If you are in the market for web hosting, one of the questions you may be wondering is, which type of server is right for me?
Most web hosts offer shared hosting, dedicated hosting, and Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting. These days, usage of a VPS has become commonplace for individuals and organizations alike, especially those who are torn between cheaper shared hosting and full-blown dedicated hosting. A VPS may have been pricey in the past, but it is becoming increasingly accessible for anyone who requires a web hosting solution.
This may lead to a few questions. When do the benefits of a VPS outweigh its higher costs compared to shared hosting? Who would go for a VPS over dedicated hosting? Who exactly does the VPS market cater to?
What does a VPS Hosting do?
A VPS server typically hosts a few websites belonging to different users, splitting the server resources among them accordingly. There are usually limits placed on bandwidth and RAM for each VPS setup, how flexible they depend on your particular web host. Most of the time, if any user is taking up more than their share of resources, the server may “borrow” resources from the other users on the server if they have not been using their maximum resource allocation. In some setups, the VPSs are completely separated, to avoid overuse of resources and more stability.
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VPS hosting can cost anywhere from $20 to over $100 per month. This is usually more expensive than shared hosting, which is often just a few dollars per month, but not as much as dedicated hosting costs, which can range up to a few hundred dollars per month (or even more if your requirements are particularly high). In terms of price point and features it offers, VPS hosting is about right in the middle of shared and dedicated hosting.
Why Use a VPS?
Of course, a VPS has clear advantages over the pricier dedicated hosting. While dedicated hosting may be great for larger websites expecting large amounts of traffic, VPS hosting works for those with lower resource requirements and a tighter budget. However, what makes VPS hosting more attractive than shared hosting?
Firstly, one of the main reasons why people may consider a VPS is the increased server resources it allows for. With shared hosting, some providers have as many as a thousand websites or more sharing a single web server, allowing the web host to skimp on total allocated server resources for their customers on cheaper plans. This is certainly not true for all companies, as some restrict the numbers to provide a better service level, but some providers do this to cut costs.
Unfortunately, this means there is a smaller resource allocation for each individual website on a shared server. Your website may also suffer from performance impacts on an overloaded server. Generally, people would opt for VPS hosting especially if they hope to gain profits from their website, simply because they do not wish to run into an event where the website is unable to handle a sudden influx of visitors and ends up crashing.
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VPS hosting also improves website stability and reliability. Along with increased resource allocation, VPS hosting boasts more uptime than shared hosting because it caters to fewer websites. This also means there is less of a chance that someone’s website will crash the server, bringing everyone else’s websites down with it. The prices of VPS hosting also tend to weed out the “experimental” users that may negatively affect the experience of other customers on the same server, thus making the overall experience more reliable and fast for every visitor to your website.
Additionally, a VPS enables you to have control over many aspects of the server. While it does not offer as much customization as a dedicated server, it does typically allow you to select one out of a few hosting environments and enables you to have root access to the virtual private server. As such, you can easily install custom software packages or configure server-side settings on your own, without having to contact your hosting provider for the necessary support to do so.
VPS hosting plans tend to branch out into unmanaged and managed plans, where an unmanaged plan is like a do-it-yourself project that requires you to put your side of the server together, while a managed plan will be built and set up for you. Naturally, managed plans tend to be more expensive than unmanaged plans.
Does Location Matter?
As if choosing a hosting provider is not complicated enough, you will also have to pick a location for your VPS. Most hosting providers offer a selection of cities around the world where their servers are based in, and different locations should cost the same. You would usually want to go for the location that is geographically closest to where most of your visitors are located because this improves your website’s loading time for them.
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It is no secret that page load times have an impact on how well your website does. The longer your pages take to load, the less likely your visitors will stick around. Page load times are also considered in Google’s search rankings, where the faster your pages load, the better.
While many things can influence how fast your website loads, one of the factors is the distance of your website’s server from your visitors. With the fastest Internet speeds available out there, this difference in loading time may be a miniscule, but it still amounts to something especially if your page contains many assets, such as images and videos.
Why Choose to have a VPS in Asia?
Most VPS hosts are based in the United States. However, if you are primarily dealing with Asian customers or if you plan to cater to the Asian market, it may be a good idea to look for a hosting provider that offers a VPS in Asia.
For example, if your target audience is in Thailand or Asia, having a VPS setup in Bangkok could be much better for you than having your VPS in the USA, simply because the data has less distance to travel and so websites load faster locally – allowing your target customers faster access to your website.
Asia also has a large number of online users and contains some powerful and well-established economies. Basing your website in Asia can be a great way to offer faster loading speeds to this audience.