If you’re familiar with the world of best web hosting providers, you’ve definitely heard of two of the main types: shared and dedicated server hosting.
However, there is a third option suitable for businesses that need more power than a shared hosting plan offers, but don’t need their own dedicated server: VPS web hosting or virtual private server hosting.
In this feature, we explain what VPS web hosting is and tell you everything you and your business need to know about the best VPS hosting.
VPS web hosting: what is it?
A VPS is essentially like a mini dedicated server. This involves a specified amount of server resources being isolated from a physical server and dedicated to you and you alone. It is possible to host many VPS on a single bare metal or dedicated server, which can be scaled up or down as needed. This means that you will only ever have to pay for the resources you actually use.
All VPS web hosting can be divided into managed and unmanaged hosting categories. Fully managed VPS hosting includes maintenance, management and updates by IT professionals. Common management actions include initial setup, security updates, and data backups.
Meanwhile, self-managed VPSs do not come with management support. You will be responsible for everything, which requires a high level of technical experience. Of course, the advantage of self-managed hosting is that it’s extremely configurable, meaning you can customize it to your exact needs.
Although you will share your hardware with other VPS users, you will have your own operating system and full control over your server configuration. The isolated nature of VPS web hosting makes it a good bet for medium to large websites with moderate traffic.
VPS hosting vs other types of hosting
In short, VPS web hosting was developed to fill the big gap between low-end shared hosting and high-end dedicated servers. It’s a great option for small and medium-sized businesses because of its low complexity, speed, and affordability.
While shared hosting is much cheaper, it’s also slow, inflexible, and will struggle to handle traffic spikes during peak hours. VPS is so much better here because of its scalability, which means you can add more resources if needed.
In general, VPS web hosting is also much cheaper than dedicated servers, offering increased flexibility and much better scalability. This is largely because most VPS hosts allow you to switch between plans quickly and efficiently based on your site’s resource demands.
Web Hosting VPS vs Cloud VPS vs SSD VPS
In the past, VPS servers typically used hard disk (HDD) storage. But that’s changing, with hosts like VPS.net switching to Solid State Drive (SSD) storage for improved reliability and performance.
Because of their ability to handle a large number of I/O operations, SSD storage is best suited for a large number of users. Meanwhile, many of the best cloud hosting providers offer VPS cloud hosting, which uses multiple interconnected servers, improving redundancy. However, this tends to make cloud VPS hosting more expensive.
Those using traditional VPS or SSD web hosting are vulnerable to hardware failures as they depend on a single machine. Using cloud hosting improves reliability by completely removing this vulnerability: if one server in the cloud cluster fails, resources will simply be pulled from another.
In general, you should look for a high SLA for cloud VPS web hosting. In some cases, an SLA of 1000% is available.
Do you really want a VPS?
Those who choose VPS web hosting usually choose it because of its flexibility and availability of resources. For e-commerce stores, this flexibility is essential, as it allows you to deal with traffic spikes and increased pressure caused by payment processing and other sensitive actions.
Note that you don’t have to start with a VPS. Instead, consider starting with shared hosting and upgrading when your site outgrows your plan. This will ensure that your site is configured for optimal performance without costing you a small fortune like dedicated hosting would.
Further Reading on Web Hosting and Website Builders
When it comes to hosting, being informed is beneficial for the success of the site. Learn how your web hosting impacts security and how to avoid common hosting mistakes. Learn about web hosting security, domain privacy, and how hosting can affect SEO.
On the site building side, after choosing one of the best website builders, learn about AMP and mobile-friendly design; how to make your website accessible; and what are cookies and what is SEO, so you are fully prepared.