When you’re in the market for hosting, you’re going to have a lot of things to consider. You have to choose the right type of hosting, the plan that’ll align with your website needs, and pour through a myriad of different features. 

But, choosing the right type of hosting for your website is probably the most important decision. 

One form of hosting you’ve probably come across is VPS hosting. This unique form of hosting can provide a lot of tangible benefits to certain types of websites. 

The use of VPS hosting has exploded and for good reason.

Once you’ve outgrown shared hosting and are looking for a flexible and robust hosting solution, then VPS might be the perfect fit for your needs.

Below we’re going to look into what VPS hosting is, how it differs from other forms of hosting, and finally, we dive into the benefits, so you can decide if this form of hosting is right for your needs. 

What is VPS Hosting?

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. That might not mean much to you yet, but it’ll make sense in a bit. 

The main feature of VPS hosting is the virtual aspect. It relies upon virtualization technology, which creates a virtual server on top of an existing physical server. So, you have a single physical server, and this is divided up into multiple virtual servers.

These virtual servers operate entirely separate from one another. They all have their own dedicated server resources. So, you won’t have to share your RAM, CPU, or storage with other websites, even though you still might be on the same physical server.

Compare this to shared hosting, where you’re sharing a physical server with potentially thousands of other websites. Plus, there’s a chance that other websites can end up negatively impacting your site when you’re using a shared server. 

Essentially, a VPS will act similar to a dedicated server. But, it’s much cheaper, which makes it more accessible to a variety of different website owners. 

You can think of VPS hosting like living in a high-rise apartment complex. 

The overall structure of the building is being shared between every apartment in the building. But, each apartment is completely isolated from one another. You can customize your space however you see fit, and you won’t have any issues with other apartments impacting your space. 

In this scenario, the physical server you’re all sharing is the physical structure of the building while each apartment is an individual VPS server. 

VPS Hosting infographic

The shared foundation of VPS hosting helps to keep costs lower, while still offering you the same benefits that a dedicated server can provide. 

How Does VPS Hosting Work?

With VPS hosting the virtual server environment emulates a traditional physical server. With virtualization technology (mentioned above) the physical server is broken up into multiple virtual servers via a partition.

Each of these partitions operates as a virtual server that allows each user to install their own operating system, software, and more. Just as you would a traditional dedicated server. This type of partition is similar to when you partition your personal computer to run multiple operating systems, like Windows and Mac. Each operating system functions in a container in complete isolation from the other OS. 

Even though a VPS server is virtual, it operates in the same fashion as a physical server. So, you don’t have to worry about issues with other sites impacting your website. 

Hosting your website on a VPS gives you access to a guaranteed level of server resources that you’ll never have to split between other users. 

VPS vs Shared and Dedicated Hosting

Before we cover the benefits of VPS hosting, let’s see how it compares to other forms of hosting:

Shared Hosting

With shared hosting you’re splitting the cost of a server with hundreds of other users. This form of hosting is very easy to use and is well suited towards beginners, but there are some drawbacks. 

For instance, there’s a chance that another site on the same server can use more than its share of server resources, leading to issues with your site. Shared hosting can also only support your site to a certain size and volume of traffic. 

Dedicated Hosting

With dedicated hosting, you have access to an entire physical server. You can host a single website on this server, or use it for multiple properties you manage. Dedicated hosting provides you with incredible levels of power, performance, storage, and security. 

However, dedicated hosting is also the most expensive form of hosting, since you’re not splitting server costs. It also requires a higher level of technical expertise, since you’ll also be responsible for managing your own server. 

7 Benefits of VPS Hosting

We’ve already alluded to a few of the VPS hosting benefits above. But now it’s time to go deep into the tangible benefits your website will receive once you upgrade to VPS hosting.

Here are the most significant benefits that VPS hosting will provide:

1. Improved Performance

As your site grows in size and your traffic levels continue to climb, you’re going to need a host that supports your website. You’ll want lightning-fast loading speeds, no matter how much traffic your site receives. 

If your site’s traffic levels have been growing, first of all, congratulations! Secondly, it’s time to choose a hosting plan that’s right for your website at its current stage and into the future.

A VPS plan could be exactly what you’re looking for. With VPS hosting, you’ll have more server resources at your disposal, so you can support growing levels of traffic while maintaining a speedy website. 

2. Greater Storage and Bandwidth

With VPS hosting you’ll have access to very high levels of storage and bandwidth. This will help improve both performance (mentioned above) and reliability (mentioned below).

If you’re migrating from a shared hosting plan, then you’ll be blown away by the amount of server space you have. The high levels of bandwidth can also support very high volumes of traffic without a hitch.

This added space and bandwidth can support sites with hundreds of blog posts, media-rich multimedia sites, and a lot more.

