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I always read, with VPS you have so much freedom! You can configure it however you want!

... what does all that even mean? I mean really, all I want is for my host to have php, apache, and mysql. Can somebody please elaborate the important features everybody always seem to talk about? All my google searches always lead me to the same vague answer regarding how "I am the boss".

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Mar 27 '11 at 7:40

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closed as not a real question by Chopper3 Mar 27 '11 at 11:22

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Belongs to superuser.com, I think. –  Olli Mar 27 '11 at 10:54

2 Answers 2

It could be particularly interesting if you want to use less common PHP extensions, less common programming / scripting languages (python perhaps?), less common persistance storage mechanisms (PostgreSQL, MongoDB, CouchDB, etc., etc.), or even less common webservers (nginx). You might also want to install certain pieces of software that you want your web application to interact with in the backend. For instance certain back-office applications, etc. etc.

The whole world doesn't revolve around a PHP/MySQL/Apache stack, you know. ;-)

* and by less common I mean: what is generally offered at your average shared hosting provider.

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I actually do know that, but the lamp stack really is my only option since I'm not a web designer or a computer science major. Just a guy who wants to start up a website. There's no reason for me to choose another language since my site is not complex AT ALL, and I'm already comfortable with php. MySQL is already too good hah. I actually thought about using lighttpd, but never got around to that. Either way, many shared hosting offers that (including mine). Can you be more specific about the apps for backend? –  Anonymous Mar 27 '11 at 7:21
    
Well then these options obviously are not for you at this moment (nor do I need them at this time). But imagine a medium to large size company that has a serious busy web application they want maximum control over: security wise, performance wise, etc. etc. And although running a back-office application on your webserver is a bit odd perhaps, I could imagine having some intermediate application running on the webserver that synchronizes the web-database at intervals with a databse at their office, or something like that. I'm sure somebody else could chime in here with more realistic examples. –  fireeyedboy Mar 27 '11 at 7:29
    
O, and furthermore, updating the software (PHP for instance) to the latest stable version, in stead of having to wait for your hosting company to install 5.3 for instance. Etc., etc. –  fireeyedboy Mar 27 '11 at 7:34
    
Well I have another question, might make a topic about this actually, but I'd like to ask you first. Is there ever a time when a company/person would actually move from an unmanaged vps to a managed vps? Seems counter-intuitive but I must ask. –  Anonymous Mar 27 '11 at 7:35
    
Not sure, as I'm not experienced in this field, but I could imagine this happening when they felt / came to the conclusion that they don't have enough in-house knowledge or capacity (anymore) to do all the systemadmin work that is needed to run it properly. –  Decent Dabbler Mar 27 '11 at 7:45

Well, VPS (virtual private server) is a box in the sky; you have full access to the server (shell access, and root). This means you have more freedom (you can do ANYTHING on that box), but it also means more work. Where your webhost has everything set up (apache, mysql, php, etc) and configured correctly, this isn't the case with most VPS. You would need to install mysql, apache, php, etc. and configure them correctly (or be hacked).

VPS are great for some things, whereas a webhost is the way to go for others. It really just depends on what you want to do.

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Well I know with a managed vps, they do most of that with you. In fact, servint, a managed vps host, even has a kickstart porgram which babysteps you until you get everything. But really, what is there to get >.< . All these ambiguous answers :/ –  Anonymous Mar 27 '11 at 7:11