If you are starting out your blog or a business and need an online presence, you may find yourself having to choose between shared hosting, virtual private server (VPS) or dedicated server.
For new blogs or businesses, shared hosting could be a good option since it is lower in cost and do not require website owners to have a great deal of technical expertise.
However, as the blog or business website starts gaining traction, shared hosting might no longer be sufficient to handle the demands of the increase in traffic. One might need to consider going for VPS hosting.
And what about virtual private server? What is so special about it?
Well, this is what this article is for. We will be looking at VPS in detail and why it may be the better option for you and your business.
What is a VPS?
A VPS, short for Virtual Private Server, is similar to having a dedicated server to run your site but it comes with limited resources. In a sense, it is like hybridisation of shared hosting and dedicated server. To achieve that, virtualisation technology is used to partition a physical server into multiple virtual instances. Each virtual instance will have its own dedicated resources like what you would expect from a dedicated server. At the same time, virtualisation software manages the underlying hardware like shared hosting.
A good analogy would be you choosing to rent an apartment in a building that comes with its own kitchen, bedrooms, a living room and toilets. With this arrangement, you could do almost anything you want to it. However, you are sharing a common infrastructure like sewage system, water pipes and electricity with the other tenants living in the same building.
Next, let us look at the pros and cons of a VPS.
Pros and cons of VPS?
Compared to Shared Hosting, the pros of a VPS are as follows:
- Great performance
- High levels of Control and customisation
- Enhanced security
- Strong privacy
The cons of a VPS are as follows:
- Higher cost
- Physical hardware controlled by service provider
Next up, we will look at the pros in detail.
With a shared hosting plan, your website is running alongside the other websites on the same server. In the event that any of those websites utilise or hog a lot of computing resources, the server will have trouble processing any more web traffic meant for the remaining web sites. That can lead to symptoms such as slow loading times.
On the other hand, the amount of processor, memory and storage space are predefined by the service provider for a VPS. The virtualisation software running underneath the VPS will reserve that designated hardware resources and no other VPS will claim it. This means, the VPS you rent from the service provider will have a consistent performance even during peak period.
And with VantageVPS, your VPS will achieve even better performance with its SSD storage, allowing your site(s) to perform higher amount of disk-related operations without hampering the server’s overall performance.
High levels of Control and Customisation
With a shared hosting plan, the service provider gets to decide what kind of operating system and software that run on the server. They control everything. With that, you will not be able to run certain kind of customised websites or application Virtual Private Server (VPS) – 2-updated – 11 July 2019 3 on it. This could be problematic if you are a software developer and need to run custom applications or need certain kind of software.
A VPS on the other hand comes with root or administrative access. It is like you own the server and could do whatever you want with it. You can choose to install whatever operating system or software that your business needs. The root access allows you to configure the server for better security and/or performance.
Security for shared hosting will never be as good as a VPS. It is because multiple websites are running on the same server, sharing the same set of resources and software. If one of the websites misbehaves or catches some kind of malware, it can cause trouble for the remaining sites and potentially bring them down. This is definitely something you or your business, especially if it is internet-based, do not need.
On the other hand, a VPS only share the physical hardware and is partitioned off from the other servers through virtualisation. Therefore, whatever security incident that happens to the other servers stays in that system. As the saying goes, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. This means your website can continue its operation in peace.
And that leads us to the next point: Privacy.
In a shared hosting environment, multiple websites are running in the same server. There is the possibility that the other sites could see what kind of information your site has collected. For example, hackers could choose to exploit security flaws found in the server software to gain access to the remaining websites and acquire their data. Or a website could be programmed poorly and manage to gain access to the same data or the same section of memory your own site(s) used, and then exposing them to their own users unintentionally.
A VPS could help ensure your business comply with the privacy laws. Since it is a self-contained server, whatever data or information collected about your customers will stay in that server. The virtualisation software running on the physical server can guarantee that. This way, the potential data leak are minimised if not removed.
Now that we have looked at the pros of using a VPS, we will look at the cons of using a VPS in detail.
A VPS plan tends to be more expensive than a shared hosting plan. The hosting service provider can only create and run a certain number of VPS on a physical machine before the overall performance suffers. If the price is as low as shared hosting, the provider may not be able to recover the cost of purchasing the physical hardware in time while also provide better products and services.
And this leads to our next point.
Physical hardware resource controlled by service provider
Since the hosting service provider owns and controls the physical servers, they may decide to provision more VPS than the physical server can handle to maximise resource utilisation. In the event that there is an increase in traffic to any of the websites running on the same physical server, the overall performance will drop.
Therefore, it is important to use a reliable hosting provider. At VantageVPS, we take pride in offering quality products and services and will not oversell on our VPS.
The best justification for you or your business to go with a VPS is the increase in traffic to your website(s). To ensure that the visitors to your site have a pleasant experience, it’s always best to increase the amount of resources available for your site so that it could better respond to sudden surge in demand or handle large amount of processing. A VPS with its dedicated resources can provide just that.
There are various other reasons to go with a VPS. Some of the reasons include the following:
- You have multiple sites to run and need more resources for that.
- You want to ensure your websites fulfil certain legal requirement or comply with specific regulations.
- You are a software or web site developer and want more control over how your server runs and what kind of software to install.