When deciding which type of hosting to use, you need to assess the various options available and decide what makes the most sense for your site. But don’t just think short-term. The host you choose should be able to meet your immediate needs, in addition to being able to scale as your website and traffic growth.
With shared hosting, you ‘share’ space on a server with other websites. It’s like renting a room in a shared house – you’ve got your own little area, but you’re part of a larger communal space.
Shared hosting is the cheapest type there is. It’s got its benefits, but naturally, things can get a little cramped at times.
VPS hosting is where you have more than just one slice of a server. This can be thought of like renting an apartment in a building block – more rooms, more space, more flexibility, and a little more expensive. You have a greater level of control, but you’re still operating within a shared server with others.
VPS Hosting simulates the experience of a dedicated server even though you’re still sharing the physical server with other users.
Your web hosting provider installs a virtual layer on top of the operating system (OS) of the server using virtualization technology. Separating the server into individual compartments with virtual walls, this layer allows each user to install their own OS and software.
Because a VPS separates your files from other users on the OS level, it truly is a private server. This means your website lives within a secure container with guaranteed server resources — think memory, disk space, CPU cores, etc. You don’t have to share any of it with others.
below are the things to consider when choosing between shared and VPS hosting:
We’d like to start by saying that, for the most part, shared hosting is very safe. Providers do a lot of work around their security, but there are no guarantees. This, again, is down to the other sites you share a server with.
Security is essential no matter what kind of website you own. Both hosting types are relatively secure and stable methods for hosting your site, but there are some differences.
If one site makes a mistake and has a security breach, every site on that server is then vulnerable. You can lock your bedroom, but if one of your housemates leaves the front door open, you’re still at risk!
VPS hosting is more secure. For starters, you’re on a server with other VPS users, meaning everyone has a higher level of security. You also have more say over your own protection, just like how you’d be free to install CCTV and alarms in your own flat. There’s no need to panic, even if someone leaves the entrance to your block open.
If you are looking for more advanced options for your site, VPS hosting is more suitable than a shared hosting plan. It grants you root access to the server, so you can install your own OS, control panel and software to optimize site performance and security.
In contrast, using a shared hosting plan limits you only to standardized server setups. This might be more convenient for people who don’t want to meddle with server management tasks on their own.
- RESOURCE ALLOCATION
Everyone needs certain resources. Your mobile plan, for example, comes with a set limit on calls, texts and data. Hosting is the same, except the resources are things like storage space and memory.
As the name suggests, on a shared hosting plan, you share resources with the other sites on your server. If one website uses up too much bandwidth, the other sites all suffer. It’s a bit like wanting to cook in your shared kitchen when all the hobs are already taken.
VPS hosting is less limited. Because you hold a larger portion of the server’s hardware, you have more resource. You’ll also get root access over the server environment, which basically means you can install extra software and edit any file on the server.
The way to look at shared hosting vs VPS hosting is to decide what your ambitions are. If you own a small website that only gets a few hundred visitors per week, and you don’t plan on scaling up too much, shared hosting is perfect.
Problems start to creep in when your website grows. If your visitor count turns from the hundreds to the thousands, your nice homepage could turn into an error message.
VPS hosting can grow with you; if you’re a small business, paying a couple of bucks extra a month at this stage gives you that leeway. Sure, living in a shared house is fine if it’s just you, but when you get a partner, things can get a little cramped!
- SERVER ADMINISTRATION
If you choose to host your site with shared hosting, there will be little to no technical maintenance required by you. Shared hosting providers will set up the shared server, install and upgrade the necessary software like the cPanel or cPanel, and monitor the servers to avoid downtime and effectively taking care of the back end.
On the other hand, VPS hosting is slightly more complicated when managing resources. It needs somewhat more advanced knowledge to administrate and manage. Fortunately, VPS hosting lets you customize and configure applications and software to increase your website’s performance, offers root access, and allows you to tailor the back end to your needs.
Now the technical stuff’s out the way, it’s onto the important question: how much is all this going to cost?
Well, the first thing to mention is that both shared and VPS hosting comes at different tiers of pricing. Naturally, the more expensive the plan you go for, the more of the stuff above you get (resource, security, performance etc.)
When to Upgrade Your Hosting Plan?
If you’re already using shared hosting and enjoying it, you might wonder when is the best time to upgrade to a VPS hosting plan. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:
- Do I want more options and freedom for managing my server?
- Will I get a substantial increase in traffic in the future?
- Do I consider hosting more than one website someday?