Choosing the right type of web hosting service can be an important concern. Confusion regarding shared servers, virtual private servers (VPS) and dedicated hosting options is not uncommon. Learning a little more about the potential benefits that VPS web hosting services may provide can ensure that more effective and educated decisions can be made. VPS and shared hosting environments are both very different environments that each have their own benefits and drawbacks. Not all hosting options are created equal and site owners who have concerns about security, root-level user access or who lack the funds needed to utilize a dedicated service stand to benefit from learning more about VPS options and solutions.
What is a Virtual Private Server?
VPS hosting divides a sever by partitioning it into several different spaces, each of which are used to provide the same type of hosting options found on a dedicated serve. Since VPS clients are sharing their server with others, costs are typically much lower than with dedicated hosting options. VPS clients are typically given root-level access to their virtual space which allows them to more easily address potential security issues or configure their environment with greater freedom than would be possible in a shared server. VPS hosting options are an ideal choice for users who require greater control of their site at the server level but do not wish to deal with the higher costs associated with a dedicated server.
Potential Drawbacks of a VPS
While VPS hosting options combine the enhanced security and greater versatility of a dedicated server with the lower costs and convenience of a shared hosting option, there are some disadvantages. VPS hosting options may have issues when it comes to handling higher level of site traffic, which may cause performance issues with the site. While this issue can be a serious limitation for sites that consistently receive high volumes of visitors and traffic, most typical site owners only notice a problem on the rare occasions when visitor traffic spikes.
Disadvantages With Shared Server Environments
While both shared and VPS web hosting options involve placing a site on a server that is providing hosting for hundred or even thousands of other pages, basic shared server options may create a number of problems for certain types of websites. Lack of root access can make it far more difficult to maintain, update or configure a website. High traffic levels and spikes may become an even bigger issue for clients on a shared server than those who choose to make use of a VPS hosting option.
Who Can Benefit By Switching From Shared Hosting to VPS?
Most websites typically launch with a shared hosting plan, either due to lower costs or a lack of technical knowledge. Shared hosting may be a perfectly viable option for new sites and owners who lack technical knowledge. As sites begin to grow, making the switch to a VPS plan can provide a greater range of benefits. Types of websites that typically require a VPS hosting may include:
- Those that require additional bandwidth or more space
- Businesses experiencing rapid growth that may need to prioritize scalability or flexibility
- Site owners with security concerns who may wish to implement custom firewall configurations
Switching to VPS Due to Heavy Site Traffic
Clients of a shared server sometimes receive notifications from their hosting provider when they are pulling too many resources from the shared server. Such notifications are often indicate the need to upgrade by making the switch to VPS web hosting services. Clients who do not receive notification from their provider may wish to monitor their load times and keep an eye on visitor traffic, both of which are excellent indications that a site may be outgrowing its shared server environment. Websites that may be at or approaching the capacity of a shared server stand to benefit greatly by switching to a VPS.
VPS Hosting Provides Superior Reliability and Security
Site owners who require a steady stream of resources in order to ensure their site remains reliable may also benefit by choosing VPS hosting. Ensuring data can be effectively backed up or utilizing advanced monitoring and security features, such as secure shell access, can be far more difficult for those who are working within the confines of a shared hosting environment. Site owners who require root-level access and superior control over their digital environment would also be wise to consider VPS hosting options.
Finding the Hosting Options Best Suited to Your Needs
VPS hosting options that provide the best of both worlds can be an ideal solution for many different types of sites and clients. VPS hosting gives you the flexibility and control needed to upgrade or downgrade your site at need, as well as the enhanced security and reliability that shared hosting options may be unable to provide. The best types of websites to host on a VPS are those that require greater administrative freedom, or that have outgrown the constraints and limitations of a shared server environment.
VPS hosting provides the flexibility and freedom of a dedicated server without the added hosting costs and greater expenses.