VPS 101: Everything you need to know

Written on 18 March, 2014 by Verity Meagher
Categories Web HostingTags small business

A virtual private server (VPS) is a way of hosting your website that’s halfway between shared and dedicated hosting. It is created on a shared server with partitions, so it has its own storage space and bandwidth, which means that although your site sits on the same server as others, there is a form of barrier in place so it is not affected by other accounts hosted there. 

Better than shared hosting?

While a VPS shares some attributes with a dedicated server, it has a much lower price tag and offers greater flexibility than shared hosting.

Most small businesses start out with shared hosting. It's cheaper than a dedicated server but typically provides enough to cover the demands of a startup company. As a business starts to grow, however, it may need more control over its web properties or a hosting service that can deal with a higher level of traffic, and this is where a VPS becomes useful.

Other reasons to opt for a VPS include the need to work with confidential data, the desire for greater email capability or the option to host more than one site.

The pros of a VPS

One big advantage of a VPS over a dedicated server, in addition to the price, is that while you'll have control over your site's hosting, your hosting company will look after all the nuts and bolts to keep your server safe and secure.

VPS also offers other benefits over dedicated servers. One of the most important is in the case of your server going down. With a dedicated server you need someone at the location to physically reset it and, if your server is based overseas, that might mean your site is down for hours while that country sleeps – perhaps during the busiest period of your day. With a VPS you can reboot your server online through your control panel and not have to worry about missing hours of sales.

There is also the option to have a dedicated server in your own office as well, but for most companies that happens a little way down the track.

If you’re looking to move towards a dedicated server but unsure whether your company is quite there yet, a VPS is the perfect stepping stone. Click here to see Netregistry's VPS packages, which start at $149 a month.