So that’s it, then – a VPS is for everything in between, right? Well, yes…and no. A VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a flexible solution that falls in between shared and dedicated hosting, not only in price but also in the way it functions. Like a dedicated server, a site hosted on a VPS gets its own RAM and disk space; however, like a shared server, it uses the same processing capacity (CPU) as a certain number of other sites. So, while your site’s performance isn’t reliant on shared RAM and disk space, it is dependent on a shared processor. Moreover, the distribution of processor share varies from provider to provider. The table below shows how most hosting companies break down the differences between shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting plans:
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.
Taking into account that a VPS acts as a separate server and requires minimal server administration skills, the majority of hosting providers offer paid support for their VPS plans. Such VPS are called managed or fully managed. With a managed plan, a user still has the freedom to choose software and control their VPS, and the hosting company provides the user with server administrationsupport. In some cases, getting a managed or fully managed Linux VPS might be cheaper than getting a Windows server.
The force driving server virtualization is similar to that which led to the development of time-sharing and multiprogramming in the past. Although the resources are still shared, as under the time-sharing model, virtualization provides a higher level of security, dependent on the type of virtualization used, as the individual virtual servers are mostly isolated from each other and may run their own full-fledged operating system which can be independently rebooted as a virtual instance.
If you host it in a VPS environment, your site won't share resources with neighboring sites, the way it would with shared hosting. In fact, your site lives in a partitioned server area that has its own operating system, storage, RAM, and monthly data transfer limits, so you can expect smoother, more stable site performance. The sites with which you share your server are far less likely to affect your site—or even take it down altogether—than they would be on a shared site. Knowing how VPS setups operate is just the first step, however. You still need to familiarize yourself with the essential features needed for building a rock-solid, VPS-hosted website.