There are so many web hosting options out there: shared hosting, VPS, dedicated servers. What do they all mean?

We’re here to break it down for you with the best web hosting comparisons, and in this article we’ll cover VPS hosting.

Starting a new website may seem daunting at first- the sheer terminology of website hosting is enough to make any new comer scratch their head. I’m here to help break down some of the decisions you’ll face after deciding to run a website.

Choosing the best web hosting service

The first thing you’ll have to choose is what kind of hosting you want to utilize for your website. A website must be hosted on a server in order to be displayed for your potential visitors.

Servers can run many websites at once- as long as it doesn’t exceed the bandwidth and memory of the server hardware. Because of their limitations, one question you’ll have to answer is whether or not you want your website on a shared hosting or dedicated hosting plan.

Shared hosting is the cheapest and simplest of options, but also quite limited in its functionality and capacity, while a dedicated server is expensive and can handle high amounts of traffic and advanced operations.

However, there is a middle option as well, a virtual private server or VPS.

What is VPS hosting?

VPS hosting can range in price from $20/month into the $100s and offers a significant amount of control over your website which can only be achieved with server access for customization.

With a VPS hosting plan, you are still technically on a shared server, however you have a great deal more disk space, privacy, and server access. VPS hosting functions off of a single server, like shared hosting, but it does so in a way that you purchase or rent space that is allocated and protected like a single, dedicated server.

Since VPS allows your website to function as if on a dedicated server, you get a lot of the same benefits of a dedicated server at a fraction of the cost. While some people may worry about security in a shared hosting environment, using VPS hosting cuts this risk out. The control enabled with VPS hosting allows you customize server configurations and vastly reducing security risk

Server customization with VPS hosting plans

Using VPS allows you to customize server systems without the rigid limits of broad shared hosting platforms. You can alter the operations of the server to suit your individual website needs. Along the same lines, your individual virtual private server can be updated, restarted, and maintained by you at any time. Although the physical server hardware is shared, your VPS is specific to your account- giving you operational control that you don’t have with simple shared hosting plans.

Website uptime and speed with VPS hosting plans

Perhaps the biggest benefit of VPS hosting is the amount of RAM and storage you have available to just you. You don’t have to worry about a neighbor website suddenly getting millions of hits and storing terabytes of information and conversely impacting your website function. Your VPS RAM can only be used by you.

Who VPS hosting is not for

As great as VPS is, there are of course, downsides. The main ones simply being the price of access and the limits on what you can customize. For websites just starting out and not expecting a lot of traffic, shared hosting may be the best place to start. However, if expecting some traffic already and requiring a more in depth customization experience, VPS is worth the money.

And since virtual private servers are still a middle option when it comes to hosting, you can always opt to upgrade seamlessly to dedicated hosting when the time comes. Try VPS and see if you utilize all the functionality and services first.