What is VPS hosting, and why is it vital to your business?
If you’re wondering how a virtual private server differs from other hosting services, you’ve come to the right place.
I wrote this article to discuss VPS hosting and why it’s essential for your business. I’ll also explain the difference between VPS, shared, and dedicated hosting.
Table of Contents
Virtual private server hosting (or VPS hosting) is where a hosting provider creates an isolated instance on a physical server.
When you avail of VPS hosting from a hosting provider, you often get an “instance.”
An instance is often a virtual machine on an entire physical server. This virtual server takes a fraction of the physical server for isolated use.
You can access your virtual private server environments digitally and are not limited to a physical location.
Virtual private servers also allocate bandwidth and disk space for each instance, ensuring other VPS servers on the same physical server don’t affect your virtual server.
The separated servers let you choose your operating system (OS) for a more customized server experience.
Private VPS Parent hosting refers to the parent server for different VPS server instances.
The hosting provider builds this option upon request, giving you control over the entire virtual private server.
You can create multiple virtual servers within your parent server.
This VPS hosting option lets you control the entire server. You can create the VPS servers for virtual machine instances within your parent server.
VPS hosting works when a web hosting provider divides a server into dedicated virtual parts.
VPS hosting is more common than Private VPS Parent hosting. VPS hosting service providers usually advertise VPS hosting, not Private VPS Parent hosting.
To create the servers, a VPS hosting provider uses hypervisor software to implement a virtual layer on top of the server’s operating system.
The hosting company can create servers with its own operating system and resources.
A hosting company usually charges more as you scale in terms of bandwidth, disk space, and other metrics.
Let’s see how VPS hosting compares to other hosting solutions.
Shared hosting is when you split server resources within a single physical server. Instead of a private server, shared hosting gives you access to the same server as other shared hosting subscribers.
You can look at a shared hosting environment as a shared room. A VPS hosting service gets individual rooms, while shared hosting makes users share a room.
Shared hosting has multiple users, which can affect the speed and reliability of the service. If one user hogs too many server resources on shared hosting, this results in slower web hosting performance.
VPS hosting is safer than shared hosting because it isolates itself from other virtual servers.
Shared hosting is better if you want the cheapest way to host your website. However, hosting providers like Hostgator have affordable hosting plan options for VPS.
While the VPS hosting plan gives you access to a virtual segment of the server, dedicated hosting gives you access to an entire dedicated server.
Dedicated hosting gives you access to your own physical servers, unlike a VPS server with access to just dedicated resources through virtual machines.
Hosting providers charge more for this hosting because a dedicated server is expensive. It’s costly to make and maintain.
Renting a dedicated server is like renting a whole apartment with several rooms. Unlike a VPS server, a dedicated server lets you control the entire building.
Aside from dedicated server space or resources, your dedicated servers are entirely isolated from other servers.
Dedicated hosting is better if you want your own dedicated resources and want to keep them private. This hosting package lets you install custom software by giving you root access.
Cloud hosting is more flexible than VPS hosting since you can adjust CPU power or memory on demand.
Cloud hosting is like VPS hosting, where you gain a chunk of the cloud as a virtual machine. Although you don’t get your own server, you get a part of a cloud that you can expand at will.
Although you can choose your own OS with cloud hosting, cloud hosting is more complicated than VPS hosting.
To tweak the network architecture, you must familiarize yourself with cloud hosting technology. With VPS hosting, things are more fixed and straightforward.
A VPS hosting provider often lets you pay for fixed resources. A cloud host often charges you depending on the resources you use.
WordPress Hosting is a particular type of server hosting designed for WordPress websites. The web host often gives you more WordPress-specific features like plugins, WP command-line interface, and server configurations for WP.
WordPress Hosting is already WordPress-optimized, and no VPS options are specifically for WordPress.
If you chose VPS for WordPress, you could still configure your environment to make it optimized for WordPress.
The benefit of a VPS offering is you can handle more than just a WordPress website. Although some big companies still use WordPress, others like to transition when their website becomes bigger.
Managed VPS hosting lets you take a hands-off approach, while unmanaged VPS hosting means you have to manage everything yourself.
Fully managed VPS hosting gives your hosting provider complete control of your server. The provider is responsible for server management, troubleshooting, maintenance, and software installs.
With managed VPS hosting, you don’t get root access to your server.
Sometimes, users themselves are the cause of server problems. With fully managed hosting, the hosting provider usually prevents the owner from accessing the server to avoid this happening.
- Time saver – Since someone manages your server, you don’t have to spend time maintaining, troubleshooting, and dealing with software installs.
- Requires no IT experience – You won’t need to know about the technical aspect of running your server.
- OS updates – You can be sure your operating systems will receive regular updates for added security.
- Change implementation – Managed hosting ensures the correct execution of changes to avoid accidents.
- Additional costs – You have to pay more for managed hosting.
- Less control – You often give up more control over your own server.
Unmanaged hosting is when you decide to handle your website by yourself. Although customer support is available for managed and unmanaged hosting, you are often in charge of implementations.
Unmanaged hosting is a cheaper alternative and better for people with technical expertise. Since no one manages your server, you can customize it.
The disadvantage of this option is it requires time and expertise since you’ll have to manually update, maintain, and troubleshoot your website.
You also often place yourself at more risk when managing your server software.
