What Is VPS Hosting?

VPSIn simple terms, VPS hosting (or “Virtual private server” hosting) is a more advanced style of shared hosting. It can be thought of as a half-step between your average shared hosting plan and dedicated hosting, sharing similarities with both types of hosting and putting you right in the middle when it comes to available power and management options.

VPS hosting accounts are like shared hosting because several VPS accounts are all hosted on a single server.

However, like dedicated hosting, VPS hosting servers have independent server environments contained within that single server, each with their own CPU, RAM and IP address. Yours is made available only to your website, giving you a greater amount of power and control.

You are far less likely to be affected by the resource consumption of the other websites on the server, so you are, technically, getting your own server with VPS hosting.

Who is it ideal for?

A VPS is best for people that have outgrown shared hosting or are looking for a safer, more independent hosting type without committing to a dedicated server.

If you have a resource heavy WordPress blog (lots of plugins, use of the admin panel, heavy graphics, video, etc.), and you’re bringing in more than 400 unique visitors per day, it might be time to consider a lower-level VPS hosting package.

In fact, it’s typical that your hosting company will recommend a VPS hosting plan if you’re doing that sort of volume in traffic and resource consumption.

How Does VPS Hosting Work?

The host will create a large partition on a server’s hard drive to host your websites. Your partition will function independently of all the other partitions, but the server’s not totally yours because there’s more than one partition on the server.

This means that you are technically getting your own server, but the server is entirely virtual. There are usually several virtual servers on one physical server. This means that there may be some competition over resources, but not nearly as much as you would experience with shared hosting.

Since you are getting a virtual server, you will be able to manage some of the server’s tasks. You normally don’t have to manage everything, though some hosts will give you this power. You can often monitor the server, update some of the software and, in some cases, take control of the operating system (though this is rare).

Quick Overview


  • You’re given more resources than shared hosting plans, and the uptime of your site is less dependent on the other websites that share a server with you.
  • More expensive than shared hosting, but much cheaper than dedicated hosting. It’s a happy medium that’s affordable for most webmasters.


  • There may still be some competition for resources on extremely busy servers, so you still have to hope you’ve got good hosting neighbors.
  • VPS’s are not easily scalable. Normally if you need more resources, you’ll have to move to an entirely new server.
  • You’re not just given a cPanel (control panel for your hosting) out of the gate. You’ll have to take care of your WHM (web host manager) and create customized cPanels, a daunting task if you’re not technically inclined. But while it’s definitely not for rookies, creating and managing your cPanel can be made much easier if your hosting provider provides helpful guides.

Price Range

Because a VPS server is built specifically to your needs, prices are all over the map.

You can expect to pay around $20 a month for an entry level VPS, but more than that for an entry level package that includes a cPanel. The ceiling price for a VPS is around $200/month, but if you’ve reached that point, a VPS no longer makes sense for your business and it’s time to consider dedicated hosting.