Shared Hosting vs VPS – Which One is Right For You?

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Are you about to start a WordPress blog but don’t know which hosting type is right for you? Do you need VPS or Shared Hosting? 

Don’t worry; this article is a comprehensive guide to what Shared hosting and VPS hosting are, their pros and cons, when each hosting type is right for you, and how to make the right decision. 

After reading through this in-depth comparison review of VPS and Shared hosting, you should be able to make the right decision based on your website needs. 

So, let’s begin with obvious questions. 

What is Shared Hosting?

Shared hosting is a hosting type where several (hundreds or thousands) website hosting accounts share a single web hosting server and its resources, such as CPU, bandwidth, and RAM.

Web hosts use this type of hosting to save cost, manage more websites on a single server computer, and allocate server resources evenly. 

Traditionally, Shared hosting is the cheapest and most affordable for beginners. It is common to find Shared hosting starting at $1.29 monthly + free domain name 1-year registration.  

Pros and Cons 

Shared hosting benefits people starting an online business with a personal or small blog. Likewise, it has its disadvantages too. 

In this section, I share some of the pros and cons of Shared hosting that you should know about. 

Pros of Shared Hosting.

  • Affordable – Shared hosting is budget-friendly, making it the most affordable option for individuals and small businesses with low budgets for web hosting.  
  • Ease of Use – Most Shared hosting has an easy-to-use cPanel dashboard with a one-click software installer (mostly Softaculus). This makes it easier for beginners to install WordPress and other software and manage their websites via the control panel.
  • Beginner-friendly – It requires less expertise or technical knowledge to manage a Shared hosting account. This makes it a perfect hosting plan for people starting their first blog and no technical knowledge.
  • Supports and Maintenance – Shared hosting providers handle server maintenance and upgrades, allowing you to focus less on server maintenance and more on running your business and managing your website.  

Cons of Shared Hosting

  • Limited Resources – Shared hosting comes with predetermined resource allocations, such as bandwidth, RAM, and CPU, which might not be sufficient for website with high traffic. 
  • Performance Concern – Due to many users sharing server resources, your website might suffer performance from sudden traffic spikes and resource usage of other websites on the same server. 
  • Security Risk – Shared server resources can pose serious security risks, as vulnerability in one website code or security breaches can affect other websites on the same account. 
  • Not Suitable for High-Traffic Websites – Shared hosting might not be suitable for high-traffic websites due to resource usage limitations, inefficient load balancing techniques, and possible server downtime.

What is VPS Hosting?

VPS, short for Virtual Private Server, is a type of hosting where a single physical server is virtually shared into multiple servers, so each website on the server has its own virtual hosting environment.  

Web hosts use virtualization technology to split a single web server into several units, allowing each hosted website more control over account settings and server resources – CPU, bandwidth, RAM, etc. 

VPS is the middle ground between Shared hosting and Dedicated hosting services. It is for businesses that have grown beyond shared hosting but do not need a dedicated server. 

Pros and Cons of VPS Hosting.

VPS hosting is a good option, but not for everyone. So, let’s look at some of the pros and cons of VPS hosting.

Pros of VPS Hosting 

  • Increase server performance – VPS hosting offers a semi-dedicated hosting environment, offering each website more resource control than the shared hosting server. This allows websites on a VPS server to perform more optimally. 
  • Scalability – It is easier to scale hosting resources with a VPS server. You can upgrade and downgrade server resources as you need. This can be beneficial for websites experiencing traffic fluctuation or seasonal spikes. 
  • Added Security – VPS reduces the risk of security breaches or vulnerabilities affecting other websites on the same physical server. Since each website operates independently, this gives you more control over your website security. 
  • Customization and Control – A VPS server gives users root access and administrative control, allowing you to add custom scripts and server configuration and manage security and performance settings according to your needs. 

Cons of VPS Hosting 

  • Cost – VPS is more costlier than shared hosting. This can be challenging for small businesses with low budgets. 
  • Required Technical Knowledge – Managing a VPS server requires technical expertise, as you’re responsible for server maintenance, security, and ensuring it runs smoothly. This might not be a good option if you’re a beginner or non-technical person.
  • Resource limitation – VPS offers more server resources than a Shared hosting server. Still, it restricts resource usage depending on the web host and VPS package. 

