Virtual Private Servers vs. Shared Hosting

Last Updated: May 26, 2021 By

As the number of internet users grows, more businesses are trying to woo their audience online. There has been an increase in the number of websites, and there were over 1.7 billion websites in 2019. Getting the domain registered is only a part of the process. Businesses have to host their websites on a hosting services provider. Without hosting your website, having an excellent website with the preferred domain name will serve no purpose.

It is expected that it would grow at a CAGR of 15% between 2020 to 2027. You will have to rent server space to store the web files. The web hosting services are available in various options for businesses and are charged for these services. When you choose your hosting services provider, the services provided could vary. You can select a virtual private server that could be reasonably priced and not overshoot your budget. In this article, we will discuss how a virtual private server hosting plan differs from shared hosting.

What is Shared Hosting?

These services are cheap, but there could be several websites utilizing a single server. It could be something like an apartment where you reside but utilize the same staircase, community hall, and swimming pool. There will be a limit on the resources that you will use. There are several flipsides to select a shared hosting plan. As your website will be residing with several others, a heavy website will be utilizing more resources though you may be on the same plan. Moreover, if there is an attack on one website, it could also affect the others residing on the same server.

(Source: https://justnode.com/how-does-shared-hosting-work)
(Source: https://justnode.com/how-does-shared-hosting-work)

Shared hosting works well if you have a personal website or running a blog site. Businesses with a lower budget can choose a shared hosting plan.

Websites on a shared hosting plan could have issues with load time. Moreover, as the traffic on your site increases, the performance could be degraded. Also, your website could have fewer options for customization.

Virtual Private Server

In a Virtual Private Server (VPS), your website will be provided with dedicated resources on a server with several other users. It is carried out using virtualization. It comes as a higher price, though. For example, you may shell out some more and stay in a penthouse or buy a cottage within the apartment premises. The resources provided to you can be used only by you. Such an option is better for mid-sized companies who expect an increase in website traffic over a period. It allows more scalability and is not affected by the traffic on other sites.

Virtual Private Servers vs. Shared Hosting – A Comparison

Let us have a detailed understanding of how both these web hosting options differ.

Server Administration

A shared service is ideal for newbies who have very little knowledge about server administration. In a shared hosting service, the entire server maintenance activities will be handled by the web host. As a result, you or your team do not have the hassles to maintain the server. It will free up your IT resources.

If you choose a VPS hosting plan, the resource handling mechanism is more complicated. You must have a team with advanced knowledge of managing and handling website servers. They must have proper system administration skills to maintain the server. However, those on a VPS plan can configure the underlying applications and software according to their needs. The site can be customized to increase security and performance.

Security

While it may be easy on your budget to be on a shared hosting plan, it can compromise website security. When you are on a shared server, all the resources, including the security apparatus, are shared with other websites. However, your hosting services provider may not be able to guarantee full security for all the websites. If one of the websites faces problems, it could affect other websites on the server too.

You would be bothered with security if your website would store sensitive personal information. Some shared hosting plans can offer you a free SSL certificate. But there could be security issues if they don’t. When you are on a VPS plan, you can add additional security apparatus in place. You can also install an SSL certificate if it is not covered in the original hosting plan.

The Server Resources

If you have chosen a shared hosting plan, your website will be sharing resources with several others. Hence, performance will also vary as the resources will be limited. The available memory, CPU, RAM, disk space, etc., will be divided among all the websites residing on the server.

On the other hand, with VPS hosting, you can be assured of enhanced server resources. However, it will depend on the agreement you have with your service provider. However, resource availability will be better than a shared resource scenario. It is a better option if you wish to scale up gradually.

(Source: https://blog.resellerspanel.com/virtual-private-servers/vps-new-hosting-choice-e-commerce-startups.html)
(Source: https://blog.resellerspanel.com/virtual-private-servers/vps-new-hosting-choice-e-commerce-startups.html)

Scalability

If you have a small website, it would be sufficient if you choose a shared server. The resources needed will be lesser as you expect to have lesser traffic on your server. However, you could face problems once the number of visitors to your site increases.

The VPS plan can allow you to customize your website features, and you can also scale up your website quickly. It is a better option for mid-sized businesses that foresee substantial growth in website visitors soon.

Performance

When you have to share resources in your immediate surroundings, you may have to wait for your turn if the traffic is high. Your website’s performance can get affected. Studies show that around one in four visitors would abandon a site if the website loading speed is more than four seconds. You can be in touch with your web host and check the performance enhancements they would be providing.

A VPS plan can help you have more flexibility for your website. You can configure the website based on the traffic it is receiving of late. However, you may also need a dedicated system administrator to monitor the server.

Server control

Opting for a VPS plan can allow you to have root access to the server. It will enable you to load your applications, including the operating system and other tools to optimize the site’s security. On the other hand, you can only have a standardized set up in the shared hosting plan.

Pricing

While VPS plans can provide several benefits to you while hosting your website, they will come at a price. But their higher cost can be offset by the number of advantages they will provide. However, if you do not have a high budget or have a lighter website that does not store visitor information, you can choose the cheaper shared hosting plan.

Conclusion

Your website is your communication medium to your audience. When selecting a hosting plan, it becomes difficult to decide between the various plans available. If you are running a smaller website or a blog, you may choose the cheaper shared hosting plan. However, if you are looking for the site’s scalability and performance, a VPS plan will be the better option. You can also install other security features like an SSL certificate if your hosting services provider does not provide it.