Hosting, VPS

Shared Hosting or Virtual Private Server (VPS)? Which is right for you?

It may be a daunting task to figure out which type of hosting would be right for you. Should you go with Shared hosting or would VPS be a better choice? In this article we’re going to take a closer look at the differences between the two so you can choose your hosting solution wisely.

Why Choose Shared Hosting?

Shared hosting is the most popular solution for individuals and small businesses. If you’re a blogger, a photographer or a web designer looking to set up an online portfolio to showcase your work or if you own a small business, then shared hosting might be exactly what you need.

The reason why it’s so popular is down to cost and ease of use. As you share space with other websites, costs are reduced for each individual site. So, a single web server hosts several sites and the server’s resources, like CPU and RAM, are also shared with your server neighbours. Unlike a VPS, which places a lot of responsibility on the owner to manage it, your web host deals with all software updates and actively manages your web server’s security, speeds and software for you. However, this does result in a slight reduction in flexibility and what you can install.

In other words, while a dedicated server is like having your own private car (sometimes with a chauffeur), shared servers are like having access to the subway: fast, cheap and effective. When is shared hosting the right choice? When you’re just starting out with a blog or a simple, low-traffic website and need an affordable hosting solution to get you started; when you don’t need to run custom processes and are ok with the standard features includes in the available plans.

Why VPS Hosting?

With VPS you get the space and performance you need to run a busy site with full control and customisation. VPS is a great solution for individuals or businesses who are rapidly growing, are running complex applications on their site or receive lots of visitors.

To get a better understanding, while with shared hosting the server resources are shared among all accounts on that server, with VPS you get your own private and secure virtual environment where you get to use the available resources as you see fit. You can install custom software and applications and also customise multiple aspects of the server thus giving you more control over your virtual private server.

VPS are also highly scalable which means you can upgrade your VPS resources to match the growing needs of your site.

VPS are often sold as unmanaged, which means you have responsibility for your server’s software and security. This requires a certain level of server administrations skills, although graphical control panels such as cPanel and Plesk make this a lot easier.

When is VPS the right choice? When you have a fast-growing site that needs more resources than shared hosting can provide; when you want more control and need to run custom processes.

When it’s time to Upgrade from Shared Hosting to VPS

While shared hosting is perfect for most users, if your site grows and needs more space than a shared account can handle, then it may be time to move up to a VPS. Think of it like having a growing family. When it’s just you and your partner, a one flat might be enough but when your family grows, you’ll need more space which means you’ll need to move to a bigger place. When choosing a hosting provider, it’s important to find one that allows you to easily move from a shared hosting package to a VPS.

Article written by Alex Gavril copywriter and content curator for VPS providers

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