Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting provides most of the advantages of dedicated website hosting at a significantly lower cost. As a result it is a good option for anyone (especially businesses) who needs greater flexibility, authority and security than shared hosting can provide but cannot justify the cost of dedicated server hosting.
Modern virtualization software makes it possible to make a single physical server behave like multiple servers which appear to a user to be physical servers. When you sign-up for VPS Hosting you can specify the system resources you require (and the cost varies accordingly) and subsequent upgrades are quick and easy. Although you specify the resources you require, sometimes you are allowed to exceed these limits in short “bursts”.
Whilst the details of VPS hosting plans are variable the general advantages of VPS hosting are:
• Similar service to dedicated website hosting but at a significantly reduced price.
• Can match system resources to requirements by easily upgrading as and when required.
• Security is much better than with shared hosting. As each user effectively has their own discrete server the actions of other users can have no impact.
• Linux users get root access to the virtual server which means that any software required can be installed and the server configured as required. (Windows hosting customers will get full administrative access).
• Better website performance as loading times should be faster and consistent, due to having guaranteed system resources (no competition for resources as with shared hosting).
• Hosting companies will offer different control panels (an individual company may offer a choice) so you can balance ease of use with technical ability.
Compared to shared hosting a user of VPS hosting will typically have greater technical expertise. Shared hosting is made as easy as possible and users are given limited access to the server and the hosting company manages it (applies updates, patches etc.). VPS hosting, on the other hand, usually offers you root access which gives you a lot more control and flexibility but also more responsibility. Whilst the hosting company will still be responsible for managing the physical server and virtualization environment you will be responsible for the management of the virtual server. If you have software problems it will be up to you to resolve them. If this might be a problem it may be that you can trade some of your control for greater support from the hosting company.
Given the benefits of VOS hosting you may wonder what are the additional benefits of dedicated server hosting. With VPS hosting you cannot totally avoid the fact that you are still sharing physical hardware even though you have guaranteed resources (CPU, RAM, disk space). This means that dedicated server hosting is still the way to deliver optimal performance of your website.