Choosing a cheapest hosting plan is a no-brainer since the logical choice is shared hosting. But things become complicated when the requirement grows regarding traffic, bandwidth, disk space, etc. The next level of web hosting plan is VPS hosting. But people often get confused over shared hosting vs. VPS hosting as they both imply the concept of sharing of the resource.
In a shared hosting plan, hundreds of websites lie on a single physical server. All these sites share a common server resource and thus has a lot of interdependencies.
Whereas, a VPS hosting works on the lines of virtualization where each website lies on a separate virtual machine (VM). However, all these VMs share a physical server machine.
Moving ahead in this article, we will see the difference between shared hosting and VPS hosting in detail from different perspectives such as cost, speed, security, etc.
If you are starting out a website then probably you will go with a shared hosting plan since it is the cheapest plan available. But there are underlying tradeoffs with this plan. In this plan, several websites are hosted on a single server, sharing its resource.
All these sites are interdependent in a broader sense. If some mischiefs happen on one site, then other websites have to take the hit on their security and performance such as loading speed, bandwidth, etc.
The monthly cost of this plan comes around $3-$10. Also, you have a lot of limitations when it comes to topping up your plan. Usually, this plan is suitable for a few thousand traffic on a monthly basis.
This plan is next tier web hosting plan after shared hosting. In this plan, several virtual machines run on a single server grade machine. You might know that each virtual machine can behave as an individual server.
Each site hosts on a single virtual server and thus can get rid of interdependency on neighboring websites as it is the case with a shared hosting plan. All VMs share the resource of a single physical server.
VPS plan will cost you $45 to $100 on a monthly plan. The plan is suitable for a few hundred thousand visitors per month. Also, you can top up your plan since VMs can be added.
Shared hosting vs. VPS hosting
Now that you understood shared and VPS hosting. It is vital to understand the key difference.
Disk space and bandwidth
Shared hosting does offer so much when it comes to disk space and bandwidth. Entire resource of a server is distributed among hundreds of websites.
Neighboring sites can affect your website directly. Also, you never get a lot of room to stretch your needs if you want more disk space and bandwidth.
On the hand, virtual private server or VPS hosting manages to provide you a decent solution. First of all, every site lies in a separate virtual machine, and each VM is a virtual server with a right amount of disk space and bandwidth.
In short, a website cannot affect other sites running on different VMs. Also, if your requirement grows in future, then you will be able to increase the disk space and bandwidth considerably compared to shared hosting plan.
By now you know that VPS hosting is costlier than shared hosting plan. If you are someone who is going to launch a website, then you can quickly get away with the shared hosting plan.
But if you foresee a growing need of traffic or bandwidth soon or even intermittently then VPS hosting would suit you.
There is a similarity between shared and VPS hosting since both plans work on a single physical server. But a VPS plan might offer better uptime than a shared hosting plan because of two reasons.
First, the specification of server machine in VPS hosting plan is superior to shared hosting plan. The reason is simple as this server has to host several virtual servers. A superior server configuration means fewer faults and rugged performance.
Second, virtual segregation of sites on virtual machines makes it possible to get rid of the interdependency of all websites. A poor performing website on a shared hosting plan can affect other sites on the same server.
A shared hosting plan cannot offer robust security for the same reason related to resource sharing. You can imagine your personal computer where there are different folders. If a folder is compromised on your computer, then other folders will get equally affected. Same goes with the hundreds of sites hosted on shared hosting.
Whereas, VPS brings in the concept of virtual machines where at least on operating system level you can ensure that a breach cannot propagate to other virtual machines. VPS is still not as good as dedicated server hosting, but it is better than shared hosting.
Final words on shared hosting vs. VPS hosting
VPS hosting plan is the next tier plan where you can get rid of some of the drawbacks of shared hosting plan. Also, the plan will suit you if your traffic is in a couple of hundred thousand. VPS will cost you more than shared plan, but it will be cheaper than cloud hosting or dedicated server plan.
Everything has merits and demerits, and it is vital that you know how to choose the right web hosting plan based on your actual needs. Search forums, talk to web hosts, gauge your requirements, and negotiate before selecting any plan.