Most websites are built on a shared server from a hosting company. This means that many users are accessing the same resources of the server to conduct day-to-day activities. Although this system is usually much cheaper in the beginning, it does have serious disadvantages over the long run.
Shared servers are perfect for an individual operating a small blog. Because there are less storage and bandwidth requirements, these kinds of sites can easily thrive. However, there are times when a shared account is simply not going to be enough. That’s when a Virtual Private Server comes into play.
Essentially, VPS hosting is like owning a private server that is located offsite. In reality, the VPS account is allocated a specific set of resources to use without worry of sharing them with other websites. Although these platforms are usually more expensive than their shared-hosting counterparts, far more can be accomplished online. However, you’ll need a competent system administrator to govern over the server.
Below are five examples of when any user or business should seriously consider VPS hosting.
When Your Business is Dealing with Confidential Data
It’s imperative that any website dealing with confidential data uses the best security measures possible. For instance, handling client medical data is of an utmost important concern. In the event that a website is storing this kind of information, top security practices should be used.
The VPS offers greater flexibility when it comes to installing security measures. Not only does an admin have control over background applications, but firewall settings can be modified as well. As a result, the database storing confidential data on a VPS can be far more secure than it is on a shared server.
Because the VPS is separate from other websites, there is less worry of attacks originating from a neighboring website. In fact, the partition for data storage is completely separate from any other applications or websites. The biggest drawback is the need for a system administrator to secure the server.
When You’re Worried About the Security of the Site
In reality, any web hosting account can be vulnerable to attacks and malware infestations. This includes the VPS. The advantage to having a virtual private server comes in the aspect of hiring a system administrator who can do the job well. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Like any job, hiring an individual to maintain the VPS is important if it’s to be secure.
If the system administrator knows how to do his or her job well, the VPS offers superior security. Between resource allocations, firewall applications, anti-malware and consistent monitoring, the VPS can be as locked up as Fort Knox. However, this will greatly depend on the capabilities of the admin. Unlike a managed or shared server, its organizations leasing the VPS that are responsible for many of their own security measures.
When You Need Superior Resource Allocation
Where the VPS shines the most is when users need superior resource allocation. Instead of sharing memory, drive space and bandwidth with other websites, the resources are more centralized. This means the performance of the website and database is superior than it would be on a shared server.
An example of this is when a website begins accumulate thousands of visits per day. Because of the influx of traffic, the speed of the site could be reduced. This is especially true when considering the bandwidth is being shared by all websites on that server. The end result is a poor performing website because pages are loading too slow.
Page load times, database calls and overall processing power can be split among all websites on a shared environment. A VPS is one solution to get more of those resources back. Instead of fighting over memory, a VPS is allocated its own portion untouchable by other websites.
When You Plan on Hosting Multiple Sites Simultaneously
Many owners operate several sites from a single hosting account. For example, a lot of developers will take advantage of the multi-site ability in WordPress. With each website added to the hosting account, resources are used. This means that all websites will be fighting over the same materials in a shared environment.
Although all of the websites will use the same resources as the primary in a VPS environment, there is more to go around. Instead of competing with sites from other owners in a free-for-all battle for memory and bandwidth, VPS multi-sites use up the resources allocated to the account. In many ways, this improves performance of those sites because more resources are available overall.
On average, multiple sites operated on unlimited accounts through shared hosting don’t perform as well as those on a VPS. However, this doesn’t mean that a VPS cannot exhaust its own resources. Too many sites on a single VPS can still perform poorly if the assets are all used up.
When You Operate a Medium to Large Company with Heavy Online Use
Another advantage of VPS over a shared account is the capacity to accommodate a larger number of users. Email is one of the most common of these elements. This is especially true in cases where documents and large files are often sent through the system.
From a small business perspective, a VPS may not be the best choice. This is because there are fewer employees who access the system. However, it’s a much different situation if there are more than 50 employees using email or accessing the website on a daily basis. Since it’s safe to assume that most of the staff does not empty out their email regularly, storage can become a concern as well. This says nothing about the use of bandwidth in a corporate environment.
VPS hosting is usually reserved for websites that experience an incredible amount of traffic or need superior processing power for applications. They are also more convenient when hosting a download website or selling digital files through eCommerce. Before considering a VPS account, ensure that the ends will justify the means. Although it is more feature-rich and overall powerful, a VPS is more expensive to maintain.