Have you ever rented an apartment? If so, you know that even though your apartment was one of many in the same building, you were free to treat your place as your own, adding furniture, decorations and painting the walls, as long as your landlord was friendly. You could do all this inside the same building as the other tenants, without affecting them whatsoever. This is not unlike a virtual personal server, where you rent a part of a physical server and it behaves as if it were a functionally independent server. Like renting an apartment, it's usually cheaper than the alternative of purchasing a dedicated server plan (buying a house in our analogy), but offers many of the same benefits. This is one of many reasons virtual personal servers are such a popular web hosting choice.
Virtual personal server, abbreviated VPS, is interchangeable with the terms virtual private server, virtual dedicated server (VDS), and virtual root server (VRS). All these terms refer to a particular configuration of a web hosting server. With VPS, a single physical web server is split up into many virtual machines through a process known as virtualization. These virtual servers operate as separate independent entities. Each one has nearly all the features that come with a dedicated server, at a fraction of the cost. This configuration is particularly attractive to a wide segment of web hosting customers, for reasons we will examine below.
VPS hosting bridges a very important gap in the web hosting market. Before the advent of VPS, prospective online hosting customers really only had two classes of hosting plans to choose from. On the low end price-wise was shared hosting. With a shared plan, one server with one operating system and one set of software applications was shared between as many webmasters as could fit on the machine. This limited the webmasters to that set of software, making it an inflexible, one-size-fits-all solution. It is cheap, though.
On the other side of the price spectrum was dedicated hosting, where you rented an entire physical server that was dedicated to you and you alone. Going this route offers a lot of power, speed and flexibility, but as you may have guessed, it is very expensive. In addition, most small to medium sized sites simply don't need an entire server all to themselves.
A virtual personal server, then, represents a happy medium between those two extremes. It's affordable on just about any budget, since the cost of maintaining the server is shared among multiple users. Unlike a traditional shared hosting plan, however, VPS provides many of the upsides of a dedicated web server. In fact, the user experience is not very different from that of a dedicated server. If you're a techie, a VPS allows you to tweak and customize to your heart's desire. If you're a newbie, you can easily get set up with a plan that is ready to go out of the box, and have your website up and running in a few hours. Considering the alternatives, it's clear why virtual personal server hosting is so popular among webmasters the world over.
Unless you collect change from the couch cushions to pay for your meals, there's really no reason to settle for an old school shared hosting plan. On the other hand, unless you're running a massive money making e-commerce site like Amazon or EBay, you probably don't need your own dedicated server. You want an economical solution that offers a feature rich user experience. VPS provides all that and more. Check out our available plans; you can customize the options to create a plan that is perfect for you.