So, you have come that far in your website preparations that you are finally deciding on should you get a VPS or perhaps a good old Shared Hosting for your website. Well if you want to make a proper decision, let us compare Shared Web Hosting and a VPS.
It is very important to choose the right one, or you could end up with something that you don’t need, or worse, something that is not enough. Now, lets see what are the key differences.
Shared Web Hosting
Somewhere, a long time ago, I read a review of a shared web hosting and in that article the author compared it to a life in apartment. I totally agree. When you get a Shared Web Hosting account you are left at the mercy of your neighbors to play fair and keep the life bearable.
You want them to be nice, make little noise, and above all, you want them to stay out of trouble, because if they get a DDoS attack, you will get it too ( you are on the same server and share an IP with them ), if they start spamming, your IP will get penalized, etc etc. You get the point? Good!
Now, why would anyone choose a shared hosing when you are left at the mercy of some strange people who have nothing better to do than create blogs about cats and puppies?
This is simple actually. Low costs, and no technical knowledge required. Simple as that. There are many other pros and cons for both Shared Web Hosting and a VPS. But in majority of cases it all comes down to a simple and not so subtle difference in price!
Don’t get me wrong, I have many factors to consider when I start my projects, but that’s just me, and that is what I am sharing here today. My own way of choosing between Shared and a VPS Hosting plan.
These are just some factors that I consider when I am opting in for a Shared Web Hosting:
- Low budget or low returns on an investment
- Expected number of visitors is lower than 500 per day
- Low number of email accounts is needed
- You need it for only 1 or 2 websites and a couple of blogs
- Maintenance is not necessary or it is low
- Low bandwidth and storage needs
Out of those factors, we can extrapolate the Main Advantages of a Shared Website Hosting plans:
- Low price
- Maintenance of the server is not required, hence you don’t need a technical knowledge to handle your website
- A single cPanel is very easy to use for management of a small number of websites
- Not to mention, all kinds of possible software that you can install on your website, like CMS or Virtualized software
- Heck, you can always ask your provider for a bit more HDD space (without paying for it)
Now, the main disadvantages:
- As always, a low pool of resources (bandwidth, HDD space, I/O, number of files, etc)
- Your website performance may be affected by other websites that are on that same server
- There are some security issues for sharing a common server (but this is very rarely a problem)
- You can’t install things like ScrapeBox or SEnuke, (but that is actually not important to a regular webmaster)
And now, the fun stuff! VPS Web Hosting
Because I used that apartment reference in our Shared Hosting overview, let me use another, very similar analogy.
Virtual Private Server (or VPS) Hosting is something like living in a simplex or half-plex, where you can customize everything as you see fit. However, you still need to maintain your own area. Usually, Companies that deal with resource heavy applications and secured data most often use VPS.
Think of it like your own little peace of server dedicated only to you. It is not exactly like a Dedicated server, because dedication of resources on a VPS is done only via a software designed for that. While with dedicated server you get physically separated machine from everybody else, to do with it as you please. Yummy.
My reasoning for obtaining a VPS for a project would be something like this:
- More than 500 visitors per day are expected in a near future
- Scalability and expansion are going to be needed
- Security of data is going to be necessary
- Better speed and server response times are needed
- Many email accounts are needed
- A multitude of websites and applications are going to be installed and managed as a single project
- You need to run your own batch files to create multiple services inside the server using shell access
- You are alone in your little box
- You can request a dedicated IP address
- You can install multiple cPanels, each dedicated to one part of your project, or a website
- Wide assortment of applications can be utilized, even ScrapeBox and SEnuke
I can keep going like this forever.
Let us take look at the main Disadvantages of a VPS Hosting
- If you are not knowledgeable about server and VPS maintenance, you will need a dedicated system administrator (it is not a rocket science, but it isn’t easy either)
- High price of even the cheapest packages
One big bottom line
There are numerous factors to include here, but I think I covered the most important ones in this short comparison. There is never only one right answer when it comes to web hosting. Something that is good for you is bad for me, and vice versa.
So to keep it short and sweet let me conclude by saying this: You will learn a lot in your journey, you will come to know your strengths and your weaknesses, and if you are ever in doubt, start with a shared web hosting and work your way up.
- How to know when to move from Shared hosting to VPS hosting?
You need to move from Shared hosting to VPS hosting in any of the following cases listed below:
- You have more than 500 visitors per day
- Your website is consuming all your processes
- Your website is consuming all your CPU and RAM resources
- You feel the need for complete control
- You want to expand the existing performance level