Choosing the right host is no easy task. Feeling overwhelmed, confused and a bit lost are perfectly normal reactions when faced with having to decide the right level of service. Even with considerable experience, it can be difficult to choose between the overwhelming number of options out there. In this article, I’ll take a look at VPS vs shared hosting – then finish up with a few recommendations for each type of service.
Certain resources are necessary for everybody. For example, your cell phone plan will come with a set limit on the number of minutes, texts, and data that you can use. Hosting works the same way, but the resources here are things like memory or storage space.
When you opt for a shared hosting plan, you will be sharing resources, as the name suggests. These resources will be shared with other sites on your server and could lead to issues; if one website is using up too much bandwidth, for example, then every other site on the server will be affected. Imagine it as trying to cook in a kitchen when all the hobs are already being used.
VPS hosting offers a less limited option. Since you are allocated a larger portion of the server’s hardware, you will have access to more resources. And, you’ll be given root access over the server environment, which allows you to install extra software and edit files on the server.
VPS vs Shared Hosting: Security
While sharing server resources presents huge benefits from a cost point of view, it can wreak havoc on the security end of things. It really depends on how much the hosting provider has invested (both operational/team and purely financial resources) in ensuring dedicated protection for its shared hosting customers.
While shared hosting is considered very safe, be aware that security breaches can occur simply because a common server cannot guarantee 100% security. The main reason for this is what we call the Noisy Neighbor problem — or the fact that when one shared hosting customer makes a mistake or experiences a technical difficulty, it’ll likely impact other sites because you are all sharing space on the same machine.
Customer support will likely also be limited compared with VPS hosting. However, if your site won’t require sensitive personal information from users, you shouldn’t have an issue with shared hosting.
You can ensure your site’s security with more robust safety features that are only available through VPS hosting. If your budget allows, you can implement better customer support services that will assist patrons when they need them. If your business needs to protect personal data, it’s worth considering the upgrade to a VPS.
VPS vs Shared Hosting: Performance
Even if you’ve got tight security and all the resources in the world, what your site visitors really care about is their experience, manifested in just how smoothly your site runs. Features such as the amount of bandwidth you’ll get will vary between plans, while uptime varies depending on the provider that you opt for.
Research suggests that almost half of all internet users want websites to load in no more than two seconds. With that in mind, you need to choose a plan that can easily handle increased traffic waves without slowing the site’s loading speed down.
VPS vs Shared Hosting: Price
You can generally expect to pay more for VPS hosting than for shared hosting simply because the cost of shared hosting is split among the many users of the shared server. VPS hosting provides more resources and tends to be more reliable, so it often costs more.
Ideally, you’ll find the sweet spot between what you are willing to pay and what features you absolutely must-have.
From the standpoint of pricing, shared hosting is usually going to be the most economical option. Shared hosting plans range from a modest $2 to $10 per month depending on the features and billing cycle you choose.
VPS hosting plans come with more premium features like increased performance and customizations for online businesses. The VPS hosting plans at GreenCloud VPS start at $8 to $80 per month, offering a range of four options with varying storage and RAM allocations. Figure out your ideal price point and the features you need to determine the level of service your website requires.
Configuration and Customization:
Usually, your hosting’s configuration – or setup – will be taken care of for you. When you opt for a shared hosting plan, the configuration is down to your provider, allowing you to get on with the more important stuff.
On the other hand, VPS hosting is a bit more complicated. There are two options available; managed and unmanaged. Managed plans are the same as shared hosting; setting up will be taken care of by the provider. But opting for an unmanaged plan means that it’s up to you, so avoid this option unless you’re a developer or a hosting expert.
There’s a clear difference between the two hosting types in terms of customization. Shared hosting has limits that can’t be exceeded, while VPS hosting allows you to customize your plan and alter limits each month if needed.
The scalability factor is the tipping point for the shared-vs-virtual server debacle. If your site sees or is expected to see roughly 30,000 monthly visitors, a shared host can accommodate you and your site’s hosting needs. Much more than that and you might start receiving internal errors from your host. You’ll then need to consider a VPS or dedicated servers plan, and a VPS can handle any amount of traffic.
While shared hosting is a great option for the short-term, you might face scalability issues in the long run depending on how your website grows. If you find you’re maxing out your storage capabilities, or if user demand is exceeding server space, you may need to consider scaling up to eke out better performance.
The customizable features of VPS hosting allow you to scale more quickly and easily. If you predict you’ll eventually need to scale up on the fly to meet demand, the investment in VPS hosting now may pay off in the future.
So Which Option is Best for You?
Choosing the wrong type of server can result in a similar lack of resources. This could be in the form of storage space if you have a large site, scalability if you want the room to grow, or money saved if you need a cheaper hosting plan. Whatever your website and business require the most should be central to your decision-making process when considering VPS vs shared hosting as an ingredient for your recipe for hosting success.