To fully understand what VPS hosting is and how it works, you must first understand what a virtual private server is...
Virtual - Not physical, but in this case, created by or related to software.
Private - Restricted to your use alone.
Server - The location where files and data will be stored.
The private part is self-explanatory. But when you put virtual and server together, it should become clearer that rather than a physical server, a virtual server is a server-type environment created by software.
How Does VPS Hosting Work?
This software-created emulation allows a virtual server to exist within a physical server, giving you a private space among the other sites on that server. The virtual private server runs on its own operating system, separate from that upon which the physical server runs. This is also sometimes called partitioning.
So while technically, your site is still on a shared server, the virtual private environment gives you some of the benefits of a dedicated server. If shared hosting is like living in an apartment, then VPS hosting is like having an apartment building all to yourself. Other residents still occupy spaces throughout the complex, but you have more privacy, more space, and more resources reserved solely for your use. Your space has been partitioned from the rest of the larger space and its residents. VPS hosting can be the best of both worlds, depending on your site's needs.
VPS Hosting Benefits
Some of the benefits of VPS hosting include, but aren't limited to:
- A higher level of security and privacy than that offered by shared hosting
- The ability to reboot your virtual private server when necessary, without affecting other sites housed on the physical server
- Maintained uptime should other sites on the virtual private server go down; unlike a shared server, their failure will not affect your site
- The ability to access the server to upload and install software
- The hosting provider performs all maintenance on the hardware
- You can choose the operating system you want to use
- The ability to host multiple sites on the same virtual private server
- The ability to customize firewall configurations
Note: Although the hosting provider will maintain the hardware, you may need a dedicated system administrator to manage the server and ensure its consistent and efficient functioning.
For additional costs, you may also be able to add features such as more disk space, bandwidth, or RAM, if the hosting provider offers them as separate features. These additional features may also be available in the form of plan upgrades.
If you underestimate your site's growth or needs, you can always upgrade to a higher hosting plan should it become necessary sooner than you anticipate.