What is VPS hosting? Everything you need to know about Virtual Private Servers

Web HostingCategory
15 min read
Boris Lee

Vexed over the type of web hosting you need for your website? If you're ready to launch your website, web hosting is probably the next item you'll need to look into. For beginners, the process can be daunting with a lot of information to absorb. However, the first thing you'll need to understand is the different types of hosting options out there. In today's guide, we'll be covering the basics of VPS hosting. It is a popular option amongst webmasters looking to strike a balance between cost and flexibility.

Before we begin, check out this guide to learn about the key differences amongst various hosting options.

Ready to dive into all the information you need to know about VPS hosting? Let's go! Here's what we will be covering in this guide:

What is Virtual Private Server (VPS)?

VPS, or Virtual Private Server, is a web hosting service that gives businesses and individuals the ability to have their own server without having to buy or maintain hardware. Using virtualization technology, VPS hosting providers can provide customers with dedicated resources on a server with multiple users. As such, users can access a specified amount of CPU, RAM, disk space and bandwidth for a monthly or yearly fee. 

VPS hosting provides the flexibility and control of a dedicated server at a fraction of the cost of renting the entire server. On top of that, hosting plans can be customised to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes.

VPS servers can be used for web hosting, email, file storage, and much more. 

How does VPS work?

In short, a VPS is a replica of a server, and it runs its own copy of an operating system. Let's look at it in more detail.

A virtual private server (VPS) is a virtual machine that runs on a physical server. This type of server allows businesses to have their own virtual environment on a shared physical server with other VPS customers.

However, your account is isolated from other accounts on the server, which gives you increased control and flexibility over your hosting environment.

Basically, each VPS has its own operating system, applications, and data. Businesses can use VPS servers for various purposes, such as hosting websites, running email servers, or storing data.

 

In most cases, you'll have root access to your account, which allows you to install the software that you need to run your website. Additionally, a VPS account typically includes an allotment of resources such as CPU usage, memory, and disk space, which can help to ensure that your website runs smoothly. 

VPS servers work by virtualizing the hardware of a physical server. This means that each VPS has its own virtual CPU, memory, and storage.

The virtualization software used to create a VPS can also provide other features, such as the ability to run multiple virtual machines on one physical server (known as multi-tenancy) or to isolate each virtual machine from the others (known as full virtualization). 

Who should & should not use VPS hosting?

woman crossing fingers

VPS hosting is a popular choice for web developers, small businesses, eCommerce owners, bloggers and online shops who need more control over their server environment, but don't need a dedicated server.

Also, if your website doesn't require a lot of resources, you may be better off with a shared server or a VPS with limited resources.

How does VPS compare with other types of hosting?

There are a plethora of hosting packages, and it's important to understand their differences before making a decision. Let's dig into it!

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is the most basic and affordable type of hosting, but it doesn't offer the same level of control or isolation as VPS hosting.

It comes with some trade-offs. Because your site is hosted on the same server as many other sites, you are at the mercy of other sites when it comes to performance. If another site on the server gets a lot of traffic, your site will likely suffer.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting gives you your own physical server, which means having full control, so it's more expensive than VPS hosting, but you get more control over your environment.

This can improve your site's performance, especially if you get a lot of traffic.

Dedicated hosting also provides more security and flexibility when it comes to configuring your server. This means you can customize the server to meet your specific needs and requirements.

WordPress Hosting

WordPress hosting is a web hosting service that provides servers and technical support for WordPress websites.

Although you can host a WordPress website on any web hosting service, WordPress hosting is optimized for WordPress and offers some additional features and benefits.

For example, most WordPress hosting providers offer one-click installation of WordPress, which makes it easy to set up a new WordPress site. In addition, many WordPress hosting providers offer security features such as malware scanning and automatic backups, which can help to protect your website from attack.

Overall, WordPress hosting is a great option for businesses that want to create a professional-looking website without the hassle of managing their own web server.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting uses cloud computing technology to provide online services. It can be used for a variety of purposes, including website hosting, application hosting, and storage.

