What is a Virtual Private Server (VPS)? A Beginner’s Guide


It’s safe to assume you’re looking into purchasing web hosting if you’re finally ready to get your website up and running. It’s also a battleground for newcomers out here. There’s a glossary of new terms (what is a kernel?) and acronyms that seem to fall out of the sky. VPS hosting is one you’ll hear a lot about.

This guide will answer all of your burning VPS questions, including what VPS is, how VPS can benefit your website, and when you should upgrade to VPS. Let’s get this party started!

What is a Virtual Private Server?

A server, in simple terms, is a powerful computer that stores all of the data and files for your website. A powerful computer “serves up” your website to the searcher when they type your domain name into a web browser.

Now for the virtual aspect: VPS makes use of virtualization technology to divide that single powerful server into multiple virtual servers. Consider it this way: it’s a single piece of physical hardware that serves as multiple servers.

The term “private” means exactly what it says. You won’t have to share RAM, CPU, or data with other users because your virtual server is dedicated to you.

How Does VPS Work?

Even though you’re still sharing the physical server with other users, VPS Hosting simulates the experience of having a dedicated server.

Using virtualization technology, your web hosting provider creates a virtual layer on top of the server’s operating system (OS). This layer divides the server into individual compartments separated by virtual walls, allowing each user to install their own operating system and software.

A VPS is truly a private server because it separates your files from other users on the OS level. This means that your website is housed in a secure container with guaranteed resources such as memory, disc space, CPU cores, and so on. Nothing obligates you to share anything.

What is the Difference Between a Virtual Private Server (VPS), a Shared Server, and a Dedicated Server?

To fully comprehend how VPS works, you should first become acquainted with some of the fundamentals of web hosting, including other common plans. Here’s a rundown of the differences between shared, dedicated, and virtual private server hosting.

1. Shared Hosting

The most common type of web hosting is shared hosting, which is ideal for many new website owners. When you buy a shared hosting plan, you’re sharing important resources like CPU, RAM, and hard drive space with other website owners who are also using the same server.

Consider this analogy. A shared server is a large apartment complex where other website owners rent individual apartments. You all need a place to live, just like the files on your website, but buying a large family home would be too expensive for your needs. In an apartment building, sharing common areas and utilities helps to keep costs down. For shared hosting, the same can be said.

However, there are a few drawbacks to shared hosting, primarily because you are sharing resources. For example, if someone else on your shared server experiences a large spike in traffic, it may affect the performance of your website. However, if you’re just getting started with your website and don’t expect a lot of traffic, shared hosting is a great way to get started!

2. Dedicated Hosting

Shared hosting is the opposite of dedicated hosting. Instead of sharing resources (and costs) with other website owners, you have a single dedicated server that is dedicated to your website.

The catch is that it is more expensive, but you have complete control over your resources and can tailor the software to your specific requirements. This hosting package is ideal for websites with high technical requirements. Dedicated hosting may be appropriate if:

3. VPS Hosting

VPS hosting combines shared and dedicated hosting into one package. Other websites will be hosted on the same hardware as yours if you choose VPS.

Your website is the virtual compartment’s only domain. This means you’ll have your own operating system, dedicated storage, a powerful CPU, expandable RAM, and unrestricted bandwidth.

Many of the advantages of a dedicated server are available with a VPS at a lower cost. VPS hosting can help you get more bang for your buck.

When Should You Switch to VPS?

Taking stock of your website is the best way to determine whether you need to upgrade to a VPS.

1. You’re Worried About Security

A VPS may be the right option for you if you need enhanced security functionality, advanced reporting tools, more backup space, increased website reliability, or you intend to support some form of online payment. You get reliable resources and top-notch security with a VPS.

2. You're Starting to See a Lot of Traffic

If you’re just getting started with your website and don’t expect a lot of traffic, shared hosting is the way to go. However, if the number of visitors to your website is consistently increasing, you should consider upgrading. You don’t want to risk your website loading slowly or, even worse, your server crashing due to a lack of resources. Switch to a VPS if you anticipate an increase in visitors.

3. Your Website is Consistently Running Slowly

Websites that require a lot of RAM should avoid shared hosting. As your website grows and you add more content, you will notice a decrease in the time it takes for your website to load. When this happens, it means you’ve reached the limit of your capabilities. You can scale your website without worrying about slow load times if you upgrade to a VPS.

