Articles > Shared Hosting vs VPS Hosting – How to choose?

Shared Hosting versus Virtual Private Server

 

Shared hosting and virtual private server (VPS) hosting have emerged as two popular solutions for businesses. But which should you choose as an individual, small business or larger business? The choice depends on your overall requirements and available hosting budget. Before we compare the two, let’s take a look at the common features of VPS and shared hosting.

 

In both types of hosting, one server provides services across multiple users. They offer some degree of compartmentalization to separate users’ files and services. In comparison to dedicated hosting, they are cost-effective alternatives.

 

Who typically opts for shared hosting?

 

Small and medium-sized websites requiring a straight forward, usually Content Management System driven website, a simple blog or a (small scale) forum go for shared hosting packages. The websites in this case are mostly template based or developed using SiteBuilder or CMS tools like WordPress. Shared hosting does not usually offer a lot of scalability, so it is targeted mainly at the smaller, more-price conscious webmasters. A lot of hosting companies are now available that offer unlimited hosting plans, meaning that storage and bandwidth are not limited to fixed amounts. Unlimited hosting can be interesting, especially if it is offered in combination with (unlimited) multi domain hosting. This means you could (if required) run multiple websites on one single hosting account. If huge amounts of storage are not needed – and your expected traffic also does not require a lot of bandwidth, unlimited hosting account do not have to be considered.

 

 .. and how about VPS Hosting?

 

VPS hosting is also a popular choice among many small and medium-sized websites looking for scalable application, email and web hosting solutions. If you want a highly configurable system or a reseller hosting platform that is completely white labeled, VPS is a good choice. It is also a more economical solution compared to a dedicated hosting service. A few notches above shared hosting, VPS is an option leveraged by businesses when they feel the need to support bulky custom applications and more flexibility in terms of what the applications that run on the hosting space need to support. Most VPS plans offer the possibility to host multiple (if not unlimited) websites – all managed from an easy to use control panel like Plesk or cPanel. FXDomains also offers ‘Simple Control Panel ‘ which allows for unlimited websites to be created and hosted (while other control panels usually charge additional fees for more than X domains hosted). VPS hosting plans also (mostly) support shell access to the operating system to allow for the installation of custom packages and tools.

 

A comparison of features – Shared hosting and VPS hosting can be compared on the basis of some core features.

 

Hosting resources

 

Shared hosting: User-level management (Windows or Linux) offers basic file system levels and process compartmentalization. All the hardware resources are shared within certain limits enforced by monitoring software.

 

Virtual Private Server: Offers more advanced virtualization options. Memory and disk space are allotted to virtual private servers independently, with hard limits and strict monitoring ensuring that a user’s activities do not pose an interference to others within each virtual environment.

 

Scalability

 

Shared hosting: From fixed bandwidth and memory allocations to ‘unlimited’ packages, the sharing hosting account lives on the same hardware with several different accounts across different allocations.

 

Virtual Private Hosting: A VPS plan is scalable – you can opt for a minimal allocation or choose a solution that has enough resources to handle large traffic and many database applications. It is a good option for fast-growing businesses.

 

Security

 

Shared hosting: Complete security is not possible in shared hosting. This is because multiple users can download and upload files running under the same OS that supports other user accounts. As a result, there is always a risk of unscrupulous elements exploiting the vulnerability of the OS to access users’ data.

 

VPS: Much more secure than shared hosting, VPS offers a virtual environment with independent file systems and secure configurations managed by administrators.

 

Making the choice

 

Opt for VPS if you either need more control of the underlying operating system, if you need custom processes (i.e. cron jobs) to run and If enhanced security, semi/fully managed hosting support and advanced performance management are priorities, VPS is a good choice. You should also consider a VPS if you need to run a secure (SSL/HTTPS) website that needs a dedicated IP address to function.

 

If you simply want to run a simple, single website (either with or without a CMS like WordPress or Drupal), do not have the requirement to run custom processes and are fine with the standard additional features offered by the plans available (like number of email inboxes included and so on) – Shared hosting is probably a good choice. Running a secure website (with SSL certificate) on shared hosting is not always a possibility with all shared hosting providers – as usually, an SSL certificate needs a dedicated IP address which is not always offered for shared hosting (FXDomains.com DOES offer a dedicated IP for shared hosting accounts by the way).

 

At FXDomains, Shared Hosting Plans start at $1.69/month (with additional discount if you order for longer periods). Virtual Private Servers start at $19.99/month (also discounts available).

There are NO long term contracts for hosting with FXDomains.com. You can cancel your hosting account at any time.