Key Differences Between Shared and VPS Hosting

Choosing between Shared and VPS Hosting requires a few factors or considerations.

Hosting performance, security, features, and server-level control are the major differences. 

VPS server gives you more power to manage and configure your hosting server, allowing you to adjust essential server resources and settings to your website requirements. 

Your server is pre-configured in a Shared hosting environment, and you cannot adjust its settings. 

Here are some key factors that differentiate VPS from Shared hosting. These factors will help you determine what best suits your specific requirements.

Resource Allocation

As I said earlier, server resource is one of the main differences between a Shared hosting server and a VPS web server. 

Shared hosting often comes with resource limitations that might negatively impact website performance and business growth. If you exceed the resources allocated to your server, your web host might temporarily suspend your website. 

For example, Namecheap’s entry-level Shared hosting plan gives you access to 20 GB of SSD storage space with a maximum of 3 websites. HostGator allows 10GB for its Hatchling shared hosting plan and 1 website. 

If you’re hosting a small website with low traffic, this hosting specification is perfect for you.

Web hosts put these limitations in place since all the websites on the same Shared hosting server need to share equal resources. This ensures each website gets adequate hosting resources and no one website deprives the other of bandwidth, CPU, or RAM usage.  

On the other hand, a VPS server allocates more resources to each website on its physical server, which is split into several isolated servers. 

Namecheap’s entry-level VPS plan offers 2 Cores, 40 GB SSD RAID 10, 2 GB RAM, and 1000 GB of bandwidth data transferable.

Namecheap VPS Plan and price

Namecheap allows you to subscribe to a monthly, quarterly, or annual VPS hosting plan.

Hostinger KVM1 VPS hosting plan offers 1vCPU, 4 GB RAM, 50 GB NVme disk space, and 1 TB bandwidth. 

Hostinger VPS plan and price

These are entry-level VPS plans for both web hosts; higher tier hosting plans offer more resources and hosting features like a dedicated IP address, full root access and OS of choice, malware scanner, and automated weekly backup. 

Hosting Price

Price is another factor that differentiates VPS from Shared hosting plans. 

For most web hosts, shared hosting is cheaper than VPS plans. It is not because it is shared but how it is set up, managed, and allocated resources to each website. 

Web hosts can afford to price shared hosting plans lower because hundreds of websites can be put together on the same server, reducing the host’s management, support, and setup costs. 

Let’s assume the monthly cost of running a single shared hosting server infrastructure is $200 + the initial setup cost, which is $500. (Don’t bother about this figure; this is just for learning’s sake)

If we had three hundred websites on a single server at $5 per month. That gives us $1,500 in total sales. Take away the initial setup cost of $500 + $200 maintenance fee, and we have $800 left as total revenue for the month. 

I’m not an expert in web hosting service providers, but I assume this is how it works to have a shared hosting setup. 

Also, because Shared hosting service providers buy server hardware and bandwidth in bulk from providers, it allows web hosts to spread the cost across hundreds or even thousands of hosting accounts. 

In the case of VPS hosting, caution is put on the number of customers on a single physical server. This is because the machines or server infrastructure needed to run a VPS server is more resource-demanding. 

Another thing is that VPS requires more technical knowledge for setup, which leads to the need for more technical expertise and adds to the overhead cost. 

VPS servers are more optimized for performance, making them a more reliable option for websites with significant traffic. And because VPS also comes with more features, the price is expected to be higher than that of shared hosting. 

For example, if you take Namecheap and Hostinger VPS plans, you’ll notice the price is slightly higher than their shared hosting plans.

Performance 

Shared hosting is targeted at customers starting their online journey. These business owners are believed to have low-traffic websites, requiring minimum computing server hardware to power their website needs. 

The resources allocated to a Shared hosting server are sufficient for most beginner WordPress blogs. 

VPS hosting plans target advanced web users, growing businesses, developers, and freelancers with high needs for website performance, security, and excellent features. These businesses often require customized hosting environments with features tailored to their specific hosting requirements. 

With these in mind, web hosts use high-performance hardware and server infrastructure to power VPS servers. This leads to better performance and website speed for businesses using a VPS server.  

They use powerful CPUs for efficient computational tasks, SSD storage for faster read and writing, and more bandwidth to handle high network traffic. 

