As a seasoned web development and digital marketing expert, I understand the frustration of dealing with slow, unreliable shared hosting plans.
If you’re ready for more control over your server environment and better website performance without the cost of a dedicated server, a virtual private server (VPS) may be the perfect solution for you.
Today we’ll delve into the fundamentals of VPS hosting, exploring what it is, how it works, and whether it’s the right choice for your website.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of whether a VPS is a right option for you to upgrade your hosting plan and enhance your website’s performance.
Table Of Contents
- What Is A Virtual Private Server?
- Types Of VPS
- Advantages Of VPS Hosting
- Disadvantages Of VPS Hosting
- Shared vs. VPS Vs. Dedicated Hosting
- When Should You Switch To VPS?
- 1. You Are Getting Lots Of Traffic
- 2. You Are In A Seasonal Niche
- 3. You Run Ads On Your Website
- 4. You Have An Ecommerce Store
- 5. You Need The Customization And Security Of A Dedicated Server, But You Are On A Tight Budget
- 6. You Need To Install Custom Software
- 7. You Run Into Server Errors
- 8. You’re on a Budget
- 9. You Build Websites For Your Clients
- The Ideal Solution for Enhanced Resources Without Dedicated Server Costs
What Is A Virtual Private Server?
A VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a single physical server that has been divided into multiple smaller, virtual servers using virtualization technology. This allows you to rent a portion of the server and have complete control over it.
To understand how a Virtual Private Server works, think of an apartment complex. The complex has one physical building with multiple units in it.
Each unit is rented out to a different tenant. Even though the tenants share the same building (physical hardware), they each have their own private space that is entirely separate from the other units (virtual server.)
Similarly, when you rent a VPS, you rent a portion of the physical server that you don’t share with anyone.
You are given your own private space on the server and can install your own operating system, reboot the server independently, and have dedicated resources that you don’t share with other websites. The advantage to having your own dedicated resources is that it prevents the “noisy neighbour effect”. More on that below.
Essentially, a Virtual Private Server VPS gives you all the benefits of dedicated hosting without the high price tag.
Types Of VPS
Cloud/Unmanaged VPS Hosting
With unmanaged VPS hosting, you are responsible for the server. This means that you have to install the virtual operating system, monitor it, and keep it updated. You also have to do your own security.
This is an ideal option if you have the technical knowledge to manage a cloud server. It’s also much cheaper and gives you more control over your virtual server.
Managed VPS Hosting
With managed VPS hosting, the web hosting provider takes care of everything for you. This can include security, backups, updates, and more.
This is a great option if you don’t have the technical knowledge to manage a server or want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your server is being taken care of by experts.
Managed VPS is a little more expensive than unmanaged hosting, but it takes a lot of the stress out of owning a website.
Advantages Of VPS Hosting
1. Reliable & Fast
One of the many problems with the shared hosting environment is the noisy neighbour effect. This is when another website on the same server as you uses up all of the resources, causing your website to run slowly or even crash.
With a VPS host, you don’t have to worry about this because you have your own dedicated CPU, RAM, disk space, and bandwidth that are not shared with anyone else.
This makes VPS hosting much faster than shared hosting because you get to use all of the resources for your website instead of sharing them with other server users. This means faster reload times and the ability to handle more traffic without your website slowing down or crashing.
Having your own dedicated hosting server also means that your website is more reliable because if another website on the same physical server as you has a problem, it will not affect your site.
It’s completely isolated from the rest of the server, so you don’t have to worry about anything happening to your website.
As your website grows, you will need to upgrade your hosting plan to accommodate the growth.
With managed VPS hosting, it’s easy to do this because you can easily add more resources to your server as you need them.
For instance, if you are in a seasonal niche that gets a lot of traffic during certain months, you can just add more resources to your server during those months and remove them when the season is over.
This is not the case with shared web hosting because you are limited by the resources of the single server.
If you need more resources, you will have to upgrade to a higher-priced hosting package or switch to VPS hosting solution.
It’s also much easier to scale up with VPS hosting than shared hosting because you don’t have to migrate your website to a new server.
With just a few clicks, you can simply add more RAM, CPU, or disk space to your existing server.
This is a huge time saver and makes it much easier to grow your website without any downtime or headaches.
Shared hosting is considered the least secured web hosting option because all of the websites on the server share the same physical resources.
If one website is hacked, it can put all of the other websites on the entire server at risk.
On the other hand, VPS hosting is more secure because each website has its own virtual server. This means that the resources of one website cannot be accessed by another website. It’s like you are on a completely different server.
This makes it difficult for hackers to reach your site because they would need to gain access to your own server.
Virtual Private Server hosting also comes with its own security features, such as firewalls and DDoS protection, that you can add to your server to further improve security.
4. Full Control
With VPS hosting, you have root access, meaning you have full control over your server. You can install any server software or service you want, such as a content management system (CMS), eCommerce platform, or forum software.
You can also uninstall the software if you no longer need it, freeing up space on your server and saving you more money.
Not only that, but you also have control over the server settings, such as the operating system, PHP version, and MySQL database.
This is particularly helpful as it allows you to tailor your server to your specific needs, which highly improves website performance.
