Virtual server hosting is also known as VPS or virtual private server hosting is one step below the ultimate hosting level, which is owning or leasing your own, private, dedicated server.
Having a Virtual Private Server, or VPS, is almost as powerful as having a dedicated server… and to all intents and purposes, it feels exactly the same to the people who make use of it as a web server, both from the client end – the visitors who look at the web pages – and from the back end that only the webmaster and the technicians have access to.
The VPS is the step up from an ordinary shared web hosting account towardsa much more powerful web server. This becomes necessary as many businesses see their internet traffic and business operation growing to where they need more storage space and greater bandwidth than a normal shared hosting or reseller hosting package could provide.
If you are thinking about shared hosting right now, you well may wonder why anyone could ever need more. Many hosting companies offer so-called unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth on some shared hosting accounts, and you can, in theory at least, have an unlimited number of domains added on to your main account domain.
So why wouldn’t one just stay with that, admittedly growing, shared hosting account? After all, it is a lot cheaper than upgrading to a VPS.
Well, these hosting companies promising “unlimited” hosting have been tricking you in the fine print. Their so-called unlimited deoes not really mean unlimited. That fine print will have some reference to the term “fair use”. Their unlimited packages plan for different customers on the shared web hosting server to have different peak demand times in their traffic. So, with a great deal of luck they can squeeze lots of customers onto one shared server… However, the instant your traffic starts to inconvenience the other customers by slowing down that shared hosting server, they will tell you that you need to upgrade. And it’s that ot go find yourself a new web hosting company.
That situation is when you might wish to upgrade to virtual server hosting (VPS). This will provide you with a level of control very close to what you would have with a dedicated server of your own, but at a lower cost. Virtual server hosting is also far more likely to be managed (meaning their technicians are available to assist you) and they re likely to offer the web hosting features you have become used to in a shared hosting or reseller account. These would probably include cPanel, WHM and possibly Fantastico.
Fantastico is a very clever server script that takes all the pain out of setting up WordPress blogs, forums and many other popular – and free – server-side applications.
Just remember, you need to have a much higher level of technical knowledge if you plan on managing your own dedicated server all by yourself.
A virtual server has other advantages, like a real dedicated server, such as allowing you one or more dedicated IP addresses. (IP just stands for Internet Protocol.) This means that you will be penalized for being in a ‘bad neighborhood’ where you share the same ip address as someone who is spamming or hosting a porn site, for example. It is not uncommon for innocent users of shared hosting to find their email deliverability gets blocked because their shared IP address has been blacklisted. This will not happen to you when you have your own IP number.
As far as pricing goes, you will need to spend around $70 for basic virtual server hosting and $100 or more for higher storage and bandwidth options. This is more than ordinary shared hosting packages, but it is cheaper than dedicated servers, which start at around $200 per month.
With VPS and dedicated server hosting, it is definitely worth going to a specialist. You will need a higher level of technical support than you are likely to require on a shared hosting service. The cheapest is not likely to be the best, so check out two or three web different hosting providers before you make a decision.
PS: If the above price and learning curve scare you, just read this Virmach review and you will not need to worry again.