Shared Hosting vs VPS Hosting

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Shared and VPS hosting both provide hosting solutions that involve multiple accounts on one server. The primary difference is that with a shared hosting plan your account shares resources like bandwidth, disk space, and the same IP address with all the other accounts on the same server; with VPS or VDS (virtual dedicated server) however your account is given a specific and separate space on the server so that you don’t share resources. To understand the advantages and disadvantages of both hosting options and learn which solution is ideal for you, continue reading.    

Comparing VPS & Shared hosting

Customizing: OS & software: While you can choose between a Linux or Windows server for shared hosting, you don’t have that much choice about software. You’re given a very good package of features that includes popular 1-click installation script library with Drupal, Mambo, Joomla, WordPress, osCommerce, and other scripts which will help you design and easily build your website. With a VPS you can choose server specifications: the type of Linux (CentOS…) or Windows Server (2003 vs 2008), the bandwidth, diskspace, and RAM. You can also install all of the software that you want on your VPS, which is a great feature but also means that you have to have more webmaster experience than a typical user. The same type of control panel is used for both shared and VPS hosting, making it easy to manage both types of accounts.

Determine your site and future company's growth when evaluating whether to buy a shared or VPS hosting plan

Security & Virus Protection: Virtual private servers offer greater control over security and encryption because you have more access to the resources on the server.  It’s similar to the access provided from a dedicated server where you can choose the anti-virus software, firewals, and spam detector, as well as the ability to increase or limit access to your account. This is different to shared hosting packages which already include specific SPAM detection (like Spam Assassin), firewalls, and a shared SSL certificate shared amongst all the accounts on the server.

Virtual private servers offer greater control over security and encryption because you have more access to the resources on the server.

Shared Hosting

Advantages: Easy to use design tools & control panel, 99.9% uptime guarantee, e-mail accounts, a free domain, and 24/7 maintenance & security are just a few advantages of a shared hosting plan. But the greatest advantage of shared hosting is the price, sometimes as low as $2.99/month and typically never higher than $10/month. You can learn more about the cheapest shared hosting plans from our cheap hosting article.

Disadvantages: If you have a website or multiple websites that requires a very large amount of disk space and bandwidth because you have a high traffic site or many streaming videos and audio, you’ll need more storage & bandwidth than the typical shared hosting plan can provide. While they do offer unlimited bandwidth  & disk space, it’s there to accommodate many types of websites that are sharing the same resources but if one website needs a much larger amount of resources it negatively effects the performance of the other accounts, and so the hosting company will limit that usage.

VPS Hosting

Advantages: VPS hosting provides the environment of a dedicated server for a more affordable price, considering what you’re getting: freedom to customize your OS, software, security, processor, control panel, a dedicated IP address and email server. It’s ideal for medium-sized businesses, users that want more control and more resources for their website or websites.

Disadvantages: On the downside it’s still more expensive than shared hosting, with a wide-range of prices from $20/month to over $100/month. The reason for this is also the advantage of VPS, that you can completely customize your system but with this benefit, also comes the responsibility of maintenance such as having to update your software and security. It’s also less powerful than a dedicated server, so it isn’t the best option for a large business.

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