Shared hosting versus VPS hosting – understand the difference


shared web hosting

Are you unable to decide whether you should pick shared or VPS hosting for your site?

Well, don’t worry. While both of them offer unique advantages, it is often not easy to decide which is more suitable when.

But worry not. In this post we will look at both of them and help you understand which one meets your needs better.


What is Shared hosting?

In shared hosting your website shares hosting resources with other websites. The service provider puts many websites on a single server. Here, the word “server” refers to computing power, memory, and hard drive space.

Have you ever been in a situation when there’s been only one PC for several users? Well, the shared hosting environment is not much different than that.

Just as multiple people share a computer and use it as per their needs, multiple sites are hosted on a single server in the shared hosting environment.

The main advantage of such an arrangement is the cost. In shared hosting, the cost of hosting the site to you is less.

However, the downside of this arrangement is that you have access to limited resources only and the performance of your website is affected by actions of others.


What is VPS hosting?

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. The VPS hosting is an advanced type of shared hosting where the service provider uses advanced technology to assign resources to the website.

Just like share hosting, many websites are hosted on a single server and they use the same resources: computing power, hard drive space, and memory.

The difference, however, is in the way the resources are allocated to create a private environment for the websites. The distribution of the resources is done in such a way that it seems every website has its own server.


Primary difference in Shared hosting and VPS hosting

As mentioned above, the difference is in the way resources are allocated.

In Shared hosting, the resources are free for allocation, and are given to the site which requests for it first. This means other in the line may not get the requested resources, until they are freed by the website hogging it.

The shared hosting plans have conditions laid out for the use of resources in the Hosting Agreement. Leading hosting companies do not put limits on the usage of bandwidth and space on hard drive for any website on their server. However, if the demand for resources by any website affects the stability and performance of other websites on the server, the service provider limits the use of resources for that website to assure stability and performance to other websites.

The service provider will also inform the webmaster about their website needing additional resources and offer upgrade plans that offer more resources

In VPS hosting, the distribution of resources is done in an advanced way to ensure every website gets its share of resources. Even if any website needs additional resources to cope with the workload, it cannot get beyond the defined limits. This works well for all websites as every website have their assigned resources always available and can use it when needed.


Which hosting is right for you?

Shared hosting is ideal for small websites including blogs, personal websites, e-commerce portals with less than 500 visitors per day, small and mid-size company websites and start-ups.  It is the most affordable and works well for companies who want to establish an online presence at initial stages.

VPS hosting is ideal for companies that expect an increase in traffic after few months and for big businesses with large consumer base, high traffic websites needing excessive bandwidth and larger hard drive space.

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