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VPS, or virtual private server, is a hosting solution which uses virtualisation technology to provide you with dedicated resources on a server with multiple users. More stable and secure than shared hosting, it’s cheaper than renting an entire dedicated server to yourself.
A VPS server works by providing each user with access to a virtual machine running its own copy of an operating system (OS). As such, websites experience similar capabilities and performance to a dedicated server but without the hefty price tag.
Most website owners start out using shared hosting and graduate to a VPS as their site grows. Essentially, virtual private servers are stepping stones between shared hosting and dedicated hosting plans.
Freedom: One of the main benefits of a VPS is that you have the freedom to install the software you want and need. With feature-rich control panels, you can restart and reboot your server or change your firewall and OS whenever you like.
Scalability: Another great thing about a VPS is that you can increase its capacity over time. If you outgrow your original plan, simply let us know and we’ll recommend a more suitable package.
Customisation: Do you have your own MySQL, PHP or Apache server application? Rest assured that with a virtual server, you can customise your OS to suit your individual business needs.
Dedicated resources: You’ll also have a predetermined amount of RAM available with a virtual server. RAM refers to the short-term memory your server uses when processing multiple requests at any one time, so if you have a shared hosting plan, other websites may be using up the available RAM when you need it the most.
Performance: Websites that share hosting plans can be affected by one another, often resulting in functionality issues. A VPS ensures you avoid this by keeping your website completely independent from other users.
Cost: We couldn’t list the benefits of VPS servers without mentioning their low costs. Our virtual servers start from just $4.99, making them much more affordable than dedicated hosting options.
There are a number of factors which can help you determine whether one of our VPS servers is right for you. These are:
High traffic: If you’re just starting out, it’s unlikely that you’ll be generating high volumes of traffic, so a shared hosting plan will be a good fit. However, this could change over the lifetime of your business, so if your audience is growing at a fairly consistent rate, now might be the time to make the switch to a VPS server. This eliminates the chances of your website running slowly or it crashing altogether.
Security: VPS is very reliable and offers advanced security features, so if you plan on taking any forms of online payment, it’s definitely worth considering. A VPS server is also a good option if you need more backup space, improved website reliability and advanced monitoring capabilities.
Price: While a dedicated host can address many of the same problems as a VPS server, a dedicated plan is usually much more expensive. If you need to improve your security, up your RAM or increase your bandwidth, a VPS server is an affordable alternative.
Control: Shared hosting does have its benefits, but one of its biggest downfalls is a lack of control. If you’d like more say over features like root access, installations and custom configurations, you need one of our VPS servers.
Speed: A slow website can damage your reputation and push your customers into the arms of your competitors, so if you’re looking to add more content to your site, upgrading to a VPS will enable you to scale up without having to worry about page loading times.
eCommerce: Running an eCommerce store on a shared hosting plan is not something we’d advise and it’s unlikely you’ll pass the PCI compliance test without a VPS, which was designed to protect customers from data theft. VPS is much more secure than shared hosting, so make sure you’ve made the switch before you start accepting online payments.
Custom software: If you run your website using a well-known content management system such as WordPress, shared hosting will be perfectly adequate for your requirements. However, you’ll run into issues with shared hosting if you reach the point where you need to install custom software. With a VPS server, advanced programming tools won’t be blocked and you’ll have much more control over your website. It’s worth bearing in mind that some programmes require 24/7 availability, so a VPS server is the better solution all-round.
Generally, there are two types of VPS server: managed and unmanaged. If you opt for an unmanaged VPS, your web host will install the operating system, but you will take over managing the various over elements, including software, security threats, outages, hardware failures and configurations. With a managed VPS, IT professionals will oversee all of this for you as well as the initial setup, automated backups and any updates and patches.
Due to the sometimes complicated nature of website hosting, we advise site owners with less technical knowledge to select a managed VPS. However, if you’re confident you could oversee your own website and server, an unmanaged plan could be the better fit.
Before you sign up to a VPS server, it’s possible to try one out for free for a limited time period. We offer 7-day free trials on some of our standard, CPU and memory optimised plans, so you can test them out to determine which one is right for your business.
Always make sure you do your research before choosing a VPS. This includes reading testimonials and reviews and comparing similar packages from different providers. As a guide, here are a few things you should be looking for from a VPS hosting plan:
All of our servers are powered by Intel E5 Processors which are fast and super reliable. We’re constantly updating our servers to ensure you’re benefitting from the latest technology and our network is equipped with an impressive 40Gbit connection.
Our intelligent network can automatically detect an outgoing or incoming DDoS attack and will respond immediately to prevent it from infiltrating your website.
With multiple data centres around the world, you can pick any location you want from our list. Bear in mind that the closer you are to a data centre, the faster the connection will be. Our locations include Chicago, Miami, New York, Silicon Valley, Toronto, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, London, Frankfurt, Sydney and Tokyo, plus many more.
Not everyone has the know-how to run their own virtual server, which is why 24/7 support is a vital consideration. Not only can we migrate your website from another host and perform regular security audits and upgrades, but we also offer support for control panels like Odin, cPanel, Webmin, Enkompass and Helm. All of our technicians are Linux and Windows experts with a minimum of 5 years’ experience, so you’re in safe hands with us.
While these are some of the key features to look out for in a VPS provider, it’s not an exhaustive list. Some other factors to consider include:
Cheap VPS hosting may seem like a good idea at the time, but these providers typically don’t deliver the performance they promise, impacting the loading speed of your website. Considering 47% of users expect a maximum loading time of 2 seconds for an average website, this can have a huge impact on your sales. Cheap VPS providers typically won't offer the 24/7 support you need too, which can make it difficult to get help and support when your website experiences downtime.
Absolutely! VPS hosting is versatile and isn’t as hard to setup or install as many people think. If you’re concerned about migrating to a VPS from your current environment, speak to one of our technicians who will be able to tell you what you’ll need to do, how long it will take and what costs are involved.
To find out more about our virtual private servers, get in touch with us today. One of our technicians will be happy to speak to you about your requirements in more detail and recommend the best package for your needs.