VPS vs Shared Hosting: Which Should I Choose?

Should I Choose Shared Hosting or VPS Hosting?

To launch a website, you will need a domain name and web hosting. The domain is the address which people will use to find you on the internet. Web hosting is where your website files are stored.

There are many different types of web hosting available for purchase. Each hosting package has different prices as well as features. How do you know which features you need? We want to share some of the differences between shared hosting and virtual private server (VPS) hosting.

Getting Started

With the ability to house hundreds–and even thousands–of websites, shared hosting is the most popular type of hosting. This is due to it being the least expensive hosting plan. One way to think about shared hosting is to view it like living in an apartment. Apartments have amenities which everyone in the apartment complex shares. When you sign the rental papers, you are agreeing to share all these resources, such as the parking lot and playground. Shared hosting is very similar to this. Every website that is hosted on shared hosting must share all the available resources. In shared hosting, the amenities would be memory and disk space, to list a few.

VPS hosting brings greater features beyond shared hosting. A VPS is like owning a condo. Condos usually have several shared amenities, such as a swimming pool and parking lot. Even though these are shared, you are personally responsible to maintain your condo. One big difference between a condo and an apartment is that there are fewer people. Being very similar to a condo, VPS hosting has fewer number of customers, allowing for greater resources. There are still a few things which you have to share with your ‘hosting neighbors’, but the overall shared resources are greater.

The Pros of Shared Hosting?

As previously mentioned, shared hosting is the most popular and most affordable hosting plan. One of the big pros of shared hosting is unlimited disk space. If your website grows not only in visitors, but also in gigabytes, you can have peace-of-mind knowing that file storage is not a problem.

Smaller websites which do not receive heavy traffic and have few processes running, don’t require as many resources. These types of websites run smoothly on shared hosting.

Shared hosting removes the burden of having to worry about physical hardware updates and operating system updates, as all updates are completed by your hosting company. Because of this, you can focus on your website’s content, not the technical details.

What Are the Advantages of VPS Hosting?

VPS hosting brings its own set of advantages. Because of your website being on its own separate section of the server, you have control over resources, software installation and advanced configuration of your VPS, to comply with your website requirements. Root access is included with VPS hosting, which is like having the keys to the server. These ‘keys’ give you the power to manage, configure, and keep all software up to date. Beyond managing, updates, and configuration, you can also ensure that the security of your website and VPS is configurated properly and active.

If your website is growing and you start to get more visitors each month, VPS hosting can handle extensive traffic volume. With increased VPS resources, you can have peace-of-mind knowing that your website will stay live with large traffic spikes.

The Cons of Shared Hosting?

The limitation of resources is one con of shared hosting. The limitation is because each shared server can host hundreds, and even thousands, of websites. Due to this, it can decrease your overall website speed as well as performance. If your neighbor on the same shared server was to receive a large traffic spike, your website could experience some lag or possible downtime.

Shared hosting can also have some security concerns. As your website is on a server with many other websites, there is not a way to guarantee that every website on the server has run security updates, opening a possible security threat.

Due to the possible effects that it could have on other customers who are on the same server, it is not possible to make any server customizations on a shared server. This means that you are required to keep the standard server configuration for your account.

The Cons of VPS Hosting?

VPS hosting does not offer unlimited disk space, meaning that you can max out the amount of space. If you reach the total amount of space, you will need to either remove files or upgrade your hosting account.

When getting started with VPS hosting, there can be some technical aspects that may be a challenge with setup.

When the quality of a product goes up, so does the price. This is the same for VPS hosting as it costs a bit more than shared hosting.

Shared or VPS Hosting?

Shared hosting is suggested if:

  • You want to rapidly launch your website.
  • You have a minimal budget.
  • You want to start small and grow over time.

VPS hosting is suggested if:

  • Your website has an extensive traffic volume.
  • You want larger flexibility, power, and speed.
  • You want to have the ‘keys’ to the server and complete customization.

Conclusion

Being the most affordable as well as the most popular, shared hosting is the prime hosting solution for websites which don’t have large resource requirements and have minimal traffic. VPS hosting has a lot of features which can improve your overall website experience. Providing flexibility, power, and speed, VPS hosting is the best solution for websites which require greater resources. Choosing between shared hosting and VPS hosting can be a hard decision. The overall decision comes to the requirements of your website as well as your finances.

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