You don’t have this level of control with shared hosting plans because the server is managed by the web hosting provider.
The web hosting provider decides what software can be installed and what services can be used. This can be limiting if you want to use specific software for your website.
While you can still install some software, it may not work as well because it is not optimised for the server. And if you need industry specific software, you will likely not be able to install it on a shared server.
5. Choose The Server Location
Another amazing benefit of Virtual Private Server hosting is that you can choose the server location. This is important if you want your website to load quickly for visitors from certain countries.
For instance, if most of your visitors are from the US, you would want to choose a server located in the US.
This would ensure that the data reaches them quicker, resulting in a faster loading website for US visitors.
Shared server hosting, on the other hand, does not offer this flexibility because the server location is decided by the web hosting provider.
Most of the time, the server will be located in the country where the hosting company is based.
So, if you are targeting visitors from other countries, your website may load more slowly for them.
6. Eco Friendly
Hosting servers use A LOT of energy, with almost half of it just for cooling. The average server uses around 850W per hour, which is roughly 7451.1 kWh per year. That’s the equivalent of 6 tonnes of CO₂, and that’s just one server!
Now imagine if every one of the 1.17 billion websites on earth had its own dedicated hosting server. The amount of energy needed to power all of those servers would be astronomical!
Here comes VPS hosting to the rescue.
Instead of having an entire physical server for each website, hosting providers are able to use virtualization technology to split one big server into multiple smaller virtual private servers.
This means that each website is still hosted on its own dedicated server, but the server is virtual. This doesn’t only reduce the amount of energy needed to run the servers, but it also saves a lot of space and hardware.
It’s a win-win for everyone!
With VPS hosting service, you only pay for the resources you use. If you don’t need all of the RAM or CPU that comes with your plan, you can simply reduce it and save money.
If you have a business that uses a huge database, you can just increase your disk size to accommodate it. If you have a powerful application that could use more CPU, you can just add more.
You have the flexibility to scale up or down as needed and only pay for what you use.
You can’t do this with a shared web host because you are stuck with a set plan created by the hosting provider. If you need more CPU, you will have to upgrade to a more expensive hosting package that also comes with more RAM and disk space that you may not need.
This is a waste of money and resources.
Disadvantages Of VPS Hosting
The first and biggest disadvantage of VPS hosting, in my opinion, is the fact that it requires more technical knowledge than shared web hosting.
In VPS hosting, you are responsible for server management. This includes adding your own operating system, installing & updating software, setting up security features, and troubleshooting any issues that may arise.
If you’re not comfortable with doing this or don’t have the time, you can always hire a server administrator to do it for you or simply opt for a managed VPS hosting plan.
While this will cost you more money, it will save you the headache of dealing with technical issues.
This is to be expected because, with VPS hosting, you are essentially getting a private server.
While the cost is still much cheaper than having your own physical server, it is definitely more expensive than shared hosting.
3. Security Concerns
Virtual Servers are, well, virtual. This means they are susceptible to the same security concerns as any other computer that is connected to the internet. This includes viruses, DDoS attacks, and hacking.
While a VPS hosting environment is more secure than shared hosting, and you can take measures to improve the security of your server, such as using a firewall and installing security software, you are ultimately responsible for the security of your server.
This is something to keep in mind if you store sensitive data on your website. And if that’s the case, we strongly recommend getting a dedicated hosting server, not a managed VPS.
This is a huge problem in the web hosting industry and one that you need to be aware of when choosing a VPS hosting provider.
Overselling is when a hosting company sells more resources than they actually have, banking on the fact that most customers will never use all of the resources they are paying for (at the same time, at least.)
While this may not seem like a big deal, if everyone on the server uses 100% of their allocated resources, your website will suffer from slow loading times, crashes, and other problems.
Most reputable hosting providers will not oversell their servers, or they will at least do it in moderation. However, it’s still something to keep in mind.
To understand how virtual private servers are different from shared and dedicated hosting, here is an analogy.
Imagine you just bought a brand new 75″ TV, and on the way home, you invited 3 of your friends over to watch the big game.
You got home to find out that all of your furniture is gone, and you are left with only 1 small couch. In this case, you and your friends will have to share this small couch to watch the game.
That’s shared hosting, and it’s how most websites are hosted. Your website shares a server with other websites, and all of you fight over limited resources like CPU and RAM.
Now assume you have the same 75″ TV, but you also have a comfortable chair for each of your friends. You can all watch the game in comfort and have plenty of room.
This is what a Virtual Private Server gives you: your own little server with dedicated hosting resources. You don’t have to worry about your website slowing down because another website on the same server is using too many resources.
Your Virtual Private Server comes with a guaranteed amount of CPU, RAM, bandwidth, and server space, so you can run your website without any worries.
Finally, assume you bought 4 of the same 75″ TV, but this time you have an entire room for each one of your friends. They can do whatever they want in their own private space, and you don’t have to worry about them at all.
This is a dedicated hosting server: a physical machine that is solely dedicated to your website. You don’t have to share any resources with anyone, and you can do whatever you want with the server.
Dedicated servers are the most expensive option, but they are also the most powerful and the ones that give you the most control.
