What is web hosting? This is a common question among those thinking of launching their own website for the first time. Very often, they receive a simplified answer that only focuses on shared hosting. This is somewhat understandable, as shared hosting solutions are the most popular offering on the market and meet the needs of most users looking for web hosting for small business purposes. But there are other types of hosting services available too. Knowing about them can be quite useful for anyone who hopes to see their business grow and attract more website visitors in the process.
VPS Hosting vs Shared Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting
The majority of businesses start out with shared hosting, as it’s the most affordable and simple solution. However, it does have a number of drawbacks. As all websites share the resources of the same server, it simply isn’t powerful enough for websites that receive a large amount of daily visitors, are highly interactive and have many users viewing them at the same time (discussion forums, popular e-commerce sites, etc.) or websites with a lot of multimedia content.
VPS web hosting is the next step up. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. With this hosting type, you’re allocated a specified amount of server resources, such as CPU power, RAM, disk space, bandwidth and IP addresses. This is done by using virtualization software, which splits the hardware resources of a physical server among users. With VPS hosting, you have direct access to your virtual server’s operating system (Windows or Linux) and more freedom to install third-party software. However, it costs more than shared hosting and requires a bit more technical skill to manage.
Dedicated hosting is the most powerful hosting solution on the market. The difference between VPS and dedicated server you get full control and use of an actual, physical server. Nobody else but you will be hosting their websites on it. This makes it a choice for hosting applications requiring maximum performance and security, such as large e-commerce websites or hosted online applications, such as games or chat services. Obviously, it is the most expensive option and the most complex to manage.
When Do you Need a Virtual Private Server?
Changing to VPS web hosting may sometimes involve switching web hosts if your current host doesn’t offer this hosting type. However, it is a necessary step to take in many cases. If your website traffic has grown a lot, you may have noticed that the page load speed of your website has increased, as the shared server just can’t provide enough resources to your website.
You may also choose to upgrade if you plan on managing multiple websites for clients, which is common if you’re a web designer or online marketer. Another reason to switch is if you need root access to run third-party applications.
Factors to Consider When Choosing A VPS Provider
When changing web hosts to a VPS provider, you should look for more than just low prices. A good hosting provider will offer various VPS packages, which makes it easier to upgrade if needed in the future. They should also have technical support available 24/7 and a useful reference library to help you set up and manage your server.
Finally, you should take a look at their general reputation and reliability. Many web hosting comparison sites compare various providers side-by-side, together with reviews and user testimonials to help you make your choice.
Learning to Use VPS Web Hosting
Once you make the switch, moving your files and getting your website running on your VPS may seem a bit challenging at first. However, every quality web host will have a detailed help section with tutorials on how to setup your VPS as a web server, configure it for your site and transfer your files to the disk. Some even have videos to explain the process in more detail. Of course, you can always contact their support for help if you’re having trouble during the process or don’t understand something.
If your website has gotten bigger and needs a more powerful hosting solution, VPS hosting is often the ideal choice. It provides more flexibility, together with better performance for more demanding sites. By reading a web hosting comparison resource, you can find out more about different options offered by various reputable hosting companies and choose one that matches your needs and budget.
Now that you know the difference between VPS hosting and other variants, the question remain is should you really go for VPS?
The answer is ‘Yes’. VPS is better than shared hosting in every technical way, and you should definitely switch to VPS hosting if you’re running a serious business online, and especially when there is a large number of visitors coming to your site everyday.
Last but not least, the best part about choosing VPS hosting is that VPS gives you the full opportunity to enjoy all the amenities from the hosting provider, plus a better security for the server.