What is a VPS, what is it for and how is it used?

What is a VPS, what is it for and how is it used?

Franco Brutti

Jul 18, 2023

Jul 18, 2023

Jul 18, 2023

What is a VPS, what is it for and how is it used?
What is a VPS, what is it for and how is it used?
What is a VPS, what is it for and how is it used?

Do you want to take your first step towards digitalization? Having a presence on the Internet can make the difference between your potential customers seeing you or not.

But, if you don’t know about websites and their hosting, you may have more than one problem when acquiring a server for your web portal.

That’s why today we will help you take the right step, we will tell you what a VPS hosting is and how it will help you to have the best web server.

What is VPS?

VPS is a term for Virtual Private Server, which is a virtual platform that stores data, in this case, your company's website, brand and/or products. 

Many web hosts offer VPS hosting plans, which provide site owners with a dedicated private space on a shared server.

In simple terms, a server is a powerful computer that stores all the data and files that make up your website. When someone types the domain name into the web browser, the VPS displays your website on the browser screen.

Of course, this is not so easy since you need to have a good SEO management before the search engines can show it to the potential interested parties, but that's another topic.

Now, the VPS uses virtualization technology to split that powerful server we just talked about into multiple virtual servers. Think of it this way: it's one piece of physical hardware that functions as several separate servers.

The word private means exactly what it implies. Your virtual server is reserved for you, so you won't have to share RAM, CPU or any data with other users.

How does a Virtual Private Server work?

VPS Hosting simulates the experience of a dedicated server even though you are still sharing the physical server with other users.

The web hosting provider installs a virtual layer on top of the server's operating system (OS) using virtualization technology. 

By separating the server into individual compartments with virtual walls, this layer allows each user to install their own operating system and software.

Since a VPS separates your files from other users at the operating system level, it is truly a private server. 

What this means is that your website lives inside a secure container with guaranteed server resources, which means memory, disk space, CPU cores, etc. 

Conclusion? You don't have to share with other users.

VPS vs shared hosting vs dedicated hosting

VPS is not the only hosting service for web developers, so if you want to know all the benefits it brings, it’s necessary to understand and comprehend what the others offer. 

1. Shared hosting

Shared hosting is the most common form of web hosting and works well for many new website owners. 

When you purchase a shared hosting plan, you are sharing key resources such as CPU, RAM and hard drive space with other website owners using the same server.

The advantage is that it’s more affordable since you are sharing resources, the problem is that if one of the other domains gets too much traffic, it could affect the performance of your website.

2. Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is the opposite of shared hosting. Instead of pooling resources (and sharing costs) with other website owners, you have a dedicated server that is reserved just for your website.

Everything is great until you look at the price, it's more expensive, but you get 100% control over your resources and you can customize the software to meet your individual needs. This type of hosting package is best for websites with solid technical demands. For example, dedicated hosting might be right for you if:

  • You are receiving large amounts of traffic every day.

  • You need to install your own operating system.

  • You are handling thousands of financial transactions.

  • Your web site requires custom software.

3. VPS Hosting

VPS hosting is directly in between the previous 2, shared and dedicated. When you choose VPS, there will be other websites hosted on the same hardware as yours (remember that powerful server we talked about earlier?).

But your website is the only domain assigned to its particular virtual share. And that means you get your own operating system, dedicated storage, powerful CPU, scalable RAM and unlimited bandwidth.

With a VPS, you get many of the benefits of a dedicated server, at an affordable price. In short, VPS hosting can give you more capacity for less cost.

When should you opt for a VPS?

There are different circumstances that invite you to switch to a VPS, but if you don't know what they are, you may not make the change. Here are some of them: 

1. Are you worried about security?

Let's talk about the importance of security, after all, it never hurts to have an extra layer of security, right? We are talking about advanced monitoring capabilities, more space for backups, and site reliability, especially if you plan to incorporate online payment methods.

A Virtual Private Server provides you with a wide variety of additional resources for greater security. In addition, it guarantees you not only more security but also additional and first-level functions.

2. Are you starting to have high traffic volumes?

How fast do you expect your site to grow after launch? At first shared hosting may be your perfect plan because you are just starting out, but as soon as you start to have higher traffic volumes you may have problems. 

