Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is a recent addition to the existing array of web hosting possibilities. It combines the security and computing power of dedicated hosting with the flexibility and affordability of shared web hosting.
This post sets out to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of VPS hosting so that the reader can make an informed decision if this form of hosting will satisfy their business needs.
VPS Hosting Explained
Every user on a virtual private server (VPS) is provided with their operating system (OS), bandwidth, and a certain amount of disk space as per their plan. Their sites are hosted on physical machines located in data hubs thousands of miles away.
VPS users are isolated from each other so that one account holder sees and manages only their part of the server. That’s how VPS combines the affordability of shared web hosting with the high-end personalization of a dedicated host.
Who Is VPS Hosting For?
Online businesses that want more control over their server space and resources but can’t afford a dedicated server usually turn to a managed VPS hosting provider.
Against an affordable subscription fee that is only a bit higher than that for shared hosting, VPS users take the responsibility of maintaining a physical server off their shoulders.
Finally, VPS hosting is a good stepping stone to a dedicated server because it lets users scale down their needs and decide what machine will best meet them.
What are the Advantages of VPS Hosting?
No web hosting solution is universal, and each has its strong points and weaknesses. Depending on one’s needs, VPS can offer great flexibility and enhanced security matching that of a dedicated physical server.
VPS Hosting is Affordable
Opening a managed VPS hosting account costs a fraction of a dedicated server’s price, while its energy footprint is much smaller.
VPS subscriptions are highly customizable for small and medium-sized online businesses that are unlikely to utilize all resources of a physical server.
VPS hosting provides excellent scalability. You can start off with a cheap plan and limited virtual resources. As your e-commerce site expands, the VPS hosting plan can easily follow suit.
Higher Level of Autonomy
VPS hosting provides a higher level of autonomy than shared hosting. That includes but is not limited to the use of specific scripts and root access. Having direct root access allows you to quickly and easily install third-party apps on the server.
Enhanced Technical Support
VPS hosting provides better and more timely technical support than shared hosting. As you become more technically confident, you can opt for a semi-managed VPS hosting where you’ll be able to take care of part of your virtual server’s maintenance.
What Are the Drawbacks of VPS Hosting?
VPS hosting may work as an affordable dedicated server to some extent, but there are particular challenges one has to watch out for.
More Expensive than Shared Hosting
If your small online business works fine on a shared hosting provider, it will be financially unwise to migrate to a VPS one. Even the cheapest VPS subscription is a lot pricier than a shared plan.
Once you sign up with a VPS hosting provider, you’ll realize that their cheapest plans offer minute resources. A well-balanced VPS plan usually costs about $30 per month.
As far as service and maintenance are concerned, specific challenges may stem from how the physical server’s resources are distributed among its tenants.
If your neighbor generates higher traffic, your website may experience downtimes and instability. Sometimes VPS hosts allow too many accounts on the virtual server, assuming they are unlikely to experience peak traffic simultaneously.
VPS hosting providers are sometimes vulnerable to DDoS abuses. If one website on the server goes under attack, its neighbors’ performance may also be adversely affected. One way to prevent this is to set up a strong admin password.
Not all VPS hosts provide intuitive control panels, while some UIs can be difficult to master. A problematic user interface can lead to SMTP and Port errors and PHP configuration challenges.
How Do You Know You Need a Dedicated Server?
As soon as you notice that your VPS host is gasping under a load of traffic to your site, you’ll know the time has come to sign up for a managed physical server.
Having a server of your own is essential if you manage credit card or banking details. Last but not least, dedicated servers load your pages at lightning speeds.
Last but not least, if you want to get into the hosting world you should read this article on web hosting business income.