Before buying VPS hosting its important to know if it is right for you. In this article I go through what exactly VPS hosting is. At the end you should know if its right for you. If you do decide you want to buy VPS hosting I recommend you read our guide to the best VPS hosts.
You have probably heard of shared and dedicated hosting; anyone who has tried to buy hosting will have encountered these terms. VPS hosting is a type of hosting that combines aspects of both shared and dedicated hosting to provide something unique that blends the benefits of both.
VPS, Shared, and Dedicated
VPS, Shared, and Dedicated
A dedicated server is the best way of hosting a website – it means you have the most resources possible and can handle high volumes of traffic. However, dedicated hosting is expensive, and also unnecessary for smaller websites that aren’t expecting a significant flow of traffic.
For websites that don’t need the resources of an entire server, there is shared hosting. Under a shared hosting package, users share server space and resources with other websites. This means that users aren’t able to take advantage of the full resources that a server has to offer. However, for a smaller website, shared hosting provides more than enough horsepower.
VPS hosting provides users with a little bit of both types. VPS hosting is a form of shared hosting where each user has their own virtualized private server. The result of this is to replicate a dedicated server within a shared hosting environment.
How Does VPS Work?
The principles that underpin VPS are the same as those behind other common forms of virtualization such as emulation, VMware, or Virtual Box environments. Most VPS providers will give their users a range of operating systems to choose from; each virtual server on a shared server can virtualize a different OS simultaneously.
Benefits of VPS Hosting
With VPS hosting, you will still have to share server resources with other users. However, you will also have an experience more akin to a dedicated server and will therefore have a greater degree of control over your server environment.
With VPS hosting, your OS is kept entirely separate from everyone else’s. This means that there’s much less scope for another user to accidentally or intentionally access your data without your permission.
A VPS gives you your own operating system to play around with. This gives you a tremendous amount of control and means that you will be running your own instances of server applications like MySQL and PHP. If you need to customize any of these services for your individual needs, you are able to do so.
Even though you are sharing server space with other users, a VPS leaves you free to restart your OS whenever you need to. This means that you are able to update your OS at a time that suits you and you don’t have to worry about scheduling updates and restarts.
As with all forms of shared hosting, you will be sharing server resources when you use a VPS. However, a VPS gives you a dedicated chunk of the available resources and you are guaranteed access to these resources at all times. Under other shared hosting setups, the number of resources you have access to can fluctuate.
VPS hosting provides a happy medium between dedicated and shared hosting. It is a great way of learning how dedicated hosting works and how to manage a dedicated hosting environment before you commit the money and resources to rent a dedicated hosting package.