websites may slow down or suffer from otherwise degraded performance. Some may be caused by your site itself, while others may be due to the hosting server, or even external factors.
When the pages of a site load slowly, one of the first things that most people attribute blame to is the web host. However, this is not necessarily true. In many cases, websites are bogged down due to poor design factors. Some examples include;
- Using overly heavy web applications
- Adding excessive number of features
- Performing too many requests to external sources
- Handling bulky media including images and video
- Poor coding
On the other hand, there are times when the hosting server itself might be an issue. This can be caused by many things, each ultimately leading to poor or substandard performance for the websites being hosted on them.
- Server overcrowding
- Older or obsolete equipment used
- Poor infrastructure
Finally, there is the external factor to consider. This is one of the most difficult aspects to manage since it can be hard to predict when or how these issues might occur. Many things can happen that might be completely out of your control, such as;
- Malicious attacks (e.g. DDoS, Malware)
- Sudden traffic load spikes
- Vulnerability exploits
How to Improve Website Loading Speed
Tools like WebPageTest can help you break down elements of your page speed loading time.
If you’re operating a website and haven’t entirely been satisfied with your web page loading speeds, the first thing you need to do is assess why. Running a speed test assessment utility like WebPageTest can help you break down the loading speed time of your site and give you some actionable information.
Based on that, you can make adjustments to your site and cut down loading times bit by bit. This is all part of website optimization that should be carried out periodically. Remember, just because your website loads fine today, doesn’t mean nothing will change in the next few months.
Some of the things you can consider doing to optimize web page loading times include;
Reduce Time-to-First-Byte (TTFB)
TTFB is one dimension of website loading speed that many site owners overlook. It is affected by various elements such as server performance, speed on your DNS provider, and more. Ideally, try to keep TTFB below 200ms.
Images contribute towards user experience on our websites but they need to be optimized for best performance. With the limited size of most displays, it isn’t necessary to use ultra high resolution images on your site. Keep quality and dimensions to more manageable levels and you may find performance increasing significantly.
Update Script Versions
Many of us today use web applications like WordPress as the foundation of our websites. These in turn use scripts like PHP to run. By changing to a newer version of PHP on your hosting account, you can speed up your site with little effort. This can be done via small tweaks on your web hosting control panel.
Reduce Unnecessary Features
Sometimes you may try to do too much with too little. This is especially true if you’re running modular web apps like Joomla or WordPress. By adding on too much functionality via plugins, your site may get bogged down. Consider lightening the load and running those you only truly need.
Move to VPS Hosting
As mentioned earlier, VPS hosting has become a lot more affordable today. Moving to VPS hosting can bring many performance benefits at little increase in cost. Aside from performance, you will also enjoy better security and the potential for greater scalability as well.
Use a Content Delivery Network
Content Delivery Networks, or CDNs, can help you speed up performance by quite a lot. By caching the static portions of your website on various servers across their global networks, CDN providers are able to help your website respond to queries much faster. These aren’t always expensive and free solutions do exist – for example, with Cloudflare.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is VPS so expensive?
The price of VPS can vary greatly across service providers but this is mostly influenced by resource allocation and application licensing. For example, ScalaHosting is able to keep VPS hosting prices low because it developed its own highly capable cPanel replacement, SPanel (Learn about the differences between SPanel and cPanel).
Why is page speed important?
Fast page speeds help keep website visitors happy and is a vital factor in SEO. If your site takes too long to load, users will likely leave instead of waiting for your content to load. If you’re running a commercial website such as an online store, that could be a disaster.
Is VPS hosting difficult to manage?
Configuring a VPS environment can take some server management skills. If you’re not entirely familiar with this, you can opt for a managed plan like ScalaHosting’s Managed Cloud VPS. Using managed VPS will reduce the technical burden while offering all the benefits of VPS for your site.
When should I move to VPS?
Anytime! Always plan ahead when it comes to your web hosting. Shared hosting plans are often quite limited in scalability and if your website is growing, consider a move early. This will allow you to make a very calculated shift and reduce any chances of potential downtime impacting your website performance.
Should I host my WordPress site on VPS?
Yes. WordPress is a great platform for websites but it does tend to use more resources than static websites. If you’re planning to grow a WordPress site, it is advisable to look towards VPS hosting at any early opportunity.