To build and launch a live website, one of the first things you will need is a domain name and web hosting. A domain name allows people to find you on the internet. The web hosting provides the storage and processes to load your actual website.
When looking at web hosting packages, there are many options. Each hosting package has different specifics and a variety of pricing. With all of these options, which hosting package should you choose? Today we will look at the differences between shared hosting and Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting.
Shared hosting is a hosting service which can house thousands of websites on a single server. It is known to be the most affordable hosting option on the market. Shared hosting is similar to living in an apartment. Most apartments have amenities which are shared with everyone. When signing an apartment contract, you agree to share the parking lot, swimming pool, playground, and courtyard.
This is the same for shared hosting. All users share the available resources with each ‘neighbor.’ The amenities in shared hosting would be CPU usage, memory, and disk space.
VPS hosting is a hosting service which houses websites in dedicated sections on the server. It is very similar to owning a condo. There are still several amenities which are shared, but you are responsible for the property maintenance and repairs.
With owning and living in a condo, there are generally fewer people. This allows more breathing room. VPS hosting is very similar as there are fewer people on each server. It allows you to customize your dedicated section of the server to your website requirements. You still share some of the amenities with other neighbors, but you are not as restricted. This allows you to have more power and flexibility.
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What are the advantages of shared hosting?
Shared hosting is one of the most popular types of hosting as it is the most affordable. One advantage of shared hosting is the ability to have unlimited disk space. No matter how large your website may grow in file size, shared hosting can store everything.
Shared hosting is perfect for websites which do not require a large amount of resources and have minimal traffic. As resources are shared across all websites, this allows smaller websites that aren’t as resource-demanding to run efficiently.
All of the maintenance and updates for your server are completed automatically by your hosting company. This gives you more time to focus on your website content.
Getting started with shared hosting is a simple process and allows you to get your website live as quickly as possible.
What are the advantages of VPS hosting?
Similar to shared hosting, VPS hosting has its own advantages. Since your website is on its own dedicated section of the server, you can control resources, install software and truly configure your VPS to comply with your website requirements.
Another advantage of VPS hosting is having root access. This allows for greater configuration as well as increased ease of VPS management and updates. Having the ability to fully customize your VPS will also allow for increased server security. You will be able to manage all security features for your VPS.
For websites that are growing, VPS hosting brings a whole new level of power and resources to the hosting world. This means when your website gets hit with a large increase in traffic, it won’t experience downtime, allowing you to focus on your visitors.
One major advantage of VPS hosting is higher performance with increased bandwidth and resources. This allows your website to load at superfast speeds and for your viewers to experience optimal performance.
What are the disadvantages of shared hosting?
One of the disadvantages of shared hosting is the limitations of overall resources. Most shared hosting servers can host thousands of websites on one server. This negatively affects the overall speed of your website. If you receive a huge traffic spike or your website goes viral, your website may encounter sluggishness or downtime.
Security is a concern with shared hosting. Since your website is on a server with possibly thousands of other websites, there is no way to confirm that all security updates and maintenance tasks have been completed across each individual website. This can lead to a security risk as it is not possible to manage the CMS's or security of websites on the same server.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to perform server customization on shared hosting due to the ramifications that it could have on other customer websites. Due to this, you are required to use the standard server configuration.
What are the disadvantages of VPS hosting?
One disadvantage of VPS hosting is the limitation on bandwidth and disk space. VPS hosting does not come with unlimited disk space. If you reach your maximum disk space, you will need to either remove old website files or look at upgrading your VPS account.
Getting your website set up on VPS hosting can require some technical ability. Resource management and overall maintenance can be a bit complex throughout setup.
As with most paid services, the higher the quality, the more expensive it gets. The same is true with VPS hosting. The overall VPS hosting price is higher than the cost of shared hosting.
Which hosting type should I choose?
The answer to this vital question is based on your website's needs and goals.
We recommend using shared hosting if:
- You want to launch your website quickly. If you want to focus on getting your website live without worrying about server configuration, shared hosting is the best option.
- You have a limited or restricted budget. As shared hosting is known to be the least expensive, it can be a great hosting package for getting started.
- You want to grow over time. Starting with shared hosting can be a wise approach. When your website starts to grow, you can reach out to your hosting company to upgrade your account.
We recommend using VPS hosting if:
- Your website has large amounts of traffic. Providing high performance through increased resources and customization, VPS hosting can handle high traffic.
- You want greater freedom, performance, and speed. Bringing power and resources to your website, VPS hosting gives you the freedom to develop and build your website the way you prefer.
- You want to install custom software and have full root access. VPS hosting allows you to fully customize your VPS exactly how you like it. With full root access, you can install any custom software.
Shared hosting is usually the best option for small websites to get started. It’s also the most affordable.
Whether you are an experienced website developer or a local business startup, VPS hosting should absolutely be considered. When choosing a hosting package for a larger website, VPS hosting is excellent in providing reliability, speed, as well as customization.
The main deciding factors between shared hosting and VPS hosting are the website’s requirements, your technical understanding, and your budget.
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