This article will discuss VPS vs Shared Hosting. Let’s get started!
With myriad options and providers available — offering various benefits, potential pitfalls, and cost implications — choosing the right hosting solution for your business’s website or application isn’t a straightforward decision. You may have considered several options already, but two of the most popular are VPS and shared hosting.
Trying to decide between VPS and shared hosting for your business? While both offer many advantages, the choice comes down to your specific needs and budget. VPS hosting provides more control over your virtual server — giving you the ability to customize it to your unique requirements — while shared hosting is a more economical option and offers resources that are shared among multiple websites, making it ideal for those with limited budgets.
Both options offer their own unique benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each before making a decision. In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between VPS and shared hosting, and help you determine which one is best for your business.
What is VPS Hosting?
VPS, or virtual private server hosting, is a type of shared hosting. However, it is more powerful compared to standard shared hosting due to having more server resources available to each customer. It is similar in many ways to cloud hosting, but there are some fundamental differences, too (click here for a detailed breakdown of cloud vs VPS hosting).
VPS hosting gives you full access to your own virtual server, allowing you to install and configure your operating system and software as you see fit. This is different from shared hosting, where the server resources are shared by all of the websites on the same server — this can result in increased downtime if one of those websites experiences a security breach or an unexpected surge in traffic.
Because the VPS server is virtual and you have control over the operating system and software, it is an ideal choice for businesses with high-traffic websites. VPS hosting is typically more expensive than shared hosting, but it is an excellent option for those who require more server resources.
Shared hosting is typically a less expensive hosting option compared to VPS hosting, where each website is hosted on a single server. With shared hosting, a single server can be used to host thousands of websites. This means having to share resources and bandwidth with multiple other users, meaning you have far less control over your servers or the performance of your site.
Since shared hosting is one of the more affordable hosting solutions, it’s ideal for small and medium-sized businesses, those with smaller IT budgets, and individuals who are just starting out — for example, bloggers or solopreneurs launching ecommerce businesses.
Some types of shared hosting also come with website builder software, allowing you to create and manage your website without having to install any software or use any coding knowledge — again, making it a solid choice for startups or individuals with little experience or access to a web developer.
Advantages of VPS Hosting
- Full control over your virtual server. With VPS hosting, you have the power to install and configure your server’s operating system and software as you see fit, giving you flexibility and control.
- Reliable speed and performance. VPS hosting typically offers faster loading times and an improved overall performance when compared to shared hosting, since you have access to your own virtual server and are at less risk of downtime.
- Ideal for high-traffic websites. VPS hosting is ideal for businesses that have high-traffic websites and require more server resources. You can customize your VPS server to meet the unique needs of your website as well as add additional resources as required.
Disadvantages of VPS Hosting
- More expensive than shared hosting. VPS hosting is typically less budget-friendly than shared hosting, and as such is usually more suited to medium-sized or large businesses. It’s important to consider your current budget as well as future needs when choosing a VPS hosting solution.
- Requires advanced technical knowledge. If you’re not tech-savvy, VPS hosting may not be the best choice for you, since it typically requires a higher level of technical knowledge to fully utilize the server resources.
- Requires maintenance. VPS hosting is a great option for businesses and individuals who require more server resources, but it also requires regular maintenance to ensure the server stays running smoothly.
- Economical and ideal for small businesses. Shared hosting is the most affordable hosting solution, and that makes it ideal for small businesses, startups, and those on a tight budget.
- Easy to set up and manage. Shared hosting is ideal for beginners with little or no technical expertise. You will have access to your account via a control panel, which allows you to manage your website and add/remove resources remotely.
- Website builder software available. Many types of shared hosting come with website builder software, making it easy to create and manage your website without having any coding knowledge.
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- Higher risk of downtime. As server resources are shared among multiple websites, downtime is more likely. A security failure or a sudden spike in traffic caused by another website on your server could result in your site becoming temporarily unavailable.
- Speed and performance may suffer. The sharing of resources with other users will also impact website speed and performance, which is unlikely to match that of VPS hosting since surges elsewhere may cause your site to become less responsive.
- Not as secure. If another website on your server were to suffer a cyber attack, theoretically all other websites sharing that server would also be vulnerable. Shared hosting is therefore considered a less secure option than VPS hosting.
Before choosing either VPS hosting or shared hosting for your business, it’s important to consider your current needs as well as future growth potential. For example, if you don’t require a raft of server resources and you’re on a tight budget, shared hosting might be an ideal option. If you’re a beginner to hosting and you have little technical expertise, shared hosting may also be a great choice since it’s often the easiest hosting solution to set up and manage.
However, you should be aware that with a more affordable hosting solution come greater limitations: with shared hosting, server resources are split among several users, meaning you’ll have less control over your server, less flexibility to scale, and your website or application will be more vulnerable to downtime and performance issues. It’s also considered to be less secure than other hosting options.
On the other hand, if your business is likely to require more server resources in the future, shared hosting is not the best choice since it does not offer the same level of customization or scalability as a VPS hosting solution. VPS hosting is ideal for businesses with high-traffic websites that require more server resources than a shared hosting solution will be able to provide, while it will be less likely to cause system downtime or loss of performance as it is less vulnerable to surges in traffic or security issues.
All this means, however, that VPS hosting is invariably far more expensive than a shared solution, which often makes it inaccessible to small businesses or those with tighter IT budgets. It’s also likely to require more server maintenance than shared hosting, and therefore a higher degree of technical expertise is typically required — although, this may depend on your choice of VPS hosting provider, as a managed solution will take the burden of server maintenance away from in-house teams.
Whether you opt for a shared or VPS hosting solution — or an alternative such as dedicated or cloud hosting — be sure to plan thoroughly, assess the unique needs of your business, and carefully consider your budget. Your choice of hosting provider can be make-or-break for your business, so it’s not a decision that should be taken lightly.
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