- Custom configuration - developer can provide a more productive and efficient solution not limited by compatibility requirements;
- Full (root) access - convenience in management;
- Security - in most public hostings people can access files and databases of each other, with is not good in many cases;
- No limits - host as many web sites as you want, run your own email and DNS services, etc.
The solution is to use a Virtual Private Server. It feels almost like a dedicated server with a full access, but much cheaper because a real physical machine serves many VPS.
You can find many providers offering VPS from $15 to $45 per month.
* Low memory limits (usually 64-256 Mb)
* Disk subsystem is usually overloaded and very slow
Rest is fine - processor is not loaded usually, and the bandwidth allowed is more then enough.
So you'd better use caching wherever you can and not run beyond your RAM limit cause swap is very slow. If you do that - your sites will be running as fast as they would on a dedicated server.
In the future posts I will describe how I am setting up a full-functional and productive web service on a cheap VPS with low memory consumption.