What is VPS Hosting and Do You Need It?

by Corey Philip
October 20, 2020

I host websites through shared hosting – do I really need to pay extra for VPS hosting?

You’re probably here because you’re asking the same question yourself. The same way that I’m making this post to answer it for myself...

So… What is VPS hosting, really? How is it better than shared hosting? Do I need to hire an IT expert? Will it benefit my business in a big way? Is it worth it?

The answers to those are what we’re here to discover. After this post, you can figure out for yourself if VPS hosting is the right solution for you.

What is VPS?

VPS, or virtual private server, is a virtual machine (VM) that has its own separate virtual container within a physical server, among other virtual machines. You don’t share bandwidth or resources with other VMs even though you’re both on the same physical server. Instead, you’re allotted your OWN storage, memory, RAM, CPU from the physical server’s resources.

This also means that the websites and applications hosted in your own virtual server won’t be affected by any crash events or performance issues experienced by websites in other virtual servers.

How Does VPS Work?

Technically, VPS is also called and can be described as virtualization. A hypervisor software allows a physical server to segment its resources into several independent virtual servers. Each server is allowed to choose and install their own operating systems, or even run multiple OS.

Managed VPS Hosting

Fully managed VPS hosting is a hosting solution in which the hosting company provides all the technical requirements and ensures the functionalities of a VPS. This includes basic server administration, security and protection, troubleshooting, and maintenance.

It uses the server host’s pre-installed software, which is most often cPanel or WHM, and their predetermined OS. Hence, managed VPS hosting is also sometimes called cPanel VPS hosting.

  • Server monitoring
  • Malware protection
  • No IT expertise required
  • Software and OS upgrades
  • Technical support

Cloud VPS Hosting

Cloud hosting uses a network of cloud-based physical servers, typically in different locations, to house multiple virtual servers. The resources of your virtual server are replicated across all cloud-based physical servers, and they run simultaneously.

When one is maxed out, it processes requests on a different cloud server. In short, this just means you experience less performance issues with cloud VPS hosting. Compared to regular VPS hosting, you can expand resources easily when scaling with cloud hosting.

  • Root access to server
  • Cost-effective VPS hosting solution
  • Full IT expertise required
  • Custom software and OS installations
  • Fully flexible server configuration

Shared Hosting vs. VPS Hosting

Shared hosting is a common website hosting solution wherein you share resources of one server with other websites. You’re only given space within the server, but you have no control over the server.

It’s popular for its affordability and ease of use. You don’t need any technical knowledge as the hosting provider will do administration and maintenance for all of the websites in the server.

VPS hosting, on the other hand, combines the savviness of shared hosting and the flexible customization of dedicated hosting without the steep fees.

With VPS hosting, you also share a physical server with other websites like shared hosting. However, you have more control over your virtual server, almost as much as dedicated hosting.


Shared Hosting

VPS Hosting

Operating system

OS of shared host

Choice of variety of OS

IP address

Shared with other websites/companies

All your sites in one IP address but doesn’t share with other sites

Server resource distribution

Shared with other websites

Own segment of resources in the physical server

Scalability of server resources

Limited to plan

Can be expanded according to needs

IT skills needed

Little to none

Server admin troubleshooting to full management

Control over server


Full root access

Remote access server



Server configurations & custom software installation



What Can You Do With VPS Hosting?

VPS hosting comes with the set of features as shown above, but how can you really decide if VPS hosting is for you? You will know VPS hosting is for you if you do or want any one of the following:


Host Multiple Websites With Heavy Traffic

VPS hosting is a very good option for running multiple websites, preferably 1 to 10. It’s especially beneficial if you’re running an e-commerce website. The amount of people coming to your website and making a purchase requires a certain degree of computing power that shared hosting might not be able to provide. Although you can still encounter problems with VPS hosting, it’s generally more reliable and consistent in performance.


Run Advanced Applications

VPS hosting is an excellent choice for hosting both websites and applications. It can handle complex and advanced software.


Better SEO

On a VPS, your websites have a dedicated IP address that’s different from other websites in other servers. It will be less likely for search engines to associate you with scammy websites, which is highly possible on a shared hosting server.


Have More Control and Configuration Over Your Server

With VPS hosting, you can change and adjust your server according to your needs. Root access lets you install software and handle core server management – access that only administrators are allowed.


Access Your Server Remotely

Since VPS is a virtual server, everything can be accessed from the cloud. If you have cloud VPS hosting, depending on the server provider, you may also access it even from different locations. It’s convenient for business owners who travel often and access their servers from different places.

Pros & Cons of VPS Hosting


  • Better and consistent performance
  • Easy server administration management
  • Root access
  • Scalability
  • Advanced security
  • Choice of operating system/s
  • Control panel
  • Own segment of CPU, RAM, hard disc
  • SSL installation
  • Custom software installation


  • Limited compared to dedicated servers
  • Requires advanced technical knowledge
  • Less prioritized support (unless if you’re on a fully managed VPS)


Is VPS hosting secure?

Better security can be achieved more with VPS hosting than shared hosting. First off, your VPS container is safe from crashes or viruses affecting other VPS even if you share the same physical server. Secondly, you have more of a handle on the level of security on the websites and applications on your VPS.

What’s the advantage of VPS hosting over other types?

In comparison to shared hosting, VPS hosting has a lot more features that allow for flexibility and customization. Refer to the comparison of features between VPS hosting vs. shared hosting.

Compared to dedicated hosting, on the other hand, VPS hosting only has little difference when it comes to server administration capabilities. In addition, VPS hosting doesn’t require you to set up hardware for a physical server whereas it’s required for dedicated hosting.

Who is recommended to use a VPS?

Business owners whose businesses are growing fast or are experiencing website performance issues with their current shared server need the more advanced capability of VPS hosting.

On the other hand, those who are on a dedicated server but who don’t maximize its full capability may gain more from downgrading to VPS hosting.

How do I know if VPN hosting is for me?

VPN hosting is worth considering if you’re growing your business and finding yourself needing more power and consistent performance, hosting more websites for clients, storing a lot of data that require more storage, or needing more security for your websites. The best thing about this is you’re only paying for the segment of the physical server you use for your VPS, and expanding is also a fast process if you need more.

Do I Need VPS Hosting?

As I mentioned earlier, this is the question I wanted to answer for myself. That’s why I wanted to make this post. And the reason you came here to know: do you need VPS hosting?


VPS is an excellent hosting choice for business owners who are scaling their business and needing extra capabilities and server resources that shared hosting can't provide.

Key Benefits

  • Cost-effective hosting
  • Consistent website performance, speed, etc.
  • Root access – advanced server configuration


Server Quality

Website performance



With this information about VPS hosting, hopefully you have enough to consider and figure out if switching or upgrading is best for your business.

About the author

Corey Philip

Corey Philip is a small business owner / investor with a focus on home service businesses.

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