Should You Choose Shared or Virtual Private Server Hosting?

Shared and virtual private server hosting are two sides of the same coin, much like a mobile phone data plan and a texting plan. Smartphones caused a spike in data consumption and subsequent increases in cellphone costs for many households in the early 21st century. 

My family's shared data plan could have been better because, occasionally, one person would use a ton of data while the rest of us were left struggling. Still, it did help us to save money each month compared to buying unlimited plans.

However, VPS hosting resembles a personalized data plan. You'll spend more to personalize it, but you get more significant resources, control, and freedom over your data configuration.

Selecting a hosting service that meets your specific demands is crucial. The specifications needed to run a modest informational website will differ significantly from those required to run an e-commerce site with hundreds of products.

After today, you should better understand whether you need shared hosting or a virtual private server to meet your needs.

We will discuss the fundamentals of each option, the features they provide, and the benefits and drawbacks of using them. Okay, how about we get this party started?

Explaining Shared Hosting

You can think of shared hosting, like renting an apartment with several people where you all have to share amenities like the laundry room or the parking area. In this scenario, your website will be hosted on a server that also serves other people's websites.

It is the most affordable option for web hosting, and it is ideal for novice users. Using a shared server means cooperating with other consumers in the same setting to use a single server's worth of resources, such as its processing power, memory, and network connection. Likewise, since you split the resources, you will also share the bill.

But things may go south quickly if you pick the incorrect service provider. When the number of sites hosted by a provider exceeds the capacity of its servers, what happens? Traffic will slow your website and capability. Simply put, nearby websites will slow you down.

Reasons to Use a Shared Server

  • You're putting together a personal website or blog.
  • Do you want to create a website for a firm that is relatively modest or average in size?
  • Make do with a limited spending plan. Keep your expenses to a minimum.
  • Not very web-savvy about web building.

Advantages of Using a Shared Hosting Service

  • Easy-to-use web hosting service for novices
  • Allows for a standardized environment
  • simpler in terms of technical skill
  • Cheapest hosting service available

The Downsides of Using a Shared Host

  • Typically offers lower storage capacities and bandwidth than VPS.
  • Errors out under heavy usage,
  • You can only do so much in the backend.
  • This method does not allow you to gain administrative privileges.

Explaining VPS or a Virtual Private Server

Although virtual private servers (VPS) share the same physical server as shared hosting, they are partitioned such that the performance of one website does not negatively impact another. 

Each virtual private server user (VPS) has their own isolated virtual space, so it can host their websites without sharing hardware or software. VPS hosting, as expected, costs more than shared hosting.

Continuing with our previous analogy with penthouse/condo comparison, a VPS is like having your private suite in a large building where everyone else shares the same amenities but you.

Reasons to Use a Virtual Private Server

  • You currently own a firm and intend to grow it in the future.
  • Want to put more money into your website and have a bigger budget?
  • Eventually, your goal is for your website to increase traffic and receive many visitors.

Advantages of Using a Virtual Private Server

  • Virtual private servers allow you complete control over your server when you sign up.
  • Extra storage space and data transfer capacity, and simple scalability.
  • It is unaffected by traffic from other sites.
  • Superior in speed and reliability vs. shared hosting.

The Downsides of Using a Virtual Private Server

  • It costs a little bit more.
  • Technical knowledge is required for effective management.

Head-to-Head Comparison: A Look at Shared and Virtual Private Server

In a nutshell, "shared hosting" refers to the fact that multiple websites may share a single server. It's typically the least expensive choice, but it lacks advanced features like granular control over bandwidth or performance optimization.

Virtual private server hosting (VPS) is a more expensive but superior choice due to its improved flexibility and speed. However, the higher price is indicative of the higher quality you may expect to receive.

So now you know the fundamental differences between a virtual private server and shared hosting. To take things further, let's evaluate these two options in light of the essential features of web hosting.

Server Security 

If you own a website, it doesn't matter what kind; security is paramount. Both shared and dedicated hosting is reliable and trustworthy ways to host your site, but they are unique in their own ways.

Using a shared hosting service risks losing your site if another user experiences technical difficulties. Your site's speed could also be affected if other sites consume an excessive amount of the shared bandwidth. If your website receives many visitors, this becomes even more important.

With virtual private server hosting, your data is kept entirely separate from everyone else's that uses the same server. As a result, it's unlikely that any malicious content on the websites around you will make its way to yours, even if they all have security flaws. 

If you don't have the technical know-how to maintain your virtual private server, you should give some thought to other choices. This issue, if mishandled, can cause a domino effect of additional problems.

