VPS or Dedicated Server

When we start out with our blog we have no clue what a VPS or dedicated server is, we get a hosting account and that is it, well, for most of us anyway. Most people learn after a while when their traffic goes up that they are on a shared hosting which has limitation, little freedom and no power of customization. Of course this all varies from hosting to hosting. Some hosting providers offer more freedom than the others. But in the end, once we start receiving some high traffic the question comes up, should we upgrade to VPS or dedicate server?

vps or dedicated server

Let’s first lay down the basics of what our basic shared hosting has, compared to VPS servers or better yet, dedicated server.

Shared Hosting

This is the bottom, the very basic of your own hosting you can get. You have some freedom but what is it exactly and why is to so cheap that we can get it for as low as $3 per month? Well, the name speaks for itself; you share one server with a number of other people. So basically your site A, and sites, B, C, D and all up to H for example are on the same server, the only thing that separates you is that each of your websites uses different partitions. But that means you are on the same IP address, also, if the hosting company goes overboard with placing website on one server you will start fighting for memory, bandwidth and CPU.

Most companies know their limit pretty well, and this will rarely happen, but for blogs it is very easy to get surges of traffic and what happens in those moments is that your website can crash, and that is a thing none of us wants. At one point this SEO blog reached a certain peak point where shared hosting wasn’t enough, and every third visitor had to see an apology page because we couldn’t handle that sort of load. Well, the natural solution was to move up, so we did, we moved to a VPS server.

VPS Server

VPS server or in other words, Virtual Private Server is also as the name says, a Virtual server. So basically you still have a shared hosting, you and someone else can have a website on the same server, but each of you has his own virtual server that is private only for you and you are accessing it as the root user. It’s just like a virtual machine you can install on your computer, the concept is the same.

The benefits of a VPS server are that it’s customizable, has greater functions and still a very approachable price compared to a full dedicated server. You also have a limited RAM and disk space, but that can be scaled to your needs. Of course, the more you go up the higher the price. But it’s great as you can fit it to your needs. Also, you can have your own unique IP.

Dedicated Server

Dedicated server is obviously the top of the line; it is a private server which you can customize to your liking starting from an operating system of your choice to hardware and performances. This is usually expensive and is only for company websites that require specific customizations.

So back to the question, VPS or Dedicated Server? Well if you are a blogger the answer is simple, if you are reaching the traffic levels where your shared hosting can’t help you any more it is obvious that you should go to a VPS server. Start with the lowest level and scale it to your needs, so you wouldn’t have to pay more than you need to. I hope that one day you will have so much traffic that you will need a dedicated server, but until that day comes you can have great customization privileges and all the space and bandwidth you need on a VPS server, and you won’t have to pay much.

About The Author

is the founder and CEO of Practical SEO and also a passionate blogger. All of his free time he dedicates to his Practical SEO blog and giving free advice as well as participating in the blogging community.

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17 Response to VPS or Dedicated Server

  1. Sachin@Web Design Mauritius on June 9, 2011

    Each has its advantages and is tailored to one’s needs. I started my first blog in 2003 on Blogger before moving to small shared hostings. Now I have a custom made Green Hosting plan. At work I’m running with a VPS which is very efficient and very easy to use when you need multitude of small corporate websites. For our online shop, we’re going dedicated.

    As you said, scalability is what directs the choice.

  2. Zarko on June 9, 2011

    Hi Sachin,

    I brought this subject up because I know from experience and I see too many blogs that are already going over the top with their memory usage and high traffic and are still reluctant to switch to a VPS, maybe it’s not knowing, but I find that hard to believe as a simple Google query will get anyone plenty of knowledge on the subject!

    And yeah, scalability is the essence of it :)

  3. Dorothy Beckmann@home schooling explained on June 9, 2011

    Hey Zarko,

    I wrote a bit about this subject some months back but you made it look so simple and easy to understand. My wish is that I get my blog on a dedicated server, maybe someday.

