Shared Hosting vs VPS
In the web hosting industry there are a wide selection of hosting plans to choose from, so it can be difficult to decide which one is most suitable for your business. There are however two kinds of web hosting accounts that are more affordable than the rest – shared and VPS. While both of these hosting types offer an ideal solution for any small-medium sized online business, there are some key differences between the two.
The first most notable difference between the two is the plan pricing. Shared hosting accounts are invariably the cheapest kinds of hosting plans available on the web, starting at only $4 per month with some hosting providers, but are generally in the area of $7-$12 per month. VPS hosting plans start at around $10-$15 per month on average, although there may be additional costs associated with the control panel software. The price difference stems from the fundamental differences in the capabilities and limitations of the plans themselves.
Support and Security
The support offered within a shared and VPS hosting account depend entirely upon the hosting provider. Usually a reputable hosting company will offer top notch support for all of their hosting plans regardless of type or price. The security aspect falls in favor of VPS hosting however, as your web server will not be shared with as many people and the virtual hosting environment is generally safer. Shared hosting gives dozens, possibly hundreds of websites the same IP address, which can present an issue when one of the sites violates terms of service, as all of the sites on the IP address can be shut down for the actions of one.
Web Hosting Features
Shared hosting plans come with ample features for the average novice website owner, such as free domain registration and the ability to host unlimited domains. Most shared hosting plans also come with unlimited bandwidth and disk space as well. However, with shared hosting the performance of your server may be slightly hindered at time due to the decreased load capacity caused by other websites. With VPS hosting you’ll have access to a faster web server, which in turn will allow your site to have more traffic with faster page loads and less downtime. The capabilities of each hosting plan will differ depending upon the hosting provider, but in general VPS hosting plans offer more robust features.
As mentioned the reliability of shared hosting accounts can leave much to be desired, considering the server administration required to keep hundreds of sites operating smoothly on a single server. Sites that are hosted on a shared server are usually down for about one hour every couple of weeks while the server resets. VPS servers on the other hand can be reset at any time by the user, and are not used by hundreds of other sites. A virtual private server is split into segments, and each site gets their own designated segment of the server.
If you have the budget to do so, a virtual private server is always preferable over shared hosting. While shared hosting may be all some webmasters need, it is seen as being the least capable web hosting type available.