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VPS hosting can be a great option for a business that needs improved performance and scalability but doesn’t need all the performance and features of a dedicated server environment. This guide will walk you through the basics of VPS hosting, how it works, how it compares to other hosting options and the best time to make the switch to VPS.

Check out our full suite of high-performance hosting solutions and our Cloud Hosting Guide for additional resources.

What is VPS hosting?

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. Servers are used to share information and content of websites that have been uploaded or published online. Each time you visit a website, a server is used to present the data contained within a website. All websites use servers to share and relay information to users each time their website is accessed and visited.

The virtual element of VPS solutions involves using one piece of hardware (the server itself) to split into multiple virtual servers simultaneously. The process of using one physical server to create multiple virtual servers at once is a way to better optimize loading times and the overall speed of a website.

VPS solutions are private and belong only to you once you have chosen a VPS that is right for your website’s needs. With a VPS, avoid sharing CPU, RAM, and bandwidth with other users which is common among websites that are currently being hosted with a shared hosting package.

How Does VPS Hosting Work?

VPS is similar to both shared hosting and dedicated hosting solutions, though it does offer the advantage of additional privacy compared to alternative options. When comparing VPS to dedicated and shared hosting packages, it is important to note that VPS is typically considered a mix between both. While you have access to your very own private virtual compartment, VPS solutions do allow other websites to remain hosted on the actual physical server component you utilize.

With a VPS solution, take advantage of your own private virtual section that is reserved solely for your website and content. Having access to your very own private virtual server provides you with your own operating system, a non-shared CPU, upgradeable ram, and in most cases, even unlimited bandwidth (depending on your VPS package and your website’s needs).

What are the Benefits of VPS Hosting?

Choosing a VPS is affordable for both individuals and companies alike, providing you with the best of both worlds in terms of privacy and overhead costs. With a VPS, gain complete hosting control access to better manage your website’s needs, updates, and tweaks. VPS solutions are much more affordable than complete dedicated servers while still delivering high-quality hosting, increased security, and maximum privacy.

Shared VS. VPS VS. Dedicated Web Hosting Comparison

Before choosing a hosting solution that is best for your website, compare shared and dedicated hosting services with your preferred VPS providers.

Shared Hosting Vs. VPS Hosting

Shared hosting is the most popular and common solution for users who are seeking both personal and corporate web hosting solutions. Shared hosting packages are extremely affordable and allow you to launch a website within minutes of purchasing the service you require, whereas VPS solutions may require additional time if you are in need of upgraded RAM or specialized equipment before going live.

Performance 

While shared hosting is one of the most popular choices when it comes to launching a new website, it does not outperform alternatives such as a VPS or dedicated hosting package. Shared hosting packages require you to share your server with potentially hundreds of other websites, which can lead to slower loading times and increase the amount of downtime your website experiences.

A VPS, while allowing others to host their websites on the actual server hardware itself, provides a dedicated virtual component that is allocated just for your website’s needs. A VPS performs drastically better than standard shared hosting solutions as you have complete control over your hosting preferences, your server’s CPU, and the amount of RAM you wish to utilize (allowing for faster loading and processing times).

Security 

Sharing your website’s server with other websites can leave you vulnerable to potential hacks, data breaches, and unwanted leaks. While most of the top shared hosting services available today provide security and protection, there is often no guarantee that your server will not become a target of an attack, especially when you are sharing your server space with hundreds, if not thousands of additional websites all at once. With a VPS, take advantage of increased security, automatic backups and updates, and advanced monitoring services that provide alerts anytime your website experiences an attempted hack or unexpected login from a potentially malicious user.

Price 

Shared hosting is the most affordable hosting solution available on market. Most shared hosting packages range from a few dollars each month to no more than $30 a month, depending on your needs and the amount of space and bandwidth your website requires. However, a VPS solution is also affordable and does not often cost more than traditionally shared hosting packages. VPS solutions fall right in the middle of shared and dedicated hosting when it comes to pricing.

Dedicated Hosting VS. VPS Hosting

Dedicated hosting is a well-known server solution for high-traffic websites and large corporations. Investing in a dedicated server provides you with total control over hosting features, your server’s CPU, and the root access panel of the server itself. Dedicated hosting does not require you to share your server (even the physical hardware component of the server) with other users, providing complete privacy and an additional layer of online security. With a dedicated server, manage multiple websites or websites that receive massive amounts of page views and unique visitors daily.

Performance 

Dedicated servers often perform similarly to VPS solutions, especially for small to medium-sized websites. With a dedicated server, however, you have all of the say when it comes to hosting websites without requiring you to share the server and hardware with any other user. A VPS solution is also extremely reliable but does require sharing hardware with other users while still providing you with a personally allocated virtual server section.

Security 

Both VPS solutions and dedicated servers offer more security than traditionally shared hosting packages. Depending on your needs, dedicated servers can include managed monitoring and security services for additional costs. In most cases, VPS solutions include security and additional protection in the monthly cost they require to use.