4. You Have an Online Store

You should upgrade your hosting plan if you plan to run an online store. What is the reasoning behind this? Because you have a secure and dedicated virtual server with VPS, you have a better chance of passing a PCI compliance test. Major credit card companies established the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard to protect cardholder information from theft.

If you’re using a payment gateway to accept credit cards on your website, you’ll want to take every precaution to protect your customers’ financial information. VPS hosting is better for ecommerce websites because it is more secure than shared hosting.

5. You Need to Install Custom Software

Website owners who use WordPress or other common Content Management Systems can benefit from shared hosting. If you need to instal custom software, configure a custom server, or do any other advanced programming, you’ll need a hosting option that gives you more control.

Similarly, a number of common taxes, billing, bookkeeping, and other integrative programmes necessitate 24-hour server availability and high-speed internet. You’ll need either a VPS or a dedicated hosting account to run these applications successfully.

If you use a shared server, you’ll be frustrated when you discover advanced actions aren’t allowed or apps don’t have the support they need to function properly. Rather than dealing with this potential issue, consider upgrading to VPS hosting and gaining immediate control over your programming decisions.

6. You Run into Server Errors

Do you frequently get “Service Unavailable,” “50X,” or “Internal Server Error” errors? When you notice mistakes, your potential customers are likely to notice them as well. If you run an online business, you can troubleshoot downtime issues, but you can’t afford to have server errors. Upgrade to a VPS to avoid this problem.

7. You’re on a Budget

While a dedicated hosting package can address many of the issues on this list, it’s important to keep in mind that dedicated hosting is a much more expensive option. If you need to increase your bandwidth, security, or RAM, VPS hosting is the most cost-effective option.

8. You Build Websites for Your Clients

Isn’t it part of your job responsibilities to create websites for your clients? You can host an unlimited number of domains on a VPS while ensuring that each site has enough RAM to function properly.

How Do You Pick the Right VPS Hosting Plan for Your Site?

Let’s talk about what makes a great VPS plan and how to find the best web hosting provider now that you know what a VPS is and when you should upgrade. After all, you wouldn’t put your website in the hands of just anyone, would you?

Self-Managed Versus Managed Services

When it comes to VPS hosting, you typically have two options: self-managed and managed services.

If you choose a self-managed service, then you must be familiar with server administration, troubleshooting, and managing the applications, software, and services installed on your VPS.

A managed service is the way to go if you are either unfamiliar with these admin skills or simply want your hosting company to take care of it for you.

All Cloudhostservices VPS plans are fully managed, so you can focus on what really matters: creating great content for your website instead of worrying about the technical details. However, if you need root access, Cloudhostservices hosting is a good option.


This tip may seem self-evident, but it’s worth mentioning: make sure the hosting package you choose is compatible with your operating system. For example, Cloudhostservices does not provide Windows hosting because the majority of our customers prefer to use Linux.


The VPS hosting service you choose should have an uptime rating of at least 99.5 percent. Anything less is unacceptably low. For the record, Cloudhostservices has one of the highest uptime scores in the industry, at 99.98 percent.


When buying a VPS hosting package, make sure your provider has the most up-to-date hardware, such as solid-state drives (SSDs), the fastest storage technology. Because SSDs have no moving parts, they make it easier to run high-speed applications.

24/7 Customer Support

When it comes down to it, you just never know when your site will go down. As a result, make sure you buy a VPS hosting package from a company that provides customer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Backup Service

Imagine you’re working on a website redesign when something goes wrong, and you lose everything because you forgot to back it up. There are shivers. This is a common occurrence that can cost you money, time, and a few grey hairs. Make sure you choose a VPS provider that allows you to easily backup your data.o

Ready for Your Own Private Server?

Have you read this guide all the way through? So, congratulate yourself on no longer being a VPS novice!

All of this comes down to this: if your website is growing and gaining some well-deserved attention, you’ll want its performance to keep up with it. It’s time to upgrade your site’s resources, which means it’s time to upgrade.

While VPS hosting is more expensive than shared hosting, the advantages of VPS allow you to get more bang for your buck without having to pay for a much more expensive dedicated hosting plan.

Need more information?

Our expert team is here to help with any questions you have regarding our products or services. ​






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