Choosing which hosting method you want to use for your website is a critical decision. The sheer number of cloud services in the US makes it hard enough, but if you’re not quite sure what type of hosting your website needs, it becomes an even more complicated ordeal.
Additionally, if you have an online store, you can lose thousands of dollars due to a lapse in judgment regarding hosting options. You might mistakenly believe that you can get away with a shared hosting platform. When increased traffic slows down your website or its crashes due to shared hosting’s limited capability, customers might start to associate inefficiency with your brand.
On the flip side, you can shell out thousands of dollars for a dedicated server when your website doesn’t require that level of hosting. VPS serves as a happy medium between the two hosting options. VPS is perfect for companies looking to scale their website or increase their security features from a shared hosting platform without spending too much on a dedicated server.
This article discusses VPS in detail and explains the differences between shared hosting and dedicated servers. Continue reading to discover which hosting option works best for your website.
What Is a Virtual Private Host Server?
To understand how virtual private servers (VPS) compare to dedicated servers, you must first understand what a virtual private server is. Virtual private servers are powerful computers that store all of the data and files comprising your website. When someone types your domain name into their web browser, the powerful computer “serves” your website to their screen.
The virtual portion of virtual private servers comes into play when virtualization technology splits the powerful computer into multiple virtual servers. In other words, it’s a single piece of hardware that performs like separate servers. The term “private” in virtual private server implies that your server only operates for you- you don’t share RAM, CPU, or data with other users.
How Does VPS Work?
VPS hosting simulates actions similar to that of a dedicated server even though you share the physical server with other users. With VPS, your web hosting provider installs a virtual layer on top of the operating system (OS) that separates the server into individual compartments with virtual walls, allowing each user its OS and software.
Because VPS separates your files from other users on the OS level, it is a private server. Your website lives within a secure container with guaranteed server resources- memory, disk space, CPU cores, etc. You don’t share these resources with other sites.
How Does VPS Compare to Shared Hosting and Dedicated Servers?
Now that you have an overview of VPS let’s dive into some of the differentiators between it and shared hosting and dedicated servers so you can thoroughly grasp its functions.
Shared hosting is the most common hosting form, and it works well for simple websites and website owners who are just starting. When you use shared hosting, you share resources you don’t share when using VPS, such as CPU and RAM.
Here, it’s beneficial to use an analogy for further clarification. Shared hosting is similar to an apartment complex- all of the tenants within the complex use the same building for utilities such as water and electricity. You can cut costs this way, but you sacrifice some of the convenience of having private utilities.
Dedicated hosting is the opposite of shared hosting. It doesn’t need to pool resources with other website owners- you use one server dedicated solely to your website. However, dedicated hosting is more expensive than shared hosting, but you control all of your resources, and you can customize your software to meet your company’s needs.
Websites that require extensive technical support, such as those with high traffic rates, those that need a dedicated operating system, handle thousands of financial transactions, or require custom software, should need dedicated servers.
VPS is a combination of shared hosting and dedicated servers. The hardware hosting your website also hosts other websites, but your website is the only domain dedicated to your virtual compartment. You get a dedicated operating system, dedicated storage, CPU, scalable RAM, and unlimited bandwidth for less than you would if you opted for dedicated hosting.
When Should You Switch to VPS?
The easiest way to decide whether you need virtual private hosting is by analyzing your website. If you notice some of the following elements, you should consider switching to a virtual private server.
You’re Worried About Security
If you need more extensive security features, advanced monitoring capabilities, increased backup storage, improved website reliability, and you want to take online payments, VPS may be the best option for your website.
You Start to Experience High Traffic Volume
The more traffic you experience directed to your website, the less a shared host can deliver your needs. Shared hosting works well for websites just starting- those that don’t have that much traffic and those that don’t require extensive hosting capabilities.
However, once your website starts to increase traffic, the last thing you want is your customer experiencing lag time and not having access to your pages. When this process begins, it’s time to switch to a more capable hosting solution such as VPS.
Your Website Consistently Running Slowly
Shared hosting cannot deliver for websites that use large amounts of RAM. When your website grows its content, you will start to see your load times dwindle, a sign you’re maxing out your hosting limits. The bottom line, when it’s time to scale your website without worrying about slow load times, consider switching to VPS.
You Have an Online Store
If you plan on running an online store, you need to make the switch to VPS. When you switch to VPS, you are more likely to pass a PCI compliance test. If you accept payment via credit cards, you need to ensure their information’s safety. Since VPS has more robust security features, switching to VPS is a smart decision.
Conclusion- What Is VPS?
VPS is an excellent alternative for businesses whose websites are in a scaling phase. Your company might not need all of the features of dedicated hosting, but it needs more than what shared hosting offers. In this case, VPS offers a middle ground- more cost-effective than a dedicated server and more capabilities than shared hosting.