Price 

When it comes to price, a VPS solution comes out on top, allowing you to get the most for your investment without worrying about potential hacks and data breaches. Because you are using an entire server to yourself with a dedicated hosting solution, prices can begin at over $100 and cost thousands each month depending on your server’s load and the amount of traffic your website receives. With a VPS solution, pricing can start at as little as $15 a month without requiring additional fees for increased security and advanced monitoring features.

When is the Right Time to Switch to VPS?

Not all websites require dedicated servers or a VPS solution and can typically operate smoothly with traditional shared hosting. However, it is important to know when it becomes the right time to switch to VPS to ensure you do not miss out on an opportunity to scale your website or maintain uptime with increased traffic.

Downtime

Content is delivered to smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers instantly today. Long gone are the days of waiting minutes to view a photo or to properly load an entire website. When your website begins lagging or timing out as users attempt to access it, you run the risk of losing out on gaining a potential follower or customer.

If your website is experiencing an uptick of downtime or causing your site’s pages to timeout, it may be time to switch to a VPS. Downtime and timing out can quickly cause your website’s bounce rate to skyrocket. A bounce rate is the percentage of users who visit a site’s homepage only to leave immediately after, not visiting and viewing additional pages of content. When a website does not load properly or takes to long for users to view content, they are much more likely to seek an alternative source–preventing you from increasing your followers and those who have a genuine interest in the products, services, or content you offer.

Too much downtime can cause a website to suffer significantly, especially if you are just getting started and building your brand’s online reputation from the ground-up. When a website does not appear reliable or consistent, it becomes increasingly difficult to convince your visitors to purchase your products or put their trust in you.

Security Concerns

Security is one of the most important factors to consider when you are in the market for a new hosting solution and service provider for your website. With an increase in online data breaches, hacking attempts, and identity theft cases originating online, maximizing your website’s security is a must. With a shared hosting package, you run the risk of leaking data or becoming a target of a potential thief or hacker (even if your website’s URL is not the original target). Choosing a VPS solution is a way to gain peace of mind when launching a website with advanced monitoring and additional tools and resources used to keep data safe and protected at all times. A VPS solution that provides you with an allocated virtual component of your own is much safer than standard shared hosting packages.

Website is Slow

Are you noticing an uptick in your website’s bounce rate? Do visitors spend only a few seconds on your website before leaving due to slow loading times or the inability to load a page altogether? When your website’s performance begins to suffer due to your current hosting solution, it may be time to consider upgrading to a VPS.

Shared hosting often leads to slowly loading websites, especially websites that grow rapidly or receive an unexpected influx of online traffic. When you are sharing your server with potentially hundreds of others, there is no way to tell when a website may experience high-traffic times which cause your website to lag or timeout. Too much lag and too many timing out experiences can quickly drive users away in search of a better and more reliable online alternative.

Choosing the Right VPS for You and Understanding the Different Types Available

Choosing the right VPS cloud hosting solution can feel overwhelming if you are new to web hosting or using a VPS for your websites. Before settling on a decision, take the time to compare your options to ensure you choose a service provider that is reliable and preferred by satisfied customers.

24/7 Customer Support

Seek out a VPS service provider that offers 24/7 customer support to its clients. Having access to customer support at all times is essential to prevent potential catastrophes if your website is not loading properly, timing out, or if there is ever a security breach. VPS service providers should not only offer an email ticket support system, but also an active phone line and the ability to chat live with a customer service representative at all times.

Hardware Available

Research the hardware provided by each VPS solution you are interested in. Verify that the hardware with your preferred VPS includes SSD components that are top-notch and of the highest quality. The VPS service provider you choose should offer hardware solutions that are optimal for your website’s traffic and content needs.

Reliability 

Always compare the reliability of any web host or VPS service provider you are interested in using. Reliability and uptime are extremely important factors in determining the overall satisfaction of users and clients. A reliable VPS provider should boast a minimum uptime percentage of at least 95%. The top web hosts and server solutions typically have an uptime percentage of 99.9%, providing their clients with minimal issues when it comes to serving the pages an content of their website to visitors.

Backup Features

Choose a VPS that currently has a backup service included with each package they offer. Backing up files and data regularly prevents the potential loss of data, especially if your website becomes overloaded or inundated with traffic unexpectedly. Automatic backup services protect your website at all times, keeping live copies of your website that can be used in the case of an emergency or anytime you wish to recover old data and content.

Self-Managed VS. Managed Services

Choosing between self-managed and managed hosting services highly depends on your server administrative skills and knowledge. Managing your own server without the assistance of a professional is extremely challenging if you are not familiar with typical tasks involves in updating software and managing the security of a server, especially as your website grows in popularity and the amount of traffic it receives.

Linux and Windows Solutions

Even if you are unfamiliar with Linux or Windows it is important to note that not all hosting companies provide packages that work with both options. In some instances, companies select only one operating system to represent based on ease of access as well as customer preferences. Become familiar with the basics of both Linux and Windows hosting before choosing a VPS or an alternative hosting solution that is optimal for you and your website.

VPS Cloud hosting is a great way to scale the performance of your website without the cost of dedicated hosting. And if you don’t need the ultimate performance and security of a dedicated environment, Cloud VPS hosting may be a great option for your business.