A VPS stands for virtual private server, and it refers to a setup where a server is partitioned, so many individual servers are created. The servers are not physically independent servers, but they have the functionality of a physical server.
This being said, the owner of the server (you) can reboot it totally independent from others, and it can have its own operating system.
VPS hosting is usually chosen by developers or people who are familiar with managing more complex systems, however there is managed VPS hosting, where one does not have to worry about technical details, the crew of the hosting company takes care of them.
Why would anyone choose VPS hosting? This technology allows clients to get quality hosting, experience close to dedicated servers, while keeping money in their pockets, as it is a lot cheaper option to go with.
It can be regarded as the middle man between shared hosting and dedicated servers, both in costs and performance. So when usually a customer outgrows the shared environment, they upgrade to VPS, and when they grow further, then they take the next step towards a dedicated server.
How do I know if a VPS is for me?
Generally, you do not need to use such a service. If you have the average business website or a blog, shared hosting is far than enough.
However, with time as the content and the popularity (thus the number of visitors) of your site grows, it will need more and more resources and shared servers will not be enough anymore.
So, one smart move is to choose a web host where you can upgrade later on, with no outages regarding uptime and if possible, to do this without any extra charges. In case you already have a provider or you just want to sign up with one which only has shared hosting, you have no reason to worry.
A lot of companies offer free transfers and setups from other providers, so really, you will not lose much. Yes, maybe there will be some downtime, but usually they make sure this is not more than needed to perform the transfer.
Selecting the right one
Since this environment is different from the well-known shared field, we need some additional points that can guide one to choose the best VPS hosting.
As we wrote in the case of shared web hosting, RAM is very important because it correlates with a site’s speed.
We also mentioned that this cannot be an aspect which we can use to make a decision as shared providers do not make data public regarding RAM. Here, we have the data, so it is important to choose a web host with the maximum RAM possible.
Other important things would be the control panel that we get and also IP addresses (the more the better).
As we can see, there are many points to look out for when making a shift from a shared environment to VPS. In this article we will continue to further discuss in more detail different aspects of VPS hosting.
Hopefully, after reading this, many of you will be able to select a good service, thus getting the best value for your hard-earned money.
RAM – as one of the most important indicators of a server’s performance
This should be probably the most crucial point when looking for virtual private server.
Among many others things, we can say this because as we look around the market, we can see that RAM allocation is usually the feature that the price of the service depends on. In many cases, that is the only difference between two plans.
If we look a little closer, we can see that indeed we need as much RAM as possible with a virtual private server because the demand is higher – this equipment has to manage its own OS. So RAM will have a direct effect on server speed, overall performance and the already mentioned price. Let’s say you have a server with 512 MBs of RAM.
Now, a control panel already uses half of that (even more, half is the minimal). To this come all the software that need to be installed on you server. And then we still need some processing RAM otherwise things will not run smoothly.
So we would say to go with a virtual private server with at least 768 MB or more.
Burstable RAM – what is that?
Many of the web hosts out there advertise their VPS hosting packages with burstable RAM. In a nutshell, that is RAM to be used only in rare cases when the given resources are not enough, but it cannot be used for longer time periods.
What about IP addresses?
If you opt for a virtual private server, you will need two IP addresses which will be used by the name servers and usually providers will give two more to use with the domains. Your provider will not determine how to use these, it is completely up to the client.
In conclusion we can say that two IP-s are enough, unless one has needs that are far from this. But as we said, most of the time they will give four.
Some thoughts on the control panel
As mentioned earlier, control panel is another very important aspect when choosing a VPS, so we will briefly introduce these here.
The names are different, but at the core all these different tools have the same functionality so really there is no reason to make big distinctions between them.
Some experienced users though like to work with this or that tool more, so they will pay more attention to this detail. We can say that these are all created with simplicity of use in mind to make server management tasks faster and sophisticated.
Take into consideration all the mentioned points when looking for a VPS service provider. Making a deliberate decision is a lot of times very hard, because it depends from so many things. The timing has to be perfect – if we upgrade too early from shared hosting we can lose money.
If you upgrade too late that can have bad consequences too. In the end, if you decide to make this change don’t spend too much on a server with too much performance or too low. Try to make a smart decision, if not the first time, in the end you will get it right.
High quality recommended providers
Currently I recommend working with:
All of the above are reputable web hosts offering a decent selection of VPS solutions and of course, they have been reviewed so the recommendation is based on experience and facts.
The above links point to their reviews so you can get a better picture of what each web host is and then you can check out their website to see the specific VPS offers.