Every single person who has (or wants) a website needs web hosting. A lot of the jargon involved with it can be confusing—and some shady web hosts capitalize on this. They know that 98 percent uptime looks good, even though every sliver of a percentage counts (for the record, your host should offer over 99 percent uptime). There’s also something comforting about “basic shared hosting.” The word basic makes it seem simple, and it certainly can be. One of the first factors non-techie website owners look at is the price. If you look only at the price difference between basic shared hosting (often $0) and dedicated hosting (thousands per month), that in itself will drive the decision.
However, what about the in between option? Virtual private servers (VPS hosting) are slowly becoming more popular, but they haven’t broken past the popularity point of basic shared hosting. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, the name alone can be a little more intimidating. What does a virtual server mean? Is it not a “real” server? In instances where VPS is still a little more expensive than basic shared hosting, why is that—and what is a customer getting for that extra cash?
Educating the Masses
Ask the average person without a background in hosting what basic shared hosting entails, and they probably can’t tell you much. They can intuit from the name that something (the server?) is being shared, but that’s about it. Ask them what VPS means, and you’ll get a lot of blank stares. It’s the role of the web host to inform, educate, and help customers really get matched with the best web hosting for their needs and budgets. Sadly, some web hosts are more about sales than service, which can cause nothing but confusion.
Customers are getting more intrigued by VPS as prices have dropped. Thanks to advancing technology, it’s now possible to get VPS hosting for the same price as basic shared hosting. Soon enough, it will likely be the norm that these two options are at the same price point. The time may even come when basic shared hosting is a thing of the past—after all, when VPS offers much more for the same price, who’s going to keep asking for basic shared plans?
Demystifying Web Hosting
VPS seems confusing to many because it’s relatively new. Even though the technology for VPS has been around for several years, it hasn’t been used by the mainstream for very long. It’s pretty simple to explain what it is: You’re sharing a single physical server with other customers (albeit much fewer than with basic shared hosting), but “your slice” of the server has been snipped away and turned into a single virtual server. You get more speed, more control and more security.
That’s really all a web host has to say in order to explain the pros of VPS to potential customers. However, after designing a website, a lot of people just want to go live and rush the web host selection process. This only ends up hurting them, their business and their customers.