VPS, VMS, and Dedicated Hosting: What’s the Difference?

The type of hosting your website uses plays a critical role in how your online content is viewed and distributed. If a business chooses a hosting service that doesn’t fit its needs, the business’s ability to effectively reach its audience is impacted.

Just like local businesses will contemplate location, size, and ease-of-access when leasing physical spaces for its in-person store, online businesses need to evaluate their own pros and cons when “leasing” virtual space for people to visit their website and online shop. Web hosting essentially gives people the server space for websites to become visible on the Internet. In our digital age, virtual storefronts are becoming just as plentiful as physical ones.

When looking to build a website for their business, people need to make sure their website and ecommerce solutions can effectively perform business operations without downtime or interruptions. In order to do so, people will need to consider and definitively know their business’s needs before choosing a hosting server that will best serve them. Let’s explore the main differences between VPS, VMS, and dedicated hosting servers.

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a physical server that is divided into several smaller virtual servers, in which multiple users share an operating system. A VPS is often likened to a large apartment complex in which each person has their own apartment. Everyone has their own space they can customize and control, but they are housed in the same building and share some basic resources. VPS is essentially a hybrid of shared hosting and dedicated hosting. It gives users the minimum amount of resources they need without overwhelming them with resources their business has not yet grown into.

VPS offers users a private operating system, storage, and bandwidth that is allocated and shared between users on the server. VPS also offers a high degree of control and customization, allowing users to easily change server settings, add software, add users, and turn the server on and off as needed. In addition, VPS hosting is incredibly cost-effective compared to a dedicated server and is an affordable option for small-to-medium sized businesses.

However, with many partitions and users on one operating system, it has the potential to cause increased strain on the server. As a result, VPS users may suffer from reduced uptime and increased disruptions. For example, if a VPS receives high, unexpected levels of traffic, it will use the entirety of the server’s CPU, or operating abilities. Consequently, one user’s traffic on a VPS could affect the performance of another user’s website.

VPS hosting is suitable for small-to-medium sized businesses, personal pages, or bloggers who do not receive high levels of traffic but still want basic security and reliability on a budget. For businesses that have outgrown shared hosting but cannot afford dedicated hosting, VPS is an affordable in-between.

Virtual Machine Server (VMS)

Similar to a VPS, a Virtual Machine Server (VMS) splits the physical server into many individual, virtual servers. However, instead of sharing the resources across all the servers, each partitioned server receives its own dedicated resources. VMS hosting is specifically designed to host numerous users so performance doesn’t become an issue. In comparison to a VPS, a VMS offers improved security and performance. In terms of storage, disk space, memory, and bandwidth, a VMS caters to small-to-medium sized businesses with an increased hosting budget for better performance and security. However, if a business needs low-cost hosting, VPS might be preferred.

Dedicated Hosting

A dedicated server means a user will get the entire physical server for their website along with increased storage, memory, disk space, and speed. As a result, a user’s website is physically isolated from other accounts, not just virtually isolated, which means increased security and reliability. The main advantage to dedicated servers in addition to increased space is that users have full control over their resources—no one else’s website will affect their own. However, dedicated servers are far more expensive and more complex to manage; essentially, they are not user-friendly. Dedicated services are suitable for high-traffic sites that have very specific hosting needs. For most people, VPS or VMS hosting are more affordable and flexible options.


Which hosting solution best fits your business? It’s important to keep in mind that the hosting solution you select could potentially be a long-term solution, one that will affect your business way into the future. Take your time and make an educated decision when choosing between a VPS, VMS, or dedicated server.

Got more hosting questions? Drop a comment below!

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