Since managed hosting has its own security practices and safety protocols, it can avoid red flags. Since you don’t, there is a higher risk of you doing something that can affect your server.
- More Control – You have complete control of your server, allowing you to do whatever you want.
- Costs Less – You can save money when you manage your server yourself.
- Less Trust Required – Since you manage the server yourself, you don’t need to worry about trusting the hosting provider.
- Time-consuming – You’ll have to allot more time to maintain and keep the server running. You also have to allocate more time to learning the problem when troubleshooting.
- Reliance on customer support – Unless you’re an expert, you’ll rely more on customer support. Not all hosting providers have good technical customer support ready 24/7.
- Constant OS updates and patches – You’ll have to update yourself on OS updates and patches. You won’t always receive notifications, so constantly check for updates.
If managed hosting is too expensive and unmanaged hosting is too risky, there is a middle ground. Semi-managed hosting lets you choose which functions you want the hosting provider to manage and which functions you want to do yourself.
Semi-managed hosting lets you get some basics like software installation and support, OS updates and patches, security enhancement, proactive response, full web server support, and event monitoring.
Depending on the hosting provider, you can also discuss which aspects you want them to manage and which elements you want to handle yourself.
There are certain instances where you should use VPS hosting compared to shared hosting and other options. Here’s when you should use VPS hosting.
If your website handles sensitive data and you’re still using shared hosting, it could be time to upgrade.
VPS hosting gives you an isolated server to store your data, minimizing the risk of compromise.
Aside from third-party security software, one thing you can do is upgrade to VPS hosting. Aside from isolation, you can benefit from routine maintenance and updates if you have managed VPS hosting.
If you use a low-tier shared hosting and experience high traffic, you may want to change to VPS hosting.
Since you use dedicated (and not distributed) resources, you can ensure the speed and stability of your website.
Aside from a slow website, you risk your server crashing if it can’t handle the high traffic.
Starting with shared hosting is not a problem, but when you anticipate massive growth, you can switch to a VPS host.
Hosting providers like A2 hosting make it easier for you to migrate from shared hosting to VPS hosting.
If your website is running slow, you may lack RAM. Shared hosting can’t allocate sufficient RAM for growing sites.
As you add more content to your website, you’ll see a decrease in your site’s loading time. When this happens, you should upgrade to VPS hosting.
You need more RAM to handle sophisticated applications on your website. If you plan to add applications like games, music, widgets, or plugins, you need more RAM to ensure stable site speed.
When your site starts slowing down, this indicates you are maximizing its limitations.
If you are running an ecommerce store, you should use VPS instead of shared hosting. Aside from the performance aspect, you also risk security when you share a server with others.
You should have your own virtual private server if you process payments through the website, letting you keep the data collected isolated from other servers.
Ecommerce websites can grow fast. Thus, you should have a hosting capable of handling your growth.
A VPS server gives you dedicated resources and lets you know how much of the server you use. When you max out your VPS server, you can choose to upgrade it and rent out more dedicated resources.
You should have a VPS server if your website hosts a game, app, or custom software.
A VPS server gives you more control and lets you run custom software, while shared hosting doesn’t.
Aside from functionality, a VPS server also helps you protect your source code. If you are running proprietary custom software, you should hide it from other users.
VPS hosting lets you store your source codes safely in an isolated virtual server.
You can opt for Private VPS Parent hosting if you handle client websites, allowing you to compartmentalize the parent server into multiple VPS servers per website.
If you’re making websites for clients, it is very inconvenient to subscribe to new hosting for every client. Instead, get a Private VPS Parent hosting plan to create VPS servers.
With Private VPS Parent hosting, you can open and close virtual servers.
You can easily open up a new virtual server whenever you get a new client. If your client stops subscribing to your services, you can close down their server.
Compartmentalizing servers also makes them easier to handle and improves security.
Consider these elements before subscribing to a VPS hosting service.
You’ll often have the option to choose between Linux or Windows. Your choice depends on your familiarity with the OS.
Windows is more user-friendly, but you can do more with Linux if you’re into coding. There are other sub-OS options in between, but the two primary choices are Linux and Windows.
Make sure your hosting package is compatible with your operating system. For example, web hosting providers don’t offer Windows server hosting options.
When choosing a VPS hosting, ensure the provider has a high uptime. Uptime refers to the length of time a service is available.
Anything below 99.91% is unacceptable. An example of a hosting provider with high uptime is Bluehost, with a record 99.98% uptime.
The higher the uptime, the less likely a hosting service will crash or be unavailable. There is no such thing as 100% uptime guaranteed.
When choosing a VPS hosting, pay attention to the hardware you use. When it comes to storage, opt for SSD instead of HDD.
HDD storage is slow and can affect your website. If there is an option for NVMe storage, you should choose this on top of SSD storage.
Depending on the hosting provider, the more sophisticated the hardware, the higher it usually costs.
The good thing about VPS hosting is that you get 24/7 customer support. If your site experiences a meltdown, make sure you can contact your hosting provider.
Test if a hosting provider has good customer service by messaging them at different times of the day before subscribing. Doing so will give you an idea of how fast they respond at various times.
I hope I’ve clarified VPS hosting and its significance to your business.
If you want to use VPS hosting, don’t hesitate to test a hosting provider’s response and reliability through free trials before subscribing.
Regarding hosting, you should also learn the difference between web hosting and cloud hosting.