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Pros and Cons of VPS Hosting

VPS Servers Diagram

Across the gamut of hosting options, there have historically been 3 main types of web hosting available to the general public. These are shared web hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated servers. With this in mind, we aim to point out the main pros and cons of VPS hosting and help you in making an informed decision about whether or not VPS hosting is suitable for your needs.

What is VPS Hosting?

The VPS in VPS Hosting stands for Virtual Private Server. This is a server created virtually on a hardware server usually along with multiple other virtual servers. It allows one hardware server to function as if it consists of several separate servers thus allowing different people access to the same hardware whilst being isolated from the other users. For example, if the hardware server has 12Gb ram and a 1Tb SSD it could be divided up into 3 VPS with 4GB of ram and 300Gb of drive space each allowing for any server overheads. It could also be divided into 10 VPS with 1 Gb of ram a piece or whatever specifications the owner has chosen to set.

Another choice with virtual private servers is Managed or Unmanaged. With a managed VPS the price is usually more expensive because the web hosting company oversees things like system setup, control panel installation, software installation, etc. In an unmanaged VPS, the price is usually lower because the user is offered a basically empty virtual server and they will have to install and maintain any operating system or software they require.

A real advantage to using either a VPS or a Dedicated Server is the fact you can install the operating system that suits your needs best. Most providers will let you choose between CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, or even Windows.

When Should You Move to a VPS?

A suitable time to move to a VPS hosting solution is when you have outgrown a typical Webhosting option and cannot afford or justify a dedicated server. If you need to install software that is not allowed on your current web hosting choice, or you just want more control over your hosting then it may also be a good time to move up to a VPS hosting solution.

Pros of VPS Hosting

  • VPS Hosting is generally less expensive to lease than a dedicated server option. This is due mainly to the fact that lots of users can share a single hardware server.
  • Compared with web hosting plans, there are often fewer people sharing the server and therefore it is reasonable to expect better overall performance.
  • With VPS Hosting you will receive far more control over your virtual server’s options than with a web hosting solution allowing for greater flexibility with your projects.
  • Many VPS Hosting plans allow seemingly infinite options with the initial setup meaning you can acquire exactly the ram, disk space, and CPU power that you need.
  • Partitions between the different virtual servers mean you are less likely to be affected by other virtual servers on the hardware.

Cons of VPS Hosting

  • Due to the economies of scale, it is usually more expensive to lease a VPS than to use a shared web hosting solution.
  • If the company running the VPS has created more virtual servers than the hardware can adequately power, then there may be times when your VPS is unresponsive.
  • Although a VPS solution gives the user a lot of control it is still ultimately less control than you would receive if you went for a dedicated server.
  • VPS hosting is almost as technically difficult to use and set up as a dedicated server.

Overall, a VPS is a practical choice if you expect to receive a lot of traffic or need space to store several large files on your site. It is also better for search engine optimization and can offer server settings and options which a shared hosting plan would usually not provide.

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