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Posted on Jan 20, 2014

What is VPS and Dedicated Web Hosting?

What is VPS and Dedicated Web Hosting?


To get an understanding of the various web hosting options that are available you just need to think of the stages of adult life. Shared hosting is the equivalent of a person in her early 20s trying to establish a career. VPS hosting is like a person in her late 20s or early 30s who has a career, but has yet to settle down. Dedicated web hosting is like a person in her mid to late 30s who has a family, while cloud hosting is like a wise retired person who has a home. But spends most of her time traveling the country in a beautiful and luxurious RV.


Web Hosting Stages


Let’s tease this out a bit further and look first at how shared hosting is like a person in her early 20s. Many people starting off in their careers will not have a lot of money and are likely to be living away from home. They often choose to live with other people in a house or apartment, sharing facilities like kitchens and bathrooms. Shared hosting is similar. Your website is on a computer with lots of other websites where the setup and resources are shared with all the websites on that server.


Now let’s move to the next stage: the person in her late 20s or early 30s. She will have moved up the career ladder and may have an apartment of her own. It will be in a building that has lots of other apartments, but her living space is self-contained. She is in complete control of furnishing and decorating the apartment and she has her own front door. This analogy correlates with VPS hosting. If you have VPS hosting, your website will be on a server that contains lots of other websites, but you will have a section of that server closed off for you – like your own front door. This means you have control of how your VPS runs which gives greater flexibility.


So what about dedicated hosting? In our analogy it is likened to someone who has settled down and has a family. This usually means moving out to the suburbs and buying your own home, i.e. you are the only person living in the building. When you use dedicated hosting, you website will be the only one on the server. This means you are in complete control of how it is configured and you benefit from 100 percent of the server’s resources.


Finally let’s look a cloud hosting. With this option your website will not be located on a single server. Instead it will be distributed across many different cloud servers all connected by the internet. So, if one server goes down, another will pick up the slack improving performance and reliability. Essentially your website will “live” on multiple cloud servers, like the lucky retired woman, enjoying her life in an RV.


VPS or Dedicated Web Hosting?


Let’s finally look at two of the most popular types of web hosting to help you decide which one is the best for you – VPS hosting or dedicated hosting.


VPS hosting is the cheaper of the two options, although you still get lots of benefits. This includes control over the setup, as well as specifically allocated resources. But your website will still exist on a server that contains other websites. Even though those other websites will be separate, there is still the possibility that they can use up the server’s resources which will affect the performance of your website.


A dedicated server does not have this problem. So from a performance point of view, this is the best choice. But downsides do exist. The obvious one is the price as dedicated servers are more expensive than VPS hosting. They can also be harder to setup and maintain.


There is no right or wrong hosting solution as it depends on your business. Just like the young professional woman choosing to live in an apartment because it suits her lifestyle vs. the middle-aged working mom choosing to live in a house with her family, both options make sense. You’ll want to choose the best option for your budget and the level of performance you need. 

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