VPS Servers: A Quick Recap
What is it?
One step above shared hosting and just a step below dedicated server hosting. VPS (virtual private server) hosting is the common solution for websites which have outgrown a shared hosting service.
To better understand Virtual private servers, imagine a gated neighbourhood. While everyone inside the neighbourhood lives in more privacy than those in a large apartment complex (shared hosting), they still live among those inside the neighbourhood. People in a gated neighbourhood spend more money, but also have several more design options regarding their home. While they do not have as many options as someone living in a countryside mansion (dedicated server hosting), living in a gated neighbourhood is luxurious and mostly private.
Websites on a virtual private server are afforded more privacy and creative control than those on a shared host. Rather than having to share space and bandwidth with every site on the server, VPS hosts separate websites in smaller spaces known as containers. These containers offer significantly more privacy and space than what is offered by a shared hosting service. While VPS hosting is a step above shared hosting in terms of features, this is also true regarding price.
Why would you need this type of hosting?
While shared hosting is usually the first (and sometimes last) option for new web developers, many people quickly gain experience and grow their sites past the host’s capabilities. While many shared hosting sites offer “unlimited” space, this is merely a prediction rather than fact. No amount of server space is truly unlimited, so shared hosting services are predicting potential customer pages to stay below their allocated space on the server. If you develop a successful site which attracts heavy web traffic, it is likely that a shared host will eventually need to push you out. While this may seem unfortunate, it is a sign that your website is attractive and living up to its designed potential.
After developing a site which to too large for a shared host, the next logical step is to acquire the service of a VPS host. VPS hosting sites offer more space, bandwidth, and privacy than is allowed with a standard shared host. These services are also more expensive than a shared host, so it is important to establish a consistent method of supporting your web space. If you are looking to dramatically increase your site’s role on the web, VPS hosting is essential. That being said, if you’re not actually in Australia, we do have top web hosting lists in the following countries: United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, NZ, & Singapore
- Affordable: While VPS hosting cost considerably more than shared hosting, you are being afforded more space, bandwidth, and creative control, all of which are essential to the success of a website. If you are producing a website with a commercial interest, consider VPS hosting as an investment towards future profits. Despite a VPS being more expensive than shared hosting, both services are dwarfed by the price of dedicated server hosting.
- Reliability: Given the price associated with VPS hosting, customers can expect a certain sense of reliability. Many shared hosting sites have been accused of overselling, or selling more server space to customers than is available, most free web hosts do the same. This practice causes many websites to be randomly deleted, or even worse, cause a complete server failure. Overselling is an extremely rare phenomenon in the realm of VPS hosting.
- Full Control: VPS hosts offer customers the ability to run a virtual operating system in addition to several design applications (or control panels like cPanel). With this type of software, customers essentially have full creative control over the sites.
- Technical Knowledge: While you may have designed a site, which has gone past the capabilities of shared hosting, there is still a chance you know very little in regards to overall web design. Since many beginner sites rely on simple HTML or WordPress installations, users are not required to be completely tech savvy to perform basic operations. In the event you switch to a VPS host, whose software offers full creative control, you may step into an area where you have no prior knowledge. Lack of design on VPS platforms can make sites seem cheap or incomplete, despite paying considerably more for these platforms.
- Price Jump: While VPS hosting is clearly a better deal than shared hosting in terms of features, the price jump can often be a bit much for web designers on a budget. Since web hosting charges every month, some web designers find themselves paying for a VPS host before their site is truly ready for these platforms. This can lead to budgets being depleted before the respective site is functional or profitable.
- Maintenance: While VPS hosting offers more features and privacy, this does not come without the occasional problem. VPS sites require more regular maintenance from the web designer, a task which obviously requires a considerable amount of technical knowledge. If you do not have this technical knowledge, you may find yourself dishing out large amounts of money for third party site repair.
What is the meaning of “virtual” in the term virtual public server?
Given the advanced software present in VPS hosting, companies can create virtual computers and run them within physical machines. These virtual computers host a group of websites, each of which are afforded the benefits of a full-fledged operating system (usually Linux), multiple design applications, and an effective server.
Isn’t this the same as shared hosting?
No. In shared hosting (the cheap website hosting type), all websites are sharing a single machine (either physical or virtual). In VPS hosting, one website is assigned to one virtual machine. In shared hosting, customers are discouraged from creating sites which attract heavy web traffic and use up large amounts of bandwidth. In VPS hosting, you can produce much larger sites which will not suddenly disappear from the server space.
Is a virtual private server better for search-engine optimisation?
Yes, but not directly. Google, Bing, and other search engines place a priority on sites which have relatively quick loading times. If you have a site on shared host or mismanaged server, your website will drop in search-engine optimisation because of long loading periods. Sites on a VPS host are not competing for bandwidth, meaning they will load faster and climb in Google’s rankings.
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