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.
You can also set up hosting control panels that will enable you to interact with your server using a GUI. However, we’re not going to cover that in this article, since using the command line is often the more efficient route. Plus, learning how to use simple commands will teach you a lot about server management, which will almost certainly come in handy as your site grows.
So that’s it, then – a VPS is for everything in between, right? Well, yes…and no. A VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a flexible solution that falls in between shared and dedicated hosting, not only in price but also in the way it functions. Like a dedicated server, a site hosted on a VPS gets its own RAM and disk space; however, like a shared server, it uses the same processing capacity (CPU) as a certain number of other sites. So, while your site’s performance isn’t reliant on shared RAM and disk space, it is dependent on a shared processor. Moreover, the distribution of processor share varies from provider to provider. The table below shows how most hosting companies break down the differences between shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting plans:
Be careful, though – there are some common traps many people fall into. Firstly, the promotional prices are only on offer for a month, after which you’re paying between $49.99 and $299.99/month on any of its five plans. Secondly, the 30 day, money-back guarantee is only valid for those who subscribe for a year or longer. Everyone else only has 48 hours to claim a refund.
The more content you add to your website over time, the slower it will run. There are often a few causes for this common problem, but there’s a good chance that your site is slow because you’ve finally hit your shared hosting limits. In order to boost your site’s speed, it’s a good idea to upgrade from shared hosting to VPS hosting to decrease page loading times.
Shared hosting is a simple option to set up a site and start accepting visitors ASAP. Unfortunately, it can quickly backfire when websites grow in popularity because more resources are consumed and more sessions are delivered each moment. Eventually, things can come crashing down or slow to a crawl.