It's no exaggeration to say that VPS, or virtual private servers, have revolutionized the web hosting industry. To prove that as fact, we need only look at the days before VPS came along. Of course if we go back far enough, to the very beginning of the existence of the World Wide Web, there was no such thing as commercial web hosting. If you wanted to build a website, your only option was to host it yourself, re-configuring your home PC to act as a rudimentary web server. Soon, though, the first web hosting providers brought their services to market.
Those early hosting services fell into two broad categories. For newer webmasters without a lot of cash, there ware shared hosting plans. These plans were cheap because they allowed server administrators to spread the cost of one physical web server over several, perhaps hundreds, of customers. The drawback was that all the customers on the shared server were forced to share the operating system, all the software, the processing power, and any privacy/security settings. No individual user could alter the server configuration, since it would simultaneously impact all other customers on the server. For a lot of webmasters, these shared plans placed too many limitations on their experience. Their other option was a dedicated plan, wherein an entire physical web server was dedicated to one user. Naturally, a dedicated plan removed the burden of limitation placed by shared hosting, but not without a price. Especially in those early days, dedicated plans were extravagantly expensive. But then the concept of virtual servers came to fruition, and changed the game forever.
The benefits of VPS are many, and on the short list for many hosting consumers is price. VPS involves splitting up the resources of a single web server and letting multiple customers share those resources, like with shared hosting plans. The difference is in the way the resources are split up. Shared hosting uses one operating system, one software stack, and one security suite for all the webmasters on the server. With VPS, the server is split into many virtual machines that all have their own OS and software, and generally function as if they were separate physical servers. This magic is achieved through a process called virtualization, using specialized software like Virtuozzo. The end results are hosting plans with monthly costs comparable to shared plans, but without all the limitations shared hosting presents.
In addition to the attractive savings an inexpensive VPS plan offers, there is also the flexibility and control afforded to VPS customers. Since each virtual server "thinks" it's an independent machine, the webmaster that has purchased the VPS can treat it as such. They can select a VPS plan that features the operating system they prefer. They can load or remove software as they see fit. They can adjust the security and privacy settings. They can generally tweak the server configuration to their hearts content. At the same time, smart server administrators can use VPS to create plans that are ready to go out of the box, for those webmasters who don't want to fool with customizing their web server.
A recent survey of web hosting providers' customers generated some interesting information. When asked what their number one factor in choosing a hosting plan was, the vast majority said price. Of course there were other contributing factors, like guaranteed uptime, and a high quality cpanel, but monthly price was firmly at the top of the list. Since an inexpensive VPS plan gives you a great price and a feature rich user experience, it really is the best of both worlds. So check out our inexpensive VPS plans and find the one that's right for you!