Many online entrepreneurs, some start out hosting their online projects on a shared hosting package to cut down on cost and to make things easier. However, if the business has grown and it’s time to change hosting plans, VPS hosting may be the next logical progression.
With a VPS plan (Virtual Private Server) users are provided with the same basic array of features as a dedicated server at a fraction of the cost. With a dedicated server, the site owner has a little more control and access to more resources. However, on a shared server the site is stored in the same physical location as other sites sharing the same server. With VPS, each site gets it's own private section. In this case, an isolated part of a server is reserved for each site instead of sharing space with other customers.
VPS is typically less expensive than dedicated hosting, but more so than shared hosting. You can find some free VPS hosting providers out there. However, you get what you pay for, so be careful. You could score a provider that won’t put ads on your site, but it may collect your personal data and sell it to third parties. Therefore, the best VPS hosting option isn’t always the free one. In general, VPS Web hosting is fairly affordable; some cost just a dollar or two a day. Having your business available to the Web for less than a cup of coffee is smart money.
In addition to its affordability, VPS hosting has a number of other benefits. First and foremost, you receive more privacy with VPS than you do with shared hosting because your section of the server is isolated from the rest, all but eliminating the risk of contamination. Also, you have your own operating system, which means that you can customize it to your liking by utilizing server applications from the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP). Additionally, with VPS you have full root-level access. From the root level, you can create and delete sites at will and each site has its own control panel. Finally, even though it is virtually private, you enjoy a dedicated amount of RAM.
Keep in mind, for the most part, it will be helpful to have an extensive understanding of the server administrative side in order to take advantage of all of those backend benefits. If you are not terribly comfortable with your technical skills, you could look at managed VPS providers instead. The added cost of this kind of managed server may be worth the peace of mind, though.