Shared web hosting can have quite a few drawbacks, the most significant one is the performance which depending on the number of sites hosted together and the lack of flexibility to match server features according to your wishes. If your site is gaining surfers’ momentum or the page loading performance is no longer satisfactory, you will have the need to switch to a VPS (Virtual Private Server).
What is a VPS and how it’s different from shared hosting?
Virtual Private Server or VPS is a service that allocates some server resources (storage, memory, CPU) to a client. So a dedicated server (or an array of several servers together) is divided into several clients as virtual private servers, but, unlike shared hosting, the performance of each client on its own virtual server dosn’t affect its performance and also not to all those stored on the physical server itself. At least not in the same way that shared hosting sites are affected in a shared hosting so that a VPS can evaluate the expected performance and limit based on the package we purchase and if we need more resources we can upgrade accordingly.
In a shared hosting, the hosting company stores a large number of sites on one server and the meaning of the things you share the resources of the server with all its sites and performance will be accordingly. Another disadvantage to a shared hosting is the security. If a one of sites in a shared hosting has been hacked or attacked by hackers, your site is affected and you have nothing to do but rely on the hosting company.
Another security issue is the shared IP address. If one of the sites is spamming and blacklisted, your site may also be compromised, especially in search engine optimization. Technically there are also limitations that you can’t customize the server configuration because changing settings will affect all the sites stored on it.
For these reasons it’s highly recommended to host in shared hosting just image sites with little traffic on it. Sites with high traffic or those who want fast loading time or custom configuration of the server, need a virtual or dedicated server.
Benefits of Virtual Private Server (VPS)
- High performance – virtual server performance will be much higher than any shared storage or cloud storage package).
- Security – A virtual storage server that is managed and maintained correctly will be more secure than shared storage servers that often do not get updates and use older versions of software.
- You can increase and upgrade your server resources like storage, memory and processing quickly and easily by paying extra for the service you use. As opposed to a dedicated server that will require you to physically change and add hardware components as needed.
- You are given more control over each component of software on your server, from choosing the operating system to management panel, PHP version, MySQL, etc.
All of the above is assuming that whoever manages and maintains the server has the appropriate knowledge and experience to do it. Without maintenance, the server is exposed to security vulnerabilities and will also suffer poor performance compared to an up-to-date and properly managed server.
Disadvantages of VPS
- Requires knowledge and experience in managing and maintaining the server. Remember that the server itself is empty, you are the ones who choose the operating system and the other components of the software you want to install (admin panel, Apache, PHP, MySQL, etc).
- A server that is not properly maintained will be a source of security vulnerabilities and poor performance or a complete disabling of all sites stored on it.
- A managed virtual storage server will cost much more than a shared storage service.
- Doesn’t include a management panel like cPanel and therefore is suitable for advanced users who know what they are doing. If you want to buy a licensed license fee, but again it is a budgetary question.
- A general server problem, whether physical of in software level, will disable the entire server and you will not be able to control the situation until the server is returned to the air.
If you don’t have the knowledge and/or time needed to manage and maintain a VPS then it would be better for you to choose shared hosting for your site. For shared hosting services, I wrote a post comparing recommended shared hosting companies.
Which VPS to chose?
Web hosting companies offer a variety of Virtual Storage Servers (VPS) packages, which package will suit you? It depends on your requirements and what you are going to install on the server.
Typically, most services will offer sufficient traffic that can handle websites with hundreds of unique visits per day. The volume of the disk is also according to your requirements that the volume of the basic packages ranges from 10GB to 20GB. RAM will start at 512MB but I recommend purchasing a virtual server with at least 1GB of memory. Of course, the server specification depends on your requirements according to your use of the server.
Recommended VPS services
I reviewd some VPS services for you. Each service has its advantage and disadvantage even though the price remains relatively the same in most of the VPS services that I mentioned.
DigitalOcean – Recommended!
DigitalOcean is a hosting company that offers VPS packages. Their cheapest package is for $5 and includes 20GB SSD, 512MB RAM and 1TB of storage. It’s not recommended to use this package for production, but only for experimental development. Even though it can run a WordPress website or even several without a problem, better to extend the memomry to 1GB and leave some headroom for any case.
