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What Is VPS Hosting? Everything You Need to Get Started

VPS hosting (Virtual Private Server) is a type of web hosting service that allows website owners to have their own private server environment within a shared hosting infrastructure. It provides users with more control and flexibility over their website, as they are able to install their own software and make configuration changes without affecting other users on the same server.

A VPS is created by partitioning a physical server into multiple virtual servers, each with its operating system and resources such as CPU, RAM, and disk space. This allows for a more cost-effective solution compared to dedicated hosting, while still providing a level of privacy and security not found in shared hosting.

How Does VPS Hosting Work?

A server is a computer on which your web host stores the files and databases needed for your website. Whenever an online visitor wants to access your website, their browser sends a request to your server and it transfers the necessary files through the internet. VPS hosting provides you with a virtual server that simulates a physical server, however, in reality, the machine is shared among several users.

Using virtualization technology, your hosting provider installs a virtual layer on top of the operating system (OS) of the server. This layer divides the server into partitions and allows each user to install their own OS and software.

Therefore, a virtual private server (VPS) is both virtual and private because you have complete control. It is separated from other server users on the OS level. In fact, VPS technology is similar to creating partitions on your own computer when you want to run more than one OS (e.g. Windows and Linux) without a reboot.

Running a VPS lets you set up your website within a secure container with guaranteed resources (memory, disk space, CPU cores, etc.) you don’t have to share with other users. With VPS hosting, you have the same root-level access as if you had a dedicated server, but at a much lower cost.

Comparing VPS to Other Web Hosting Types

Different types of web hosting  allow you to perform different levels of customization on your server. They vary in pricing , performance (e.g. page load time), and the availability of the service (e.g. uptime) as well. Below, you can read about how VPS hosting compares to other hosting solutions.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is the solution for website owners with lower traffic sites. It is the starting point of most small businesses and bloggers. Even with the best shared web hosting plan, you split the same physical server with a number of other clients of the hosting company. You don’t get dedicated resources allocated to you, as your site runs on the same operating system as everyone else’s.

Therefore, the memory and computing power your site can use is affected by the needs of other service users. For instance, if there’s a sudden traffic spike on a website hosted on the same server your page load time may increase. You can’t choose your operating system and other server software either, as all users use the same configuration. All in all, it’s your hosting provider who takes care of every aspect of your shared hosting environment.

You can think of shared hosting as a rental where you share the same apartment with a number of roommates. VPS hosting is still a kind of flat share, however, everyone has their own room where they can customize the space according to their needs. For instance, they get to choose the painting, furniture, decoration, etc.

Cloud Hosting

With cloud hosting services, you don’t use a single server but rather a cluster that runs in the cloud. Each server in the cluster stores an up-to-date copy of your website. When one of the servers is too busy, the cluster automatically redirects the traffic to a server that is less busy. As a result, cloud hosting , comes with no downtime, as there’s always a server in the cluster that can serve the requests of your website visitors.

WordPress Hosting

WordPress hosting refers to web hosting services specifically designed to cater to the needs of WordPress websites. WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) used to create and manage websites, and it requires a specific set of server configurations to function optimally.

WordPress hosting typically includes features such as one-click WordPress installations, automatic updates, optimized server configurations, and dedicated customer support for WordPress-related issues. Some WordPress hosting providers also offer additional features such as built-in caching, content delivery networks (CDNs), and website security features to enhance the performance and security of WordPress websites.

There are various types of WordPress hosting available, including shared hosting, managed hosting, and VPS hosting. Shared hosting is the most affordable option but comes with limited resources and flexibility. Managed hosting offers more features and support but is more expensive. VPS hosting provides dedicated resources but requires more technical expertise to manage.

When choosing a WordPress hosting provider, it is essential to consider factors such as uptime, speed, security, customer support, and pricing to ensure that your website is reliable, fast, and secure

Dedicated Hosting

With dedicated hosting, you rent an entire physical server for your business. If you have a high-traffic website, dedicated hosting can be the best solution for you, as dedicated servers are fast, flexible, and fully customizable. However, the service definitely comes with a price tag as well, so they are not worth for everyone, especially if you have a small or medium website.

While VPS hosting allows you to choose and configure your operating system and server applications, dedicated hosting goes one step further. It doesn’t only let you configure the software but also the hardware, as the entire server is yours and no one has any say in the setup. You can also run a dedicated server on-site (for instance, in your office), however you lose the support of a professional hosting team in that case.

Pros and cons of Virtual Private Servers:

•VPS hosting can be an ideal solution for you if that’s the service you really need. Below, you can read the pros and cons of running a virtual private server.

Pros

  • It’s faster and more reliable than a shared hosting server.
  • As server resources such as memory or processing power are guaranteed, there’s zero to minimal fluctuation in available resources.
  • Issues and traffic surges of other server users don’t affect your site.
  • You get superuser (root) access to your server.
  • You have better privacy, as your files and databases are locked from other server users.
  • It’s an easy-to-scale service. As your website grows, you can easily upgrade your server resources (RAM, CPU, disk space, bandwidth, etc.).

Cons

  • It’s more expensive than shared hosting.
  • It requires more technical knowledge to setup your VPS, though there are a lot of tutorials available online.
  • Server management is more technically demanding than shared or cloud plans.
  • Improperly configured servers may lead to security vulnerabilities.

Are There Any VPS Alternatives? What Is a Managed VPS?

One of the biggest pitfalls of VPS hosting is having to manage your entire server environment by yourself. If your virtual server is not configured and maintained well, you may face serious security risks and performance loss. Managed VPS hosting services have appeared on the market as a viable solution to this problem. You can think of it as an enhanced alternative of VPS hosting, that comes with full technical support.

Also Read: What is Shared Hosting: TOP 5 things you SHOULD know about it

When to Use and How to Decide It Is Time to Upgrade?

VPS hosting is usually seen as the next step after your website grows out of the resource limits of shared hosting. If the most advanced shared hosting plan is not enough anymore to run your website smoothly, it’s worth upgrading to a VPS plan. In such cases, VPS hosting can provide you with the best of two worlds: shared and dedicated hosting.

However, there are other use cases when it can be a good idea to start with a VPS plan right from the beginning. For example, eCommerce websites where you need to ensure secure payments with a fast and stable environment can benefit a lot from a virtual private server. In fact, if you store any kind of sensitive data or have to process online payments VPS can help you reduce the risk of security breaches and identity theft.

If you expect traffic spikes at certain times on your site, for instance, in the case of an event planning or ticket-selling website, a VPS hosting plan can be a godsend as well. Game servers, like CS: GO  or Minecraft, and other resource-heavy sites also run with much better performance on a virtual private server.

Conclusion

VPS hosting gives you access to guaranteed resources and full control without having to run your own server. It’s an excellent solution for medium to high traffic, resource-heavy, and eCommerce websites. However, businesses who expect rapid growth can also benefit from the stability of the service.

If you want a reliable, business-scale hosting environment at a friendly price, it’s definitely worth considering VPS hosting for your website. For an easy setup, consider  Cyberpanel VPS hosting powered by LiteSpeed, which comes with a pre-installed control panel and a fast LiteSpeed webserver.

We hope this blog helped you understand what is VPS hosting and how it works. In case you have any additional questions, feel free to submit them in the comment section below!

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