Your business has outgrown its shared web hosting or reseller hosting plan, but you’re not quite ready for the leap to a dedicated server. What to do? Linux VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting is the answer.
Linux VPS hosting has become very popular, as it’s an ideal middle ground between shared hosting and the complexity of a dedicated server. Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is a level above reseller hosting. As the name implies, it mimics the control available with a dedicated server, but at a lower price.
The web host configures a server into several VPS accounts. Each VPS account has a share of the server’s resources allocated to it as a minimum performance standard, plus the use of additional processing resources when available. A VPS account gives you virtual root access and the ability to configure your virtual server as though you controlled an entire physical server. You have all the power of a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) server.
Typically a VPS account comes with a control panel for management. At WebHostingBuzz, cPanel’s WHM is one of the available choices. The VPS control panel allows you not only to create shared hosting accounts, as with a reseller account, but also to create and sell reseller accounts.
Some of the benefits of Linux VPS hosting include:
- Guaranteed server resources allocated to your VPS account. Unlike shared and reseller hosting, your account wouldn’t normally be affected by other users on the server.
- Higher performance, as the resources allocated to your VPS account exceed those available to shared and reseller hosting.
- Root access, just as on a dedicated server, providing greater control, more features, and ways to directly access files that are often faster than using the cPanel GUI.
- Ability to configure server-wide defaults, such as behaviour for directory indexing for all accounts under the VPS.
- Support from the web host who creates the VPS. WebHostingBuzz, for example, offers comprehensive support with its VPS. This helps you concentrate on your own priorities, while allowing you to learn at an assisted level before moving to a dedicated server.
- Personal nameservers, which in my opinion are one of the great advantages of VPS or reseller hosting. Instead of using nameservers provided by your host, with their name in the domain name, you create nameservers tied to your reseller domain or main domain. If your main reseller domain is “AcePro.com”, you may create ns1.AcePro.com and ns2.AcePro.com. You can configure all your “client” accounts to use ns1. and ns2.AcePro.com as their nameservers. This is better for branding your business, and makes the task of moving to a new server or host far simpler.
- Skeleton directory, or skel, to configure default files and folder structure to be used for all new accounts under the VPS. This directory is used as a template, or skeleton, for new cPanel accounts. Anything placed in the skeleton directory is automatically copied to the home directory of any new cPanel accounts you create. As with personal nameservers, this is a great way to extend your web hosting brand. You could, for example, set all new hosting accounts to display a welcome message, your logo and contact information, and links to web hosting help files for the new hosting client.
- Options for domain management. For example, you are able to use both Park and Redirect, depending upon your needs.
I began running a hobby web site using free space provided by my ISP. I soon found that too limiting, and moved to shared hosting. As soon as I had a few domains and sites, reseller hosting was the answer to my need for easier and more flexible management of multiple accounts.
I now use a VPS, and like the ability to change server config and have central management over all accounts. I could go back to reseller hosting if I had to, but I could never return to shared hosting.
For those of us with many domains and sites who require greater configurability, a VPS account gives us everything we need. It provides the level of control of a dedicated server, but at an affordable price. For those whose web hosting needs are still evolving toward one day managing a server themselves, a VPS account is a great transition on the way to a dedicated server.