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How a VPS Works: A Beginner’s Guide

  • Feb 27, 2020
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  • by Brad Litwin

If you have a website that is experiencing growing traffic, you may find that it struggles to deliver the performance you need. While searching for solutions, you might find yourself wondering how a Virtual Private Server (VPS) works and if one could solve your problems.

A VPS can offer you the resources you need without the high costs of a dedicated hosting plan. This can improve the performance and security of your website to help you land more conversions.

This guide will explain what a VPS is, and how it works. Then we’ll take a look at the benefits of this type of plan and how you can acquire one for your website. Let’s get started!

How a VPS Works

In order to understand how a VPS works, you first need some basic knowledge of hosting in general. Essentially, this is an arrangement in which a site owner pays a company to store their website’s files and database on a server.

There are many different types of hosting, some of which we’ll compare shortly. A VPS is one option site owners may choose when picking a plan for storing and deploying their online properties.

VPS is a server that is shared between multiple users. However, each website that’s stored on it is given a specific amount of power and memory. This is achieved by running a hypervisor, which builds virtual environments by creating, releasing, and managing all the available resources.

That means that, instead of fighting for space and power with the other sites on your server, a VPS gives you your very own. Alongside that, you’ll also reap the benefits that come with having your own dedicated storage, Random Access Memory (RAM), and other essential resources.

Key Differences Between a VPS and Other Hosting Solutions

As we mentioned before, there are several types of hosting plans to choose from. Dedicated and shared hosting are two of the most popular besides VPS. Each has its pros and cons.

Dedicated hosting is just what it sounds like. Your site will have its own server ‘dedicated’ to powering it.

This can be useful for a resource-intensive website that needs all the storage and memory a unique server and architecture provide. However, that power comes with significantly higher prices.

In contrast, shared hosting divides a server’s resources between multiple websites and accounts. It’s as if you’re sharing a house with roommates. You each contribute to the bills, and you all live in the same space together.

However, unlike a VPS, on a shared server there are no dedicated resources for your site. You’ll have to compete with the other properties stored alongside yours for storage, memory, and power. This can lead to performance issues and even security vulnerabilities.

Meanwhile, a VPS functions as a hybrid of these two options. As we mentioned, this solution partitions your website from those of other users. So, instead of a shared house, think of it as living in an apartment complex.

Given that, you might find a VPS preferable, especially if you’ve noticed a surge in traffic or a slowdown in your site’s performance. In such cases, this solution can accommodate your need for more resources without the expense of a dedicated server.

One potential drawback to VPS hosting is that it can be more technically challenging than other options. Fortunately, if you’re not yet confident in your technical skills, you can sign up for a managed hosting plan to limit the burden.

The Benefits of Using a VPS

When it comes to picking a hosting plan, a VPS has a unique set of benefits. Not only can it deliver faster loading times than a traditional shared server, but better performance as well.

Ultimately, short loading times are vital for generating traffic and conversions. With a VPS, you’re guaranteed to have the resources your site needs.

This may also improve your User Experience (UX). Sudden traffic spikes can slow pages, impact overall performance, and frustrate visitors. If they have to deal with long loading times, you could lose out on conversions and repeat visitors.

Plus, a VPS is cost-effective since you can enjoy the advantages of a dedicated server without the extra costs:

A2 Hosting VPS pricing options.

Furthermore, Virtual Private Servers are flexible and scalable. For instance, should your website experience traffic growth, you can acquire extra bandwidth, disk space, RAM, and other resources to meet your needs.

Finally, you’ll want to consider how much maintenance you’re willing to do on your server. If you have a limited budget and feel confident with the necessary tasks, then an unmanaged plan could be the right choice.

However, if you want to be a bit more hands-off when it comes to server maintenance, then consider a managed plan. They’re usually still reasonably priced, and allow you the freedom to devote your time where you want.

If you’re still unsure, we have a valuable guide to getting started with a VPS you might check out.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a hosting option that comes with increased resources and power, you have a few options at your disposal. However, a VPS can be a cost-effective solution that still provides the speed and power you need.

Ultimately, your decision will depend on the nature of your website. If it needs more than what shared hosting can offer, you may benefit from the improved performance and flexibility of a VPS. Likewise, you will be less vulnerable to security and reliability issues.

Do you have any questions about how a VPS works? Ask away in the comments section below!

Image credit: panumas.

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