It has been 2.5 years now since I changed hosting providers for this blog.
As you (probably don’t) recall, this blog began its life on Blogger. Not satisfied with the limitations of Blogger (which has since joined the Google family), I was excited to discover WordPress which I then found the super affordable Focushub to host on. A year or 2 later, I needed a little more and went on to hosting by Oryon Networks (by the way, Oryon Networks is an EXCELLENT webhosting – the hosting is incredibly speedy and any emails and support tickets I sent to them were responded to in about an hour or less – even on weekends!)
Today, I’ve finally made the next step, from a hosted solution (Blogger) to a shared hosting (Focushub & Oryon Networks), and now a Virtual Private Server (VPS).
Now what is a VPS you ask? Basically it works almost like a dedicated server, only that it’s much cheap since you’re paying for a virtualised instance of a dedicated server, utilising a fraction of its resources (CPU, RAM and hard drive). The advantage of using a VPS is really root access – you can install ANYTHING, compared to a shared hosting environment. You also have more RAM available to you, where in a shared hosting environment this will be shared with all the other websites on the same server (probably up to 150 or so – or even more, if the hosting provider engages in overselling!).
So why isn’t everyone on a VPS? Even though the prices of VPSes have fallen rather dramatically especially recently, you do need to be a little more adept technically as you have to essentially become a system administrator for a (virtualised) server. Asking for easy-to-use control panels like cPanel, or even getting the hosting company to manage the VPS for you will incur additional (and sometimes, substantial) costs.
For me, I’ve come to a stage where I’m willing to learn how to manage my own (virtual) server. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that my hosting provider also offers semi-managed services for free i.e. hand holding for times I mess up bad 🙂