VPS hosting is one of three types of web hosting you can use when starting a new website — the other two types are shared hosting and dedicated servers. The last option is mostly used by large companies that run one or more websites with a massive amount of data and traffic. Shared and VPS hosting services are what the majority of small to medium websites use. In this article, we are going to discuss the main advantages that VPS hosting offers over shared solutions.
So, let’s briefly highlight five of the primary reasons that make VPS hosting a superior option to shared hosting in general.
1. VPS Comes With Dedicated Resources
VPS is short for virtual private server. A VPS is made up of a specified amount of CPU cores, RAM and disk space that are reserved and fully dedicated to its exclusive use. The server resources that are allocated to each VPS are not shared with any other user or website on the server.
This guarantee much higher performance compared to shared hosting where many users and websites share the same server resources. With shared hosting, your resource usage may be limited to a certain percentage of the available resources — for example, you may only be allowed to use 10% of the available CPU power. By contrast, a VPS gives you 100% access and utilization of all included resources.
Established WordPress sites often see a dramatic improvement in performance when upgrading to a VPS hosting service. This is particularly the case when the website is using complex plugins that consume a great deal of processing power.
2. VPS is Fully Customizable
When you buy your own VPS server, you get total freedom to install any software you want on it. You can pick your own operating system and version, any web server software, any control panel, etc. You’ll also be able to configure the software in any way that suits your website’s needs.
With shared hosting, you’ll have to work with whatever software the host has preinstalled and preconfigured on the server. Your ability to customize the settings of any server system will be very limited. Some content management systems that require certain server configurations may not work on all shared hosting services, and that’s because preset server configurations can dramatically vary from one host to another.
3. VPS Offers More Stability
Since you have total control of the software that is running on your server, and also given the fact that the allocated resources aren’t shared with other users, it’s not surprising that a VPS environment offers more stability than a shared environment.
If everything is configured properly, issues like sudden downtime and slow server response are less likely to occur with VPS hosting. This makes it a more reliable option for large business websites that require steady performance with minimum technical hiccups.
4. VPS Provides Better Server Security
Securing the server against the countless potential security threats on the world wide web is one of the biggest challenges for web hosting companies. In shared hosting environments, hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of websites share the same server systems, and any vulnerability in any of the websites can possibly affect all other websites on the server.
On the other hand, a VPS allows you to better tighten up security measures and have custom settings and tools aimed at preventing various cyber threats. And since you aren’t sharing your server software with any other users or websites, the chances of getting your website hacked or infected with malware would be significantly lower.
5. VPS is More Scalable
Scalability is a very important feature for small business sites in particular. Of all web hosting types, cloud-based VPS is the most readily scalable option. Not only does cloud VPS make it possible to add additional resources at any time when needed, it’s also a much more cost-effective option since you only pay for the exact amount of needed resources.
Shared hosting normally comes in a few tiered plans with fixed resources and without the ability to upgrade any of the resources on its own. Sure, you can upgrade to the next-tier plan, but once you reach the top-tier plan, the only upgrade option you’ll have is migrating your account and data to a more advanced solution (such as a VPS). It’s better to start with a flexible and scalable VPS plan if you expect your site’s traffic to keep constantly growing down the road.
What About The Drawbacks of VPS?
There are, of course, some disadvantages of VPS hosting that you should be aware of before deciding to go with this type of hosting. The following are three of the main drawbacks to take into account.
VPS hosting is notably more expensive than shared hosting, not just because of the higher cost of dedicated server resources, but also because of the multiple software licenses that you’ll likely need to purchase. For example, if you plan on using cPanel, you have to pay an additional licensing fee for it (the more accounts you want to have, the higher the price).
Initial Setup Takes Longer
When you sign up for a shared hosting plan, it can be instantly set up for you and your site can be up and running within a few hours. But things aren’t so quick and easy when it comes to setting up a new VPS account. Remember, you’re setting up a whole new server, starting from the operating system, web server software, control panel, security software, etc. It may take days to get everything configured and working correctly, and you may have to make several software tweaks during the first few days and weeks of going online.
There is some learning curve for beginners switching from shared to VPS hosting. There are many things to keep an eye on as you’re basically in full control of your own server. A fully managed VPS service is strongly recommended for those who lack the technical skills to manage their own server. Self-managed VPS is a very technically advanced option that should only be considered by skilled webmasters.
As you can see, VPS hosting has several advantages over regular shared web hosting. From higher performance to increased security to unrestricted customization ability, using a VPS can be more beneficial for professional websites and online stores.
VPS plans significantly vary from one company to another in terms of technical features and software options. Check the full list of included features, and when in doubt, get in touch with the support team to discuss the suitability of the service for your project