Fed up of the limitations and restrictions of shared hosting? Frustrated at your website’s slow loading times and the way it struggles with heavy traffic? Desperate for more space and better performance so you can run other applications online? Then you need VPS hosting. It gives you all the oomph of a mini dedicated server but at a fraction of the cost. Here’s an explanation of what VPS is and how it can supercharge your web hosting.
VPS in a nutshell
The technology behind VPS web hosting is quite complex, however, in everyday terms, a VPS is a virtual private server. A virtual server is a piece of software that mimics the functions of a physical dedicated server. While it needs hardware to do this, it remains separate from that hardware and can be moved from one physical machine to another if needed.
As it is possible to create multiple virtual servers on one physical server, it makes them far less expensive and this is one of the chief reasons for their popularity. The term ‘private’ used in VPS comes from the fact that each virtual server is independent of all others housed on the hardware and has its own operating system. This is one of the key differences between VPS and shared hosting.
Here are the ways VPS can improve your hosting:
1. Completely reliable hosting
With shared hosting, your website is one of many that will share the resources of the server. To stop individual websites hogging all the resources, limitations are put in place. This means there are restrictions to the types of software you can run and the resources you can use. If you need those extra resources, then shared hosting will hold you back.
The other problem is that when many of the websites on the shared server are busy, it can affect the performance of all websites, even if no single site is using resources excessively. At times, there may not be enough resource capacity on the server to enable lots of websites to perform at their peak. This can result in sites loading and carrying out tasks slowly.
VPS do not share resources with other VPS housed on the server, each is completely independent with their own dedicated resources. The disk space, CPU, RAM and bandwidth are solely for your use making your web hosting far more reliable.
2. Bigger, faster, better
VPS offers website owners far more of what they need in terms of resources. You get significantly more disk space to store data, install applications and run more websites; you get high-performance from the latest processors and super-fast SSD drives, enabling your site to load faster, run processes quickly and handle substantially more traffic; and you have unlimited bandwidth to serve your site to everyone who visits.
3. Run the software you need
The nature of shared hosting means users have little choice over what operating system they can use – it’s either Linux or Windows. The specific Linux or Windows OS used is down to the web host and every website has to run on it. As your choice of operating system on a VPS doesn’t affect any other user, you can choose the one which best suits the needs of your website and applications.
Additionally, the limitations on the use of some resource-heavy applications, such as ad servers, imposed on shared hosting accounts, is removed. With VPS you can host the applications your business needs.
4. Full control over your server
To protect users of shared hosting accounts, only the web host has root access to the server. As a VPS is private, this restriction is removed, enabling you to configure the server in the way that best suits your website and applications. The ability to do this is enabled in your control panel.
Additionally, there’s no necessity to manage your server. VPS hosting is usually a managed service, meaning your hosting provider will take care of updating and patching both the operating system and the virtualisation software. They’ll also look after the physical machine your virtual server runs on and, if an issue arises, will quickly move your VPS to another physical machine to ensure it doesn’t go offline.
5. 24/7 technical support
The best VPS hosting packages come with 24/7 technical support included. Should you encounter issues with your server or website, or need assistance with any other technical matter, a trained and experienced expert will always be available to help you solve the problem.
6. Your VPS is constantly monitored
Your VPS will be monitored by your web host for several issues. Firstly, it and the hardware it runs on will be monitored for issues that affect performance or threaten a hardware failure. This means high-performance is always maintained and hardware issues are discovered before they affect your website. Should the hardware need to be taken offline for repair, the VPS can simply be transferred to another physical machine so its availability won’t be affected.
At the same time, your web host can monitor your VPS for security threats. The use of the latest firewalls with built-in intrusion detection and prevention features can discover and stop malware, hacking attempts, DDoS attacks and other threats from affecting your server.