do-i-really-need-vps-hostingIf you are trying to decide whether to use VPS hosting instead of the more common shared hosting plans, then you have come to the right place. It can be a confusing process when all you hear is sales-talk on both sides. This short guide will attempt to explain the differences between the two, the pros and cons, and reasons for using a particular type of web hosting.

Quick Facts

  • VPS hosting means you are still sharing resources. Virtual Private Servers are setup in a way that makes this sharing fairer and more balanced between all users in comparison to a shared account.
  • Shared hosting is almost always cheaper. The price difference is usually quite small though, so this should not be your main consideration.
  • The cheapest VPS plans are often “unmanaged”, which can be a problem for inexperienced users. More about this below.
  • The more expensive shared hosting plans often come with more support. Of course, this varies based on the particular host and plan you choose.

How is a VPS Different to Shared Hosting?

As mentioned in the above points, virtual private servers are still operating in a shared environment but there are quite a few differences. First of all, a VPS runs on a physical server that uses more advanced methods to divide the resources between users, and insulate them from each other. Basically, it’s like having your own apartment in a building instead of having everyone living in one big dormitory. This provides better balancing of resources, and another layer of security in between accounts, because you can “lock your door” and keep others out.

For example, each VPS on the physical server runs its own operating system, which the users can often choose for themselves. Each user gets root access in order to setup things just the way they want it, as well as a control panel depending on which hosting provider is chosen.

Nothing Is Truly Unlimited

You may be wondering why you should upgrade to a VPS if your current shared hosting account offers unlimited storage and bandwidth. Well, this is generally not true. Various hosting companies will pitch their services to you in this way, but it usually doesn’t end well. Much the same as if you went to an “all you can eat” restaurant – the food is not going to be great. Instead, consider paying a little bit more to get a nice meal cooked just the way you want it. The hosting providers that offer unlimited resources tend to use cheaper hardware and lesser quality bandwidth.

Problems With Unmanaged VPS Hosting

If you have no experience running a server from the operating system level, and have always used control panels such as cPanel, then you will most likely have trouble using an unmanaged VPS. Without this control panel, and without support to mange your server, you will have to do everything yourself with shell access. This means you will need to familiarize yourself with Unix-based operating systems and commands in order to do everything from creating databases to setting up email addresses. In short: this will be very time consuming and quite frustrating for most users.

Finally, in order to avoid this common problem of having no support, consider getting a fully managed plan such as those offered by Webhobs Hosting Services. The amount of resources that will be reserved exclusively for your VPS are detailed in the pricing table, so you can be sure that nobody else will interfere with the performance of your websites.