A critical component to host a website on the Internet is a web server. There are many different types of web servers available and each has its individual benefits and drawbacks. The topic in this article is VPS Hosting which is similar (but very different) than your average shared or dedicated hosting.
What is VPS hosting?
Virtual Private Server, VPS, is a type of hosting which blends the line between shared and dedicated hosting. Consider that shared hosting is one in which you share a server with others whereas dedicated hosting is having a server to your own. VPS hosting is in between in which you are essentially sharing space on the server with others but you have a virtual dedicated-type hosting in place.
In other words… it’s the middle-ground you would find yourself in when scaling your website or business needs; it’s not too limited in power and flexibility but it’s not overwhelming as you would expect when operating a server on your own.
But what makes it so different?
Let’s take a look at some of the technical features you’d find within a real service. Our example will be Hostgator VPS, which showcases some of the benefits of VPS hosting:
- You are given access to unlimited domains, sub-domains, email accounts, FTP accounts, and MySQL databases; you would normally not find all of these with shared hosting services like you’ve come to generally use when starting a site
- Full root access is also given which allows you virtually complete control over your webserver to do as you wish whether it’s installing software or adding, removing, or modifying whatever file you need on the server
- Services, like from our example, include website builder tools, website templates, free site transfers, domain transfers, and plenty of scripts for your account
- Flexibility in the hardware (when purchasing the service through the tiered pricing) gives you plenty of choices for growth and scaling
Is it is right for me?
The choice in this form of hosting comes with a myriad of benefits to which you will want to consider when looking at your online projects or business outlook:
- It’s not as expensive as dedicated hosting (more money in your pocket); for a starting price similar to what you’d find with shared hosting (but in no way as expensive as dedicated) you are in that perfect median that won’t break the bank
- The al-la-carte method to the service is perfect for those individuals or businesses that are in a current (or expected) state of growth that will allow them to scale without having the pangs associated with limited hardware or services
- You gain root access (as mentioned) which lets you install virtually anything you would want or need on your server; with this, you are not limited to simply hosting a website but now have the ability to provide software to everyone in your business over the Web versus individual installations on workstations
- Stability over other options such as shared hosting which can sometimes put you at risk due to attacks on other websites that may be sharing the same server; you have greater control and access to the server so you understand its vulnerabilities (instead of rolling the dice on others)
VPS hosting is ideal for those that want great flexibility in their hosting service without the commitment of dedicated hardware nor run the risk of a shared environment with others; the investment in a flexible server to which you have incredible control over will be crucial to its growth. In this regard, it would be the best for individuals who created a popular website or a small business that wants to grow beyond something basic to offer their employees virtual services (and full ability to grow online).
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