As a scalable and flexible option for businesses of all sizes, cloud hosting can be used to save money on hardware and energy costs. It can also be scaled up or down to meet changing needs.

Cloud hosting is also highly resilient and can provide redundancy in the event of a server failure.

This is an excellent option for businesses that need reliable and scalable web hosting services.

Not sure which type of hosting is right for you? Talk to us! We will happily recommend a hosting plan that suits your business needs.

Can you get free VPS hosting?

man typing on laptop

If you are wondering how much does hosting cost for a small business, VPS hosting plans can be found for as little as $5 per month, making them a very affordable option for businesses and individuals alike. 

There are even some VPS providers that offer free VPS hosting plans, making it possible to get started with this type of hosting without any upfront costs.

Why is free VPS hosting bad for your website?

However, free VPS hosting plans typically come with some trade-offs, such as limited storage space and bandwidth. Beyond that, free VPS hosting can also compromise your security and endanger your privacy.

Because free VPS providers make money by selling your data, they may not have the same incentive to protect your information as a paid provider.

This means your website and personal data may be at risk if you choose a free VPS hosting plan.

Vulnerabilities can also exist when it comes to the software used on free VPS servers. Outdated and unpatched software can leave your server open to attack, so it's important to make sure that your VPS provider is using up-to-date software.

In short, free VPS hosting is not recommended for businesses or individuals who value their privacy and security.

If you're looking for a free VPS hosting plan, we recommend that you compare the features and options of several different providers to find one that meets your needs.

Benefits of VPS hosting

VPS hosting provides a number of benefits over other types of web hosting, such as shared hosting. One of the biggest benefits is that it gives you more control over your server environment. With VPS hosting, you can install the software you need and customize your server settings to meet your specific needs.

Another benefit of VPS hosting is that it is more secure than shared hosting. Since each VPS has its own set of resources, there is no risk of one website taking down another website on the same server. This is especially important if you are running an online store or processing sensitive customer data.

Finally, VPS hosting provides better performance than shared hosting. Since each website on a VPS has its own set of resources, there is less risk of resource contention, slowdown or even downtime. This can give your website the speed and stability it needs to provide a good user experience.

Need more reasons? Here are some additional benefits:

Customization

VPS hosting gives you complete control over your server environment. You can install the software you need and customize your settings to meet your specific needs.

Control

VPS hosting provides you with root access to your server, so you can make any changes you want.

Cheaper

VPS hosting is a great option for businesses that want the flexibility of a dedicated server without the high price tag. Since VPS hosting uses virtualization technology to partition a physical server into multiple isolated environments, each of which behaves like a standalone server. This means that businesses can enjoy the same level of performance and security as a dedicated server without having to pay for the entire thing. In addition, VPS hosting is often much cheaper.

Dedicated resources

One of the primary benefits of VPS hosting is the ability to dedicate resources to a specific VPS. This allows for greater flexibility and control when it comes to managing server resources. In addition, VPS hosting plans typically offer more storage and bandwidth than shared hosting plans.

This can be extremely beneficial for businesses that have high-traffic websites or require a large amount of storage space. VPS hosting plans also offer enhanced security features, such as private firewalls and dedicated IP addresses.

Overall, VPS hosting plans provide a more robust and customizable hosting solution than other types of hosting plans.

Scalable

VPS hosting is highly scalable, so you can easily add more resources as your website grows.

Cons of VPS Hosting

While VPS hosting provides many benefits, there are also a few drawbacks to consider before you decide whether it is the right choice for your website. One drawback is that it can be more expensive than shared hosting, especially if you need a lot of resources. 

Another potential drawback is that it can be more difficult to set up and manage than shared hosting. If you are not comfortable with server administration, choose a different type of web host or hire someone to help you set up and manage your VPS. 

Price

VPS hosting plans are often more expensive than shared hosting plans. This makes it them less attractive to small businesses and individual website owners.

However, VPS hosting plans offer a number of advantages over shared hosting plans. This includes improved performance, greater flexibility, and increased security. As a result, VPS hosting plans are often worth the extra cost for businesses that require additional resources. 