Here’s a quick look at the RAM, CPU, disk space, and bandwidth offered on the VPS plans here at HostGator:

hostgator vps hosting pricing plans

3. Higher Levels of Reliability

Shared hosting can be great when you’re just getting started online. But, due to the sheer volume of websites that are packed onto a single shared server, you might eventually run into issues with uptime.

Although shared servers today have done away with a lot of past issues. It still isn’t the best choice if you’re looking for high uptime and performance.

With a VPS, you’re the only website using the server’s resources. So, the only uptime issues you’ll run into will be from choosing a low-quality hosting provider or exceeding the current resources of your plan. 

4. Greater Server Control and Customization

Most VPS hosting plans offer you higher levels of server control and customization. So, if you require a unique operating system or a server setup that isn’t supported on a shared hosting plan, then VPS could be the right fit.

You also get root access to the server (similar to dedicated hosting), so you essentially begin with a blank slate and can customize your server to your exact website specifications. 

This is a must-have for certain websites that require a unique software or server setup. 

Some types of websites, like eCommerce sites, might benefit from having VPS hosting right from the very beginning. A lot of eCommerce sites use software or require more strict security protocols that might not be compatible with shared hosting setups. 

VPS hosting ensures that you can customize your hosting setup to perfectly match your website’s unique requirements. 

5. Ability to Scale Your Server Setup

VPS hosting is also pretty scalable. So, if your site traffic levels are trending upwards, you can trust on VPS hosting to be able to grow with you.

Compare this to other forms of hosting, like shared hosting, where once you reach the limits of your plan, you’ll have to upgrade to another type of hosting entirely. 

With VPS hosting all it takes is the click of a button to add more resources to your server. Plus, it’s easier to scale your server resources up and down. So, you can scale up when you’re running a promotion, or during the busy holiday season, and scale back down when traffic levels return to normal. 

If you have variable traffic levels, of a site whose traffic continues to grow, then VPS hosting might be your best bet. 

6. Cheaper When Compared to Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is typically some of the most expensive hosting across the board, which makes it inaccessible to a lot of website owners. But, VPS hosting can provide you with the same level of features, without the substantial financial investment.

You might not get as large of a server, but for most website owners, this will be more than enough.  

With dedicated hosting, you end up paying for the entire server no matter what percentage of the server’s resources you’re currently using. But, with VPS hosting, you have greater control over the resources of the server, so you’ll only end up paying for the resources you’re currently using. 

This makes it more cost-effective than dedicated hosting, even beyond the initial monthly price point. 

7. Have Support From a Skilled Tech Team

Running your site on a VPS server is a little more technical in nature. It’s a step up from shared hosting, which is incredibly easy to manage on your own. 

If you run into an issue with your server, or your site goes offline for a mysterious reason you’ll want to ensure there’s a quality support team that can help you out. 

Most VPS hosting providers will have a technical support team that can assist you. However, some providers also offer advanced technical support just for their VPS customers. 

No matter your technical proficiency it can be helpful to have a support team to rely upon when you need it the most. 

8. Higher Levels of Security

Since you’re going to be the only website who’s using a single physical server you’re going to have higher levels of security right out of the gate. And that’s just the beginning. You’ll also have the opportunity to install custom security software, firewalls, and whatever other security features you desire to turn your website into a fortress.

VPS hosting is known for its higher levels of security. Typically, it’s on par with dedicated hosting, which can offer you some of the most secure hosting around. 

Of course, a lot of your website’s security has to do with how secure your actual website is too. So, even with a super secure host, you’ll need to implement website security best practices

Is VPS Hosting Right for Me?

Most users who outgrow their initial shared hosting plans will upgrade to VPS hosting. This form of hosting gives you more control over your hosting environment, along with added server storage and bandwidth. With this you can easily support larger sites that get high volumes of traffic. 

However, some site owners may need VPS hosting from the start. For example, if you’re running an eCommerce website, or a site that requires higher levels of security, then it makes sense to start with VPS hosting right from the start.

But, most website owners will grow into VPS hosting. Once you’ve reached the limits of shared hosting and are noticing a decline in performance, then it’s time to upgrade. Unless you have the budget and need for a dedicated server, VPS will probably be your best option. 

Here’s a quick recap of the benefits your site will receive when upgrading to VPS hosting:

  • A faster and more reliable server for high uptime and fast loading speeds.
  • Access to a guaranteed amount of server resources.
  • The ability to scale your server resources up as your site grows.
  • Isolation from other websites, so another website will never negatively impact yours.
  • Improved levels of security and server customization.

Hopefully, you have a thorough understanding of VPS hosting and the benefits it can provide your website, so you’re well equipped to decide whether or not this style of hosting is right for you. 

Contact HostGator today to learn more about our VPS hosting plans.

Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.