VPS or Dedicated Server: Which is Right For Me?

When a website outgrows the capabilities offered by a shared server hosting plan, a precarious situation arises before the webmaster, forcing you to choose between going for a dedicated server hosting plan, or a virtual private server (VPS) hosting plan. Unfortunately, given their similarities, making a choice in such a scenario is not an easy task, with each type of hosting offering up its own advantages and disadvantages.

If you find yourself in this situation, then first let us offer up our congratulations; your website is growing, after all!

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After the back-patting, though, you’ll need to get down to the business of choosing how to proceed; here are the things that you’ll need to keep in mind when choosing between a VPS and fully dedicated web hosting, starting off with a quick explanation of each:

What is Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting?

Widely considered the first step up from a basic shared hosting plan, a VPS refers to a hosting package that still sees you share a machine with others, but on a much less limited basis than usual; the average VPS setup hosts eight accounts per server, as opposed to the hundreds that can be found on some shared servers. These packages are generally supported and managed by the hosting company itself, freeing you up to focus on publishing content and delivering products and services.

What is Dedicated Hosting?

Dedicated hosting refers to the renting of a server that will be dedicated to you and to you alone – you control the machine, you decide what it hosts, and you control 100 percent of its resources. Unlike a VPS, dedicated machines are usually not managed by the company renting them, requiring that you either possess the necessary knowledge yourself, or that you hire a third-party to render that service for you.

So What’s the Difference As it Applies to Me?

Like most questions regarding web hosting, the one that revolves around choosing the best hosting solution for your needs is very personal.

Apart from being better than shared hosting solutions, both of these web hosting environments have certain advantages over each other too. For example, a virtual private server hosting plan provides almost all features that are offered by a dedicated server plan, typically at a price that is only marginally more than the price of a shared server hosting plan. The trade-off, however, comes in terms of raw power; if you run a particularly resource-hungry website, even the most powerful of VPS packages may not suit your purposes.

Alternatively, a dedicated server hosting plan scores points over a virtual private hosting plan in many ways, most of them falling under the category of raw power. The reason behind this is quite simple: since only your websites are hosted on a dedicated server, all resources are available for use by only those websites, allowing you to more easily deploy and manage CPU power, memory, and other resources in order to maximize performance.

Typically, with both a VPS and a dedicated server hosting plan, you’ll be able to manage your account from the level of an all-powerful root user; if your account comes with an installation of cPanel (and it almost certainly does), then this management will take place via the Web Host Manager (WHM) portion of the cPanel package. With root access, you have the ability to manipulate your machine as necessary, whether from the position of a well-honed web developer, or as a general newbie just getting their hands dirty under the hood of a powerful hosting account.

Besides offering you the joys of freedom and raw power, a dedicated hosting setup goes a step further in enabling you to install anything on the server without any kind of restrictions – a potentially necessary thing, depending on the type of websites you own – even while it provides you with the only real opportunity to be absolutely secure and safe from the potential shenanigans of those accounts that you would otherwise share resources with.

So, which plan is better for you? Unless you’re looking for a home for a website so busy that extreme resource levels are required just to keep things running smoothly, it is generally safe to start off with a mid-range VPS, allowing yourself to get hands-on experience with your website, narrowing down its specific needs over time, and calculating the best cost/return scenario for you.

If, on the other hand, you have the cash to spend and the want for total control and high power, you should consider a dedicated machine; the cost could easily be made worthwhile by the technical learning experience alone!

Whether you’re looking for managed VPS or dedicated hosting, KnownHost provides both at excellent rates!

Comments

  1. Mellissa Than says:

    Dedicated servers are most often housed in data centers, similar to colocation facilities, providing redundant power sources and HVAC systems. In contrast to colocation, the server hardware is owned by the provider and in some cases they will provide support for your operating system or applications.”

    All the best
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