For individual website owners, VPS hosting plans may not be necessary unless the website is expected to receive a large amount of traffic.

Security

One of the biggest dangers is that VPS servers can be hacked more easily than dedicated servers.

This is because VPS servers share resources with other VPS servers, and if one server is compromised, the others are at risk as well. In addition, VPS servers are often located in data centres that have less security than dedicated server facilities. This means that there is a greater risk of physical theft or damage to the server.

When should you switch to VPS hosting?

woman typing with child

Wondering when the best time to switch to VPS hosting is? There is no definitive answer, as it depends on several factors, such as the size and traffic of your website and your budget. But here are some indicators that can help you decide whether it's time to upgrade: 

More security

If you are starting to receive a lot of traffic, VPS hosting can offer improved security over shared hosting. This is because VPS servers can be isolated from each other, and you can also implement additional security measures, such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems.

High Traffic Volume

If your website is starting to receive a lot of traffic, VPS hosting can offer improved performance. This is because VPS servers are not shared with other websites, so you will have more control over server resources. In addition, VPS hosting plans typically offer more storage and bandwidth than shared hosting plans.

Slow website loading speeds

Now this one is a good reason. If your website is loading slowly, it's time to make the switch. VPS hosting can offer improved performance over shared hosting, particularly if your website is starting to receive a lot of traffic.

How to Choose the Best VPS hosting plan for your website?

VPS Hosting - hand on laptop

When choosing a VPS hosting plan, there are several factors to consider, including operating system, whether is self-managed or not, storage space, and bandwidth allowance. But with so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to know which VPS hosting plan is right for your website.

Here are a few things to consider to help you choose the best VPS hosting plan for your needs:

Self-managed vs Managed VPS hosting services

Earlier, we discussed about having more control of your website with a VPS hosting plan.

So let's talk about another aspect of control. You can either get a managed VPS hosting, which is taken care of by the hosting company, or you can get unmanaged VPS hosting.

With managed VPS, the hosting company will take care of all the technical details for you. They will install the operating system and all the software you need, and monitor the server 24/7 to make sure everything is running smoothly.

Self-managed VPS is less expensive, but it requires you to be more hands-on. You'll need to install the operating system and all the software yourself. Also, you'll need to monitor the server 24/7 to make sure everything is running smoothly.

[/callout] Pro tip: If you're not comfortable doing this yourself, then a managed VPS is probably a better option for you. [/callout]

Linux/Windows

Speaking of operative systems, VPS hosting plans can run either Linux or Windows.

Linux is the most popular choice for VPS hosting, as it's more stable and secure than Windows. In addition, most VPS hosting providers offer pre-installed Linux operating systems, which makes it easier to get started.

Linux is also more flexible, as you can run a wide variety of software on it.

On the other hand, Windows hosting is a good choice if you need to run specific Windows-only applications on your VPS. It is also a more familiar interface and easier to use. This comes in handy if your business depends on Windows software or if you're more comfortable using a Windows interface.

In terms of security, Linux tends to be safer because it's more difficult for viruses and malware to penetrate the system. When it comes to Windows, you would need to install various security software to fight off any potential threats.

Reliability

When choosing a VPS service, it's important to consider reliability. After all, there's no point in paying for a service that's going to be down more often than it's up.

Look for a provider that has a good reputation for uptime and customer support. Also, make sure to read the fine print before signing up for a VPS plan.

Some providers may offer low introductory prices but then jack up the rates after the first year. By doing your homework upfront, you can avoid getting stuck with an overpriced VPS plan.

Conclusion

When it comes to web hosting, options are almost limitless, but VPS hosting is definitely one of the most popular choices out there.

If you’re looking for a little more control over your hosting, want to save some money, or need dedicated resources to handle your online business, a VPS might be the right option for you. And if that’s the case, we recommend checking out GoDaddy’s VPS hosting plans – they offer great value and lots of options to fit any need.

So what are you waiting for? Get started with your new VPS hosting plan today!

Get your VPS hosting plan from GoDaddy Now!