The cloud has made a huge difference at the enterprise level, but what about the smaller companies? They want to create a website, stay in charge of email flow, and take care of installing tools, too. There was a time (not that long ago) when everything had to be done in-house. That was expensive and time-consuming. Today, hosting a server on-site has become more affordable, but you still need a lot of bandwidth and at least one dedicated IP address. That’s too much hassle for many of the smaller companies.
Enter internet hosting services. You need to decide if you want to host a site yourself via a shared hosting approach (basic shared or virtual private server (VPS)) or rent (or buy if you’ve got thousand to spare) a dedicated server. A VPS strategy is much more affordable, but you can rent some quality dedicated servers for “just” a few hundred dollars per month. However, price alone shouldn’t be the deciding factor.
What’s Wrong with Basic?
“Basic” has gotten a bad rap lately. However, a basic service is a great solution for simple websites. If you only have one website, it’s pretty static, and not very fancy, why spend more than $10 per month? Choosing an inexpensive, shared plan of course has limits. You’ll have limits in storage, bandwidth, and maybe even service. Shared hosting means you don’t have an exclusive computing environment because you’re sharing RAM, storage, interface, bandwidth, and CPU cycles with others. Some hosts are better than others at making sure nobody’s hogging the resources.
A VPS is a step up. However, be careful: There are seemingly two types of VPS’. One is a genuine virtual machine on which you can operate anything you desire, giving you near-root access. The other kind is basically a dedicated hosting panel, such as cPanel, that you’re sharing with others when it comes to the main web server configuration. You want the former setup.
Keep in mind that VPS is, by nature, a shared environment. You’re sharing resources of that machine with others no matter what. The big difference between so-called shared hosting and VPS is how that sharing takes place. VPS clients pay more than basic shared hosting clients, so you’ll get much better performance and more unlimited options.
In some environments, you might snag a VPS that features virtual machine images that will most likely have a Linux distro. From that point on, you’re flying solo. You’ll have to load LAMP stacks, manage servers, etc. If you’re tech savvy, want that responsibility, and want to save cash, this is the road to take. If you’d rather an expert take care of it, you want a virtual web hosting environment that’s actually a package combining shared hosting and VPS offerings.
No matter which route you take, VPS has more resources, freedom, flexibility, and better performance than basic shared hosting—but you’re still sharing.
This is Dedicated…
Which is for you? Only you can decide, but know that scalability is key. What works today may not work tomorrow. However, VPS is a great middle ground that can save you money while offering keen flexibility.