When building a website, there's a lot to consider. There’s the design of course, plus any special features and functionality – and what many people forget – how to host it. Much like building a home, you can pick out all the lovely furniture you like, but at the end of the day you need a physical space to hold it. In the case of websites, this space is called a server. For example, a Virtual Private Server, or VPS.

Let’s dive into a quick introduction about what a VPS is, and our 10 reasons why a VPS is good for web hosting and much more.

A quick intro to VPS

Fasthosts Virtual Private Servers

VPS hosting sits between shared web hosting and dedicated servers, with your site hosted on the same machine as others, but without sharing those vital resources. There are also various types of VPS hosting on offer to suit whichever need you desire – be that hosting multiple websites, testing environments, gaming servers and the like.

Thanks to virtualisation technology, a VPS functions as a complete server in its own right, totally separate from others on the same physical machine. If you like an analogy, it’s the apartment block of servers – your own private space, but with the cost benefits of sharing a building.

Being such an affordable solution, VPS hosting can prove very useful for businesses. They are also incredibly versatile and there are many things you can do with a VPS. But let’s dive into why you need one.

10 reasons to consider a VPS

Now that we have a good idea of what a VPS is, let’s dive into the reasons why you should get one to host your website or projects.

1. Security

Websites are open to a number of cyber threats, but having your own private space can help protect your data as well as any information you collect from your customers.

Certain VPS providers offer extra layers of security for your site, and due to the segregation, the security you put in place is entirely in your hands. Features such as DDoS protection, intrusion detection and intrusion prevention systems (IDS/IPS), and firewall management, among others, all work together to ensure better protection against attempts to overload your website with traffic, access your data, or infect your site with malware. And they can all be put in place without worrying about anyone else.

This is a particularly important consideration if you sell through your site. Collecting and processing financial data should bring security to the very forefront of your business priorities, and these VPS features can help prevent unwanted access, while also reducing the risk of any online threats affecting the performance of your site.

2. Cost

Every business’ dream is finding the balance of high performance at a decent price. A VPS is that perfect in between. As a VPS is a section of a physical server – where the physical one is capable of branching out into multiple virtual servers (still with us?) – what you pay comes down drastically. So if you’re a start-up that wants the potential for growth, a VPS is a must-have.

3. High performance

Higher traffic levels can mean more conversions. However, humans aren’t always patient. If you expect your website to receive a fairly high number of visitors at once, or a highly fluctuating number, your site needs to be equipped to handle traffic without slowing down, or worse, crashing.

With your own VPS, you’re guaranteed a set level of performance which you can use to ensure a faster, smoother website experience – and make users more likely to stick around. Small and medium websites will greatly benefit from the RAM and individual CPU usage that comes with a VPS.

Providing quick page loading times is also key to improving your search engine optimisation (SEO) performance. Google ranks websites on a number of qualities, one being how quickly the landing page loads. The faster your website, the more likely you’ll land higher up on Google’s search page.

4. Scalability

Your business has greater wiggle room to grow on a VPS. Rather than shared, the space is entirely yours to use as you wish, and if it begins to feel a bit small, you can purchase additional resources to adjust performance to your business growth as needed.

On the other hand, if you feel you don’t need all the RAM or CPU power that a VPS offers, you can just as easily downgrade your package to match the natural ebb and flow of a business. In other words, a VPS provides a flexible solution that won’t require you to faff around with long migrations if you want to switch up your hosting.

5. Cloud backup

Things don’t always go to plan, and all hardware is prone to difficulties every now and then. In the unfortunate event that your business suffers a loss of data, of course you’ll want to have your information backed up. A VPS is a great choice for small businesses who cannot stretch their budget to a physical dedicated server.

Most VPS providers also offer cloud backup. You can schedule automatic backups of your entire site as often as necessary, meaning that copies of your data are consistently saved and stored within the cloud. Meanwhile, you can also take snapshots of your server that allow you to restore it to a previous state if anything goes wrong.

