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“After having shared hosting plans with other providers for many years, I switched all of my sites to Liquid Web a few months ago for my first VPS experience. It's been smooth, fast, and easy to use. At one point I suddenly ran out of disk space, and within minutes I was able to use their system to upgrade my plan and move my site to a larger partition.” – David K.
If you want to control your server from the deepest level possible, you’re going to need to go with a VPS plan that offers root access. Root access allows you to edit all of the files on your virtual server. This includes system-critical files. Having this access can be beneficial if you’re looking to install programs or implement complex coding. However, it’s very easy to ruin your site when you have full root access.
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Learning how to set up a VPS after upgrading from shared hosting is like leaving the kiddie pool to dive into an Olympic-sized one. You have a lot more room and features to play with, but you’ll need to find your footing before you can start having fun. Now that you know how to configure your VPS, you’ve become acquainted with the command line, which will make it a lot easier to set everything up to your liking.
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Shared: To begin with, both VPS and Shared Hosting host multiple tenants on a single server. However, there is one key difference: In Shared Hosting, the resources are spread equally between all users. As a result, the bandwidth for users of Shared Hosting will fluctuate based on need and you won’t be able to control the bandwidth you receive. On the other hand, VPS is a more customised option – you can select a plan and provider that gives you access to the maximum amount of RAM, server space and bandwidth. From the first step, VPS puts the reins in your hands.
Once you register your website's domain name, it's time to start picking the specs for your server. Web hosts typically offer multiple VPS plans that have varying amounts of email capability, RAM, storage, CPU power, domain hosting, and monthly data transfers. The plans typically include website builders that let you quickly create a face for your site without much—or even any—coding required. A solid web host should offer at least 4GB of RAM, 100GB of storage, and an ample volume of monthly data transfers. If you expect a significant amount of website growth, then you should look for a web host that has as many unlimited offerings as possible. For example, Hostwinds—the PCMag Editors' Choice for VPS hosting—offers unlimited email, domains, and monthly data transfers. Note, however, that as with all unlimited service offerings, you really need to read the fine print to make sure that what you mean by unlimited and what the hosting service means by it.
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There are a few downsides to shared hosting, though, mostly because you’re sharing. For instance, if someone else on your shared server has a huge spike in traffic, that could affect your website’s performance. However, if you’re just getting your website off the ground and don’t have huge traffic volume, shared hosting is a great way to get online!
“StrongHosting.NET is a web hosting provider that was founded by a group of web developers/coders, and it was started to solve a major problem we noticed in the hosting industry: transparency, affordability, and friendly service. It was started to fulfill this missing quality in the hosting market. We utilize top notch infrastructure and technology within certified datacenters, combined with our team of 24×7 always-available & experienced staff members in order to deliver a seamless hosting experience to our clients. What makes StrongHosting different from the rest is we’ve been in your shoes, and quite frankly – we get it. Every decision we make within the company – we ask ourselves how our clients would benefit from it first, and put ourselves in your shoes.
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My no. 2 tip is to set up daily off-site backups, including database contents. Human error (accidentally deleting files) is an even bigger threat than hackers and in any case it's impossible to make a VPS 100% secure or reliable so you need to be able to recover quickly. Individual WordPress sites (even on shared hosting) can easily be backed up to a free Google Drive account using UpdraftPlus.
Similarly, in a real dedicated server, you will pay for the entire server that is not shared with anyone else. You will get complete control over all services. Unfortunately, it is also the most expensive hosting option and needs some technical expertise to manage. It is commonly used by those who have websites with specific scenarios, most commonly extremely high traffic and tight security requirements.
For more than a decade, Jeffrey L. Wilson has penned gadget- and video game-related nerd-copy for a variety of publications, including 1UP, 2D-X, The Cask, Laptop, LifeStyler, Parenting, Sync, Wise Bread, and WWE. He now brings his knowledge and skillset to PCMag as Lead Analyst.
Unmetered hosting is generally offered with no limit on the amount of data-transferred on a fixed bandwidth line. Usually, unmetered hosting is offered with 10 Mbit/s, 100 Mbit/s or 1000 Mbit/s (with some as high as 10Gbit/s). This means that the customer is theoretically able to use ~3 TB on 10 Mbit/s or up to ~300 TB on a 1000 Mbit/s line per month, although in practice the values will be significantly less. In a virtual private server, this will be shared bandwidth and a fair usage policy should be involved. Unlimited hosting is also commonly marketed but generally limited by acceptable usage policies and terms of service. Offers of unlimited disk space and bandwidth are always false due to cost, carrier capacities and technological boundaries.
The most obvious and popular reason for a VPS is to run a single website, or multiple websites. However, you can use them for pretty much anything that requires access to the internet – such as a web application like Nextcloud to run your own Dropbox alternative – or to create your own virtual private network to better secure the internet connection of your PCs and mobile devices.