When you decide you want to start a website, you need web hosting. Shared hosting, VPS hosting, cloud hosting and dedicated hosting are the main options you will find. It might be tempting to choose shared hosting due to the low prices, but it might not be the right option. VPS hosting might offer a better choice with more benefits compared to shared hosting without the high cost of a dedicated server.

If you’re trying to choose the right hosting, a better understanding of VPS hosting will help. Let’s look at what VPS (virtual private server) hosting is and the pros and cons of this type of hosting.

What is VPS Hosting?

All hosting happens on a server. The server is like the building for the websites or hosting accounts.

VPS hosting shares the building much like an apartment complex. Every account is renting space within the building and has their own resources they can use, yet shares the building.

Many accounts are put on the same server with VPS hosting. However, unlike shared hosting, you won’t be sharing the resources in a first-come-first-serve type of format. Instead, you’ll have specific resources assigned to you and you can use them however you please.

On the other side of things, VPS hosting still shares the server, while dedicated hosting doesn’t. Dedicated hosting allows you to have the entire ‘building’ or server to yourself.

VPS hosting bridges the gap between shared and dedicated server hosting. Shared hosting can be very cheap, while a dedicated server can be quite very expensive. Virtual private server hosting offers a middle option with some of the benefits of dedicated hosting without the high cost.

Types of VPS Hosting

Within the VPS category, there are a few different types of VPS hosting. The type you choose depends on your specific needs. Here are the three main types of VPS hosting you will find.

  • Full Virtualization – When you use VPS hosting, the hypervisor will interact with the CPU of a physical server to access information on the OS level. This allows those within the network to remain unaware of the main server within the string of servers. Full virtualization hosting uses the hypervisor at an expensive level.
  • Para-virtualization – With Para-virtualization, guest servers won’t be unaware of the other servers. The network of servers will work as one unit. This type of VPS hosting works best for those needing a streamlined approach for each guest server.
  • OS-level Virtualization – VPS hosting without a hypervisor is OS-level virtualization. It will function as a part of the host operating system and each guest will be the same. This works well for those in need of a homogenous approach to resource sharing.

Managed or Unmanaged VPS Hosting?

Along with the more technical choices above, you will also have the option to choose between managed or unmanaged VPS hosting.

Managed virtual private server hosting allows your web hosting company to handle all server-related issues. You won’t need technical knowledge to use this type of VPS hosting. It’s the most convenient and will allow you to focus on building your business instead of worrying about the server.

Unmanaged VPS hosting puts the responsibility of the server on your shoulders. You will have to handle managing and updating the server. It may also be called self-managed VPS hosting.

If you have an IT team, unmanaged VPS hosting might make sense. However, if you don’t have the technical knowledge necessary, it could quickly become a disaster.

Pros of VPS Hosting

  • Cost/Value – While VPS hosting is more expensive than shared hosting, it’s cheaper than dedicated hosting. It falls in the middle offering more value for your money compared to shared hosting. If you cannot afford dedicated hosting, VPS hosting is the next best thing. You’ll still receive resources you can use without sharing them and the cost makes it a budget-friendly option.
  • Scalable – With most VPS hosting providers, you can upgrade your resources at any time. It’s very easy to scale VPS hosting as your business grows. Whether you’re receiving more traffic or need more disk space, you can always upgrade for a larger set of resources.
  • More Secure – Compared to shared hosting, VPS hosting offers better security options. You will be able to secure your partition of the server however you choose and you won’t be stuck in a bad neighborhood due to someone else’s actions.
  • Hosting on Auto-Pilot – As long as you choose managed VPS hosting, you will basically put your hosting on auto-pilot. You won’t have to worry about updating the server or maintaining it. Your hosting company will take care of it for you.
  • High Performance – VPS hosting offer a high performance level with excellent speed. It’s far better than shared hosting when it comes to website load times and overall performance. If you want better SEO, VPS hosting is a huge step up from shared hosting.

Cons of VPS Hosting

  • More Expensive – Compared to shared hosting, virtual private server hosting is more expensive. Managed VPS hosting tends to be more expensive than unmanaged VPS hosting. While the expense is higher, you get more value for each dollar compared to shared hosting. It’s also not as expensive as dedicated server hosting.
  • Limited – When comparing VPS hosting to dedicated hosting, it does come with some limits. If you reach those limits, you will need to upgrade your VPS package or even upgrade to a dedicated server. These limits are higher than the limits put on shared hosting, however.
  • Not as Secure – While VPS hosting is more secure compared to shared hosting, it’s not as secure as dedicated server hosting. With a dedicated server, you don’t share anything and you have full control. VPS hosting only gives you control over the partition of resources assigned to you. 

Who Needs VPS Hosting?

When you start a website, for business or personal reasons, you will get to choose the type of hosting you prefer. If you plan to make money from your website, you desire better SEO, and/or you want a more secure type of hosting, virtual private server (VPS) hosting is a good choice.

It’s steps above shared hosting without the high cost of a dedicated server. Most businesses with the ability to afford VPS hosting will be better off compared to choosing shared hosting.