The Internet recently celebrated a pretty amazing milestone: the number of indexed websites reached and quickly exceeded 8 billion. That means that more websites have been indexed, that is, accessed and recorded by search engines, than there are human beings on Earth. When you consider that every single one of these websites must be hosted on a server somewhere, it's easy to understand why web hosting is such an important and fast growing industry. With all the options available for web hosting plans, it can be a little overwhelming for new webmasters, but it need not be so. Picking the perfect web hosting plan is as simple as understanding some of the basics, and getting clear about what you as a webmaster need from a hosting company.
VPS hosting is by far the most popular choice among webmasters, for reasons we will examine below. First, though, let's make sure we understand what VPS means. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. It refers to a particular configuration of the server that stores websites. In a VPS, a physical web server is split up into many virtual servers in a process known as virtualization. These virtual servers, although existing side by side on the same physical machine, behave as if they are totally independent, separate web servers. This configuration, as opposed to the other options of shared and dedicated hosting, has numerous advantages that make it particularly attractive to most webmasters.
Remember the story of Goldilocks and the bears? After Goldilocks broke in to the bear's den, she found that there were three of everything, but only one was just right. The same principle applies to web hosting. There are three general classes of hosting accounts. Shared hosting, the cheapest route, means that you share one server with many other webmasters. This is certainly an economical way to go, but it limits your capabilities as a webmaster to the operating system, software applications and processing speed of that single physical server. The other side of the spectrum is dedicated hosting. As you might have guessed, a dedicated plan denotes that your website gets its very own server, which is promised to you and you alone. This can afford a high degree of flexibility and power, but it's very expensive, not to mention that it's overkill for the vast majority of websites.
Now we come to VPS, the best of both worlds. The cost of the physical server, i.e. the maintenance, software and bandwidth costs, are distributed among several customers. This keeps prices low. At the same time, however, the process of virtualization allows someone who is hosting VPS to treat their virtual server as if it were an independent physical server. They can customize, add software, select an operating system they prefer, all to their heart's content, without disturbing the other VPS customers on that server. In addition, newer webmasters who do not want to fool with customization and just want to get their site up and running can select a virtual server plan that is preconfigured to meet their needs.
Like Goldilocks, you're looking for a web hosting solution that is 'just right'. The best of both worlds approach that hosting VPS provides delivers just that. You'll pay for exactly what you need, no more and no less, while getting the features and flexibility that your particular website requires. In addition, as you strive to make your website the best it can be, a VPS plan allows your hosting to grow and change easily along with your site. Browse the available plans, and you're sure to discover one that works for you.