With these safeguards in place, even if your site does suffer a malware attack or another form or data loss, for example, your data is right where you need it to get back up and running as quickly as possible.

6. Control

VPS with Full Root Access

On a shared server, individual users can’t get access to the underlying machine, or ‘root access’, as this could compromise the security of the other sites, and it offers very few options when it comes to configuring the server. Since it is managed by a web host, the web applications and operating system used is out of your hands. But with a VPS, however, you can customise your whole virtual server, install or update your own server-wide software, change any file, make backups, and much more. Full root access allows a user to add new features and specs to their VPS, for example, ramping up security with SSL or Cyber Protect.

If you want more control over your tech and would benefit from the option to customise the root server hosting your website, then a VPS may be for you. Fasthosts virtual servers are created on the hardware level using VMware virtualisation software – this means you can choose the operating system you want to use, rather than having to share the same OS with all other users on the machine. Put simply, a VPS can be set up with the exact server configuration you need.

7. Customisation

VPS hosting with a high degree of control and customisation

Unlike other server options, a VPS has the added benefit of being extremely versatile. Whether you’re looking to set up an ecommerce website or a game server, a VPS can handle it. As we mentioned above, a VPS is perfect for high levels of traffic – so if you are hoping to build an ecommerce site, a Virtual Private Server is perfect. They can also support numerous apps and other powerful software, which only increases the personalisation of your server.

Here are just some of the many add-ons you can integrate into your VPS:

  • Plesk Obsidian
  • SQL
  • Cloud Backups
  • Additional IP addresses
  • SSL certificates

8. Decreased downtime

The isolated nature of a VPS makes it far more reliable when it comes to uptime. A VPS comes with dedicated resources ranging from SSD, CPU, RAM and more. These resources are not shared by other users, meaning your website, game server or the like, can have the resources needed to function smoothly. Plus, as a VPS can be split out into multiple servers, this means if one server goes down, the others will continue to run as they should, meaning that you can identify and fix the issue without worrying about any downtime.

The probability of overloading your VPS is small, though we would recommend keeping an eye on your VPS capacity limit to ensure you or site visitors don’t experience any downtime. If you do start to reach the limit of your plan, the scalability VPSs offer means that you can easily upgrade to a more powerful solution with increased specs to handle your influx of traffic.

9. Enable port forwarding

It’s possible to port forward on your VPS, which can be an incredibly useful future if you want to grant someone access to a specific server space within your VPS, or even yourself if you have a different device you need to access your VPS from.

Port forwarding on a VPS can assist with:

  • Hosting specific services or apps you provide
  • Remotely accessing your VPS
  • Connecting others to your gaming server
  • Establishing a VPS connection for added security
  • File sharing
  • …and much more

10. Integrate a VPN

It’s possible to set up a VPN within your VPS to add an extra layer of security. While a VPS is secure in nature, it doesn’t render it invulnerable to attacks. Read our VPN vs VPS guide to understand the difference between these two features and how they can complement one another.

Why would you want to do this? A VPN can help with a variety of things, including location masking. A VPN on a VPS can help mask your location by allowing you to connect to servers located in different regions or countries. This can help bypass geo-restrictions and access content that may not be available in your region. Plus, it encrypts your connection for an added layer of security, which is especially important if you’re using a public network to access your VPS.

If this sounds complicated and intimidating, be assured that most VPS providers offer on-call advice if needed. Already have a VPS and not sure how to utilise it? Our VPS setup post can help get you started to reap all of the benefits we mentioned above. If not, our expert Fasthosts support teams are available via email, live chat or phone 24/7, and are based in the UK – we’re always here to chat!

The decision on how and where to host your website may sound less important than more obvious decisions such as the design or function of the site. However, just as if you purchased your dream house before carefully considering the amount of available space, neighbours and other buildings close by, and local amenities, things might get tricky down the line if your digital real estate doesn’t work for you.

For this reason, you should carefully consider your business needs and budget before settling on a hosting solution. Learn more about our VPS hosting, and what it can do for you.