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January 31, 2020 at 11:59 pm #84932Participant@chinomnso
Finding the right kind of hosting for your website can be a bit of a challenge. This is especially true when a website is expected to experience high traffic and place high demands on server resources. There are different types of hosting services designed by hosting companies. However, this article focuses on shared hosting and Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting.
First, I will define what they are, then go on to explain their main features, discuss their differences and then talk about their advantages and disadvantages. After reading this article, you will be able to decide what option is best for your project.
What Is Shared Hosting?
To understand shared hosting, imagine you are sharing an apartment with a friend. You both have to share the kitchen, bathroom, and living room. Even as you share these spaces, there are limits to where you can keep certain things or what you can do in the apartment. You may not even be able to play music at your desired volume. You may have to make a lot of compromises to get along well with your housemate.
Using shared hosting is similar to sharing an apartment. In shared hosting, your website is hosted on one server along with other websites. Your bandwidth may be remarkably limited and your website could be slowed down when there is a lot of traffic on other websites hosted on the same server as yours.
What Is VPS?
While using shared hosting is much like living an apartment, using VPS hosting is somewhat like having an apartment to yourself. In VPS hosting, your website is still on a shared server, but you have server resources dedicated to your website. This means that the activities of other websites do not affect your website. VPS hosting dedicates a virtual partition for each user, ensuring that resources like disk space, RAM, bandwidth, etc. are available to your website. It goes without saying, therefore, that VPS hosting is pricier than shared hosting.
Other Types Of Hosting
In addition to the foregoing, there are Dedicated Hosting and Cloud Hosting, and these take hosting to a different level. Although this article is not focused on these types of hosting, it won’t hurt to know a little about them.
Just like the name implies, a dedicated hosting service keeps your website on a dedicated single server. This is just like keeping a server in your room and managing it. You won’t have to share server resources with anyone – it’s just you alone.
In contrast to other types of hosting, cloud hosting uses multiple servers to balance traffic and ensure that uptime is at the maximum. It leverages on cloud computing technology which allows a large number of computers to work as a unified system. Rather than having your site hosted on a single server, it is hosted on a cluster or group of servers which work together to improve traffic management and redundancy. That way, if one server fails, other servers would keep your site up and running.
Dedicated and Cloud hosting are great. But they are even more expensive than VPS and shared hosting. Let us now take a look at shared hosting and VPS hosting. We defined different types of web hosting services. But that is not enough. We need to compare the ones we are focusing on in this article. That way, you will be able to decide what would be the better option for you.
Sharing server resources offers lots of benefits in terms of cost. When looked at from the angle of security, it’s easy to see how messy things could get. The security of your website and the server on which your website is hosted depends largely on how much your hosting company has invested – financially and operationally – in ensuring that their servers are secure.
Shared hosting can be safe, but security breaches can occur on a server because another website on the same server is insecure, possibly because of bad programming. When something goes wrong on one server, you stand a risk of your site being compromised, because you are all on the same server. And sometimes, you may not enjoy great customer support for shared hosting.
VPS hosting offers more security features. It is a good starting point if your website would be hosting sensitive personal data of your site’s users. And you are not affected by security breaches of other websites because your website is on a virtual server of its own.
If your site would be receiving lots of hits, say tens of thousands of hits per month, shared hosting may not be good for you. In no time, your site would go down because of bandwidth and internal server errors.
For websites not expected to have such huge traffic, shared hosting would work just fine. Or if you just want something with which you can start out, you should be fine with shared hosting. But if you’re hitting the roof in terms of server resources – bandwidth, disk space, etc., it may be time to go packing.
VPS hosting comes with customizable features, allowing you to scale easily. If you have the required funds and you reckon that you will need much more than shared hosting has to offer, starting off with VPS may be the right thing to do.