Security

Security is another key feature of shared hosting and VPS servers.

Shared hosting servers have basic or pre-configured security features, like free SSL certificates, malware scanners, and backups. 

Depending on the host, some shared hosting doesn’t offer automatic regular backup, leaving you out of luck in case of unexpected changes to your website and you need to restore a backup. 

However, if your website is built with WordPress, you can get extra security features by installing plugins like login lockdown, Wordfence, updraftPlus, AIOS – Security and Firewall, etc. 

VPS, by default, offers added Security features and allows you to customize your website security to your specific hosting environment. 

During setup, you can choose your preferred operating system, install custom security applications, and configure the server to suit your needs.

Technical Expertise

Shared hosting doesn’t require advanced technical knowledge to manage. 

Even if you have never looked at cPanel, and this is your first time, I bet you can install WordPress in one click and find your way, provided you can read and write. 

VPS server requires the user to have background knowledge in website management and server setup. 

The level of customization it offers does come with sacrifice; if you don’t know what you’re doing in a VPS control panel, you can unknowingly break your site or make irreversible server configuration errors. 

Shared Hosting vs VPS Hosting – Which Hosting is Right for You?

I have discussed the differences between Shared and VPS Hosting with you. At this point, you must consider which option is right for you. 

Here are some factors to help you make the right decision. 

Website Traffic Volume

How much traffic do you receive monthly? Do you notice server downtime during high-traffic periods? 

If you’re experiencing intermittent server downtime during high-traffic periods or viral campaigns, it may signal time to move to higher hosting types like VPS. 

It’s easier to monitor your website server uptime if you’re blogging with WordPress. The Jetpack plugin automatically monitors your server performance and will notify you via email if your website goes offline. 

Hosting Budget 

If you don’t want to commit to a higher hosting plan or don’t have the budget for it now, Shared hosting is the right choice.

You should consider the long-term hosting fees and other costs of running your business.

Consider your monthly revenue and how much you must set aside to cover recurring bills. 

If you think your current income from the blog won’t cover VPS hosting, take your time to analyze the situation better and see how you can optimize the shared hosting server to provide better performance. 

You’re Starting a New Blog

Shared Hosting is the best option for a new blog unless you’re a seasoned entrepreneur with a large following. 

At the earliest stage of most new blogs, traffic is usually low and only builds up gradually with time. 

Also, new blogs don’t use more space or bandwidth. So, use this time to save on hosting costs by choosing Shared hosting. 

Website Performance is Your Priority 

You’re at this stage in your business where the performance and speed of your website pages matter the most. 

If this is you, then choosing a VPS server really makes sense. 

VPS servers outperform shared hosting for several reasons. I have mentored many factors in this guide. 

You can read them up again if you need to refresh your memory.  

Due to the way Shared hosting and VPS servers are set up, your website will perform better on a VPS server. 

You Need More Control over Server Security and Customization. 

VPS hosting puts you in the driver’s seat; you control server configurations, security, operating system, bandwidth, storage, CPU usage, etc.

If you constantly require control over server-side tasks, it is time to move to a VPS plan. 

You can’t have that control or server customization access with a shared hosting plan. Your web host pre-configured everything, and there is so little you can do when sharing server space with hundreds or thousands of other users. 

Conclusion

If you’ve read this far, you know the differences between Shared and VPS hosting. And should be able to decide which option suits your needs. 

Most of the time, the right option is Shared hosting, especially if you’re starting a personal blog with minimum resources and a marketing budget. 

However, VPS allow medium to larger businesses prioritize performance over affordability and simplicity. 

It offers more flexibility, customization, and control and lets you get deep insights into your website’s underlying hosting infrastructures. 

If you’re considering which web host you should trust, I advise you to take up Namecheap shared hosting for spin. 

It’s affordable, fast, easy to use, and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee policy. You can use the hosting service for a 30-day period, and if you don’t like the performance, simply request a refund within 30 days of purchase.  

Hostinger offers several options for VPS hosting, giving you the flexibility to determine the right package. 

Another excellent web host for a VPS server is NexcessNexcess offers managed VPS hosting, so you don’t need more time on server-side management. 

Nexcess handles most of the management and maintenance of your server so you can focus on growing your business.  

Which web host are you trusting?

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