There are over 1.8 billion websites on the Internet and counting. So where do they all live?

Many options exist for hosting websites. For a lot of businesses, VPS is a popular hosting service allowing for modification to servers with their own operating systems.

What is VPS? What is VPS used for? Read on to learn all about virtual private servers and how they’re used for websites.

What Is VPS

To understand virtual private servers, it’s important to understand hosting. All websites, their files, and content are hosted on a server. Hosting is typically broken up into shared, dedicated, and VPS.

Shared hosting is when your website lives on the same server as other websites. As the name implies, you share everything on the server including storage space and bandwidth. This is the most cost-effective option, especially for those building websites on a budget.

Websites using dedicated hosting pay for a server all to themselves. You determine how large of a server you need and don’t have to share space or bandwidth. While it’s practical, it comes at a higher cost.

VPS is the best of both worlds. You share a server with other websites, but receive a dedicated amount of space on that server. This is similar to cloud services, but is less complex.

How It Works

With VPS you’re technically still sharing a server. The space and bandwidth, however, is all yours and customized to your website. Websites are hosted using a shared server, but receive the benefits of a dedicated server.

VPS uses a hypervisor to make sure each website coexists without overlapping. It can even delegate each website’s needs by using leftover space or bandwidth from one website to another one that may need it.

VPS is like a condominium complex. Your website is the tenant living in the building with others but still has its own private area and resources without having to share it.

What Is VPS Used For?

There is no requirement on who can use VPS hosting. Anyone who has a website can opt for VPS, it just depends on your website.

If your website is straightforward with few pages and graphics, you likely don’t need VPS or dedicated hosting. Just because you pay more for hosting doesn’t mean it will improve the outside quality of your website to visitors.

Large companies with detailed websites at a minimum should use VPS. Especially websites receiving a high daily amount of traffic. VPS and dedicated hosting ensure visitors will experience smooth navigation around your website without buffering or frozen webpages.

This is crucial when 40% of Internet users will close a webpage that takes more than three seconds to load.

Benefits

One of the greatest benefits of VPS is cost. Dedicated hosting will generally set you back more, but since you’re not using a whole dedicated server with VPS this saves you money.

Another advantage is VPS hosting can be customized to your website’s needs. This helps avoid paying for extra space and bandwidth you don’t need, or risk not having enough.

The flexibility of VPS without the costs of dedicated hosting make it appealing, but there are some drawbacks.

While it costs less than dedicated hosting, VPS will still run you higher than shared hosting. This makes it not the most cost-effective option if your website’s needs are minimal. Although infrequent, it’s still possible to run into server issues since you’re still sharing with other websites.

Overall, the pros outweigh the cons for VPS hosting if your website is in need of more than shared hosting.