Web hosting "root" access benefits?

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Dec 1, 2014
I'm looking to change web hosting providers, and I see some offer "root" access to your hosted site. I'm scratching my head to think what I could do with "root" access that I couldn't do without it? What benefits might this offer me over traditional hosting and would it be worth a few dollars more? Thank you, Ed
With root access (In UNIX and Linux, the "root" user is the administrator user with the keys to the kingdom) you can administer not just your web site but the server that hosts it, to varying degrees. Benefits are myriad, depending on what types of optimizations, additions and modifications you would like to make. Risks include "you could mess everything up good and proper", among other things.
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: Ed_Flecko
Originally Posted By: simple_gifts
Is it web hosting or server hosting? Pointing us directly to what you have and are considering would be helpful.
It's web hosting - https://www.vps.net/products/ssd-vps/ Ed
The link you posted says "server hosting".
I *think* it is server hosting, but it's also web hosting on the same server if I understand it correctly. Ed
You are renting a Virtual Private Server (a virtualized OS running as a virtual machine within a larger, more powerful server), in which you will presumably be setting up a web server application and/ or framework. You will have administrative control/ responsibility for the *entire* server; including installing and setting up the web server. If that is beyond the scope of your expertise and experience there are a lot of shared hosting plans that have the server and web server already set up and ready to go. These shared hosting packages often offer "one-click" installation of various web publishing platforms like Wordpress; or at the very least offer FTP/ SFTP access to upload a static site and point your domain name to it.
I strongly advise against using a VPS for anything important (eg someones job relies on the site) unless you are a competent Linux web server admin. If its not important or just for fun/learning exercise they are a good option. As mentioned root is an admin account that allows you to configure anything and break it. Most VPS do not offer formal support for any activities you do to manage and configure your VPS, they only support maintain the host they run on and provisioning. You may get some ad hoc help and advise on how to fix, but worst case if you can't fix the VPS yourself the only option will be for them to wipe your VPS and start from scratch, they will never be able to login on your behalf and fix your VPS (you can get supported VPS but they generally cost a lot of money).
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