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Pros and Cons of Virtual Private Servers (VPS)

Today’s hosting companies offer a number of service packages. But which package is right for you? It’s important to evaluate features and benefits instead of just looking at price alone. It all depends on your specific needs. Performance, security, scalability and how much work you’re willing to do will influence who you go with to get the results you need. One of the most popular hosting options for e-commerce and medium-volume traffic users is the Virtual Private Server (VPS).

A Hybrid of Shared and Dedicated Hosting

Ideal for growing e-commerce and medium traffic websites, VPS hosting is actually a hybrid of shared hosting and dedicated hosting. The server in such a configuration has been partitioned with its own operating system, disc space, and bandwidth. As an account holder on a VPS system, you’ll ‘see’ only the virtual environment, one that lets you reboot ‘your’ server or use it as your own dedicated server. VPS hosting provides a workable temporary solution for sites that may ultimately require a dedicated server but whose owners lack the funds to pay for a dedicated private server with all the whistles and bells.

A Step Up from Shared Hosting

VPS hosting offers a number of features that shared hosting lacks. It’s a preferred alternative that provides more control over memory space and processing access than shared hosting. For e-commerce sites that are starting to take off or blogger sites that are beginning to attract a large population of followers, VPS is worth the added expense. VPS also works for those who may need dedicated hosting but feel uncomfortable tackling its many technical aspects. It’s a great way to ‘dip your toes in the water’ without committing to the upfront costs of a full-blown dedicated hosting service.

VPS Benefits in a Nutshell

There are many advantages to VPS hosting. Right off the bat, you’ll save money by not having to host your site with a dedicated service provider. You can also customize a VPS plan to meet your needs, which lets you pay for only what you actually need. VPS plans are often easily scalable. You can begin by using only a bare-bones minimum of VPS resources; then, as your website’s activity expands, you can add performance, storage and accessibility options to meet those needs. More control is another key benefit. Most VPS plans give you root access and the ability to use scripts—things you generally don’t get with shared hosting.

The Downsides to VPS Hosting

One of the main downsides of VPS hosting is higher cost. Yes, it’s less expensive than a fully dedicated physical server, but if you’re used to shared hosting’s bargain pricing, you may be in for a little sticker shock. Another complaint offer heard is that VPS hosts sometimes fail to allocate their resources properly. If you suddenly need the host’s resources, your site may suffer delays in loading up. Some VPS hosts simply sell more space than they can handle during peak load demands.  Like a bank, they’re betting there won’t be a ‘run’ on their performance of storage assets. In these instances, you should be aware of how many virtual accounts your server accommodates at any one time.

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