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With all the different types of Web Hosting available, it can be confusing as to which one is right for you. Do you choose shared hosting, a VPS, or a Dedicated server? In this article, we will cover the basics of the different types of Web Hosting plans so you can find which type is the right one for you.

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Hosting Platform Analogies

Shared Hosting
Shared Hosting includes our Business Class Hosting Plans. Shared Hosting is very similar to living in an Apartment Complex. All residents are in the same location and must share the available resources with everyone.These may include such things as the pool, parking lot, and playground. In shared hosting, all accounts must share the available resources with all the other accounts on the server. These include CPU time, memory, and disk space. Want to compare shared hosting? Check out InMotion Hosting vs. HostGator.

VPS Hosting
VPS Hosting includes our 4GB, 6GB, and 8GB VPS Hosting Plans. VPS Hosting is similar to owning a Condo. While you still share things on the property, you are ultimately responsible for maintaining your own property and repairs inside the condo. There is also significantly fewer residents per building and assigned parking. On a Virtual Private Server, you are allotted resources that are not shared by everyone. The overall CPU time and memory are shared across all accounts on the machine, but at the same time, portions of those resources are always dedicated to each account. This allows for more power and flexibility than being on a shared account. For more information see the following PDF.

Managing your VPS Server

Dedicated Hosting
Dedicated Hosting includes our Essential, Advanced, and Elite Dedicated Server Hosting Plans. Dedicated Hosting can be compared to owning a house. You are allowed and have access to all resources available on the machine. No one else's account resides on the machine (your house) and would not be capable of tapping into your resources. For more information see the following PDF.

Managing your Dedicated Server

Now that you know a little bit more about hosting, which is right for you? A VPS or dedicated server? Click here to learn more about which is right for you.

Server Resources 

(When is it time to move to a Condo or take the big step to home ownership?)
Regardless of which type of hosting you choose, your website will reside on a web server. When someone visits your page, the server's CPU and Memory will work together to send that visitor the page they requested. There are cases in which your website may use too much CPU or Memory to serve those pages, and that is the time you will need to upgrade your account.

Apartment living to Condo living

Upgrading from Shared to VPS Hosting

Shared accounts are great for most users. You can host all sorts of applications (such as WordPress or Joomla), and there are plenty of email accounts to go around. If you compare Shared Hosting to Apartment living, possible times for upgrading may include:

  1. A Growing family: If your family grows more than what your apartment can handle, then it may be time to move up. For example, you may need another bedroom or an extra bathroom for the kids. Moving to a Condo can give you that extra bedroom / bathroom that you need. In shared hosting, if your website becomes popular, you may need to upgrade to VPS Hosting for more CPU and Memory for your account. This will allow you to handle all the new traffic coming to your site.
  2. Customizations: If you love the color red and want to paint your walls red, you may not have permission (being in an apartment) to paint any walls. Moving up to a Condo gives you more ownership of your space, allowing you to paint and decorate however you choose. If you require software that is not available in Shared Hosting, Upgrading to VPS hosting will allow you to install any software that you would like!

Condo Living to Single Family Home Living

Upgrading from VPS Hosting to Dedicated Hosting

Keeping with the Condo analogy, you have a lot of control, but you don't have complete control. If you invite a band to play in your living room, others in the Community are going to hear the noise and may complain. If a friend / relative needs to move in with you, you're not going to be able to build an addition to help accommodate them. There are many reasons that a Condo was great for you at one point in your life, but you're at the point where you have a big family and there's a lot going on every day. You may decide to buy a single family home, where you'll have plenty of parking, extra bathrooms, and a big back yard to play with the dogs.

VPS Servers are great for mid-sized businesses. You have a virtualized private server in which you can setup and tweak exactly the way you need to. You can host an unlimited number of websites, and there are really no restrictions, other than your usage of your server's CPU time and memory. A VPS Server is not a Dedicated Server, so you are still on a server with other users. As you're sharing a server, your actions can still affect other users. If you have a very busy website, dominating the server's CPU time and memory could cause performance issues with other users on the same server. If you are running an unoptimized script that runs out of control, it can disrupt not only your site but could affect the whole server. This can and possibly cause downtime for others users on the same server.

Check out our documentation on how InMotion offers the best dedicated servers.

Server Administration: What's the landlord up to?

Our System Administrators monitor all of our shared servers 24 hours a day every day. From our Shared Servers to our VPS Containers, our job is to make sure that all servers are in tip top shape! If we notice someone that is in a Condo, but their loud music is bothering others, we're there to politely ask them to turn down the volume so they don't wake the neighbors. If they love their loud music and can't part with it, we'll work with them and actually help them move into a House!
If you do decide that you would like to upgrade, our Systems Team in most cases can migrate all of your files for you and get your site up and running on your new server. If you have questions at any time, please feel free to contact us as we're more than happy to help! Here is more information on all our Web Hosting plans.

