- 5 Benefits of VPS for Bloggers
- 8 Reasons SSD is Better for Blogging
- Why is Speed Central to Your Blog’s Success?
- Support for Your Speed
If you’re a blogger, you probably don’t want to have to think too much about hosting. However, it’s an easy way to create differentiation. If your blog has better technical performance, there will be less pressure on your content to drive traffic on its own.
Upgrading from low-end shared hosting to the more advanced technologies of virtual private server (VPS) and solid state drive (SSD) can be powerful. Plus, the cost is more manageable than using a dedicated server.
5 benefits of VPS for bloggers
Now, to be clear, in VPS or virtual private server environments, you are still dividing up machines – but delineation is much stricter with virtualization software, to the extent that you have your own, independent operating system.
“These servers… are strictly defined and managed by the virtualization software,” explained Ajeet Khurana. “Based on the hardware setup you purchase, the virtual computer will be allocated with the specified number of CPU’s, RAM, disk space and bandwidth.”
Why do bloggers choose VPS? Here are Khurana’s basic arguments:
- Isolating yourself – The choices of other users on the infrastructure (including your physical machine) will not affect your performance. If another user crashes their server, yours won’t go down with it.
- You’re steady – Your website service will be reliable and stable. Although the full physical machine is not dedicated to you, the resources within your VPS are dedicated solely to you.
- You really get space – Shared hosts will sometimes offer guarantees of unlimited resources, but there is a catch. To make this claim, shared providers “shield themselves in some kind of ‘fair use’ clause,” noted Khurana, which makes the guarantee useless. To avoid these limitations, you can get a legitimate space guarantee with VPS.
- Full root access – It is good to know that your VPS-hosted site has root access as needed for certain installations. Shared hosting never gives you that degree of control.
- You can fly – When you’re on shared hosting, your speed will typically fluctuate based on peak times for other users. With a VPS, you get consistent performance. If you have a CPU designated for your use, that is your CPU. The RAM amount that’s stated in your VPS package is always available to you.
Khurana is a strong advocate of VPS over shared hosting. “[B]udget for a VPS plan,” he advised. “It is much cheaper than dedicated hosting, while being much more robust than shared hosting.”
8 Reasons SSD is Better for Blogging
You can see that a virtual private server is a strong choice, but how is SSD VPS (one using solid state drives) preferable? For general advice on how the SSD is preferable to an HDD (hard disk drive), let’s look at points made by Kenneth Hess in ServerWatch (with updated data as available).
Hess’s well-executed report, based on an industry-wide overview, lists these benefits of solid state over the mechanical HDD variety:
- Durability – Hess noted that movement is problematic for HDDs, particularly when writing is occurring. In contrast, “SSDs… aren’t affected by mobility and are well-suited to such physical abuse,” he said. “SSDs can withstand up to 1,500 g during operation or 25 times that of a standard drive.” (2011 figures)
- Backup for power loss – There is a backup protection that is built into a typical enterprise-grade SSD: it checks changes in voltage, via power failure circuits, and puts a backup voltage holdup circuit into play if the voltage goes under its pre-established limit. That means that there is enough power available to save writes to the infrastructure that haven’t yet completed.
- Energy efficiency / sustainability – A solid state drive does not use a lot of energy. The 2011 figures for Watts used by an SSD and HDD show the wide gulf between them. “SSDs sip from 0.05 Watts to 1.3 Watts,” said Hess, “while their gluttonous counterparts gobble at a rate of 4 Watts or more.” Keep in mind that claims along these lines vary wildly; however, even those who question efficiency claims admit that energy used for a fixed amount of work will be lower with an SSD. In other words, there seems to be consensus that SSDs will help lower your power needs. (Plus, see the next point.)
- Not getting hot – Heat hurts the performance of electronics. That’s why datacenters are so cool. The heat dissipation will be much lower with an SSD than with a mechanical disk. That means you don’t have to blast the AC quite as much. Furthermore, your fan size can be smaller. To look at the other side, incredibly, Hess said that HDDs create 70 percent of a system’s heat.
- Longer life – Hess noted that HDDs tend to last 3-5 years but can die at any point. That is true actually. A study of 25,000 drives conducted in 2013 found that “only” 26% of HDDs die within 4 years. In contrast, Hess noted that he thinks the claims of SSD manufacturers of millions of hours should be seen as marketing hype, but that you can reasonably “[e]xpect your SSDs to last two to three times longer than mechanical drives.”
- Hot plug/unplug – You don’t have to “spin up” an SSD. You have their capacity right away, with no delay whatsoever. The only thing you need to wait for is the operating system to acknowledge that the drive is there. The wait is shorter, and there’s no reboot.
- Less noise pollution – Stress increases with noise pollution. Datacenters with mechanical drives are incredibly noisy. SSDs are quiescent drives. In a 100% SSD datacenter, all you would hear is central AC, cabinet fans, and system fans. Plus, as indicated above, your fans would likely be smaller, resulting in even lower noise.
- Speed – Last but not least, these drives offer better performance. Hess mentioned that there are some independent studies that have been conducted suggesting that SSDs are 2-3 times faster than mechanical disks (although some research suggests the performance difference isn’t that extreme).
Why is Speed Central to Your Blog’s Success?
In an informative article on site speed and its importance, Blog Tyrant founder Ramsay Taplin noted that 2 in 5 users leave a site if the load time is over 3 seconds. He suggested 4 straightforward ways in which your site is influenced by hosting speed:
- You get more email signups.
- You get better search engine prominence (i.e., server speed improvement is now a general SEO tactic).
- You garner more conversions and sales.
- You score better engagement, stronger readership, and improved trust.
To accelerate a site, one of the top specific strategies recommended by Taplin is switching from shared hosting to a VPS.
Support for Your Speed
Ramsay, founder of Blog Tyrant, is actually a client of ours. When we asked him for his thoughts on our hosting service, support is the first thing he mentioned.
“I can honestly say that [KnownHost’s] support is the best I have ever encountered,” he said. “If you’re looking to expand to a VPS and are a bit nervous about the process, I highly recommend KnownHost as the staff and culture at this company is really hard to beat.”