Designing a fascinating website is exhausting.
And when you have completed the design and are just about to jump on Netflix for your next binge-watching escapade, a bigger question pops up: what hosting plan will you choose for your newborn site?
Phew…you pick up the phone and call your developer for his web hosting recommendation.
“Dedicated hosting, but it could cost you over a hundred bucks per month…mhmm, yummy!” he mindlessly mutters between mouthfuls of pepperoni pizza.
Given that a steep $100/month hosting plan is not the yummiest thing for you, you resort to choosing between more affordable plans like shared hosting and VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting.
But what really separates both? Specifically, why should you choose VPS hosting ahead of shared hosting?
An overview of VPS hosting and shared hosting
In shared hosting, you essentially share the server with other websites. Let me bring a bit home.
Shared hosting is more like having roommates in the same flat. And like jolly good roommates, you all come together to share the rent – making it more affordable.
Of course, the affordability (having jolly roommates gives you) comes with some not-too-jolly constraints.
There are considerable security risks associated with shared hosting. Infections could quickly spread across the sites sharing the server.
If a website you share hosting with doesn’t have standard cybersecurity infrastructure, a malware infestation of their site can spread to yours.
Think of it as a better-for-worse matrimony where the sites faithfully share the good and bad times.
Another thing about having roommates is you can’t personalize the interior and make it yours.
Indeed, on shared hosting, there is limited capacity for customization.
CPU, storage, RAM…there is not much you can exclusively access.
Is VPS hosting the ultimate cure to the malaise of shared hosting?
The answer is a resounding NO. But at least with VPS hosting, you get to spend a lesser fraction of your website revenue on blood pressure pills…yeah, I am talking about the crashes shared hosting sites are notorious for.
VPS hosting is more like going for a mansion with fewer neighbors, while dedicated hosting is like buying the full street.
On the affordability and performance spectrum, VPS hosting sits between dedicated hosting and shared hosting.
VPS hosting is not as cheap as shared hosting or as expensive as dedicated hosting.
Similarly, it is not as vulnerable as shared hosting but not as secure as dedicated hosting.
Great! Having given you the appetizer, let me serve you the main course dish.
I will be comparing VPS and shared hosting extensively across parameters like server hosting, pricing, scalability, and performance.
Server Resources: VPS hosting vs Shared hosting
In shared hosting, you have minimal access to your server configurations. But shared hosting providers wouldn’t put it to you that blatantly.
Instead, they tell you more subtly that the server has already been set up for you, saving you the rigors of technical maintenance.
You are shut off from your control panel and would need to contact the yawning IT admins at the provider’s technical support for anything you want to do on your server.
For VPS hosting, the server is virtually yours, with exclusive root access. Effectively, you can personalize your backend, boosting your site performance.
There is increased disk space privately reserved for your website; the RAM and the CPU are bigger. I won’t reprimand you if you say VPS hosting gives you a bit of VIP treatment without paying through your nose.
Ultimately, VPS hosting suits businesses that want to offer more than a basic user experience to their visitors.
Performance: VPS Hosting vs Shared Hosting
Conventionally, increased web hosting resources translate into improved performance. When your website is equipped with more resources, it performs better.
In shared hosting, the performance of your website is limited to the tools your host has equipped the server with for speed.
This refers to technologies like caching software, SSD, and CDN. Specifically, you can’t exercise more dominant control over the performance of the website.
Ultimately, the performance of another site would rub on your site in shared hosting.
Again, this is not a huge problem if your website performance is not directly connected to your blood pressure level.
Pricing: VPS Hosting vs Shared hosting?
In the realm of pricing, shared hosting is the uncontested king. Shared hosting plans are ridiculously affordable when compared to VPS hosting.
This is expected as you share the cost with the neighboring websites on the server.
In the case of VPS hosting, there are far lesser users to share with, and the cost is more on you.
So there is the puzzle. If you are looking for privacy, customization, and security (and you are willing to pay more for it), VPS hosting could be your guy!
Still, I don’t recommend cost as the driving parameter when choosing a hosting plan. Aim for a balance between functionality and affordability.
I may, at this point, remind you that not all VPS plans would need you to mortgage your house. There are also fabulous price options, with some coming as low as $5 per month.
Likewise, not all shared hosting plans are outrightly hapless because of their cost’s excessive generosity.
Scalability: VPS Hosting vs Shared hosting
Scalability is a critical parameter when choosing web hosting plans.
Don’t tell me you are not expecting precisely the same amount of visitors in a millennium. Definitely, you anticipate growth.
Suppose you expect less than 1,000 visitors monthly. Well, I wouldn’t be pissed if you had a shared hosting plan.
However, when the number spills past that 1,000-visitor margin, shared hosting will profusely sweat to accommodate the upsurge in traffic.
Stretched out of its maximum capacity, internal errors from your host would regularly terrorize you.
By that time, it would be appropriate to upgrade to a VPS plan that can accommodate the increased traffic you now have.
With a need for more extensive storage capabilities and user demand taking up more space, a VPS plan would be befitting if you still want to give your visitor a sleek user experience. e
VPS, girded with its customizable features, would easily allow you to scale up.
Security: VPS Hosting vs Shared hosting
Simple put, VPS hosting is far more secure than shared hosting.
Relax, it is not like shared hosting is as insecure as a high-crime ghetto with more guns than humans.
Albeit, there is the possibility of security breaches in shared hosting.
There are risks of transferred security glitches.
So when the websites you share the server with are breached, you may be forced to share a slice of the penury, also suffering the technical consequence. This is because you are all squatting in one space.
Moving over to VPS hosting, you get a Navy SEAL team and a fiery pitbull assigned to keep you safe. The best VPS hosts offer you daily backups, robust firewalls, and sophisticated malware scanning.
Also, in most cases, customer support of the hosting is more attentive to VPS users.
If you are using shared hosting, you may not enjoy as much responsive customer support as VPS users.
Therefore where customer queries from VPS users are flying to the hosting provider’s customer support department, those of shared hosting would be instead trekking there.
Of course, VPS users are paying more and are supposedly treated with more royalty.
Nevertheless, this is not general. It all depends on the hosting provider. Some equally prioritize customer support needs from users across all types of plans.
Having said this, it is more befitting to go for VPS if you have a website that is extremely sensitive to security.
This is particular to sites that collect delicate personal information from users. Shared hosting will be a more cost-effective solution if you don’t have significant sensitive data to safeguard.
So far, we have seen the bad, the good, and the ugly concerning VPS and shared history concurrently. You may be lost as to which option to adopt.
Well, I wouldn’t take you to the top of the mountain and leave you there. How about I recommend a trusted hosting provider from experience?
Yes, a sincere recommendation would be SiteGround Hosting.
SiteGround hosting bakes the advantages of shared hosting and some of the premium features of VPS hosting into one delicious cake for your affordable relish.
SiteGround started operations in 2004, and SiteGround gives you an assortment of hosting solutions.
This cuts across WordPress hosting, shared Linux hosting, Cloud, and even Reseller server solutions for more prominent websites.
All these are done so affordably that it seems SiteGround is more of a United Nations charity project for website owners.
So in this exciting journey of knowledge acquisition, the train has reached its terminal, and we would have to alight here.
We have learned the lines separating shared hosting and VPS hosting.
The ball is now in your court to choose which to go with, considering all the variables discussed. Play the ball wisely!