These days, more and more businesses are moving away from “plain-vanilla” virtual/shared hosting plans and opting to set up a Virtual Private Server (VPS) for their various website hosting and other networking/data-related needs.
There are several reasons for this upward trend. One being that VPS solutions simply provide more power, autonomy, and flexibility than most standard virtual or shared plans, and at a slightly higher average cost.
They are also easier to scale up when more power, memory, and storage resources are needed. Best of all, without having to migrate from one account level to another. These two popular reasons only scratch the surface when it comes to understanding the benefits and value that a quality VPS setup can deliver.
First off, let’s cover specifically what a Virtual Private Server (VPS) is:
Quite simply, it’s a completely independent “virtual machine” that is configured to run on a master server. Which in turn hosts it along with several other VPS “machines” on one physical machine or server cluster (multiple servers running as one).
Each VPS running on the physical server is individually configured to have its own dedicated allocation of system resources of the master server. This is in contrast to virtual or shared hosting, where all of the accounts share them, and sometimes end up being at the mercy of one or more accounts who are over-utilizing the resources.
Ever see a website load slowly or hang when clicking on something or submitting information? Over-utilization is usually the reason why.
With a VPS, the resources you sign up for are fully dedicated to your server at all times. Your websites, applications and any other processes running on it will never be deprived of them because of what some other account on the server may be doing. If at some point you need more memory, storage or CPU power, you can simply scale up to new levels whenever needed, usually on demand.
Even better, the VPS runs as a fully-independent standalone computer. It has its own desktop, admin/root access, and all other aspects/functions completely under your control. This gives you incredible power, flexibility and reliability to run any application that you need, exactly the way you want.
Here are just a few examples of what you can do…
- Want to configure your MySQL a certain way? You can with a VPS.
- Want to run a specialized app that requires its own set of native APIs and other resources running as root? With a VPS, you can install whatever you want or need.
- Have an app or terminal that you need to run 24/7/365, but don’t want to keep a machine in your office running all the time for it? A VPS can handle that, and much more.
It’s important to keep in mind that your VPS can be configured with any operating system, flavor, and configuration that you want, whether it’s Linux, FreeBSD, Unix, or Windows.
Accessing your VPS desktop as its own computer is a breeze by using any of several remote desktop apps that are available. You can even access your VPS desktop via your smartphone or tablet.
Let’s go over a few more benefits that a quality VPS delivers over typical shared or virtual hosting:
1. Faster website performance
Whether or not your website has high-traffic, performance matters. According to Google, 80% of users click away from sites that don’t fully load in 4 seconds or less. Having a quality VPS assures that your site’s performance will never get bogged down because of resource over-utilization. Which incidentally, happens all the time on shared hosting servers.
If your site runs a resource-intensive back-end platform, such as an e-commerce store, multi-user membership platform, server-side scripts for mobile apps and any other functions, running a VPS is simply not an option. This is especially true if your user base is rapidly growing because scalability will be essential for future growth and expansion.
2. Total control and autonomy of your server environment
Having full administrator (or “root”) access rights gives you 100% control over everything running on your VPS. This is contrary to shared hosting plans, which are pre-configured with no way to change or alter their configurations since admin/root access isn’t given to users. By having this top level of access, you can change, reconfigure and set up anything you want on your VPS, exactly the way you want it. This also gives you a tremendous amount of control over the server’s security.
So if you want to install a particular configuration of LAMP (Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP) for example, you can. If you have any back-end functions that you need to keep running 24/7, you can set them up on the VPS and they will always be on the job.
3. Better resource optimization for future or even sudden traffic growth
Oftentimes a website can get slammed with traffic because of a particular post or video going viral, press coverage and other situations. If your server isn’t ready for the traffic onslaught, it will just drown in requests, and your site will grind to a halt. This means lost traffic, and untold lost revenues. If your site is running on a shared server, scaling up resources will take valuable time and management to get your site back online. And usually, it will be too late when all is said and done.
With a quality VPS set-up, however, scaling can be as easy as logging into your admin control panel and simply dragging a slider button to get your server’s resources up to where they need to be. After a quick reboot, your sites will be ready to rock with the new resource allocation.
Best of all, you simply pay for what you need during the surge. When things go back to normal, you can simply dial your resources back down to what they were before. By having this capability, you can rest assured that your sites will be able to handle whatever kind of traffic the internet universe decides to throw at it, at any given time.
4. Faster performance, so you can get better search rankings
When ranking sites, Google tracks site performance as a key factor. This means that if your site is competing for ranking on a certain keyword or phrase, and your ranking scores are fairly equal, Google will give preference to the site that loads faster. In this scoring, mere milliseconds count!
This means that beating out competitors for rankings thanks to your VPS higher speed and performance can have a profound effect on traffic, leads and of course… sales!
So to wrap it all up...
A rock-solid VPS solution will deliver a variety of benefits to your business while giving you a new dose of power and autonomy. And by implementing it wisely, it can also help you garner more traffic and sales, thus improving your bottom-line.
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