VPS hosting has become a big trend in recent years. Because server computers are so advanced now, keeping one physical unit per client just isn’t practical anymore. In this guide, we will showcase the importance of servers and why they’re the foundation of our internet. Lastly, we will get to see how virtual private servers can be better than dedicated physical ones.
The owner of a website has three options when it comes to securing its presence on the internet:
- Shared web hosting plan. The cheapest option for website hosting, shared hosting is also the least reliable. However, for those that are just taking a foothold on the internet, this is the best option. Think of it as a trial – if one’s website does well in its early stages, then it’s time to consider moving to a better server.
- VPS hosting plan. Spitting a single dedicated server between several users seems to be the most common practice now. It enables the virtual server which acts almost completely like a true physical server. This option balances quality and affordability, but more on it in the actual article.
- Dedicated hosting plan. Dedicated servers work the best and are by far the most reliable. However, with great reliability comes a price tag not for the meek. Considering this plan means being ready to spend quite a few extra dollars just to keep it running.
As we can observe, VPS hosting is the most balanced plan. Next, let’s see what our review will showcase.
Virtual private servers are emulated computers that exist inside another, physical computer known as a dedicated server. There are numerous software options for companies or private users that want to install a VPS on their machines. In fact, this is one of the most important factors when choosing a VPS – yet, often, companies don’t let you know which of the many available options they have installed.
However, probably the biggest indicators as to how a VPS will perform are the specifications of the dedicated server. Therefore, to understand how VPS hosting functions, we need to delve into the intricacies of dedicated servers – what they are, how they operate, and how different they can actually be.
A dedicated server is a physical computer used to maintain a website, a network, or both up and running. Dedicated servers can be in-house (generally used by corporations) or offered by web hosting providers.
Large corporations typically prefer owning servers as opposed to buying a subscription from a provider. However, the maintenance that goes into keeping a dedicated server up can be quite costly.
When picking a dedicated server plan, two things are very important to consider.
Hardware Specifications on the Dedicated Server
Dedicated servers need the beef to keep up the website with mountains of traffic bombarding it from every corner of the internet. A fairly good website will have around 1,000 users concurrently trying to browse it. Here are some desirable specs for a website with over 3,000 users (non-concurrent):
- CPU cores: 16 or more;
- RAM: 64Gb or more;
Keep in mind that the coding of your site also influences how well these physical resources are allocated. Note that simple, fresh websites have no use for those specifications. As such, one can go for a smaller dedicated server or even a VPS hosting option.
Maintenance and Management of the Dedicated Server
Before opting for a dedicated server, consider the maintenance and update process. Some providers offer options as to how much control the user has available. The options generally range from fully managed servers (where the provider takes care of everything) to unmanaged servers (where the service provider is not involved in managing, upgrading, patching, or securing the server).
There are also many intermediary options that vary depending on the hosting company.
Unlike a dedicated server which allocates all resources to a single hosting user, in this case, those resources divide into several virtual computers. This a desirable form of hosting because it’s more stable, less expensive, while still offering the many perks of dedicated hosting.
Why VPS Hosting Is Always Better than Shared Hosting
One may argue that shared hosting uses the same principles: the resources of a dedicated server split among a set number of users. However, shared hosting does not divide these resources evenly. That means that at any given moment, there may be an imbalance between the number of users and how much processing power they each take up.
Most often, this is why some websites go down when their traffic spikes. The dedicated server cannot allocate resources fast enough to compensate. This isn’t because those do not exist, but because they are in use by other accounts, i.e. websites, on the unit.
With VPS hosting, this does not happen. What you pay for is what you get – you will never have to worry about spikes. However, if the traffic overburdens the VPS, then you may need a more generous hosting plan from your provider.
Still, even when starting out, we do not recommend shared hosting plans unless you’re on a very tight budget. However, make sure that your service provider is ready for a fast switch to VPS hosting in case your website has an unexpected surge. Who knows when Google decides to rank your site or when an article goes viral on Facebook? Best be ready for unexpected surprises.
VPS is not for everyone – for some it’s too much, for others too little. In the end, it all boils down to what kind of enterprise you are running. Before you decide, check out the following advantages and disadvantages to virtual private server hosting.
