VPS, which stands for ‘virtual private server’ web hosting usually serves as a middle ground between the cheapest ’shared hosting’ plans, in which there are many different users all on the same machine, and ‘dedicated server’ plans where you get a whole machine to yourself but pay a lot more money for it.
To set up your VPS (you can check out http://www.top5hosting.co.uk/) account the company who you buy it from will put you onto a shared machine, but one with fewer users than is the case for cheaper accounts, and create a virtual environment to make it behave as if you had a dedicated machine all to yourself.
If you are just starting out with a new website and want to keep your expenses as low as possible then you are most likely going to be choosing between shared and VPS services.
The main advantage of a shared account is simply the cost – starting at as low as $3 per month from some companies. If you do not expect to ever get large amounts of traffic and have no particular reason to be especially concerned about security then shared will probably be enough for you.
Cheap US Server VPS Hosting does start at as little as $20 per month however, so it may well be worth looking at. And there’s even a VPN free trial on some hosting company websites. At that kind of price you don’t really get much better performance than you would from a cheap account, but you do get greater flexibility, slightly better security, and crucially you get the ability to upgrade instantly if you ever need it, so if you start getting lots of visitors you do not have to worry about opening a new hosting account, moving all of your files and databases over and changing dns setting and so on to be able to keep your site up and running.
If you have a website which is getting a larger amount of traffic then your choice is between VPS and dedicated. With dedicated you get the best security possible, and obviously you get better performance, but the difference in price can be large with cheap USA dedicated hosting starting from around $160, which is a lot more expensive.
It is possible to get VPS that can match a dedicated machine in most areas for a lower price, but the main weak spot is the processor, which will be shared with other sites. If you have a website that makes a lot of queries to a SQL database, or something else which leads to high CPU load, then you will probably need to go for a dedicated machine.