The advantages of Virtual Private Server are quite staggering compared to shared hosting services. But before we dig deep on the merits of VPS web hosting , let’s first define some terms.
What is VPS hosting? VPS is an acronym of Virtual Private Server. As its name suggests, it is a service offered by the best VPS hosting providers in the market.
VPS allows a customer to have a virtual machine/computer that runs its own operating system and software applications.
The most notable and useful feature of virtual server hosting is root access. A customer running a VPS has a super-admin access and he can shut-down, boot, reboot or perform any task on the virtual machine instance.
VPS is quickly gaining a lot of popularity and it’s the new form of hosting that is sought by millions of web masters on the internet today. However, there is still a lot of confusion for those who are looking for a web host. According to my experience VPS is far better than shared hosting and there is no comparison at all.
Benefits of VPS hosting
VPS hosting offers more control
VPS gives customer the autonomy to install any software of their choice including operating systems (OS). When you buy vps hosting from a company such as Vultr or Digital Ocean, you get access to a control panel where you can provision your VPS instance.
You can then boot your virtual machine and install an OS that will work well depending on your needs. Installing an OS, upgrading and updating just requires a few clicks of a mouse.
The most common operating system is Linux and vps providers offer different distributions that you can choose from. These include Ubuntu, CentOs, Fedora, Windows e,t,c.
If you are just starting out, Ubuntu 16.04 is the best because you can find a lot of learning materials on the internet talking about it. CentOs is for those who want to start their own web hosting business because it supports Cpanel and WHM.
For those developing with asp and .net technologies, Windows OS could be a better bet.
In addition, most people switching to VPS host do so because they want to install their favourite web server. In a linux environment, you can choose from Apache, Lightspeed and Nginx, webserver.
Apache webserver is preferred by many because it is open source and quite easy to configure.
In a shared hosting, you don’t have the choice of installing or changing an operating system and hence VPS is a winner.
VPS gives you full root access and you can setup your Virtual computer as though it was your own personal computer at home.
VPS hosting is reliable than shared hosting
If you buy vps server, you will be the only player in that hosting environment and you won’t be competing with other web masters.
Some shared hosting providers are known for overselling their servers and this makes websites extremely slow.
Also, In a shared environment, lots of web visitors are competing for resources in a single server including RAM, CPU and installed software applications like Apache and MySQL server.
However, best vps hosting gives you a guarantee on your resources allowing your sites and hosted applications to run at a lightning speed.
I once switched to VPS hosting when I realized my shared hosting provider was killing all MySQL select queries running for more than 30 seconds. VPS allows you to tweak everything according to your special needs.
VPS hosting provides better Flexibility
For instance, if you are just starting out, you can choose a VPS plan with a 5GB Solid state drive, 1 core CPU and 1GB RAM and you only get to pay around $5/mo.
You can later scale up when your websites or hosted applications gain popularity and probably choose a plan that offers more RAM, space and extra CPU cores.
In a shared environment, your applications can come to a complete halt if your site is overwhelmed by many visitors. Scaling up or down on a VPS hosting is very easy by using the control panel offered by many web hosts.
After changing a plan, the cost of the VPS is adjusted accordingly in the next billing cycle. Such flexibility is a win to any webmaster looking for a better solution to host websites.
The cost of VPS hosting has drastically dropped to the same prices as shared hosting
Cheap Linux VPS plans start from $5/month. This is so much cheaper compared to some shared hosting that goes for more than $15/month!
However, linux vps hosting requires you to learn some basic but simple linux commands. If you like Microsoft products, you can still get best windows vps in the market including Google and Amazon.
So, is VPS better than shared hosting?
The benefits of VPS hosting outweigh shared hosting with a big margin and if you need more power, control and flexibility on your server, VPS is the way to go.
One thing I like about VPS hosting is the ability to host multiple and unlimited websites using Virtual Hosts. Also, there are lots of learning materials on the web about provisioning your VPS instance for the first time.
If you are just starting out on VPS web hosting, I would advise you to buy vps server from Vultr or Digital Ocean and install a Linux distributions such as Ubuntu 16.04 because it is easy to deploy and set according to your needs.