Skip to content

Virtual Private Servers (VPS):101 what are they?

Web Hosting Blog

Web hosting is a minefield if you’re a beginner, but at CWCS, our mission is to make hosting easy and straightforward to understand. In our 101 series, you’ll learn the basics of the different types of hosting available to you. 

This week we will dive into the world of virtual private servers known as VPS hosting. 

What is VPS? 

VPS stands for — virtual private server. In simple terms, a VPS is a powerful server that holds all the files and data that make up your website. When somebody searches for your domain, the server shows the searcher your website. 

Virtualisation technology splits the powerful server into multiple servers virtually- think of it as an apartment building; it is one building divided into several apartments for people to live in. 

And like an apartment, it is private. Your virtual server is reserved for you and your business – so you won’t need to share resources like RAM, CPU or data.

How Does VPS Work?

It emulates the design of a dedicated server, but with VPS, you’re still sharing the physical server with other users.

Using virtualisation technology, your web hosting provider installs a virtual layer on top of the server’s operating system (OS) by separating the server into individual compartments with virtual walls. This layer allows you to install your OS and software, making it your own.

This separation on the OS level makes it a truly private server. Your site lives in a secure environment, giving you guaranteed resources, including memory, disk space, CPU cores etc. 

Using this setup allows it to emulate the design of a dedicated server, but you’re still sharing the physical server with other users.

Shared vs VPS vs dedicated hosting

When you’re searching for the right hosting solution for your business, you’ll learn about different options, including shared and dedicated. But how do they differ from VPS hosting?

Shared hosting

Shared hosting is the most common form of web hosting – it’s the perfect solution for many new websites with low to medium traffic. But, with a shared hosting plan, you share essential resources like CPU, RAM and hard drive space. 

Think of it as a shared house; you all use the resources in the place like water, electricity and heating. But you are sharing these resources – if one person uses all the water, none is left for everyone else in the house. So you all agree on how much you can use and split the cost. Shared hosting works in the same way. Your hosting plan will limit how much you can use – essentially, and you are paying for your share of the resources on the server. 

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated server hosting is the complete opposite of shared hosting. Instead of sharing the server, you have an entire server and its resources dedicated to your business. 

With dedicated server hosting, you have complete control over your resources, and the server is customisable to meet your business needs. We recommend dedicated servers for companies with complex technical requirements, such as needing to install your own operating system or custom software. And for businesses with large amounts of traffic and who handle very sensitive data.

VPS Hosting

Virtual Private Servers are the middle ground between shared and dedicated. With VPS, there are other websites on the same hardware (that’s the powerful server we talked about earlier), but you have your virtual compartment- remember the apartment analogy. You get your own operating system, dedicated storage, powerful CPU, scalable RAM, and unlimited bandwidth in that compartment.

With a VPS, you get some of the advantages of a dedicated server — cheaper. 

What are the pros and cons of VPS?

Now you know the difference between shared, dedicated, and VPS hosting, you need to know the advantages and disadvantages of using a VPS server. You can read the pros and cons of running a virtual private server below.


It’s faster and more reliable than a shared hosting server.

Because you have your own compartment, server resources, including memory and processing power, are guaranteed. So there is minimal fluctuation in available resources.

Other website issues and traffic surges don’t affect your site.

You get access to your server, which allows you to make changes.

You have increased security, as your files and databases are locked away from other server users.

It’s an easy-to-scale service. As you grow, you can upgrade your server resources, including RAM, CPU, disk space, bandwidth, etc. 


It’s more expensive than shared hosting – but hosting is always a good investment for your business’s future. 

It requires more technical knowledge to set up your VPS – but don’t worry -Our experts are always here to help you! 

Improperly configured servers may lead to security vulnerabilities – so you need to be on top of your web security.

When Should You Switch to VPS?

Most businesses start with shared hosting, but as your business grows, your hosting requirements grow too. So it might not suit your needs anymore. 

Here are some signs that you should start thinking about switching to VPS. 

You Start to Experience High Traffic Volumes

Your audience and traffic are growing, which is excellent for your business but not for your shared hosting plan. Suppose your contract can’t handle the traffic. In that case, you risk your website running slowly or even crashing, which is a huge inconvenience for your customers and may discourage them from revisiting your site. 

If you start experiencing higher traffic levels and expect it to grow further, it is time to get a VPS. 

Your Website is Consistently Running Slowly

If an eCommerce site loads slower than expected, over 45% of people admit they are less likely to make a purchase.

That’s how important your website site speed is to your business! 

Websites that use large amounts of RAM are not suited for shared hosting. As your website grows and you add more and more content, you will see a decrease in load times. When this happens, consider moving to a VPS. 

You Need To Install Custom Software

Shared hosting is excellent for websites built on WordPress or other well-known Content Management Systems. But if you use custom software or advanced programming on your website, you need more control than shared hosting. 

Plus, several standard tax, billing, bookkeeping, and other integrative programs need around-the-clock server availability and high-speed internet to run effectively. 

If you operate on a shared server, you’ll be frustrated to learn advanced actions are prohibited or apps don’t have the support to function correctly. Virtual private servers give you complete programming control so you can make your applications work for you.

You’re on a Budget

If you’re dealing with one or more of the above issues, know that you need to upgrade your hosting. But, you might have the budget for a dedicated server as they are one of the most expensive hosting solutions.

VPS is the perfect next step for growing a business as it improves your bandwidth, increases your RAM and upgrades your security for a lower cost. 

How to pick your perfect plan

So you’ve decided that VPS is the right solution for you, but there are many plans out there! Here are a few things to consider:

Your operating system

Which operating system you use is a vital factor in picking a plan. You need to ensure the plan you choose is compatible with your OS. At CWCS, we offer both Windows and Linux plans to guarantee that we have a solution for everyone. 

What hardware do they use?

When purchasing a VPS hosting package, make sure your service provider offers the latest and greatest in hardware, including solid-state drives (SSD) — the fastest storage technology. At CWCS, we use the latest virtualisation technology and are powered by Intel Xeon Processors and SSD storage.

What support do they offer? 

Virtual Private Servers can be difficult to manage, especially if you are a beginner, so do they offer support with their plans. At CWCS, our support team is second to none. Our friendly, knowledgeable support team are on-site and available on the phone 24/7/365.

Ready for Your Virtual Private Server?

Made it to the end of this blog? Congratulations, you now know the basics of VPS! 

 If your online presence is growing and you want it to continue, you need to invest in your hosting. And that means upgrading to a virtual private server plan. 

While VPS hosting is more expensive than a shared plan, the benefits of this hosting solution give you so much more – without having to splash out on a much more expensive dedicated hosting plan. 

At CWCS, our Virtual Private Servers plans start at just £19.99 per month, and with that, you’ll get our team of experts ready to help you 24/7/365.