If you’ve chosen to go with a paid website host rather than a free host, you may feel that now you only have two choices for the type of hosting you have. That would be a shared server or a dedicated one.
But there’s actually a third way as well, whose advantages fall between those of the other two choices. You might decide to go with a virtual private server (VPS) instead.
These Are The Three Common Choices For Paid Hosting
In a shared server arrangement, you share the server resources with other websites that are all hosted on a single server.
This is less expensive than virtually all other paid options, but it does raise a concern in regards to the performance of your own site operating sluggishly because a neighboring site has a spike in traffic or a poor coding issue and is currently hogging a high percentage of the servers resources.
In rare circumstances this can also crash the server taking every site on that server offline.
A dedicated server, on the other hand, devotes all its resources to you alone. You can choose to manage it yourself, or have the web host do so, with the different prices those plans would involve.
Yet even if you don’t want to share resources with several other websites, you still might not feel you need quite all the resources and power that come with a dedicated server.
A VPS server on Hostgator starts at around $19.95 USD a month, included in that are 2 IP addresses, 10 Gig of disk space, 250 Gig of bandwidth for your small online business site. Standard features include weekly off-site backups, unlimited domains and sub domains with complete FTP access.
Update 29Th January 2016 – We now recommend all Australian businesses to use an Australian server to host their websites. The one company we now highly recommend is VentraIp Business Plans for security, speed, reliability and savings.
What Is A Virtual Private Server
The in-between option is a virtual private server. This starts with a single server that runs a program that divides it up into several dedicated servers, creating a “visualisation environment” for each one. Every virtual server gives the appearance of being an actual separate, dedicated server running on its own machine, and each can run its own operating system and be rebooted on its own as well, without having to reboot the entire parent server.
This kind of middle hosting option removes what security risks there might have been for a website sharing a server with other websites and potentially being hacked. While this doesn’t happen very often, it does occasionally still occur, so a virtual private server would eliminate that possibility. A website has the same sort of independence and control of its own site as with a true dedicated server, but with less cost.
One type of virtual server is software-based, and can allow increases or decreases in resources for each VPS hosting server, all derived from the parent. A hardware based visualisation, on the other hand, creates physical divisions in the hardware resources themselves, and these can’t be modified. Yet the hardware based virtual server is usually more secure than the other type.
There May Be Some Compatibility Issues
One thing that should be kept in mind, however, when considering any type of virtual server, is that some kinds of software don’t run as well on these, most particularly firewalls or anti-virus programs. And while this type of virtual hosting server functions much like a dedicated server, sometimes it runs into problems with limited disk space, processor time, and RAM, depending on how many other virtual servers (Web Sites) there are on the parent. This means that it also manifests characteristics of shared servers.
Whether a virtual private server offers you the best of both worlds (shared and dedicated) or the worst, you’ll need to decide as you assess your website’s requirements. If you’re uncomfortable with either of the two main options, a virtual server could be a valid third choice. All the options that we have discussed will mainly depend on your existing business budget followed by your own requirements when creating your website.