The Pros and Cons of VPS Web Hosting


VPS web hosting is one of the newer forms of web hosting that has only recently gained in popularity. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. VPS hosting is a source of confusion for many individuals and businesses searching for a web host for their Internet ventures. The reason for this is that it really is a hybrid of shared hosting and dedicated hosting.

It is no wonder people are confused by the term and are unsure if it will suit their purposes and their web hosting needs. We shall look to clarify the pros and cons of VPS hosting to help you better decide if it is appropriate for your endeavors.

VPS Web Hosting Defined

A virtual private server is one that is partitioned so that it has its own operating system, disc space, and bandwidth. What, exactly, does this mean? A physical server that resides in a data center is used for VPS hosting. That server is then divided into various spaces that create its own virtual server. The account holder who is put on the virtual server sees only their virtual environment and can reboot their server or use it as if it was their own dedicated server.

The space acts just like a dedicated server but it is in actuality a part of one physical server. Because it acts as a dedicated server this is a good interim solution for sites that may need a dedicated server in the future but are not yet ready for it. VPS hosting is a good bridge between shared hosting and dedicated hosting.

Who Uses VPS Hosting?

Many hosting customers have a preference for VPS hosting because they have more control over their environment than they do with shared hosting. Even if they do not need all the system resources allocated to them in the VPS and a shared environment is just as suitable, the control they are afforded is worth the added expense.

For people who want to have dedicated hosting but are a bit wary of the technological knowhow needed, VPS hosting is a good starter package to get their feet wet. They can try it out and increase their skill set without committing to as much money up front.

What Are the Benefits of VPS Hosting?

As with all types of web hosting, there are pros and cons to each and each one is suited to specific circumstances. Generally there are many advantages to hosting your site on a virtual private server. These include:

  • A VPS hosting account is less expensive than a full dedicated hosting plan that uses a physical server.

  • Many VPS plans can be customized to meet your needs so you pay for what you want but you do not need to deal with any features you will never need.

  • Many VPS hosting plans are easily scalable. You can start off in your virtual environment with the minimum amount of resources you need and then as you grow gradually increase your hosting plan to accommodate your needs. You do not have to pay for excessive resources you have not yet grown into.

  • You have a lot more control over your virtual server than you do with shared hosting. You will likely have root access and the ability to use scripts that may not be allowed in the shared hosting environment.

  • You have the same technical support as with shared hosting for most issues.

  • You can choose from semi managed hosting where the web host handles some maintenance and fully managed services.

Are There any Disadvantages to VPS Hosting?

VPS hosting, in theory, is a great way to have the services of a dedicated server but without the cost associated with it. However, there are some potential issues that may occur with VPS hosting. The main disadvantage from a financial standpoint is that it is more expensive than shared hosting. For sites that do not need a dedicated hosting service, the cost may be prohibitive. While it is not as expensive as dedicated, it is also typically a lot more expensive than shared.

From a services standpoint, though, the issue can be a lot greater. Some web hosts offer VPS hosting but do not allocate the resources appropriately. This may cause problems down the line if a particular site uses its resources at peak levels. The reason for this is that the web host may have over sold its space, banking on the probability that each account on the physical server will not use its allocated store of resources. However, if they do, it may cause server issues that will affect all other sites on the server. A way to combat this is to ensure that you are aware of how many virtual accounts are on the server at one time.

VPS hosting is a great bridge between shared hosting and dedicated hosting. It s main advantage is the ability to have complete control over the hosting environment as you would get in a dedicated hosting package but without the cost. There are a few issues you may encounter if the host does not handle VPS correctly but if they do and you can afford the slightly higher price, it is a great option.

Want to learn more? Check out all of our great web hosting guides!