If you have a presence on the Internet—let’s say a website, blog or, e-commerce store—chances are you’re relying on a shared web hosting solution. That may not be the best option for you, and you might be looking into a virtual private server (VPS) as an alternative, but there are some critical things you should know in migrating from shared hosting to VPS.
For the sake of this post, “shared hosting” refers to services that let you create your website without you having to worry about (or take advantage) of what’s happening under the hood. You don’t have to worry about maintaining the systems that run your website, but you are also “stuck” with what the shared hosting provider offers.
While there are reputable shared hosting companies like Squarespace and Wix, both of which are quite easy to use (but expensive!), there are still many more which are the opposite of professional. If you’re reading this, chances are that you are stuck with the later ones.
It’s time to take matters into your own hands! Time to self-host your website on a VPS, where you have a lot more control than an average shared hosting solution.
A virtual private server, or VPS for short, is a Virtual Machine running on servers managed by hosting providers such as SSD Nodes. Just like a regular computer, a virtual machine comes with its own CPU, memory and disk space. The operating system is not Windows or MacOS, but rather typically a variant of Linux, like the server-grade Ubuntu, and is interfaced via a text-based terminal.
The VPS runs in some faraway data center so you can access it only remotely, but a VPS also comes with a public IP address that can be used to reach it from any device that has Internet access.
If your website runs on PHP or Node.js, a lot of the performance is dependent on the server’s computing power. Using a VPS ensures that a certain amount of the computing power is reserved for your needs at all times, unlike shared hosting, which doesn’t guarantee any computing power and only offers you the remainder of what others haven’t used.
In fact, a typical VPS not only offers you multiple virtual cores to distribute your workload, but also provides “burst” CPU when you have an unexpected-but-shortlived need for extra computing power.
You also get your own RAM, bandwidth, public IPs, and so on. Your website gets its personal space, whether or not that space is being put to use by your site, you can be assured
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