You’ve had a website for a few months, or maybe a year. You’re getting hundreds of visitors a day, and you’re worried about bumping against the hard limits of storage and bandwidth on your starter shared hosting plan. But, when you look at the prices for a dedicated server, you get a bit scared, and scurry back to considering upgrades to your shared hosting plan and hoping that you don’t experience a spike in growth that will make you wish you had.
But there’s a middle ground between a dedicated server—a server of your own, with all the expenses that entails—and a shared hosting plan that gives you little flexibility and security in determining just what happens on your site. Virtual Private Servers (VPS) allow you to tiptoe into the world of dedicated servers without the expense.
What is a Virtual Private Server?
With a shared hosting plan, you purchase both hard drive space and bandwidth on the server, so your site is one of hundreds that are operating on the same machine, and on the same operating system.
If the server crashes, or someone else’s site hogs all the memory, your site can be affected. A virtual private server is like shared hosting in one way—your site is one of several located on the same computer.
But, everything else is different. The operating system you’re running is your own, as the computer uses a “virtual” operating system (similar to those programs that allow you to run Windows on a Mac) to allocate not just hard drive space and bandwidth, but also memory.
How is a Cloud VPS different from a regular VPS?
Here at A Small Orange, our virtual private servers are Cloud VPSs, which means that there are a number of servers that are joined together, allowing them to create a “cloud” of computers that can deploy resources where needed.
While there are many benefits to a Cloud VPS, including increased reliability, the most important one is that a Cloud VPS can allocate processing power in addition to memory, hard drive space, and bandwidth. With a Cloud VPS, you have almost all the advantages of a dedicated server, but at a much lower cost.
What can I do with a VPS that I couldn’t do with shared hosting?
When you make the leap from shared hosting to a VPS, most of the benefits come from the middle term—“Private.” Unlike shared hosting, a VPS gives you access to your own server, which means you can install and customize your own server applications (the software that runs your website), decide when and how to reset your server to install new applications or ward off attacks, and ensure that your private content will stay private.
In addition, with a VPS, you can dedicate more resources—memory (RAM), hard drive space, bandwidth, processing power—to your site, so you won’t need to worry about your site being overcome with demand. And, of course, you can upgrade your plan at any time, so if you find yourself with a deluge of new fans, a simple upgrade will ensure that you have the memory and processing power necessary to keep your visitors happy.
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