If you are running a website on a shared server and experiencing downtime frequently, it’s probably the time to make a switch. Out of the several hosting options available in the marketplace, VPS hosting is considered a natural upgrade from a shared server.
Combining the cost-effectiveness of a shared server with the performance and customizability of a dedicated server, VPS hosting offers a middle path for those who need a powerful hosting solution within a budget. If you are new to web hosting, you may not be aware of the nuances of a virtual private server. Don’t fret, we can help you out.
In this brief guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about VPS hosting.
What is VPS Hosting?
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. It is created by means of virtualization technology. A virtualization software hypervisor splits the resources of a physical server into multiple smaller servers, each of these is referred to as a virtual private server (VPS).
The functioning of a virtual server is also controlled through the hypervisor. Each of the virtual servers gets a reserved set of server resources to work with-CPU, RAM, storage. As a result, it delivers top-notch performance and speed.
VPS servers operate in complete isolation with no interference with the neighboring servers. This makes virtual servers far more secure in comparison to shared servers.
VPS hosting can be further bifurcated into managed and unmanaged hosting, depending on how the responsibility for server management gets divided between the client and the hosting provider.
In a fully managed VPS hosting solution, the service provider takes care of all the tasks related to server management, be it server monitoring, installing applications, updating software, patching and so on.
Managed solutions are suitable for users who have little to no knowledge of server management or don’t want to spend time or energy on server-related tasks. Managed hosting takes away the workload from clients who want to focus on other important aspects of their business.
On the other end of the continuum is unmanaged hosting where the client is responsible for the tasks related to the day-to-day management of servers. It is understandably a more pocket-friendly option when compared to a managed one, though it requires you to have a thorough knowledge of administering servers.
How does a VPS benefit your business?
Now that you understand what VPS hosting is all about, let’s look at the salient benefits of using VPS Servers Hosting for your business.
Speed and Performance: When you buy a VPS, you get a fixed set of resources to work with, which you don’t share with others. As a result, you have access to ample server resources that offer superb speed and performance to your website, creating an exemplary experience for your visitors. This stands in contrast with a shared server where your neighboring accounts can feed on resources meant for your site, affecting its ability to create an exceptional experience for your users.
Security: One of the biggest drawbacks of a shared server is that all the websites hosted on the server share the same IP address. So, if one website gets compromised, others become vulnerable.
A VPS eliminates this issue by offering a separate IP to each of the virtual servers, mitigating the impact of any such attacks. As all the virtual servers remain separated by the hypervisor, the risk of a cyberattack is minimized.
Customization: Servers in a VPS hosting environment come with root access; this means you can install the applications of choice or have the operating system (OS) you need. This brings in a lot of flexibility in managing your applications.
On the contrary, shared servers don’t allow root access, so you largely rely on the server configuration offered by the host.
When to Choose a VPS for your Business?
That a VPS is a robust hosting solution doesn’t mean you should buy it at all costs. In many cases, a shared server can serve the purpose well while in others nothing less than a dedicated server can adequately fulfill your needs.
Let’s have a look at the scenarios where a VPS can be the optimal choice for your business.
1) You need a cost-effective solution for your business
With strides in virtualization technology, VPS servers are becoming more pocket-friendly with each passing day. These days, premium hosting providers like Go4hosting offer reliable VPS solutions for as low as INR 1200/month. So, if you’re upgrading from a shared server and need something that fits within your budget, VPS can be the appropriate choice.
2) You demand full control over server settings
With complete control over the server, you can tailor the server to meet your needs without requiring permission from the hosting provider. For instance, if you want to install a custom billing software and you are using a shared server, you can’t do without your host’s permission.
Shared servers have optimization settings that may not allow installation of popular software and thus limit opportunities for customization. VPS, on the other hand, allows full root access; this way you enjoy complete control over the server and tweak it the way you want.
3) You are experiencing an increase in traffic (and page loading time)
Regardless of the type of business you are into, an increase in traffic is always desirable. But an increase in web traffic may be accompanied by an increase in page loading time for your visitors. Remember, loading time is an important aspect of your user experience.
If your site takes more than 2-3 seconds to load, your visitors may click the ‘Back’ button and leave your site. Also, page loading time is one of the key factors in search engine ranking. And to optimize page load time, you need a superior web hosting solution, which a VPS can offer within a budget.
4) You want a secure solution for your website
As discussed above, shared servers come with a security risk. Because all the accounts are hosted on the same server with no physical/virtual partition, all face the threat of intrusion if one of the accounts gets attacked. So, if one of your neighboring accounts gets blacklisted, your site faces the risk too. Virtual servers are partitioned through a hypervisor; so you don’t remain as vulnerable as in a shared hosting environment.
Now, if you run a website that requires your users to fill their personal details (e.g. name, address, contact number, credit card details), you would require a hosting environment that keeps your customer data secure. Under such a scenario, it’s recommended to use a VPS hosting solution.
How to Choose A VPS hosting provider?
By now, you must have decided whether or not you should go for VPS hosting. So, if you are going to make the switch to VPS hosting, here are some criteria that can help you choose your service provider:
1) Windows vs Linux: Virtual servers come with two different kinds of OS: Windows and Linux. Compared to Windows, Linux is more popular because it comes with a wide range of features. Linux is also more economical as it is an open-source platform.
But, if you are running a Windows-heavy environment, (e.g. working with applications built on asp or asp.net), Windows should be your choice.
2) Managed vs Unmanaged: A hosting plan can either managed or unmanaged depending upon how much responsibility of server management has been delegated to the client.
While managed VPS plans make the host assume responsibility for server management, in an unmanaged plan, the client handles different aspects of server management.
3) Price: Different hosting providers offer VPS plans at different prices. Cost is an important consideration for any business, so it’s imperative to analyze the plan of a hosting provider before buying it. Carefully weigh the features offered in different hosting plans to analyze how important they are to the running of your business. Many web hosts have hidden costs that are typically not included in the price displayed on the site. It’s vital to identify if your host has any.
4) Technical Support: Technical support forms the backbone of any hosting solution. If your host offers excellent specifications but inadequate support, he isn’t worth your consideration. The support should be offered round-the-clock, preferably through multiple channels. You should always have the option of talking to a support agent, so that your query can be duly addressed.
5) Server Specifications: Your server configuration can make or break the performance of your website. So, the specifications offered in your plan- CPU, RAM, bandwidth, storage, IP address-should be properly assessed in light of your current (and future) requirements.
Get a Competitive Edge with VPS Hosting
As virtualization continues to advance, innovative hosting models such as VPS have come to the fore. Businesses seeking potent solutions for their web applications can capitalize on VPS servers to fulfill their most pressing needs and deliver an impeccable experience.
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