Virtual server hosting is also known as VPS or virtual private server hosting. It is the step up toward a dedicated private server that many businesses need as their business grows to a point where it needs more storage space than a shared or reseller hosting package can provide.
If you are currently looking at shared hosting, you might wonder why anybody would ever need more. There are many hosting companies offering unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth on shared hosting packages. What is more, you can have an unlimited number of domains added on to your main account domain. So why not just continue growing on a shared hosting account?
Does Shared Server Hosting Really Have Unlimited Anything?
The answer is that their use of the word ‘unlimited’ is a little bit sneaky. It does not really mean unlimited. If you read the fine print you will always find a reference to ‘fair use’. Unlimited packages are designed to allow different customers on a shared hosting server to have peaks in their traffic at different times, but as soon as your traffic starts to impinge on other customers by slowing down the service, you will be asked to upgrade or find yourself a new host.
At that point, you might want to move to virtual server hosting. A virtual server is a computer server that has distinct computers built within it such as ESX or the Microsoft Virtual server product. You have a computer within a computer all to yourself.This gives you a level of control that is close to what you would have from a dedicated server, but at a lower cost.
Virtual server hosting is also more likely to be managed and to offer the features that you are used to in a shared or reseller account, such as cPanel and WHM. To manage your own dedicated server, you usually need a much higher level of technical knowledge.
It also has other advantages such as one or more dedicated IPs. This means that you will not suffer from being in a ‘bad neighborhood’. It is quite common, for example, for users of shared hosting to find that their email deliverability suffers when their IP has been blacklisted because of spamming activity by another user of the same shared server. This will not happen when you have your own IP.
LiquidWeb’s Basic Linux virtual server hosting plan, for example, offers 4 IP addresses. You have 20 GB of storage and 400 GB bandwidth per month. At the Premium level, you can choose between Windows and Linux servers with 40 GB storage and 700 GB bandwidth.
When it comes to pricing, you can expect to pay around $50 for basic virtual server hosting and around $100 for higher storage and bandwidth options. Of course this is significantly more than shared hosting but it is still cheaper than dedicated servers, which start at around $150 per month.
With VPS and dedicated server hosting, it is definitely worth going to a specialist. You will need a higher level of technical support than you are likely to require on a shared hosting service. Therefore, cheapest is not necessarily best. Customers are usually much happier with companies like LiquidWeb that offer only VPS and dedicated servers when it comes to choosing virtual server hosting.