If you are looking for a hosting provider for your company or personal website, then you have a lot of different options.
Two of the biggest that you will come across is shared hosting and a virtual private server (VPS). If you are looking to make the jump online, then here are how the two different platforms stack up and what you can expect with each one.
What exactly are shared hosting and VPS?
First, let’s define exactly what these types of hosting systems are and what they entail. When you choose to start a website, you have to sign up with a hosting provider.
This company will place your website’s data onto their servers so that users can access the site online. If you choose a shared server, then your data will be placed on one server with dozens of other websites, all sharing resources.
With a virtual private server (VPS), you will still be placed on a shared server. However, the server will be partitioned off so that you will have a virtual computer all to yourself.
Your partitioned section means that you have your own designated resources and don’t have to share them with the other sites that are on the same server.
So, which is better?
In terms of price, those who are just looking to start out with a website will do fine with a shared server. You get the opportunity to test the waters and you don’t have to spend a lot of money doing it.
However, if you want to really “go big,” then you are going to need to move up to at least a VPS configuration.
With VPS, you get the best of two different worlds. First off, you can still get a fairly affordable hosting plan that won’t break your bank like a dedicated server (where you are the only site on the server).
VPSs are slightly more expensive than a shared server. But let us also give a bit of a warning about what you may see online regarding free hosting.
These will be shared servers that usually have absolutely no features, only the barest bones when it comes to resources, and little to no support. Just remember that you get what you pay for, even on the Internet.
Another advantage that VPS has over shared hosting is that it is more secure. If a website on the common server is compromised by a hacker, then it could leave all of the websites on that server open to infection.
Similarly, most free service providers do not provide a unique IP address for each website on a shared server. Because of this, if a site on the server is infecting visitors with malware, then the IP address may be flagged and blocked by anti-virus software.
If this happens to their website, then yours may be blocked as well because of the common IP address.
Finally, a VPS setup is more stable. With shared hosting, your website will have to share the resources of that computer. That means bandwidth is not equally distributed. If one site needs more, then the others will be decreased to compensate. So if a website gets a traffic spike, it will slow down your resources, meaning your website could have significant lag time and problems with loading.
How to Choose a Hosting Provider
When it comes to finding a hosting provider, there are several different options at your disposal besides a shared server or VPS. But those two are the most affordable, especially for companies that are just getting started out. Although a shared system is cheaper, VPS such as that from InMotion Hosting offers better security and stability for those that want to provide a professionally run website.