Well, it goes without saying that more server resources would easily translate into better performance. Shared hosting can only perform as well as it has been equipped by the web host. While some hosts offer SSD storage, caching, a CDN and sometimes, more, you have more control over your site’s performance when you use a VPS.
The truth is that other websites hosted on the same server as your website can have an impact on your site’s performance. Well, that’s the price you pay for opting for a cheaper kind of hosting plan. If your website’s demands are on the lower side, you may not need to opt for VPS hosting.
VPS hosting, on the other hand, generally offers better performance, at least in terms of bandwidth. You can configure the software running on the server, although this would mean that you need a server administrator to ensure the server runs smoothly. If you’re running a high traffic website, VPS would be a good option for you to consider.
Shared hosting customers share server resources with others. VPS users, however, get their own dedicated section on a server. VPS and shared hosting both have their pros and cons in this area.
Hosting a website on a shared server comes with limits on how much CPU, memory, and storage space you can use. Your site would shut down, or your account would be suspended if you go beyond the maximums for these resources. If you are not running a resource-intensive website, shared hosting may not present you with any major challenges.
When you use VPS hosting, you have much more disk space to yourself and higher availability of resources. This would be very useful in the event that you want to expand your business or run applications that go beyond the capabilities of shared hosting.
When you use shared hosting, your web host does all the heavy lifting. However, you are responsible for the management of your VPS if you choose it over shared hosting. An exception to this would be if your web host offers server administration as a separate service or adds it to the hosting package.
Hosting a website on a shared hosting server requires little or no technical maintenance of the server on your part. You will be able to benefit from your web host’s server administration services at no extra cost.
A VPS, on the other hand, requires a skilled person to manage. This would often require hiring a server administrator to configure applications and software and optimize performance and security.
Shared hosting is cheaper than VPS hosting. It could get a bit tricky here because you could easily pay much money for shared hosting and be frustrated by poor service, or you could pay relatively little for a VPS and be very satisfied.
When you pay for shared hosting, the cost of running and maintaining a server is shared by you and hundreds or thousands of other clients. Talking strictly from the pricing point of view, shared hosting is the most economical kind of hosting available for a basic website with little demands on server resources.
In web hosting, just like any other paid service, more expensive plans generally come with better features. If you are looking to upgrade your website’s performance, VPS hosting affords you the opportunity to customize the applications on which your site runs and optimize performance.
Which Will You Choose?
Let us do a quick recap and then you can make a decision based on your needs. First, we will talk about the pros and cons of shared hosting. Then we will do the same for VPS hosting.
Shared hosting is the least expensive of all kinds of web hosting, and it requires the least technical expertise to set up and maintain. It is beginner-friendly, making it easy for those new to web hosting to use.
On the other hand, it often offers less storage and bandwidth than VPS. When there is high traffic, your site could be negatively affected. And you do not have root access to the server, making it impossible to install server software and really customize the server to your needs.
VPS hosting grants you root access, allowing you to make customizations as you may wish. It is very stable, not affected by other websites’ traffic and offers you more memory, bandwidth, and other server resources.
However, all of these come at a price, making it more expensive than shared hosting. And because it grants you administrative access to the server, it requires technical expertise to manage it.
Both VPS and shared hosting are good if you want to create a website. But you have to make a choice based on what you need right now, and what you plan for the future. Therefore, shared hosting can be used if you’re building a blog or a personal website, or you are hosting a website that wouldn’t receive much traffic. If you have greatly limited funds, or are a beginner who lacks the technical expertise to manage a VPS, shared hosting can come to the rescue. It would also be a good place to start if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on web hosting.
If you’re running a business with plans of making huge upgrades in the near future or have a large budget, or are experiencing very high traffic, you may opt for VPS hosting. If you need to take control of everything on the server and have the required skills, VPS hosting would be the better option.
With all that has been considered, you should be ready to choose between shared and VPS hosting. However, if you still need to clarify a thing or two, feel free to ask questions in the replies section. I will be here to answer your questions.
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