From fewer maintenance requirements to performance disparity, here are eight answers to the question, “What are some key differences between shared vs. VPS hosting?”
- Fewer Maintenance Requirements With Shared Hosting
- Level of Performance and Access You Receive
- Think of It Like Renting Property
- You Lack “Customized Interior Decor” in Shared Hosting
- Level of Privacy Changes
- Be Your Own Server Administrator With VPS Hosting
- Examine the Cost Differences
- Resource Hogging Causing Performance
Fewer Maintenance Requirements With Shared Hosting
I’ve probably hosted over 1000 websites over the years, between my own properties and those of my digital marketing clients. Today, more established companies will opt for VPS hosting, because these Virtual Private Servers have a minimum set of resources available, and there is more separation between the files they hold and the other VPS accounts on the same physical device.
If configured properly, this can be better for website security and uptime. However, VPS accounts require far more maintenance than shared hosting accounts. You or your website administrator will need to keep up with software upgrades, security, and other maintenance tasks that a shared hosting provider might otherwise include.
If you want more of a “set it and forget it” server configuration, then sometimes a shared account is the better option. Usually, this is best for smaller companies with limited resources. If you go with a VPS account, make sure that you have a talented server administrator.
Level of Performance and Access You Receive
The fundamental difference between shared and VPS hosting is the level of performance and access that you get. With shared hosting, your site is sharing a server with other sites, so you are limited in terms of CPU power, memory, and disk space. This can often lead to slower load times and a lack of resources during high-traffic periods.
With VPS hosting, you get your own virtual server, giving you more power and flexibility. You also have access to root-level privileges, allowing more control over your hosting environment. As a result, VPS hosting is more expensive than shared hosting, but offers superior performance and greater flexibility.
Think of It Like Renting Property
The biggest difference between shared and VPS hosting comes down to what you get where. Shared hosting is a lot like renting one room in a house—you get a piece of a server that’s yours, but there is going to be a lot of traffic.
VPS hosting, on the other hand, is a lot more like renting your own apartment in a building block—more expensive, more room and dedicated space, but ultimately you’re still working in a shared environment.
Generally speaking, shared hosting is best for smaller, cheaper, and more static websites—think blogs, for example. A basic tool for a basic need. VPS hosting is the next step up from that and is usually best for SMEs or eCommerce sites because you’ll get a bunch more features, more security, and greater performance but with an associated rise in costs.
You Lack “Customized Interior Decor” in Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is significantly cheaper than VPS hosting. But that is only because you have more “roommates” to share the hosting facility (and its associated cost) with.
These are fellow websites with which you share the allocated hosting resources.
Now, as typical of having roommates, you lack the explicit authority to customize your hosting as individually as you would have liked (or as is possible in VPS). This means limited “interior decor” for your site.
Attempting to customize the backend as you like in shared hosting means forcing your customization preferences down the throats of your roommates or shared hosting users.
While some shared hosting providers promise users personalized CPanel control, in most cases, you end up still limited to the extent to which you can configure your environment.
This means you may not get the environment streamlined enough to run very unique applications you desire. These limitations are absent or suppressed in VPS.
Level of Privacy Changes
Speaking from personal experience, one of the biggest differences between shared hosting and VPS hosting is the level of privacy you receive.
Other websites can easily access shared hosting on the same server, meaning if you’re interested in keeping your website hack-safe, that may not be the best option.
On the other hand, VPS hosting provides much stronger data and network separation levels, so it’s better protected from attack attempts. It also offers more options like custom software installation, making it more customizable compared to shared hosting.
Be Your Own Server Administrator With VPS Hosting
Although shared hosting and VPS hosting provide access to web space on a remote server, there is one key difference between the two. With shared hosting, a hosting provider manages the server and hosts multiple websites, whereas, with VPS hosting, you have your virtual private server and are the server administrator.
This means that when running a website on VPS hosting, you have more control over your environment, but without tech know-how, it can be overwhelming. The responsibility of maintaining and administering the server lies with the website owner.
You must be comfortable managing the server should you choose to use VPS hosting. On the plus side, this allows for greater customization options, more stability, and better performance compared to shared hosting.
Examine the Cost Differences
Shared and VPS hosting is like getting an entire cake and just a slice of a cake. It means your site can share the server with other sites. It helps get many customers from different sites, so the price cuts down. And this is one of the most sought-after differences between shared and VPS hosting.
VPS is more expensive than shared hosting. It is because, as we read above, you can share the server with many other sites, so the cost gets divided among the sites. So, many small businesses find shared hosting an economical option over VPS. It is costlier because of the services: high security and performance.
The plans of shared hosting range from $2.59 to $13.99, while VPS plans at dream host range from $10 to $120. But it depends on some factors as well. So, you can notice the difference between prices is evident.
Resource Hogging Causing Performance Issues
Shared hosting environments experience resource hogging because multiple sites are competing for the same resources on one server. Not only can this slow down your website, but it might cause crashing or other problems if users place too much demand on it.
VPS hosting offers you guaranteed amounts of memory and computing power, so you don’t have to worry about running out or being affected by other websites sharing the same environment.
In addition, VPS hosting offers you better control over the server, which can help you optimize performance. You can make more customizations on a VPS compared to shared hosting plans and can even choose your own operating system and software stacks. This allows for increased flexibility and scalability—features that are vital as a website grows in size and attracts more visitors.