A Virtual Private Server (or VPS) gives the benefits of having your own personal web server but is in fact part of dedicated system that can host the chosen platform and various tools that your business needs to operate on the web.
A company that offers a VPS service essentially compartmentalises and adapts its offering to each single customer so that in essence it operates as a stand-alone system. It means that businesses can have access to a more intuitive and responsive web hosting platform that can then be tailored to their individual needs.
The Benefits Of Hosting Your Website On A VPS
Particularly for SMEs that operate on a tight budget and often have specialised online requirements, VPS offers a wide range of benefits over dedicated or shared hosting:
- The main benefit of hosting your website on a VPS is the neighborhood. When you elect to host your site through normal means you are on a large server, most commonly known as ‘shared hosting’ the only problem with this is that you don’t get to choose your neighbors. Imagine buying a house, moving in, redecorating and filling it with everything that makes up you. Then you find out that you are not rated that highly because a couple of your neighbors have ASBOS (spammers), are drug pushers (Viagra and diet pill sites), are dens of iniquity (gambling sites) or are x-rated. If you have any of these activities happening in your postcode (IP range) then your site too can be tarred by the search engines with the same brush.
- The software available for VPS hosting offers the variety that many SMEs are looking for, including web servers, FTP programs and mail servers as well as more focused provisions such as blogging platforms and ecommerce.
- Most SMEs can’t afford to undertake a highly customised dedicated server but a VPS solution allows them to have access to all the IT power they need and without the excessive price tag attached.
- Hosting via VPS gives a single individual or subscriber the ability to operate several platforms at once with ease. So you can host a virtually unlimited number of websites as well as other server types including File Transfer Protocol and email.
- Whereas entry level server solutions normally dictate the programs that a business can use, for example PHP or MySQL, the VPS option gives subscribers a wider choice. They can essentially run the programs or products that they want or are more used to, a benefit that is not available with something like shared hosting.
- With a provision such as email, shared hosting often limits the number of connections and send volume allowed which, for many SMEs, can be extremely prohibitive. You don’t get this problem with VPS hosting and it’s even more useful if you have a large contact list and need to do regular email marketing.
- Most VPS solutions allow a business to grow organically and it’s a fairly simple process to upgrade. For instance, your VPS can start off with a smaller amount of disk space and operating capability as you set up your business but gradually increase as you become more adept and develop areas such as your databases and product or service line.
The Benefits Of Hosting Your Website On A VPS
For SMEs looking to create a better impact online, then a VPS hosting solution means that you don’t have to spend valuable time with maintenance issues as these are all handled for you. Your package is largely independent and that means more website up time – with a shared solution you are often dependent on the amount of use other customers are getting from the system. With your own disk space and CPU performance, you and visitors to your site will often achieve faster download times.
If you do decide to travel down the VPS road, I have a couple of pieces of advice;
- get yourself a knowledgeable web developer to handle the process for you. Anton, our developer deals with all the server maintenance, adding new sites, directing domain names and of course the all important defense against the persistent and seemingly pointless hackers.
- The other piece of advice comes from our diligent VPS protector, back your sever up. A VPS is very cost effective for $50 per year we continuously back up all our servers to another server in a different country – just in case! If something should happen to our main servers we simply need to redirect our domains to the previous evenings backups. A better alternative than losing all our sites.
Of course, it’s generally the cost that is important to many SMEs. Because the cost is spread across multiple customers everything comes at a much lower price than having a physical system. The trick, of course, is to find the right VPS host who can provide what your company needs both now and long into the future. We use Ramnode VPS for our servers and I can recommend them for good support, great response times and simple to use online services.