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Related Questions

Here are a few questions related to this article that our customers have asked:
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n/a Points
2014-03-03 2:40 am

I love your article. I hope to see more useful information from you about web hosting and domain name! :)

n/a Points
2014-07-22 1:19 am
Great Content and very much useful for a beginner like. Thanks a lot .
n/a Points
2014-07-22 1:20 am
Differentiating with tables could be great
43,758 Points
2014-07-22 9:09 am
Hello Satya,

Ask and you shall receive! Below are links for all our hosting types complete with comparison tables for the different levels in each.

Business Hosting
VPS Hosting
Dedicated Hosting
Reseller Hosting

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2016-02-03 7:44 pm

In the world, there is a minute number of Geeks, The rest of web users are just ordinary who understand the ordinary language. The article is for all those users who also want to share the fun of www.

Very well writte,

n/a Points
2014-07-29 3:50 am
Its very useful article!!!
n/a Points
2014-08-01 4:31 am

I can say that you can use web hosting services according to your business needs. I would go for a dedicated server because it is used for big companies and institutions and you have full control over the server.

n/a Points
2014-08-08 2:27 pm

Great explaination about different type of hostings. What hosting should I choose for a site receiveing over 15k-20k pageviews per day? My site is - http://www.***********.net

28,887 Points
2014-08-08 3:24 pm
Hello Priyangshu,

Thank you for our question. Since it really depends on the nature of your website, please contact our Sales team. They are very knowledgeable, and will be happy to review your specific needs.

If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.
Thank you,

n/a Points
2014-08-11 4:05 am

Thats a great post on shared and vps hosting.nicely explained its usage.Thanks for sharing! Quite useful information, nicely outlined.

n/a Points
2014-08-27 8:08 am

Excellent explanation! Thanks


n/a Points
2014-09-01 5:29 am

very helpfull and i loved the way it is compared so even a layman can understand 

n/a Points
2014-09-22 10:58 am

Wow, great article. The metaphors are fantastic and really helped differentiate everything without being to complex.

Thank you so much for clearing my doubts.

n/a Points
2014-09-27 9:05 am
Its wonderful example to convince clients to move from shared to VPS and VPS to dedicated
n/a Points
2014-11-12 7:11 am

Thank you so much for this article. At last I can understand the differences between the different types of hosting. 

n/a Points
2014-11-20 6:59 am

Yeah, this is very helpful, i love this article. Thank you very much.

n/a Points
2014-11-24 1:30 am

Shared hosting helps you to host your multiple websites with the same web hosting account. VPS hosting services are reliable and efficient. Dedicated hosting gives the fast speed and high performance that helps in your business growth.

n/a Points
2014-12-28 12:55 pm
Wow. Exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much Brad.
n/a Points
2015-01-28 10:28 pm

You explained in a Excellent way!! That's really usefull and wonderful. I bookmarked it!!

Thank you!

n/a Points
2015-02-02 7:05 pm
Perfect article. I am a complete novice. Great analogies!
n/a Points
2015-02-17 8:53 am

the explanation is just I wanted to have .... not confusion is bothering me r8 now ... tnx a lot to the EDITOR .... 

n/a Points
2015-02-23 1:05 am
Love the analogy. Thanks, good read.
n/a Points
2015-03-26 2:53 am

shared hosting allows and resides numerous websites on a single server. It gives 99.95% uptime guaranteed, unlimited disk storage and 24X7 effective customer support services. A Virtual Private Server is a great option for all small scale companies. It is one of the web hosting techniques that bridge the gap between a dedicated server and a shared hosting server. Dedicated servers function exclusively for any given business and such resources are generally shared by multiple users.

n/a Points
2015-05-15 10:03 am

Thanks you Dude you Solve my Questions Easly Thanks you So Much i like you Article so much :)

n/a Points
2015-05-24 3:18 pm

love the analogy great article!

n/a Points
2015-06-15 2:01 pm

Great analogies - and nice job to whoever wrote this.  I will definitely save this article as it will make it very easy for my clients to learn the difference between hosting environments.

n/a Points
2015-08-16 4:39 am

Nice article. it enlighten me about the hosting. Thanks.

n/a Points
2015-08-29 5:10 am

it enlighten me about the hosting. Thanks.

n/a Points
2015-09-28 5:54 am

thaks for providing informations about the hosting.... 

n/a Points
2015-10-02 11:29 pm

Great article! With the information that's given, would be very helpful for hosting beginners. Hope to see an article on domain names for beginners. The difference between the two. Thanks overall for the useful information

n/a Points
2015-10-28 2:20 am

I am looking to start with email marketing. Can you suggest which type of hosting would be better, particuarly from Spamhaux block perspective. :-)

13,081 Points
2015-10-28 8:06 am
You'll want to use a VPS so you can have complete control over your emails. It's important to rate limit the sending of emails as well as conform to CAN-SPAM.
n/a Points
2015-10-28 8:29 am

Thanks for the advice, Timothy!

n/a Points
2016-01-27 7:40 pm

Seriously considering leaving my current provider for InMotion.  Does InMotion have a way to prevent web sites in shared servers from tying in or consuming all resources?  For example, I keep seeing the "too many connections" MySQL message.  We do know it isn't us, but another site on the same server.  Is there a way to prevent abuse?

