Choosing the right web server will be one of the most important decisions you will ever make with your online business. Why? Because the web server you choose will literally make or break your online business.
Today I am going to talk about two types of servers, one is Virtual Web Hosting and the other is Virtual Private Servers.
Over the last couple of years, Virtual Web Hosting has been the only way to go when choosing a web server. One of the reasons that Virtual Web Hosting became so popular was because they supported the necessary files and allowed you to have more freedom than other conventional web hosts. But now you can have more freedom than ever before with Virtual Private Servers. Moreover, Virtual Private Servers should not be confused with Virtual Hosts, because they are completely different.
Before I go any further I must explain what the difference is between a Virtual Host and a Virtual Private Server, so that you can fully understand. In this article I will also go over the advantages and disadvantages of both types of servers, to help you decide which is right for you and your business. Let’s get started with Virtual Hosting.
Virtual Hosting is also known as Shared Web Hosting, where you are sharing the physical server and a single set of software applications with other users. Virtual Hosting has been extremely popular in the past for its fast deployment, strong resources, and most importantly for having a very reasonable price. Another advantage to Virtual Hosting is that you have a powerful, reliable, and professionally managed server without having to have advanced technical skills, making it ideal for an individual, small business, or even a beginner webmaster.
The disadvantage of Virtual Hosting is that you are sharing the server with other users, which are configured and controlled by an administrator, not you. So basically you have your hands tied behind your back because you have to contact the administrator every time you have to adjust or change your configuration settings. Even if you managed to get a hold of the administrator, they may not fulfill your request. It’s up to them, they are the administrator. If you were the administrator you wouldn’t have these limitations and would have full control.
Virtual Private Servers
Virtual Private Servers are a hot topic these days and for a good reason. Before I get into the advantages of a Virtual Private Server, let explain what it is first. A Virtual Private Server is a single server that is partitioned at the root into multiple dedicated servers. This allows you to share the cost of the network connectivity, hardware, and system maintenance with other hosting customers while maintaining your flexibility and freedom.
The real advantage of Virtual Private Servers is that they allow you to have complete control, and they have the security advantages of a dedicated server at the fraction of the cost. You have access to the virtual root, Telnet, web configuration files, and full CGI-BIN access. I can’t forget to mention that you also have access to your password, aliases file, and Sendmail configuration file. For many reasons you can see that a Virtual Private Server is an excellent solution for small to medium-size businesses that have increasingly complex needs.
Moreover, there is one disadvantage with Virtual Private Servers, you need to have some programming knowledge to control and configure the settings. Sounds overwhelming, most businesses that offer Virtual Private Servers have very detailed manuals making them easier to configure and control no matter what your program level is.
Which one is right for you? Well, that all depends on you and the size of your network.
If you have or plan on having just one website and have absolutely no programming knowledge, then Virtual Hosting is the recommended and economical way for you to go. A Virtual Host can cost anywhere from $20 – $50 a month for an account, rather than a $100 or more for a Virtual Private Server.
On the other hand, if you have a larger network that requires multiple websites, like ours, and you have some programming knowledge, then a Virtual Private Server is ideal for you. You can host up to 50 websites on a Virtual Private Server account, instead of having multiple Virtual Hosting accounts, which is not as economical.
When it comes time to get a web server, make sure that the server fits your needs and that it supports the essential software for a prosperous online business.