The internet is a vast, constantly expanding space that has room for anyone and everyone. You have small-to-medium websites with a low volume of traffic and a simple layout and you have more complex websites that do a lot more. Carving a space for yourself in this seemingly endless mass of websites can often seem intimidating, but with the right tools, you can create a spot for yourself. That’s where VPS hosting comes in.
Let us paint a picture: when you’re setting up a website, one of the main questions to ask is – what kind of server will I choose to host my website? It’s one of the most basic and vital facts: to create a website online you need to have your website files on a server. However, this can be a difficult and expensive exercise. When it comes to website hosting services, you’ll have plenty of options. We’ve listed a few below:
- Shared Hosting
- Cloud-based Hosting
- Dedicated Web Server
- WordPress Hosting
And many others. Each of these options caters to a different need. In this blog, we’ll be breaking down one specific type of server: VPS.
What is VPS Hosting?
To begin with, VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. This is essentially a server within a server. You have one physical server, which hosts multiple virtual servers. Each of these virtual servers remains separate, giving you autonomy over the space you have rented. Each VPS runs its own operating system, regardless of the others in the same physical server. It may be hosting multiple websites, but as far as you’re concerned, it’s all yours.
How does VPS hosting work?
In a shared space, like VPS, it’s hard to imagine how multiple servers operate independently. And yet this is completely possible thanks to virtualization software, known as the hypervisor. This software segments a single physical server into multiple virtual servers and keeps each of them separated from the rest. As a result, you now have access to what is, called a Virtual Machine (VM). Each of these virtual machines runs a complete OS and is restricted to a portion of the physical server. While multiple tenants share VMs on the same server, they are restricted from interacting with each other. This allows for perfect privacy, even with multiple users.
Why not Shared or Dedicated Hosting?
As we’ve mentioned previously, you have the freedom to choose the server that suits you best. VPS has some commonalities with Shared and Dedicated hosting, and that is what sets it apart from the rest.
Shared: To begin with, both VPS and Shared Hosting host multiple tenants on a single server. However, there is one key difference: In Shared Hosting, the resources are spread equally between all users. As a result, the bandwidth for users of Shared Hosting will fluctuate based on need and you won’t be able to control the bandwidth you receive. On the other hand, VPS is a more customized option – you can select a plan and provider that gives you access to the maximum amount of RAM, server space and bandwidth. From the first step, VPS puts the reins in your hands.
Dedicated: True to its name, a dedicated server is entirely yours to utilize. This is usually an option for those with a high volume of traffic or those who choose to customize their website in a specific way. However, it’s an expensive choice that might not be right for you if you’re just starting out or if your requirements aren’t too advanced. VPS offers you the same luxury of privacy and dedicated resources with a small space to rent. It offers you one piece of the whole server which is exclusively yours.
What are the advantages of VPS?
When you’re choosing a server, there are many things to consider – chief among them is the benefits of each. Here, we’re going to tell you why you should consider VPS for your website. If you’re feeling the need for some breathing room but can’t afford a dedicated server (where 100 per cent of the servers’ resources are dedicated to your website), VPS is the perfect compromise. However, the advantages don’t end there, and we’ll tell you why:
- Flexibility: In a shared server, you don’t have too much room to control or customise. With VPS you can choose the hardware and software configurations and run the applications you need, such as Apache, PHP and others.
- Affordable: If you’re working with restricted budgets and high traffic, VPS will fit the bill. The hosting company can divvy up the cost of operating and maintaining the server between all tenants that are operating on a given server. This will significantly reduce your monthly rental amount.
- Privacy: When you don’t share your OS with another, no one else has access to your stored website files.
- Security: Compared to Shared Hosting, VPS is far more secure. Due to the fact that your server remains separate, your files will be unsullied by others’ mistakes and vice versa. Also, your resources will remain unaffected by their usage – your website will be just as accessible.
- Root Access: Because your VPS acts as a mini-server in its own right, you’ll get root access. What is that? Root access is basically the option of modifying the software code on a device or installing another software – changes that a hosting provider wouldn’t allow normally on shared hosting. So, with the VPS, you can configure and install your own software and (as mentioned previously) run your own applications.
It comes down to basic reasons: If your business is growing and receiving more traffic, it is time to move to a more controlled setting like VPS.
VPS ensures that your website continues to run smoothly, regardless of what is happening elsewhere on the server. It also protects your data from multiple sites, giving you a secure piece of virtual real estate to build a website on.
What should you factor in before choosing VPS Hosting?
Now that you’ve decided to go ahead with VPS hosting, there’s another set of questions to answer and they all circle around the same questions; how to manage VPS Hosting? What type of hosting to choose?
- Windows VPS Hosting or Linux VPS Hosting? Which environment to choose? What is Linux VPS Hosting? And what is Windows VPS Hosting? These questions are important when you have to use a certain application that is required by you. Applications like WordPress, Perl, Python, etc. are supported by Linux as Windows Hosting doesn’t support these. Few server-side applications that are written in .NET., ASP, ASP.NET, MySQL, PHP, etc. will require Windows Hosting whereas programming languages like MySQL and PHP are commonly used on Linux.
- Do you have a dedicated resource – one person – to manage the server? Or would you prefer a managed hosting solution, which includes server management in the service?
- Can your server grow with your needs? This question is particularly vital if your bandwidth needs to change or your business is scaling up.
- Will you go for cloud-based data or VPS or stick to more conventional servers? Note: Cloud-based hosting is both flexible and scalable, whereas traditional servers are more limited. However, the choice remains yours.
- Support: Even with all these factors considered and chosen, things can go awry. Therefore, you’ll need customer service, which will reduce the risk of valuable uptime, while fixing a problem.
The final factor is the price. Almost all hosting services offer storage, RAM, a specific data transfer speed, IP addresses and the link for a fixed cost. This is usually on a monthly basis. Choose a plan that fits your budget and offers you the flexibility you need.
So, there you have it, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to understanding VPS Hosting and whether it is the right choice for you. If you’re looking for more information, you can browse through our blog.