An Overview of VPS Hosting
VPS is short for Virtual Private Server. This style of hosting is one physical server, which is divided into several smaller virtual servers. Even though they’re physically a part of the same server, each one of these virtual servers acts as its own dedicated server environment.
Since you have your own dedicated section of the server, you have your own set of allocated resources and can customize and configure your server partition exactly the way you want. Plus, there’s no exchange of data or file access between accounts on the VPS server.
However, one risk of VPS hosting is that if one physical server fails, then every VPS using that server fails as well. The performance of a VPS can also vary if one site happens to be hogging resources on the physical server—although most hosting providers partition the different VPS sections off in a way that reduces this risk.
What Is VPS hosting?
VPS hosting differs from other web hosting plans. VPS hosting stands for virtual private servers and it allots you access to more resources. VPS hosting tends to limit the number of websites on a single server, and provides a reserved space on the server for your website’s disk space and bandwidth.
This means when using a virtual private server, your website won’t be affected if another website on your server has a spike in activity. There are also more customizations available to VPS hosting users. VPS hosting is perfect for sites that are too big for shared hosting, but too small to move to a dedicated server.
What is VPS Hosting used for?
Beyond hosting a website, VPS servers have a myriad of other uses. Even if you’re currently happy with your existing hosting plan, you might want to check out VPS hosting for the other types of scenarios it provides.
Here are the most common VPS use cases beyond your standard hosting plan:
- Hosting Your Own Personal Server: There’s a multitude of reasons to run your own server environment, outside of simply hosting your website. A VPS server gives you your own virtual playground for additional online activities.
For example, maybe you want your own dedicated servers for games? For some people, the cost of a dedicated server might be prohibitive, but instead, you could run a VPS server to host smaller game matches or create your own custom game environment.
Not every hosting company will allow you to run a gaming server via VPS, so make sure you read the terms and conditions, or contact support, before you decide to go this route.
- Testing New Applications: If you regularly deploy web applications or test out custom server setups, you’ll need your own server environment to test these things out. But, an entire dedicated server might be too expensive to warrant simple testing.
In this case, a VPS will fit the bill perfectly. This will give you a playground to do whatever you wish without incurring high monthly costs.
- Additional File Storage: Sometimes, you want to create another backup of your files, but using cloud storage accounts can become expensive. If you want to create secure and easily accessible backups, then consider using a VPS server. Overall, this might end up being cheaper than a cloud hosting account, depending on the overall volume of the files you need stored.
However, keep in mind that not every hosting provider will allow their VPS accounts to be used for pure file storage, so double check the terms and conditions before you move forward.
Below are the advantages and disadvantages of VPS web hosting:
- Reliable performance. Having a dedicated server space ensures that the issues of one website won’t affect the other sites.
- Full root access. This feature is useful for technologically-savvy users who need to install a custom operating system or software for their projects.
- Dedicated IP address. Most web hosting providers include this with their VPS plans. Compared to a shared IP address, it’s a much safer option as it will protect your email reputation, preventing your website from being associated with spammy sites.
- Prohibitive Pricing. Even though VPS hosting is quite cost-effective, especially with all of the features, the pricing can still be steep for some website owners. If a basic shared hosting plan is stretching your budget, then VPS might not be the right option for you. VPS hosting does seem cheap when compared to the more expensive dedicated hosting plans. However, it’s still a pretty sizable step up from shared hosting.
- Poor Resource Allocation With Low-Quality Hosts. VPS hosting relies upon proper resource allocation. If you’re using a low-quality host, another site that’s on the same physical server may impact your site, or your site otherwise won’t be able to perform at the level you’ve grown used to. However, using a high-quality host should help you easily avoid either of these issues.
Who Should Use VPS Hosting?
A VPS can be a great choice for website users who have outgrown their shared hosting plan. However, it’s not perfect for every kind of website out there. Virtual Private Server hosting is great for users looking for more control over their website, with the technical skills to set up a customized environment.
Specifically, VPS may be right for you if:
- You’re planning a website that has complexity, and your programmer will want more power over customization.
- You have too much traffic for a shared web hosting plan to make sense, but your traffic numbers are typically consistent month to month, so you have a pretty good idea of how much bandwidth you’ll need.
- You have a specific type of software (or more than one) your website will require, and you expect to need direct access to the server to install and maintain it.
VPS Hosting Comparison
By now you understand what a VPS hosting solution is, and the other reasons you might want to deploy a Virtual Private Server.
Now it’s time to see how VPS hosting compares to the other forms of hosting out there. For those thinking about upgrading their current hosting package, this section is for you.
We went into shared hosting a bit above, but it’s worth digging in a bit more detail. With shared hosting, you’re renting space on a physical server that’s being shared with multiple other users. The server is partitioned between users, but there is a chance that other sites on the same server could impact your site.
With a VPS hosting solution you’re still sharing a physical server with other users. But, the underlying technology is much different. A VPS utilizes what’s known as a hypervisor. This ensures that you always have access to the guaranteed level of server resources as specified in your hosting plan.
Shared hosting is a great place to start, but once you’ve run into its limits, VPS is a great next step. Plus, VPS hosting has the added benefit of being able to scale with your site.
Dedicated hosting is pretty simple. You’re renting an entire physical server that’s yours to do whatever you want. It’s one of the more expensive forms of hosting available, but it’ll provide you with very high levels of performance and security while offering you the ability to customize your server however you see fit.
A VPS server vs. a dedicated server will behave differently, in that you have your own virtualized dedicated server to use how you see fit. However, you don’t have your own physical dedicated server, just a virtual one.
If you have a very high traffic website, or require very high levels of security, then a dedicated server might be a better fit. However, keep in mind that you’ll need a larger budget when compared to VPS hosting. But, if you don’t have the budget for a dedicated host, then VPS hosting will suit you fine until it’s possible to upgrade.
Cloud hosting is one of the newer forms of hosting on the block. Overall, cloud hosting is similar to VPS in that it uses virtualization technologies to create a server environment. However, when comparing cloud hosting vs. VPS hosting, there’s a network of servers that are grouped together to create a cloud server cluster.
This setup provides you with very high levels of reliability and scalability. So, if your traffic levels swing up and down from month to month, then this style of hosting could be advantageous.
VPS hosting operates in a similar fashion by creating a virtualized web server environment across a few physical servers (if your resource needs require it). However, with VPS hosting you should have a more stable volume of traffic per month, even if it’s rising on a consistent basis.
Hopefully, you have a better understanding of what a VPS is used for, even beyond the realm of hosting your website. Overall, VPS hosting is a great fit for people who simply want to launch a website and have outgrown the limits of their shared hosting environment. , then upgrading to VPS hosting can be a great decision for the future of your website. A VPS is powerful and does offer improved performance, and is a strong choice for any business that expects (and appreciates) the consistency of a stable server.
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