A Word from the Experts

Get the most out of your web hosting in two ways apart from migrating to a virtual private server: image optimization and enabling cache.

A well-known CMS has an excellent caching configuration that requires little technical expertise or effort to set up.

Control and personalization

VPS hosting, as opposed to shared hosting, is the better option if you want more flexibility for your website. It allows you to install and customize the server with your preferred operating system, control panel, and other software to meet your needs without worrying about affecting other users' access or performance. 

On the other hand, shared hosting restricts you from using only predefined server configurations. Therefore, this could be a more appealing option for those who would not get their hands dirty with server administration.

Server Administration

To cut a long tale short, shared hosts take care of everything technological for you. Unless you go with a host that offers managed services like 24/7 server monitoring and bug fixing, you'll have to take care of your virtual private server's maintenance on your own

Using a shared server to host your website, you can take advantage of fundamental server administration for your website without spending a dime or wasting any of your valuable time. 

The fact that you don't require a full-time system administrator is a significant benefit for many users.

With virtual private servers, resource management is more intricate; more expertise is required to manage and administer it.  

VPS-hosted websites frequently require more complex resource management; hence a dedicated system administrator is typically needed to focus on server maintenance. In exchange for increased performance and security, you will have complete control over the look and feel of your site and the programs and tools that run on it.

Server Scalability

When opposed to shared hosting, VPS hosting makes scaling up much more straightforward. Shared hosting may work well for a temporary or low-traffic online presence, but you may notice decreased performance when your site's popularity grows.

If you expect your site to grow rapidly in the future, VPS hosting could be a wise financial investment due to its scalability features.

Server Pricing

When comparing options, shared hosting is the best. Despite this, the higher cost of VPS hosting, compared to shared hosting, is justified. 

When Is the Right Time to Upgrade My Hosting Plan?

If you're enjoying shared hosting and finding it helpful, you may wonder when it makes sense to switch to a VPS hosting plan. You can test your knowledge by asking yourself the following:

  • Do I want additional control over my server?
  • Will my traffic significantly increase in the future?
  • Do I intend to host many websites at some point?

Both shared and virtual private server hosting has their advantages. Understanding the distinctions between virtual private servers (VPS) and shared hosting might help you choose the optimal solution for your next undertaking.  Consider all of your alternatives.

What Other Varieties of Website Hosting Are There?

When searching for a hosting service, you'll find many options with benefits, drawbacks, and technical requirements.

Other frequent hosting alternatives include cloud hosting, WordPress hosting, and dedicated hosting, in addition to VPS and shared hosting.

In contrast to VPS hosting, cloud hosting stores your website across numerous servers. If, for instance, one server crashes, another will assist in maintaining everything operational, resulting in zero downtime. The price of cloud server hosting varies on the hosting company and the plan you select. Still, it is a cost-effective solution for mid-sized enterprises.

WordPress hosting is a popular hosting option tailored for websites that use the WordPress content management system. The primary distinction between web hosting and WordPress hosting is the latter's added features, which include WordPress pre-installed, WordPress Command-Line Interface (WP-CLI), and its staging tool.

Websites using dedicated hosting services are kept on a physical server that serves only your domain. It's yours to personalize and share in any way you like without worrying about anyone else's opinions. Unfortunately, it's also the priciest choice available.

Final Thoughts

The goals you have for your website should inform the hosting package you select. Compared to shared hosting, VPS hosting has many advantages. Each hosting choice, though, has its benefits.

Performance is not an issue, regardless of whether you choose shared hosting or a virtual private server. But your needs and budget will dictate your final decision, so it's wise to think thoroughly.

You'll inevitably have to trade off some quality for a lower price. If a regular shared hosting account will do, there is no need to go into debt for a VPS. 

Remember that you may always start with a less expensive option and then upgrade as your site's traffic grows.

However, insufficient resources can result in a failed business, a sluggish website, and irritated site visitors. A virtual private server (VPS) provides more benefits than a shared host, especially if your organization is already well-established. It's up to you to make a good decision.


When Should I Switch from Shared to VPS Hosting?

When your website's traffic flow continuously expands, and you require more resources to continue providing a great user experience, it's time to transition from your current web host to VPS hosting.

Can a Virtual Private Server (VPS) Host Multiple Websites?

With Virtual Private Server hosting, you may host as many websites as you like because you control how much of the server's resources are dedicated to each one.

Is It Better to Use Shared Hosting for SEO?

If your shared hosting server has a large number of spam websites, your site may suffer a drop in search engine ranks as a result. In addition, given that your website will share the server's resources with others, you should know that shared hosting may cause your pages to load more slowly.