The world of web hosting can seem mysterious and complicated to those who are new to it. The growth in available hosting providers, not to mention the proliferation of the different services they provide, has been as explosive and exponential as the growth of the Internet itself. When sifting through this sea of available options, it's important to keep in mind what you really need from a hosting provider. That will depend on what you want your website to do, but chances are that a VPS server hosting plan will satisfy all of your initial needs, as well as future-proofing your site against future changes. VPS plans are the most popular choice for the vast majority of webmasters.
In the early days of web hosting, things were simpler. There was really only one option. A hosting provider would host your site on a server somewhere, along with as many other sites as he or she could fit onto the server. All the hosting accounts used the same OS and software, and none of the webmasters had any sort of administrative control over the server itself. As hosting evolved, however, choice for webmasters increased to the point that nowadays, there are almost as many options as there are websites themselves. Shared hosting, dedicated hosting, managed hosting, cloud hosting, clustered hosting, and the list goes on. It's easy to see how new hosting customers can get confused. Even with so many choices, most webmasters choose VPS server hosting for its price and features.
If one were to separate hosting plans into three general categories, they would be as follows: shared, VPS, and Dedicated. (Cloud hosting would be another, but cloud plans often fit into one of the aforementioned categories.) Exploring what these terms mean will result in a better understanding of the reasons VPS is so popular. Shared hosting, as explained above, refers to many webmasters sharing a single server with the same software. They have no real ability to change the server itself, since any changes would affect all the accounts on that server. These plans are inexpensive, but create limitations that hinder some webmasters. On the other side of the spectrum is dedicated hosting wherein an entire server is dedicated to one account. There is power and flexibility in these plans, but they are expensive and unnecessary for most websites.
VPS, which stands for virtual private server, fits nicely in between these two extremes. With VPS server hosting, a single server is sectioned off into many virtual servers. This process of virtualization results in individual virtual machines that behave as if they are separate physical servers, though they all exist side-by-side on the same actual server. This configuration splits the maintenance costs for the physical server between many webmasters, as with shared hosting, but allows each webmaster more control over the server. They also enjoy the privacy and security associated with a dedicated server. You may be thinking, "I don't need administrative control of the server, I just want to get my site up and running." The beauty of a VPS plan is that you can have that capability, without necessarily knowing how to use it or bearing the brunt of the cost. Thus VPS hosting represents a middle ground that is attractive to most webmasters.
The cost for most VPS plans has gotten so competitive that the advantages of VPS far outweigh the small additional cost over a shared hosting plan. With VPS server hosting, you will be getting the perks of a high-dollar dedicated hosting plan at a fraction of the cost. In fact, you can customize the details of your plan, like storage capacity, bandwidth, and processing power, to create a plan tailored to your budget and your needs. Check out the available plans, and start creating your web empire today.