What is a VPS? Which is the Best VPS Hosting UK?
A VPS is the acronym for Virtual Private Server. A physical computer is sectioned into numerous virtual partitions, allocated server hardware resources, server software is installed on each of these sections and then each partition is set up as a unit which functions separately, even though they’re on the same computer. These virtual partitions, otherwise known as Virtual Private Servers, are then leased to websites which require their own VPS in order to run and be available for visitors. Therefore each website will appear to have its own server, however is actually sharing the same physical machine. Each VPS within the same machine can even have its own operating system, meaning that different operating systems can be running on the same machine.
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What is VPS Hosting?
VPS hosting is as the name suggests; a host for a Virtual Private Server. Hosting is a service sold by a web hosting company to a website which is necessary for the website to be available to visitors, or else the website will not be live. This type of hosting is similar to shared hosting however it offers a more dedicated service for those websites requiring more bandwidth and higher data transfer speeds and limits. It is not as specific as dedicated hosting in which a website has its own server located on one dedicated computer, not shared with any other websites. The best VPS hosting UK scenario imitates this dedicated hosting set up, however it remains in a shared setting. In principle it is actually both of these environments combined. With VPS hosting, your website will be sharing the physical machine with other sites, but each virtual partition has its own server hardware resources and therefore your site’s performance will not be influenced by any other site sharing the same machine and you will also have full access to the server as if it was your own dedicated server UK.
Benefits of Using it
There are several benefits of using a VPS and they tend to outweight the disadvantages. Here are the most prominent:
- Offers more flexibility and higher performance than shared hosting
- Provides increased resources for your site and it therefore has a feel of being more responsive
- Improved security and control. If you have a security threat on the virtual server, the physical server is not affected
- Supplementary hardware resources can be added as required
- Enhanced website repliability due to steady supply of resources
- More control. For example, your own web host manager control panel
- Your virtual server can be rebooted without affecting other sites sharing the same physical server
- No other users sharing the same physical computer can access your VPS set up unlike in a shared hosting setting if a hacker gains access to the host can subsequently access all users’ accounts
Disadvantages of Using it
There are not very many disadvantages when consdering the benefits, but here are some:
- Price is higher than shared server hosting. Prices can vary substantially due to the changeability and overall make up of this type of hosting environment
- Depending on the number of other websites or virtual clients running on the same physical machine, your website could be affected as some hosting providers do not allot the hardware resources suitably
- Technical knowledge is required if planning to use unmanaged VPS hosting. If you don’t have this knowledge the cost will be higher to utilise the managed option
What to Look for?
It is crucial to choose the right host company when deciding to use a VPS. Some important points to consider are:
- 24/7 Customer support. If your website experiences a problem, you need to be able to fix it ASAP as any extended period of downtime, for example whilst waiting for customer service to open in the morning, could lose you potential visitors, regular visitors may be frustrated and find an alternative site and not return, loss of income, etc
- Excellent backup practices and procedures
- Resources available to handle unexpected surges in traffic
- Clear options if your site exceeds its data transfer limits, but ideally look for a host which does not limit this (although within a fair usage policy is acceptable)
- Regular updates carried out to the operating system that your VPS is using
- Money-back guarantee should you be unhappy with the service
- Open to provide information on how many other accounts are using the same physical machine and also how many may be using resources at peak levels concurrently
- A variety of plans to suit your requirements and budget. Compare the different plans from a variety of host companies before making your decision
- Are both managed and unmanaged hosting options available? If so, is the UK hosting provider fully equipped to manage accounts sufficiently?