There comes a time when a web designer or developer needs more flexibility from their hosting solution. So what’s the next step when you need something more than your basic shared hosting plan? One solution is a virtual private server (VPS).If you’ve never used a VPS before, we’ve got you covered
What is VPS hosting ?
A VPS, or virtual private server, is a form of multi-tenant cloud hosting in which virtualized server resources are made available to an end user over the internet via a cloud or hosting provider.
Each VPS is installed on a physical machine, operated by the cloud or hosting provider, that runs multiple VPSs. But while the VPSs share a hypervisor and underlying hardware, each VPS runs its own operating system and applications and reserves its own portion of the machine’s resources (memory, compute, etc.).
A VPS offers levels of performance, flexibility, and control somewhere between those offered by multi-tenant shared hosting and single-tenant dedicated hosting. While it might seem counterintuitive that the multi-tenant VPS arrangement would be called ‘private’—especially when single-tenant options are available—the term ‘VPS’ is most commonly used by traditional hosting providers to distinguish it from shared hosting, a hosting model where all the hardware and software resources of a physical machine are shared equally across multiple users.
How Does VPS Hosting Work ?
A server is a computer on which your web host stores the files and databases needed for your website. Whenever an online visitor wants to access your website, their browser sends a request to your server and it transfers the necessary files through the internet. VPS hosting provides you with a virtual server that simulates a physical server, however, in reality, the machine is shared among several users.
Using virtualization technology, your hosting provider installs a virtual layer on top of the operating system (OS) of the server. This layer divides the server into partitions and allows each user to install their own OS and software.
Therefore, a virtual private server (VPS) is both virtual and private because you have complete control. It is separated from other server users on the OS level. In fact, VPS technology is similar to creating partitions on your own computer when you want to run more than one OS (e.g. Windows and Linux) without a reboot.
Running a VPS lets you set up your website within a secure container with guaranteed resources (memory, disk space, CPU cores, etc.) you don’t have to share with other users. With VPS hosting, you have the same root-level access as if you had a dedicated server, but at a much lower cost.
Advantages of VPS hosting
- It’s faster and more reliable than a shared hosting server.
- As server resources such as memory or processing power are guaranteed, there’s zero to minimal fluctuation in available resources.
- Issues and traffic surges of other server users don’t affect your site.
- You get superuser (root) access to your server.
- You have better privacy, as your files and databases are locked from other server users.
- It’s an easy-to-scale service. As your website grows, you can easily upgrade your server resources (RAM, CPU, disk space, bandwidth, etc.).
Disadvantages of VPS hosting
- It’s more expensive than shared hosting.
- It requires more technical knowledge to setup your VPS, though there are a lot of tutorials available online.
- Server management is more technically demanding than shared or cloud plans.
- Improperly configured servers may lead to security vulnerabilities.
VPS hosting is usually seen as the next step after your website grows out of the resource limits of shared hosting. If the most advanced shared hosting plan is not enough anymore to run your website smoothly, it’s worth upgrading to a VPS plan. In such cases, VPS hosting can provide you with the best of two worlds: shared and dedicated hosting.