Virtual Private Servers vs Shared Hosting

Web hosting can be an intimidating subject, especially for people who are not tech-savvy. It may be difficult to fully understand it, let alone choose the right plan for your website.

There are three main types of hosting: shared, virtual private server (VPS), and dedicated.

This article will cover shared and VPS hosting, the two types you’ll encounter most often. I’ll also provide some information to help you choose the right hosting plan for your website.

What Is Shared Hosting?

Shared Hosting

As the name suggests, shared hosting means sharing a server and its resources such as disk space, CPU, and memory with other users. Out of all types, it is the most affordable and beginner-friendly.

You receive a limited amount of resources and you can’t upgrade them without changing the plan. What’s more, whatever happens to other websites on the same server will likely impact your site too.

For example, if other users are experiencing high traffic that exceeds the bandwidth limit, your website will likely also slow down or even become inaccessible.

You should opt for shared hosting if you:

  • Are on a limited budget.
  • Run a personal website.
  • Are new to the industry.
  • Have a small company website.

What Is Virtual Private Server Hosting?

Virtual Private Server Hostingng the server with other users. The main difference is that everyone has dedicated resources and storage space. With each user having access to their own virtual private server running a separate OS, performance is significantly improved.

VPS solves the main disadvantage of shared hosting, making websites less susceptible to issues that other virtual servers on the same hardware are experiencing. It’s also possible to change your resource usage in real-time if there are increases in web traffic.

Naturally, VPS hosting is more expensive than shared hosting. You should opt for VPS hosting if you:

  • Expect high volumes of traffic to your website.
  • Have a bigger budget and want to invest in your website,
  • Plan to scale your business in the future.

Virtual Private Servers vs. Shared Hosting

With the definitions of VPS and shared hosting out of the way, we’ll focus on an in-depth comparison between the two.

1. Price

Price

When it comes to pricing, the first thing you need to know is that hosting comes in different cost tiers based on the features available in the plan. Paying more usually results in a more comprehensive service, including more resources, better security, and performance.

If you take the time to check the offers from various hosting providers, you’ll find that VPS hosting is considerably more expensive. Therefore, if budget is a factor, you may want to pick shared hosting.

2. Scalability

An effective way to decide which hosting type you should choose is to be mindful of your goals. If you want a portfolio or a similar small website with only a few hundred visitors per week and aren’t interested in scaling it, go for shared hosting.

However, if you plan to grow your business and website, you’ll want to use VPS hosting. When the web traffic to your site goes up, you’ll be able to increase your available resources to match the demand.

3. Performance

Visitors pay extra attention to how smoothly your website runs. Resources like bandwidth and memory contribute the most to fast loading times.

Research has shown that nearly 50% of internet users expect a web page to load within two seconds. Otherwise, they may leave the website. With this in mind, choose the hosting type that can handle significant surges of traffic without compromising the loading speed.

In this regard, VPS is superior to shared hosting due to more resources being available. It’s easy to upgrade and is better equipped to deal with increased traffic volumes.

4. Security

Security

For the most part, shared hosting is secure. Web hosts do their utmost to implement the best available security measures. However, other websites you share the server with may contribute to how safe your site is.

If one of them has a security breach, every website on the same server becomes vulnerable. That’s because of the fact that the sites share a single root directory.

VPS hosting is considerably more secure. As each user has their own self-contained directory and virtual machine running on the hardware, one site being compromised poses little risk to other websites on the same server.

In addition, VPS hosting features extra built-in security tools that you can manage yourself.

5. Configuration

If you use shared hosting, it’s usually your hosting provider who is responsible for its configuration. This means you can focus your efforts on creating your website.

VPS, on the other hand, can be either managed or unmanaged. Choosing the managed option leaves it up to the hosting provider to set everything up for you.

The unmanaged option puts you in control of the configuration and customization of the server. This is recommended to experts and web developers as it requires a degree of technical knowledge..

Conclusion

Both shared and VPS hosting types have their pros and cons. Shared hosting is best for beginners who want a small website. In contrast, VPS hosting is targeted at businesses that want to accommodate future growth.

Let’s recap the five different aspects I’ve covered to help you choose the right hosting type for your website:

  1. Price – shared hosting is more affordable.
  2. Scalability  – VPS hosting allows you to scale your website easily.
  3. Performance – VPS hosting lets users upgrade their resources to increase their site’s performance.
  4. Security – VPS hosting is in general more secure than shared hosting and features more built-in security tools.
  5. Configuration – VPS hosting offers the option to configure the server yourself manually.

Taking this information into account, choose the best hosting for your website. Remember to compare offers from different service providers so you can get the most for what you pay.

Good luck!

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