If you’re not familiar with shared hosting vs. VPS hosting, or unmanaged vs. managed VPS, then you should read through this section. Keep in mind what your goal is with your website or websites, and why you need a virtual server. You may, in fact, need a dedicated server.
What Is VPS Hosting and When Do You Need It?
Virtual private server (VPS) hosting is an upgrade from shared hosting. With a shared hosting plan, your website lives on a server with many other websites. It’s an effective solution for small and new websites that don’t require a lot of resources for files or high traffic. On a VPS plan, you still share space with others, but you aren’t sharing resources—you have your own RAM, storage and CPU power.
When your site grows after years of content, ranking higher in search engines and more visitors, you may need to move up to a VPS. If shared hosting is like living in a commune where you share food and space, a VPS is like having your own home in a neighborhood (and you don’t have to share your food).
What’s the Difference Between Managed and Unmanaged VPS Hosting?
Managed VPS hosting is a great option for anyone who considers themselves to be non-techy. If you’re moving from shared hosting to VPS for the first time, it’s a good idea to start with a managed VPS plan because you won’t have to do much. The hosting company’s tech team will take care of maintenance of your server, including security patches and updates.
Unmanaged VPS hosting is ideal for developers who know their way around a server. You have root access and therefore complete control over your operating system, setup, control panel, security patches and updates to apps. Of course, this means you need to pay close attention to your server’s maintenance. Because of the hands-on nature, most unmanaged VPS plans are less expensive..
Do You Need a Dedicated Server?
If shared hosting is a commune, and VPS hosting is a house in a neighborhood, then a dedicated server is a house on an island—you have neighbors, but they’re not occupying the same land you’re on. You get a whole server just for your website or websites, which results in faster loading speeds, more resources to handle more files or content and a flood of traffic. A dedicated server is an expensive option but worth it when you’re ready.