Think of a shared server as a large apartment complex, and all of the individual apartments are rented by other website owners. All of you need a place to live — just like your website’s files — but going out to buy a huge family home would be too expensive for your needs. Sharing common areas and utilities in an apartment block helps keep costs down. And the same is true for shared hosting.
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.
Unmanaged VPS plans are available with a number of virtualization frameworks and hypervisors, with most users looking for "bare metal" isolation for increased security. Microsoft has also developed the Azure cloud platform for Windows servers on VPS hosting plans with elastic scalability that rivals AWS or Kubernetes. Windows is used frequently in private/public cloud orchestration for enterprise IT, whereas most small businesses running Windows servers for ASP.NET apps choose "bare metal" VPS plans.
Partitioning a single server to appear as multiple servers has been increasingly common on microcomputers since the launch of VMware ESX Server in 2001. The physical server typically runs a hypervisor which is tasked with creating, releasing, and managing the resources of "guest" operating systems, or virtual machines. These guest operating systems are allocated a share of resources of the physical server, typically in a manner in which the guest is not aware of any other physical resources save for those allocated to it by the hypervisor. As a VPS runs its own copy of its operating system, customers have superuser-level access to that operating system instance, and can install almost any software that runs on the OS; however, due to the number of virtualization clients typically running on a single machine, a VPS generally has limited processor time, RAM, and disk space.
Essentially, here’s the criteria I would use to judge things – if your site is made up of primarily static, HTML-based content, then you probably don’t need a VPS package. However, if you have a large amount of files stored, multiple sites, dynamic content, and the possibility of major traffic from time to time, then you might consider upgrading to a VPS. It’s a powerful package that allows you to do more than you could with a shared hosting plan, but requires less investment than a dedicated server.
Similarly, in a real dedicated server, you will pay for the entire server that is not shared with anyone else. You will get complete control over all services. Unfortunately, it is also the most expensive hosting option and needs some technical expertise to manage. It is commonly used by those who have websites with specific scenarios, most commonly extremely high traffic and tight security requirements.
And if your “neighbor” on the server is hacked, there’s little chance the infection will spread to your VPS because the hypervisors that are used to create separate VPS environments deliver multi-layered network security and keep tight controls on what enters and leaves. Your root access also means you can add or customize your VPS security software as you please.
A virtual private server (VPS) is a cost-effective way for a small business to gain more flexibility and efficiency than is offered with shared hosting without the expense associated with running a dedicated server. Most small businesses also don’t need all the power of a dedicated server, so VPS provides a good in-between option when you outgrow your shared hosting. Get the power and flexibility of your own server without the cost and complexity of managing outsourced hardware.
VPS hosting is like you are living in an apartment complex. It means that other people are living in the same building, but you have your own secure apartment. You will get more room and restrictions will be fewer as compared to living in a dorm. It also means that if your neighbour is misbehaving, it is the problem of owner of building, not yours.
As you can see, a VPS can be the perfect middle ground for many – enough flexibility and resources for those who need more access or control than on a shared server but without the cost of a dedicated server. If you need root access, you can’t get that on a shared server, but you can get it on a VPS. If your site experiences unpredictable swings memory usage, and your host provides it, then the presence of burstable memory will be attractive. And, if you’re a fan of customization, then the fact that you can customize server-level software such as PHP, MySQL, and Apache will perk your interest. In short, choosing a VPS will allow you to have many of the same characteristics of a dedicated server but in a more affordable and manageable package.