Choosing the Right Kind of Web Hosting - Virtual Private Server (VPS)
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A VPS is a great step up from a shared hosting plan. Technically, VPS hosting is a type of shared hosting. I say this because VPS hosting is way of dividing a server up and selling each part of the server to the customer. So although you still share a single server, you get your own piece of that server. Plus, there are a lot less customers per server in a VPS situation -- usually about four customers per server, but it varies.
As you might expect, VPS hosting costs more than shared hosting. VPS hosting is dropping in price, though, and you can find some plans as low as $10 per month. There are two types of VPS hosting: managed and unmanaged. A managed plan is managed by the web hosting company (software, downtime, and fixes), while unmanaged is completely controlled by the customer. Managed plans are typically more expensive than unmanaged plans, but you can still find really good deals across the web for managed plans. An example of what you can expect from a VPS hosting company is 1,000 MB of disk space, 50 GB of bandwidth, 128 MB of burstable RAM, unlimited sub-domains, GUI interface, and full server management tools, all for $31 per month (www.spry.com).
The huge advantage of VPS hosting over shared hosting is that your website is not affected by other websites on the same server. You have complete administrative control over your part of the server. Basically, VPS hosting is like having your own dedicated server but on a smaller scale.
The extra cost of using a VPS host over a typical shared host is well worth it for complicated and/or heavily trafficked websites.
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