VPS (virtual private server) hosting is a type of web hosting plan where your site lives on a physical server that is divided into isolated, independently operating, virtual machines. This hybrid model provides users with the capabilities of a dedicated server, but at a price point that is closer to what is offered by shared hosting services. In this article, learn how VPS hosting works and find out how your business can benefit from it.
If you’re new to web hosting, check out this article to thoroughly understand what web hosting is.
VPS Hosting vs Other Hosting Services
There are other types of web hosting options aside from VPS hosting, and understanding the difference between the two ends of the spectrum—shared hosting and dedicated servers—is vital for understanding what VPS hosting is, its benefits, and when you might need to upgrade from one type of hosting solution to another.
For example, say you launched your ecommerce website using a shared hosting service like DreamHost because of the low starting price of $2.59 per month with a 36-month contract. You then discover your site’s performance slows as your traffic grows. This is because shared hosting services support hundreds of thousands to millions of customers, all sharing the same CPU, RAM, and disk space or storage on a single server.
Your developers may want additional flexibility to freely run custom applications or software configurations. This may not be possible using a shared hosting service because this type of plan often places a limit on customization to protect the other sites hosted on the server from bugs or malware. However, hosting plans that offer a dedicated server can cost between $80 and $100 per month, making it a less attractive option for small businesses.
VPS hosting gives you the benefits of both of these options—flexibility at a much more affordable price point. For context, DreamHost’s VPS Basic plan starts at $10.00 per month with a contract, and because it also offers managed hosting and dedicated hosting plans, it is ready to scale with you.
Outgrowing a shared hosting service is natural as one’s business starts to grow. To learn more, read our article on the different types of web hosting services and discover how to choose the right hosting strategy for your small business.
How VPS Hosting Works
VPS hosting takes a whole physical server and chops it up into bite-sized virtual machines, or VPS. Each customer takes one machine to themselves with a specific number of cores, storage, RAM, bandwidth, IP addresses, and cPanel/WHM.
Pros & Cons of VPS Hosting & Who It’s Best For
What to Look for in a VPS Hosting Provider
Before indulging in a VPS hosting plan that’s more expensive than shared hosting, there are a few things you should look out for. Aside from knowing what VPS hosting is, it is also important to know what key aspects you should look for to determine the quality of that VPS hosting provider.
- Uptime: Uptime is how long your website can be accessed. The higher the uptime, the fewer chances your website is unavailable to visitors.
- Performance: A small website needs less than 500MB to run, while larger websites might need up to 1GB to run. Speed is also determined by how many cores (computer core) you will be using, and file transfer is measured by bandwidth.
- Root access: Having root access allows you to edit files installed like MySQL and Apache. This also provides users with a choice of operating system. This feature is better tailored to developers.
- Customer support: Technical problems, big or small, might not always be something you can handle on your own. Contacting the web hosting provider is a huge advantage. Find out if they have 24/7 live chat support, email, chat, and phone support, as well as community forums and knowledge base.
- Managed or unmanaged: Decide whether you want the hosting provider to handle all server-related issues (managed) or if you want to take care of them yourself (unmanaged).
- Price: Pricing is essential to any business. Find out the differences between the VPS hosting providers’ short-term and long-term plans, their renewal rates, and if they offer a money-back guarantee.
It is very important to choose the right company behind your VPS hosting. Since hosting plans usually last for a year or more, in order to get good prices, it is important that you use only the best VPS hosting services in 2022 and choose from companies like A2 Hosting, InMotion, Bluehost, and DreamHost. Check out the best VPS hosting services to help you break from the boundaries and limitations of shared hosting.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is VPS hosting free?
No. VPS hosting does, however, come with a free trial where website owners can gauge if the service is right for them. Check out our best free web hosting sites that remain free no matter how long you use them.
How can I make a VPS at home?
Making a VPS at home is the same as making your own server and then dividing it into virtual machines (VPS). You’ll need to invest in hardware, subscribe to high bandwidth plans, choose your OS, develop and deploy your website, and make sure they are running 24/7. However, keep in mind that these steps are costly. For those who don’t want to go through the hassle, check out the five best web hosting companies for small businesses.
What can you do with a VPS?
Aside from hosting your own website, you can make websites for others and host them, create a gaming server, and develop and test out code. You can also encrypt your internet connection and, most importantly, handle high-traffic websites. For those wanting to make a business out of hosting, check out the five best reseller hosting providers.
VPS hosting is perfect for websites that have outgrown the limits of a shared hosting service but do not need the power and isolation that dedicated hosting offers. If your business is still growing and you want to take more control over your small business website, this is the perfect time to subscribe to a VPS hosting service. Bluehost is known to offer VPS plans starting at $18.99 per month for a 36-year period.