Learning how to set up a VPS after upgrading from shared hosting is like leaving the kiddie pool to dive into an Olympic-sized one. You have a lot more room and features to play with, but you’ll need to find your footing before you can start having fun. Now that you know how to configure your VPS, you’ve become acquainted with the command line, which will make it a lot easier to set everything up to your liking.
If you are just starting your website and don’t receive very much traffic, then shared hosting is the ideal solution. However, if your website’s audience is consistently growing, you’ll want to consider upgrading. You don’t want to run the risk of your website running slowly or, even worse, your server crashing because it can’t handle the traffic. If you anticipate an increase in visitors, do yourself a favor and switch to VPS.
You’re paying more, so there SHOULD be a minimum uptime guarantee and better server speed. Look for a host that offers 99.5% at a very minimum, although ideally, I’d rather go with someone who offers 99.9%. Search through some reviews as there are many who have put this to the test. For example, any of WHSR’s many web host reviews include an uptime record as one of our key tests.
If you are familiar with hosting control panels, shell commands, and you have basic server administration and troubleshooting skills, then unmanaged VPS is the way to go. Note that while you purchase self­ managed VPS, you should be capable of managing applications, software, services installed on your VPS. Also, you must know installation/un­installations, resource monitoring, server performance tweaking and troubleshooting of any technical issues.
It all starts with a dedicated server (a.k.a. a bare-metal server). Instead of using it as a dedicated server or dividing it into hundreds of shared accounts, a server owner decides to turn it into dozens of smaller servers (here comes a difference between shared and VPS hosting - with shared hosting you get an ‘account’, while with VPS you get a ‘server’). In order to divide a bare-metal server into several virtual machines (i.e. in order to virtualize a server), we need to install software called hypervisor.
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What is VPS hosting? Basically, VPS hosting (Virtual Private Server hosting) is a service that gives you a web server’s hardware to share with others without sharing the software. This means that you can have complete root control over the server as if it were your own dedicated server but you will still share the CPU, RAM, and bandwidth with other users. You can still have guaranteed CPU, disk space, and memory. This means you can install whatever you want.
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However, if a bad user shares your server with you, they can threaten your security and allow hackers to easily reach your content and critical data. Furthermore, because you’re all sharing the same resources, if any of the users that you’re sharing your server with use a lot of memory or their site has a lot of traffic, your website’s performance is likely to suffer.
Shared hosting is cheap and allows you to install any gallery platform you wish if a hosting plan meets its requirements. But be careful and study your hosting provider’s Acceptable Use Policy thoroughly. The truth is, that even if they claim unlimited storage with their plans, they don’t want you to use much of it. On the contrary, they secretly hope that you will use less and they can host many other clients on the same server. For that reason, hosting providers usually put limitations on their policies (e.g. “no more than 10 GB for images,” etc.). So don’t be convinced that you have unlimited storage without first checking your shared hosting provider's policies or you will find your account suspended someday.
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Shared hosting is like you are living in a room with a lot of friends. It means you must fit in the same room and you must split the cost of several things because it is affordable and cheap. However, several individuals are sharing the same space, it means everyone needs to live within a space with restricted resources among them. You will have to use the same things (that sounds a little unhygienic).
A VPS doesn’t just have more RAM, disk space, and a  proprietary share of CPU than a shared account. Depending on the provider, some VPS plans offer burstable memory, which is a pool of RAM set aside for extraordinary events. This is the stuff that can help counter the so-called “Digg-effect,” that much-whispered about occurrence that’s the simultaneous hope and fear of everyone who runs a web site. When you have an unexpected high traffic event, burstable memory will call on a pool of reserved, shared memory to satisfy the needs of temporary high traffic. This is not available on shared servers and, while the necessary memory is available on a dedicated server, your site might not get the kind of traffic on a daily basis to justify the expense of a dedicated server. Again, not all VPS plans have burstable memory, so ask your provider if their VPS plans do.
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