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The Best of Both Worlds: VPS Hosting
The most common web hosting used by site owners is shared hosting. A lot of the time shared hosting is perfectly fine. If you have access to an easy-to-use Cpanel that offers everything you need, then you might not need to look any further. On the flip side, though, sometimes the limitations shared hosting brings to the table can be a hindrance.
On shared hosting, your hosting provider is the one in charge. They get to choose which software, scripts, and databases you're able to use. Suppose you discover one that you would like to use but isn't provided by the hosting company. In that case, you're usually pretty much just out of luck (though there are occasions where they accommodate you if you contact them). So if you want to have the ability to change and add features at your discretion, then shared hosting might not be a good fit for you.
If you have the funds, you could invest in a private server. But for most people, that isn't a viable option since it's pretty expensive and just not feasible to do within their budget. The next best thing is a virtual private server or a VPS.
What is a VPS?
A VPS makes use of hardware virtualization. This means that it can maintain several different instances of a single operating system all on one machine. Server workload is reduced, so the hosting provider can run multiple virtual machines at the same time without lagging down performance.
VPS hosting allows for shared computer resources while still giving you the ability to have incredible control over the environment (software, scripts, programs, databases, etc.…). So many businesses get a win-win here. You don't have to shell out the kind of money a private server requires, but you get many of the same benefits. Not to mention that running your private server can be tedious.
The Advantages of VPS Hosting
If the above doesn't make much sense, here's a condensed and easier-to-understand summary of why you might or might not want to invest in VPS hosting:
Written by Andrea Martin / April 5, 2013