Basic Dedicated Hosting

If you've decided on dedicated hosting but still want to keep your IT budget as lean as possible, virtual private servers (VPS) may be your best bet. With VPS hosting, you'll still have dedicated hosting for your Web site, but since the servers are virtual, hosting will cost less.

Just the Essentials

When comparing dedicated hosting plans, it's very tempting to choose the most basic one; that low price tag just jumps right out at you. There's nothing wrong with basic hosting, as long as you remember that's all you're getting: the basics. VPS plans are a great solution for simple sites-- less expensive than going with a physical dedicated server, but still way better than shared hosting.

Maintaining Control

One of the downsides of shared hosting is the lack of control. With VPS, you'll have control over your virtual machine at a similar level of a physical dedicated server. Even though you're sharing a physical CPU with other clients, you'll have dedicated (guaranteed, in most cases) resources like memory and bandwidth. This gives you access to significantly more computing power than with shared hosting. Although it's not quite as powerful as your own physical dedicated server, VPS offers enough oomph for the majority of websites, most of which don't really need an entire physical server to themselves.

Flexibility

If you've outgrown shared hosting plans, you may be worried you'll outgrow your VPS also. Another perk of virtual servers, though, is their ability to grow right along with your needs. You won't be paying for resources you aren't using (like with a dedicated physical server) nor will you have to worry about paying overages for higher traffic levels (like you might with a cloud-based pay-per-use server). It's also much easier to move your virtual server to new physical machine should the need arise. If you want, you can keep right on moving to fancier and fancier equipment for more optimum performance.

Opting for VPS

For the naysayers who grumble about the limitations of VPS, keep in mind that those limitations are mostly arbitrary, put in place by the provider, and not an intrinsic limit of the technology itself. For example, a limitation on how many domains you can host is not a resource issue, like it would be under a shared hosting provider; that's a service limitation that's there just for fun. Most small to mid-sized businesses or individuals with personal sites find VPS is more than adequate to their needs, with similar control and security as a physical dedicated server hosting plan, but at a fraction of the cost.