However, there’s also a third option that is suited for those who need more power than a shared plan but don’t need their own dedicated server: VPS hosting.
What is a VPS?
A virtual private server (VPS) is essentially like a mini dedicated server. It involves a specified amount of server resources being isolated from a physical server and dedicated to you, and you alone.
It’s possible to host numerous VPS’s on one single bare metal server, and these can be scaled up or down as required. This means that you will only ever have to pay for the resources you’re actually using.
Flexibility as the end game
Although you will share your hardware with other VPS users, you will have your own operating system and full control over the configuration of your server. Both managed and unmanaged options are available, and the isolated nature of VPS hosting makes it a good opinion for medium to large-sized websites with moderate traffic numbers.
VPS vs Shared Hosting
In short, VPS hosting was developed to bridge the large gap between low-end shared hosting and high-end dedicated servers. It’s a great option for small to medium businesses because of its low complexity, speed, and affordability.
And although shared hosting is much cheaper, it’s also slow, inflexible, and will struggle to handle traffic spikes during peak times. VPS is so much better here because of its scalability, which means you can add more resources where required.
VPS vs dedicated server
In general, VPS hosting is much cheaper than dedicated servers, offering increased flexibility and much better scalability. This is largely due to the fact that most VPS hosts let you move from one plan to another fast and efficiently according to your site’s resource demands.
Traditional VPS vs Cloud VPS vs SSD VPS
In the past, VPS servers generally used hard disk drive (HDD) storage. But this is changing, with hosts like VPS.net switching to solid state drive (SSD) storage for improved reliability and performance. Because of their ability to deal with a large number of input/output operations, SSD storage is better suited to large user numbers.
Meanwhile, cloud VPS uses multiple interlinked servers, improving redundancy. However, this tends to make cloud VPS hosting more expensive as well.
Those using traditional or SSD VPS hosting are vulnerable to hardware failures because they are reliant on one machine. Using cloud hosting improves reliability by removing this vulnerability altogether—if one server from the cloud cluster goes down, resources will simply be drawn from another one.
In general, you should look for a high SLA for cloud VPS hosting. In some cases, a 1000% SLA is available.
Types of VPS Hosting
Overall, all VPS hosting can be split into managed and unmanaged categories.
Fully managed VPS hosting includes maintenance, management, and updates from IT professionals. Common management actions include initial configuration, security updates, and data backups.
Meanwhile, self-managed VPS doesn’t come with management support. You will be responsible for everything, which takes a high level of technical experience. Of course, the benefit of self-managed hosting is that it’s extremely configurable, which means you can customize it according to your exact needs.
Do you really need a VPS?
Those who choose VPS hosting generally choose it because of its flexibility and resource availability. For sites like eCommerce stores, this flexibility is a must, as it allows you to cope with traffic spikes and increased pressure caused by payment processing and other sensitive actions.
Note that you don’t have to start with a VPS. Instead, consider beginning with shared hosting and upgrading when your site outgrows your plan. This will ensure your site is configured for optimal performance without costing you a small fortune like dedicated hosting would.
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