If your website has slowed down or is crashing frequently because of large traffic spikes, it may be time to upgrade your hosting plan. A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a wonderful affordable option for a growing business that doesn’t want to compromise on performance.
VPS hosting plans offer multiple options, making the task of choosing the right one for your business challenging. To mitigate any confusion and to help you make the best choice, let’s break down what you need to know about VPS hosting and its different plan types.
But before we discuss the individual plans, let us first take a look at the basics of a VPS.
What Is VPS Hosting?
A VPS or Virtual Private Server is a hosting environment that provides partitioned or “virtual” space on a physical server shared with other clients. Although there may be multiple VPS clients on one physical server, resources are not shared. Each VPS can be rebooted or reallocated independently, allowing for server clients to have much greater flexibility without incurring the costs of buying a dedicated server.
VPS vs. Shared Hosting: What’s the Difference?
Now you may think a virtual private server sounds a lot like shared hosting. So, what’s the difference?
With shared hosting, there are many clients on one physical server that are sharing resources. And with a virtual private server, there are multiple clients on a physical server that are not sharing resources. This is important because how the resources are being allocated is one of the main differences.
On a shared server, if a website receives a spike of traffic or is using a web application that dominates the server, your website performance may be negatively impacted. Of course, there are measures in place to stop one website from monopolizing all of a shared server’s resources, but a website on a shared server may be temporarily affected.
You may want to think of shared hosting like a house with multiple bathrooms and appliances that share hot water from a single water heater. If you’ve ever tried to take a shower immediately after someone else or when the dishwasher is in use, you may notice the water will not get as hot or there will be large fluctuations in the temperature.
A VPS would be like being able to configure the water heater so the impact of someone taking a long shower or using hot water somewhere else in the house at the same time had no impact on your shower.
It’s important to note that shared hosting is an excellent option for businesses that are not expecting large fluctuations in traffic or websites that just need basic hosting. Shared hosting is inexpensive and usually the place where many businesses will start from.
But once your business begins to grow and you need more control, better security and more flexibility, a virtual private server is a great option as you get the cost-savings of shared hosting and some of the performance benefits of having a dedicated server without the cost.
Now that we know the difference between a virtual private server and shared hosting, let’s take a look at the different types of VPS options.
Managed, Self-Managed, and Fully Managed Systems: What’s Best?
If you’re already set on a VPS hosting, you still have a couple of things to sort out. Before opting for any particular plan, you’ll need to select whether you want a fully managed, self-managed, or managed system.
Let’s discuss the differences and situations where you may choose one over the other.
Fully Managed VPS
In a fully managed system, the hosting provider manages the server entirely, acting as the system administrator. This allows the business owner and staff to remain focused on running a successful business. The hosting company provides access to their advanced IT staff and manages everything from server patches, system updates, and backups, etc.
A fully managed solution is great for companies that don’t have the technical expertise to self-manage or don’t want the responsibility of managing the server. Choose fully managed when:
- You want the hosting company to handle patches and updates.
- You don’t need root access.
- You would still like access to a cPanel.
- You want experts to install third-party apps and keep them updated.
- You would like a dedicated team of server administrators constantly monitoring and handling the day-to-day operations of the server.
A self-managed VPS is for companies with system administrators or advanced IT staff that can manage the virtual private server completely. The self-managed option gives access to the root level of the VPS but does not provide a cPanel. Also, a self-managed plan would require the company to handle all app installations and updates and any database migrations.
Self-managed is best when:
- You already have server admins or the technical expertise to handle server patches updates, backups, and installations of third-party apps.
- You need root access to the server.
- You do not need a control panel.
- You will not need access to the hosting company’s dedicated server admins.
Managed VPS is a hybrid between fully managed and self-managed. This service is geared towards companies that require some support for things like server patches and backups, but still need access to a cPanel. Installing third-party apps like WordPress would be self-managed through the cPanel.
A managed VPS is best when:
- You require some support for patches and updates.
- You may need root access.
- You would like to use a cPanel.
- You have the ability to install your own third-party apps.
- You don’t need access to the hosting company’s dedicated team of server admins.
Upgrade Your Hosting with VPS
A virtual private server offers great benefits, scalability and pricing options for any growing business. The flexibility of fully managed, self-managed or managed VPS plans allows a business to choose a plan based on needs, available resources and priorities.
If you feel like you need more information about VPS, reach out to your hosting provider and look into your options!