If you don't want to run the risk of your website running slow or worse, having your server crash because it can't handle the traffic, the ideal thing to do is to switch immediately to a VPS.

3. Do you feel that your website has been slow over the last few months?

Shared hosting is not designed for websites that use large amounts of RAM. As your website grows and you add more and more content, you will start to see a decrease in load times. 

This is how you know you're reaching your capacity limit, which is both good and bad, good because it's a success for your web project, and bad because you need more space. 

Fortunately, the second point has a solution. Upgrading to a VPS will allow you to scale your website without having to worry about slow load times.

4. Are you planning to open an online store?

The moment you plan to open an online store is the time you should upgrade your hosting plan. Why? Because with VPS, you have a secure, dedicated virtual server where you are more likely to pass a PCI compliance test. 

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard was established by the major credit card brands to protect against cardholder data theft.

If you accept credit cards on your site through a payment gateway, you'll want to do everything you can to ensure the security of your consumers' financial information. 

Since VPS is more secure than shared hosting, it’s the best choice for e-commerce websites.

5. Do you want to install custom software?

If you use WordPress or another CSM, shared hosting is one of your best options, but if you need to install custom software you are clearly limited in this aspect because it’s not possible. 

The solution at this point is to go to a hosting service that offers more customization.

The same happens if you need to install different programs for tax services, invoicing, accounting, and other integrators that require a 24-hour availability on the servers, as well as a guaranteed speed. In these cases, the best option is to choose a VPS.

6. Have you been experiencing server errors?

The messages "Service unavailable" and "Internal server error" are an indication that you need to switch to a VPS, as these problems can ruin the user experience of your potential customers. 

7. Do you have a limit to your budget?

Yes, the dedicated hosting package solves many of these problems, but have you stopped to think about the cost of this? You have to remember that this type of hosting has a high cost, but with VPS you can get all these benefits if you have a small budget.

8. Do you develop websites for your clients?

Is it part of your job to create websites for your clients? With a VPS, you can host an unlimited amount of domains while making sure you have enough RAM for each site to function properly.

Tips for Choosing the Best VPS Hosting Plan

You already know all the benefits and reasons why you could choose a VPS server, but are you going to trust the first one that comes to offer you this service? 

Everything we mentioned above is sensitive data, so let's see what you should take into account when choosing your Virtual Private Server.

1. Managed vs. self-managed

Are you familiar with troubleshooting, bugs, applications, software, plus the services you will need to install on your VPS? Then you can choose a self-managed VPS. 

In case you don't have these skills or you just want the hosting company to take care of all these tasks, you can opt for a managed VPS plan, to streamline your tasks.

2. Linux or Windows

Not all hosting companies have support for the operating system that the customer wants, so make sure it works with the one your company or project is using. It should be noted that many prefer to run a VPS on Linux.

3. Hardware

Not all services are going to offer you quality, so you should be sure that the company is ensuring you are hosting your website on up-to-date hardware before you order your VPS. We are talking about solid-state disk (SSD), fast storage technology for faster execution speed. 

4. Reliability

If the uptime rate is below 99.5% you can be sure that they are trying to cheat you. Uptime is important to provide a good quality service, so an uptime figure higher than the above-mentioned is non-negotiable.

5. Customer Care

Anything can happen in the digital world and a crash is something that can happen for any reason. The problem? You never know when it can happen. For these cases, the ideal is to have a VPS hosting service that guarantees 24/7 customer support.

6. Backup service

Imagine you are renovating your site when something goes wrong and you lose everything because you forgot to back up your site. All those hours of work in the trash in a matter of minutes!

It's a very common occurrence and can cost you money, time, and more than a few gray hairs, not to mention headaches. When purchasing VPS service, be sure to choose a provider that facilitates backups.

Are you ready to choose your Virtual Private Server? 

Congratulations! You now have everything you need to know if you really need a VPS for your website, you're almost a VPS senior, although in the theoretical part, let's not talk about the technical part, yet...

Similarly, with all these advantages, do you think that a change of server would be good for your project, which is the one you currently have, shared or dedicated? Also, don't forget to tell us which of all the reasons is your reason for accessing a Virtual Private Server.