Beginner’s Guide to Virtual Private Servers (VPS)

In order for your website to be up and running, you will need to purchase web hosting. However, the accommodation landscape can be quite turbulent. There are a number of acronyms and terms to learn their meaning and several technology options to choose from. One of these acronyms is VPS.

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. This is one of the three main accommodation options. The other two are shared and dedicated. However, compared to shared hosting, VPS hosting is more secure and scalable. And when it comes to dedicated hosting, VPS is more affordable while providing many of the same benefits. For this reason, we are going to focus our guide on Virtual Private Servers.

Define a VPS

Let’s break down the components that make up a virtual private server.

To begin with, let’s define what a server is. A server is a powerful computer that contains all of the data and files that make up your website. Then, when an internet user types your domain name into their web browser, the server displays your website on the user’s screen.

A VPS, however, is a virtual server. The way it works is that a physical server is divided into partitions using virtualization technology so that multiple virtual servers are created. In other words, a single physical server functions as several separate servers.

Finally, the word private implies that your virtual server is exclusively reserved for you. No one else on the physical server can access your resources or affect your website.

Examine how VPS works

VPS hosting offers the experience of a dedicated server by virtually partitioning a physical server into individual virtual environments. A web hosting provider does this by installing a virtual layer on top of the server operating system using virtualization technology. The virtual layer is then separated into individual compartments with virtual walls that allow users to install their own operating system and software.

Virtual walls separate each user from the others at the operating system level, so that your website resides in a secure container with guaranteed server resources.

Compare VPS hosting with shared hosting and dedicated hosting

To understand how VPS hosting works, you need to know how it compares to shared and dedicated hosting.

Shared hosting

Shared hosting is the dominant form of web hosting. With this type of hosting, your website shares resources like CPU, RAM, and hard drive space with other website owners using the server.

It’s kind of like an apartment complex, where a different website owner rents out each apartment. However, instead of each of you having your own common areas and utilities, you share these things to keep costs down.

Shared hosting pays off. For example, shared hosting plans at GreenGeeks starting at $ 2.49 per month. However, it has several drawbacks. For example, if a site on the shared server is experiencing a huge spike in traffic, it could affect your website’s performance. Moreover, if one of the sites is hacked, the other websites on the server are also vulnerable to attacks.

Dedicated hosting

The most expensive type of web hosting is dedicated hosting. This is because it is a website with a full physical server for itself. As a result, you have full control over your resources and can customize the software to meet your unique needs. For these reasons, dedicated hosting is best for websites with strong technical requirements. For example, if your site receives heavy traffic every day or if you handle thousands of financial transactions.

When to choose VPS hosting?

You operate an e-commerce site

If you are planning to have an online store, you should use VPS hosting from the start. Indeed, with a VPS, you are more likely to spend a PCI compliance test. Passing this test is necessary if you want to accept credit cards as a payment method on your website. In general, to pass this test, you will need a secure hosting environment, provided by a VPS.

You are experiencing high traffic volumes

When you first launch your website, you might find that shared hosting provides enough resources to meet your needs. However, as your site grows and you start seeing more traffic, you’ll want to consider upgrading to VPS hosting.

You want to install custom software

If your site requires the installation of custom software, advanced programming, or the use of a custom server setup, you’ll need a hosting option that gives you that control. Therefore, your only options are VPS or dedicated hosting. However, unless you need 100% control, you’d better go for VPS hosting.

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