  4. Zarko on June 9, 2011

    I hope you get to a dedicated server too Dorothy :)

  5. Antonia@Conversational hypnosis on June 10, 2011

    Who doesn’t want a dedicated server or a VPS?! But most bloggers manage with a shared hosting, and it’s not really about the price but more of the needs they have.
    At one point in time you’ll be forced to make a change if the blog starts to grow, but depending of the webhost, most blogs manage with the small and cheap packages.

  6. Fabrizio@BlogMarketingTips on June 13, 2011

    Great information, I was thinking about a dedicated server at one time, but my blog is quite happy sitting on a shared hosting for now until I am required to upgrade from that.

  7. Openxcell on June 15, 2011

    I think Virtual Server is good according to me. Because in dedicated server resource might be unused and can’t be used in sharing. So Virtual Private Server is good.

  8. adhonys@techos policarbonato on June 16, 2011

    Well one of my blog started in one free hosting account. After having 400 daily i have to buy and shared server, because of high sql request. After having more than 4,000 visits a day i had to buy an dedicated server.

  9. Amanda Gordon@Vacuum Cleaners on June 18, 2011

    I hate it when people sweat it over things which should actually be a non-issue. I have a couple of friends who talk about dedicated hosting even when they are just describing the CONCEPT of their new site. So much for simplicity!

    I like the straight forward way you explain things. I would just add that for most folks shared hosting should be more than enough.

  10. Zarko on June 18, 2011

    Hi Amanda, you are right, I mean why go for dedicated hosting unless you are planning something really big. Start with a shared hosting, in a month or two you will see if it suits you or not, then if you need more move to a VPS, it will surely be more than enough for your needs, and like I said, I hope everyone has so much traffic that they need a dedicated hosting, but that takes work.

  11. Cheolsu@Myspace Login on June 19, 2011

    When I initially started with websites, I did not even know what these things meant. I started with a shared hosting. Those were good for really basic websites and sites that don’t get a lot of traffic. I started facing issues when installed a forum and got many active members. Without proper knowledge, I got a unmanaged dedicated server. I could not do anything much with it as I was not technically good. I then picked a VPS with a reasonable RAM, monthly bandwidth. That served by purpose. I would personally recommend going for VPS when the website is launched and later take it to a dedicated server when the traffic load increases drastically.

  12. virtual private server liberty reserve on June 24, 2011

    Thanks for such a good post, according to me Virtual Private Server (VPS) it is a great idea to split any server. In the future VPS Hosting will going to the most popular web hosting. In this type of hosting each virtual server can reboot isolated and can run different type of operating system.

  13. Automotive Engineering Jobs on June 30, 2011

    That is rally amazing. VPS is comparatively good. Its something like cloud computing. Isn’t?

  14. Walter Scott on November 22, 2011

    Bringing your business online can be very expensive. Hooking up your site to a virtual server from a remote web hosting hosting service provider eliminates these problems.

  15. windows vps on April 12, 2012

    Thinking about choosing between dedicated server or VPS server?
    It is simple decision.
    Dedicated servers priced similarly to VPS packages are slower, less flexible, less reliable and simply wrong choice.
    When you buy VPS you get dedicated server grade ECC RAM, Raid 10 HDD space, ability to revert to snapshot, make backup of whole system image, latest Quad Core Xeon Nehalem 56xx processor speed, RAID controller with its own memory, and lot more. However, be aware that this is not the case with all Windows VPS providers. VpsWebServer.com is completely different, and you can even run benchmarks and see that dedicated servers with similar speed are 3-6 times more expensive, and you also lose all the flexibility VPS hosting offers.

  16. set up a dedicated server on April 21, 2012

    i thought of dedicated server is better for me accordingly. i kinda have access through private. ill be away and free of scam.

  17. DreamHost vs Hostgator, My Choices of Hosting on April 28, 2012

    [...] bit of something if you sign up, heh. To make a better choice you might want to read my article VPS or Dedicated Sever. [...]

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