38,924 Points
2016-01-28 8:50 am
Hello David,

Thanks for the question about shared servers. Currently, there is no way to completely isolate different shared server accounts from consuming too many resources other than by actively monitoring their use. Monitoring is carried out 24/7 by live techs watching the servers. VPS offer more in the way of what you are asking, and dedicated server resources provide the resources of the server only to your websites.

If you have any further questions, please let us know.

Kindest regards,
Arnel C.
n/a Points
2016-02-12 7:43 am

I am impressed by the quality of information in this article. There are lots off useful information about it.

n/a Points
2016-04-13 2:31 pm

I'm sorry but you took the analogies way too far.  I want a simplified but not completely dummed down version of the tech explanations.  Everyone knows that dedicated is better than vps is better than shared.  Simple enough.  But I was looking for the actual stats that one would get from each.  Example: what percent speed increase from one level to another?  what volume ideal for each? etc.

This article was an insult to my intelligence. Seriously.  I don't need to be told that shared is like a bicycle, vps is like a moped, and dedicated is like a car.  I want more details to make my own decisions.  Can't believe this article is at the top of Google for this topic.  Gees.

28,887 Points
2016-04-14 1:17 pm
Hello DML,

Thank you for commenting on our article. We have comparison charts, and specifications for our plans here:
The actual speed and ideal volume really depends on the nature of your websites, and how they are coded/built. For example, basic HTML pages would run really fast on any platform, vs PHP based websites with many scripts and calls to the database.

If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.

Thank you,
n/a Points
2016-04-30 1:48 am

Lots of Thanks.... Nice compare..

n/a Points
2016-05-19 9:13 am

A good article, I like these compelling examples of apartment types. VPS and dedicated seem to be one and the same thing, at the first glance. But this text helped me to realize it’s not so. This blog also aided me in understanding the essential difference between hosting types.

n/a Points
2016-05-25 8:47 am
Shared hosting is the most commonly used method of hosting, and is used for customers who have chosen trial or low-cost hosting packages. Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting is like living in a simplex or half-plex where you can customize everything to your own tastes. However, you still need to maintain your own area.
n/a Points
2016-05-26 5:19 am

What a nicely balanced post on shared hosting, VPS & dedicated server! It gives clear cut information on what these web hosting services are & who should use it& why, great insights! 

n/a Points
2016-06-02 3:02 am

Its a nice post for clear knowledge about hosting server


n/a Points
2016-07-10 1:13 pm

I was just gathering some info related to web hosting for a small project and came across this resouce. Excellent piece of work by the author! Keep up the good work and post many more related to this domain. Will keep following...

n/a Points
2016-07-26 6:21 pm

Very nice analogy... 

n/a Points
2016-08-04 11:50 am

Wow. Exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much Brad.

n/a Points
2016-09-16 10:54 am

Is there any type of hosting or any means available in which a browser can make a request to a server without a domain name?

38,924 Points
2016-09-16 2:58 pm
Hello SB,

In order to make any type of request from a hosting server, the browser uses a protocol called HTTP. The browser can also communicate with hosting servers using FTP in some cases. There are also secure variations on these protocols. So, if you're trying to use a public hosting service, it is generally using a web server that works with those protocols. If you're trying to find something that is not using a fully qualified domain name, then you would not be using these hosting servers. Requests can be made to a server but there must some type of protocol or method in order to recognize the request, and then be able to respond or transmit. Please consult with a developer if you rerquire further assistance.

If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know.

Arnel C.
n/a Points
2016-09-28 12:10 am

hello my site having 1000 page vies per days, i would like to choose inmotion hosting which plan is best to me.thank you

38,924 Points
2016-09-28 11:48 am
Hello Sanju,

The best hosting package will depend on your needs and plans for the site. Please contact our sales team if you have any questions regarding the plan that best fits you. You can contact our sales team through email/phone/skype/chat.

If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know.

Arnel C.
n/a Points
2016-12-28 7:10 pm

Great analogies.

Very simple for a beginner to understand.

Thanks for making a confusing situation crystal clear.

Very much appreciated

n/a Points
2017-02-16 1:56 am

We moved our website from Shared hosting to VPS, after that it became very slow than the shared hosting, when i checked with hosting company, they were telling that there may be configation issues, Could you please tell me what the configuration I should maintain while moving to shared to VPS

28,887 Points
2017-02-16 2:28 pm
The server configuration will depend how your website is coded and developed. For example, you may require atypical services for your site to function (such as TomCat, NGINX, etc.)

Typically, optimizing your site will address website issues. For example, set up caching, resizing large images to the specific size needed, and parse javascripts to the bottom of the site.

Our live support team is happy to review your server for obvious issues, and your developer should be able to list specific services/configurations they require.

Thank you,
n/a Points
2017-02-18 6:06 am


I really loved the analogy you pointed out between various hosting services and our style of living. It was a completely new and fun way of learning the different types of hosting platforms. Keep up the good work!

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