Shared Hosting vs Virtual Private Server | 5 Key Differences
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Shared Hosting vs Virtual Private Server – 5 Key Differences

20 Dec 2021

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After deciding to start a site and finalising a domain name, you will need to find a hosting provider for server space. Out of the many types of hosting services available, 2 of the most popular ones are Shared Hosting and VPS (Virtual Private Server). Find out more about their differences before choosing the most suitable hosting provider.

What is Shared Hosting?

Shared hosting is essentially multiple websites utilizing the same server. There are an average of 250 accounts hosted on shared servers and an average of 3-5 domains issued for each account. This makes it an average of 900-1100 websites hosted on one server. Shared hosting is a popular choice for many corporate websites as it is one of the more beginner-friendly hosting solutions, and has lower traffic and intensity as compared to e-commerce websites. It provides a standardized setup and requires less technical expertise to operate. Websites that choose shared hosting will also have to share resources such as disk space, CPU and memory with other users. As such, it is expected that it is the least expensive of all hosting options.

Unfortunately, shared hosting comes with its cons. The main downside is the limited bandwidth of sites which also means websites will get slow when there’s a lot of traffic crowding websites on the same server. When traffic is high, it is also inevitably more prone to errors. There is also limited access to the back end.

When choosing the most suitable hosting provider, there are some factors to consider. Shared hosting is usually more suitable for those who are looking to build a blog or personal site as well as a small to average-size company website. Since the price is relatively cheaper, it is a popular option for those with a smaller budget. The beginner-friendly setup and operation processes also makes it attractive for those who have limited knowledge on web development.

What is VPS?

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On the other hand, VPS which stands for Virtual Private Server is another popular choice. It allows hosting of websites and applications in a fully-isolated and customisable virtual environment. With virtual partitions for each user, resources are also differentiated for each user. This also means more memory and bandwidth, making it more scalable for future expansion. VPS is usually recommended for businesses which plan to expand in the future and those expecting high or increasing traffic, such as e-commerce websites. However, it is also pricier, making it more suitable for those who plan to invest in their site with a larger budget.

Well-known e-commerce websites such as Awfully Chocolate and Love Bonito has high traffic and are most probably running on a VPS. Doing so allows the companies to increase resources for their website on demand, such as in anticipation for a festive season, where more customers will be looking to purchase their products.

Shared Hosting vs VPS Hosting: A Comparison

Besides knowing the general definitions, it is important to see a side by side comparison between the two hosting types to help you better decide which one works best for you.

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Security and Performance

As a website owner, security should be one of the most important factors you should consider. Both shared hosting and VPS are widely used and relatively secure and stable. However, with shared hosting, sites are interlinked and your site might be affected by an error on another site. Furthermore, if other sites hog up too much of the shared bandwidth, your website might get slowed down, especially when there is high traffic. This problem becomes irrelevant by using VPS, since there are partitioned servers in place. Nevertheless, if poorly managed due to the lack of technical knowledge, it could lead to more complications.
While sharing server resources can save cost, the security it can provide is compromised. It is highly dependent on how much the hosting provider has invested in terms of operations and finances in ensuring dedicated protection for its shared hosting customers. While shared hosting is still considered relatively safe, security breaches can occur simply because a common server cannot guarantee 100% security. When one shared hosting customer makes a mistake or experiences a technical difficulty, it’ll likely implicate the other sites.

In terms of performance, when using a shared server, there will be limitations. For example, there will be maximum available CPUs, memory/RAM, and disk space. However, with VPS hosting, there is private and more disk space and resources. This is very helpful for those who wish to expand their business and need to provide their customers a user experience beyond the basic shared hosting level.

Control

When it comes to the control over server management, VPS hosting grants the user root access to the server, allowing for the installation of their own OS, control panel and software to optimize site performance and security.
In contrast, using a shared hosting plan limits users only to standardized server setups. Nevertheless this reduces the need to interfere with server management tasks.

Server Administration

Server administration may seem complicated to some, choosing shared hosting can then reduce the trouble such that there will be little to no technical maintenance required by the user. Shared hosting providers are the ones to set up, install and upgrade the necessary software for the shared server.
On the other hand, it is slightly more complicated to manage resources for VPS hosting. It requires more advanced knowledge and usually, a specific system administrator. Still, VPS hosting allows for customization and configuration of applications and software to increase website’s performance, offers root access, and allows users to tailor the back end according to their needs.

Scalability

Scalability is a factor to consider when planning for a long term website. While shared hosting is a good and cheap option for a short-term plan, performance is compromised once the site reaches high traffic numbers. VPS hosting is much easier to scale up in a short time as compared to shared hosting, making it a great investment for the future.

A rough gauge would be, for a site that expects about 30,000 monthly visitors or less, a shared host is sufficient to accommodate the site’s hosting needs. For sites exceeding that number, it may lead to internal errors. For these users, VPS would be more suitable since it can handle any amount of traffic. Sites which are predicted to eventually need to scale up are also advised to invest in VPS hosting.

Pricing

Without the need for further explanation, shared hosting is definitely the cheaper option. It is expected that VPS hosting will cost more 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.

In conclusion, each hosting provider has their respective advantages and disadvantages. Users are advised to choose based on the needs of the site. For those who would like to find out more about shared hosting, you may like to check out Vodien.com. As for those who plan to settle for VPS, you may like to look into Cloudways.com.

eFusion Technology is a Singapore-based company that specialises in web design, eCommerce website development, and content management systems. Effectively communicate your brand and stand out from the rest of your competitors today. Contact us for more information.