When Should You Switch To VPS?
1. You Are Getting Lots Of Traffic
Shared hosting plans have a limited amount of resources, such as CPU and RAM, and once you start to get a lot of traffic, your website will start to slow down, which can ruin the customer experience and affect your Google ranking.
2. You Are In A Seasonal Niche
If you have a seasonal business or website, shared hosting may not be the best option for you. During these busy months, you will need all of the resources you can get to keep your website up and running smoothly.
If your shared hosting plan doesn’t have enough resources, your website will start to slow down and may even crash.
In these cases, VPS hosting would be a better option as you can quickly increase the resources you are paying for as needed. Once the busy season is over, you can scale back down and save some money.
3. You Run Ads On Your Website
Ads can slow down your website, which will affect your Google ranking. If you are running ads on your website, managed VPS would be a better option as you can ensure your wordpress site is running quickly and smoothly.
4. You Have An Ecommerce Store
Ecommerce websites need to be fast and reliable as customers are less likely to purchase from a slow website. Each second a customer has to wait for your website to load, you are losing potential sales.
A VPS hosting plan will ensure your website is always running quickly and smoothly, so you don’t have to worry about losing any sales.
5. You Need The Customization And Security Of A Dedicated Server, But You Are On A Tight Budget
With VPS hosting, you get your own private space, which means you have more control over what is installed and how it is configured. You can even include non-standard software or configuration options.
VPS hosting is also more secure as your website is isolated from other websites on the server. It’s not as secure as dedicated hosting, but it’s definitely better than shared servers.
6. You Need To Install Custom Software
Shared hosting is an excellent option for those who plan on using a popular CMS like WordPress to create their website.
However, if you plan on installing non-standard software, using non-standard server configurations, or engaging in other forms of sophisticated programming, you’ll want a hosting provider that gives you more freedom.
In the same vein, numerous popular tax, billing, accounting, and other integrative software packages call on constant server accessibility and blazing-fast internet. You’ll need a virtual private server (VPS) or a dedicated server (DS) to operate these apps smoothly.
Working on a shared server can only lead to disappointment when you discover that some features are unavailable or prohibited. To avoid this hassle, consider switching to VPS hosting, where you will have complete command over all of your programming operations.
7. You Run Into Server Errors
How frequently do you get “Service Unavailable,” “50X,” or “Internal Server Error” messages? If you see mistakes, prospective buyers probably will, too.
You can fix server failures, but downtime is just not an option if you operate a web-based company, no matter how well you troubleshoot. Upgrading to a virtual private server will prevent this issue from occurring.
8. You’re on a Budget
Many of the issues below may be solved by upgrading to a dedicated hosting plan, but keep in mind that dedicated hosting plans are much more expensive. In order to boost your bandwidth, security, and RAM without breaking the bank, virtual private server hosting is the way to go.
9. You Build Websites For Your Clients
To what extent does your work include creating websites for customers? There is no limit to the number of domains that may be hosted on a virtual private server, provided that sufficient memory is available for each.
1. What Is A VPS Control Panel?
A VPS control panel is a web-based interface that allows you to manage your server and website.
With a VPS control panel, you can easily install software, create email accounts, add domains, access databases & files, and much more.
The most popular VPS control panel is cPanel, which is included with most VPS hosting packages.
Other popular VPS control panels include Plesk, Webmin, and ISPConfig.
2. What Is A VPS Server Used For?
A VPS server can be used for a variety of purposes, such as:
- Web hosting
- Application hosting
- Reseller hosting
- Email hosting
- Game server hosting
- Backing up data
- Seeding torrents (seedbox)
- VPN & Proxy servers
- Developing and testing software
3. How Much Traffic Can A VPS Handle?
A VPS can handle around from 500 to 1,500 unique daily visitors without any problems, depending on the size of your virtual server and the resources you have allocated to your website.
If you are expecting more traffic than that, you may need to upgrade to a dedicated server.
4. Is A VPS The Same As A VPN?
A VPS is not the same as a VPN.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a way to securely connect to another network, such as your home or office network. It’s more akin to a tunnel that connects two networks.
A VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a type of hosting that gives you your own private server. It’s more akin to a dedicated server in that it is a server that has been partitioned into multiple virtual servers.
You can use a VPN to connect to your VPS, but a VPS does not need a VPN to function.
5. Can VPS Be Tracked?
VPS can be tracked. Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) can see that you are connecting to a VPS, and they may keep track of your activity.
If you are using a VPS for illegal activities, such as downloading copyrighted material or hacking, the police may be able to track your activity back to your VPS.
The Ideal Solution for Enhanced Resources Without Dedicated Server Costs
A VPS can be a great option for your website or application if you need more resources than what is offered with shared hosting, but don’t want to pay the price of a dedicated server.
There are many fast VPS hosting providers out there, but our data shows that WPX hosting always comes out on top when it comes to the best performance for the money.
They offer both unmanaged, and managed vps plans and have a wide variety of features that make them the perfect choice for any type of website.
But most importantly, they don’t oversell their servers, so you can be sure that your website will always perform at its best.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide if VPS hosting is the right option for your needs.