Their basic package that is suitable for setting up servers for production websites includes 30GB SSD, 1GB of RAM and 2 TB of traffic for only $10!
Sign up through this link and you can get $10 credit for your new account that will allow you to set up a basic Drupal for two free months.
Each VPS is called Droplet, and you can create several of them under one account. Each Droplet can be easily upgraded, for example, in case you need more resources or storage space. However, you can not downgrade if necessary and for that you need to close the server and delete it completely and then upload a backup or image to a new Droplet.
They have an excellent interface and it’s easy to use. They offer support via email or their website. Availability and reliability is high. Although it’s not always recommended to rely on backup, some users have claimed that their backup was deleted due to a failure or a technical problem that was in one of their servers.
Vultr is another storage company that offers virtual storage servers that includes servers in 14 different locations around the world. They have a package that starts at $ 2.50 but is an experimental development environment and should not be used for production. Their basic package includes 25GB SSD storage, 1024MB RAM and 1TB traffic for only $ 5 which is an excellent price compared to the return.
Additional VPS services
There are also other companies that offer packages of virtual private servers (VPS) including Linode, which is the competitor of the companies I mentioned above, but their registration process requires verification, of credit card although this is not the only company that requires it, they don’t allow to do it straight with PayPal.
By the way, the other companies may also require identification information such as a driver’s license or passport to verify your identity. But beyond verifying, their current interface is more complex compared to DigitalOcean. They seem to be working on a new interface now so we’ll wait and see what they’ll have to offer later on.
Managed VPS services
Some companies offer VPS that are managed for those who don’t have the time and knowledge to manage and maintain the server. There is an advantage of saving time but also a lack of flexibility and reliance on the management services company. The price will also be higher than the payment of an unmanaged VPS.
ServerPilot – Recommended!
ServerPilot allows you to connect your virtual server to it and it will manage it based on PHP, MySQL, Nginx. With their interface you can add the websites you want to store on the server and they will take care of everything else including operating system updates, statistics and data, SSL certificate and more.
Through this link you can get $10 credit to your account that will allow you to use their free month’s service.
For a fee of $10 a month they offer full management services and also include free SSL certificates. The package does not depend on the storage size of the virtual server, you can order any package you want from DigitalOcean and work with ServerPilot for only $10 a month for each server.
Unlike other services like Cloudways that I will review later in the post, ServerPilot has the flexibility and allows root access. And that’s the advantage here, that everything is under your control. If you want to leave ServerPilot you can do so at any time. You are not dependent on them.
There are also some disadvantages, they do not have management tools for the database so you will need to install one yourself. The same applies to backups, you will need to manually perform or install a tool that does this.
Unlike ServerPilot, Cloudways offers the integrated package of VPS and its management service together. That means that there is no need to purchase the virtual server first, the whole service is offered in one place through one company. They currently work with DigitalOcean, Vultr, AWS, Google Cloud Platform and Kyup.
Their advantage is that they manage everything for you under one roof and enable those who are less experienced and knowledgeable to set up a virtual private server and run a website on it.
Their prices are more expensive because they include their management fees. There are a number of drawbacks. Note that you trust one company, pay it to set up a virtual server for you in one of the companies I mentioned above, do not get root access to the server and all your reliance is that they do the work properly otherwise there will be no difference between it and shared hosting, it’s not in your hands.
In summary: Which service to choose?
I personally think that if you choose a virtual server it is best to be able to operate without relying on automated management services. The rule is that it will depend on third parties so you make the solution more complex when a problem or other problem can arise. As of this time, I will recommend choosing a virtual server on Digital Ocean that has a great interface and is easy to integrate with ServerPilot.
If you have already chosen to invest in a virtual storage server, you may want to consult a professional who understands this. I offer management and maintenance services for virtual storage servers as well as consulting and setting up these servers. If you are interested, you are welcome to contact me through the contact form on the website or through my Facebook.
If you are not sure what service or package will suit you, you are welcome to ask here by replying to the post and I will be happy to answer you.