Being the best buy for your buck, VPS hosting takes the cake when it comes to cost efficiency. Just a few more dollars up from the regular shared hosting plans, and you already get most of the benefits of a dedicated server without the hassle.
Consider: a dedicated computer hosting several virtual private servers needs to sustain unreasonably high levels of traffic. That means that the hardware has to be the best available – more so than with dedicated servers. So even though you pay less, you get more in terms of hardware reliability.
Quick Setup, Instant Upgrades
VPS units are set up in no time. The gist of it is that the dedicated servers need assembly before they even get to the software.
Even more so, if you find you need an upgrade to your subscription, it will come up instantly (or close to it). Remember: you’re hosting your website on a very powerful machine. This machine divides resources between you and other users and still has some leftovers. When you upgrade your subscription, you simply get more resources. No need for hardware changes – it’s already there.
An Excess of Options
Unlike dedicated server plans which don’t usually go over two or three, some web hosting providers offer as many VPS hosting options as you can imagine. Others even let you customize the overall specs of your server. That’s because allocating custom values for the resources on a dedicated server is relatively simple. Upgrading the hardware of a dedicated server – not so much.
Basic Access to the Server Root
You don’t get this with a shared server hosting plan. Without paying the normal amount for a dedicated server, you still get the most interesting features of one: you can access you server directly, you can install various software to up its performance, and you can add more modules. If VPS is about one thing – it’s about offering the same level of control as a dedicated server, for less.
Unmatched Server Security
If you were a VPS provider, you would want your machines to be perfectly equipped to tackle DDoS attacks like they were nothing. Most companies think that way and will only install the best security solutions.
Limits to Your Power
Don’t think that VPS units are not limiting. The servers generally have failsafe procedures in place to keep the websites up. If one of the users on the same dedicated unit as you has a traffic surge, your resources may go to them as an emergency measure. This is hardly ever a big issue but might slow down your website.
Not a Dedicated Server
Look – when it comes down to it, a VPS unit just isn’t a dedicated server. No matter how you think about it, a dedicated server will always be better because you don’t share it with anyone. It’s as simple as that.
Complicated with Slow Support
VPS hosting is, like dedicated hosting, complicated. To fully grasp the technical know-how behind it, you need to do a bit of research yourself. Even so, chances are you won’t get everything you need to know about it and will need support. Unfortunately, because you’re paying less, support will be slower – it’s just the way the corporate machine works (in many cases). Even if it weren’t so, the technicians that solve VPS problems agree that this is more difficult to do when compared to other hosting plans.
Think of the type of business you’ll be conducting before making a subscription!
If you’ve read through this far, you know VPS hosting targets a specific type of internet business people. Not everyone needs VPS, and for others, it’s just too restricting. But more than this, it’s important to watch out for certain minute details when going for a VPS plan. We’re here with yet another list of the most important things to watch out before choosing the best VPS hosting option.
Choosing the Company
Of course, you can’t just decide on a company first thing. Read the reviews and be informed on all the options available. Then make a list of your top three web hosting providers. Make sure that they have plenty of VPS hosting options for you to choose.
See the company track records, maybe try accessing some websites that run on the platforms, and test response times. Make sure you check out some smaller websites as well – a web hosting company is only as good as the response time for its smallest website.
Surveying the Specs
Next up, decide on what specs you need for your server. Look at every option in your top three and see which one would be best for you. Make sure you get enough CPU power and RAM. Cost-effectiveness is important, but you need to keep your website running if you want to maintain your authority with Google.
Picking the Plan
Next up you need to decide. Rank up the most interesting options you can find. Compare them and decide on a budget. Go to a specialized forum and ask the users which option would be best for the type of website you’re launching. In the end, make sure the provider has adequate support for their services (live chat would be the most important one).
Understanding the Control Panel
One of the most overlooked factors when choosing a hosting company, the control panel’s ease of use is essential. You need to be able to build your website quickly and efficiently. Most servers use the same control panel, but some providers may try to force some weird, complicated, custom version. Be careful what you choose.
In this review, we’ve shown you why VPS hosting is not difficult at all. We hope you got the most out of this article and are now ready to build a solid online presence. Also check out our ranking of the top 15 best VPS companies.
For any questions or comments, feel free to contact us. Know anyone else trying to build their website? Let them know about VPS hosting and the option available – they will thank you later!
Images from depositphotos.com.