What is VPS Hosting? – Hostko’s Quick Guide

You have probably landed on this page because you either haven’t got a clue what VPS is all about or you are considering VPS hosting but need some more info to cement your decision.

Choosing the right hosting for your site will determine how you manage your web presence but also how your users will experience it.

A server cut into mini servers

The acronym VPS stands for Virtual Private Server; where “Virtual” means: in essence like a physical server but “not physical”. There are multiple virtual mini servers within a physical server which can be rented out to different users. Each of these virtual entities remains separate, giving the users autonomy over their space. Each VPS can run its operating system, regardless of the other users on that same physical server. The VPS could be used to host multiple websites, but as far as the customer is concerned, it’s all his or hers.

How does VPS hosting work?

The magic that allows a physical server to run its many virtual servers independently is possible through virtualisation software, also known as “Hypervisor”.

This software creates segments within a single physical server and keeps them separated from each other. As a result, you have Virtual Machines (VM) which each run a complete OS and are restricted to a section of the physical server. While multiple users share VMs on the same server, they cannot interact with one other. VMs are thus providing perfect privacy among the multiple tenants.

Is it better than Shared or Dedicated Hosting?

VPS has a few features in common with Shared and Dedicated hosting.

Shared hostingBoth VPS and Shared Hosting have multiple users on one single server. But there is one key difference: In Shared Hosting, the resources are spread equally between all users. As a result, the bandwidth for this option will fluctuate, and you are not in control of the bandwidth you get at any point in time. VPS, on the other hand,  is a more customised option – depending on your hosting plan, you can select the maximum amount of RAM, bandwidth and server space. From the word go, you are in charge of your resources.

Dedicated hosting: As the name suggests, a dedicated server is there for you and you alone. For users with large data volume and high traffic, this option is for users who need a specific website specification. You need to keep in mind that this choice comes at a price and is more suitable for advanced website requirements and probably too powerful for beginners.

You get the same benefits of privacy and resource dedication when opting for a VPS where a section of a server is exclusively yours.

What are the advantages of VPS?

To make the right hosting choice, you need to consider your exact needs and weigh up the benefits of each available option. What would make VPS hosting the ideal platform for your website?  If you need a powerful and customisable option but can’t afford the prices for a dedicated server, a VPS solution is the logical choice. But there are more advantages associated with deploying a virtual server:

Flexibility: Unlike shared hosting which restricts with regards to control and customisation, VPS gives you the freedom to choose your bespoke hardware and software configurations. It lets you run individual applications, such as PHP, Apache and others.

Low-Cost: If you have a tight budget but high traffic, VPS is the perfect pick. Because your hosting company can divide the running cost of one physical server between multiple users, the rates are generally very economical – a smart way to keep your monthly outgoing at an affordable level.

Privacy: You are running your own operating system which is not shared with anyone else. Subsequently, no one else can access your stored files.

Security: Comparing it with Shared Hosting, VPS is considerably more secure. Again, since your server is kept separately, your files are less likely to get compromised by others’. The resources remain unaffected by the usage of your neighbour.

Root Access: Because your VPS operates as a mini server in its own right, you have root access. In other words,  you have the option to modify the software code on a device or to install different software. Adjustments that a hosting provider would not usually permit on shared hosting. In a nutshell, VPS hosting lets you configure and install your specific software and run your individual applications.

The way to success: If your business and web traffic is booming, consider moving to a more powerful and controlled platform like a Virtual Private Server. VPS gives you peace of mind that your website runs smoothly, regardless of any other activity elsewhere on that server. It further provides you with data protection with giving you a secure chunk of freehold for your website.

What should you consider before ordering VPS Hosting?

You now have a VPS bee in your bonnet and want to go ahead with it. There are yet more vital questions you should answer before. How will you manage VPS Hosting? What type of hosting should you choose?

  • Windows VPS Hosting or Linux VPS Hosting?
  • Which environment is best for you?
  • What are the benefits of Linux VPS Hosting?
  • Do I go with Windows VPS Hosting?

The answers to these questions depend on your required application such as WordPress, Perl, Python, etc. Some are only supported by Linux and not by Windows Hosting. Some server-side applications are written in .NET., ASP, ASP.NET, MySQL, PHP and will require Windows Hosting whereas programming languages like MySQL and PHP are usually associated with Linux.

Do you have a person with the skills to manage the server? If not you can opt for a managed hosting solution where the hosting company provides the management of your VPS. Does your server allow for growth? This question is crucial if your bandwidth needs to change or if your business is growing.

Will you go for cloud-based or more conventional servers? Cloud-based hosting will be more flexible and scalable; traditional servers are in this respect more limited.

However you decide, make sure you have quick and reliable help at hand. Good support will make all the difference for you if you get stuck or need some bespoke features. The final factor is the price. Most hosting services offer storage, RAM, specific data, IP addresses, transfer speed, and the link at a fixed monthly rate.

Go for a package that suits your budget and provides you with the flexibility you need.