Shared vs. VPS hosting–Which is the right choice?

list of hosting companies

Were you going back and forth trying to choose between a shared hosting and a VPS? The choice is not always clear, but you can ask yourself some questions that could make the choice a little easier. Taking your preferences and other factors into account, you may be able to decide whether shared hosting is best for you or you need a VPS. Let’s dig at the variations between shared hosting and a VPS before we go any further.

VPS vs Shared Hosting–Basic differences 

There are many discrepancies but also many parallels when looking at shared site hosting vs VPS hosting.

hostingThe main difference between shared hosting and VPS hosting is that you devote your services to a VPS and you don’t share them with anyone else, unlinke shared hosting, which is why it’s called “private” hosting. A dedicated server is partitioned into smaller Virtual Private Servers (VPS) with a VPS and each VPS acts as a dedicated mini server of its own. The nice thing about this is that it doesn’t matter what other people on the server do (mostly) because your resources are dedicated to a VPS. So, if someone else on the server gets a huge traffic spike, the amount of resources you have shouldn’t be affected because they’re dedicated to your VPS.

It’s a little different for shared hosting. You’re sharing the ram and Processor, so if you get a traffic spike from another user on the website, it might slow down your site, or if the spike is high enough, it might force your site offline. Also, this is what occurs when you share computer resources— you and other users on the cloud fight for the same amount of ram and CPU in a way.

If you are using a trustworthy host that does a good job of managing shared server services (like HostGator), this may not be the distinction between a shared hosting package and a VPS at low traffic rates. Nonetheless, if you have medium to high levels of traffic or a website that requires a lot of CPU or memory (such as a WordPress site with database-intensive plugins or other features), you may notice the difference between a shared hosting account and a VPS even at low levels of traffic, particularly on your site’s backend.

Questions to Assist You Decide on Shared Hosting or VPS

Is there a lot of traffic you have?

If you’re getting a lot of guests (300-500 + per day), then you might want to consider moving VPS hosting, or perhaps managed WordPress hosting. The problem with having a large number of visitors on shared hosting is that the server’s services are constantly consumed, and often at the same time as others. If your traffic is sporadic or the overall level is relatively low, try shared hosting to get started is not a bad idea because it is much cheaper than a VPS or even managed WordPress hosting.

Nonetheless, if, in my view, your traffic levels are within the range of 300-500 + per day, you might want to consider moving away from shared hosting. Some people may think that 300-500 + visitors a day are not a lot of traffic, but in my experience it is enough to give some trouble to shared hosting. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your site is down at this level of traffic, but if you have a moderately complex WordPress theme and lots of images on your site, it’s often just enough traffic to reduce page load times, especially when you’re competing for resources with other people on the server.

Is your website a personal or business site?

Shared-vs-vps-hosting-comparison If your platform is a business site where you offer anything or receive any kind of lead details (e.g., if you are a builder, a plumber, etc.) you may want to try something other than shared hosting. Generally speaking, VPS sites are much more snappy than shared hosting, which can lead to better conversions. People have come to believe that blogs and web pages will be fully loaded in less than 3 seconds in this day and era. When you’re on a common network exchanging server space, there are other people competing more or less for the same services that can really impact your conversion rate if you’re a company.

Businesses do tend to have larger resources to deal with than people, so it makes sense for them to invest a little extra money on a web presence to insure that their page is enabled as quickly as possible, which may be something different than shared hosting. Usually, you also have more space with a VPS to configure the server and execute unique scripts, which is not always possible on shared hosting.

On shared hosting, personal pages and enterprise sites that are actually more or less just placeholders are usually okay. Nonetheless, if you’re a blogger who’s trying to grow your following, you might want to recommend moving to the best hosting you can afford because the platform loads quicker and the less it’s down, the more reliable you’re going to be in your eyes or followers.

Are you planning to monetize your website as a blogger?

When you blog to monetize your material and earn money, load your ads better faster, and load your blogs better faster. This is crucial because a site that loads slowly, as mentioned earlier, would generally make you seem less trustworthy to your audience. Therefore, if your advertisements don’t display correctly or if your conversion and opt-in sites don’t work as they should, you’ll probably lose money. So, you can buy the best hosting you can manage in this case. I highly recommend WP Engine because in my view they are basically the best WordPress host out there and their plans start at $29/month, which should usually be accessible to people who are serious about blogging or monetizing their websites.

Need the ability to customize the application and fine-tune it?

Community-hosting-or-vps Shared hosting is not usually the best choice if this is the case. Because server resources are shared among many different people, most hosting companies need to optimize their resources and usually do not allow clients to tinker with server settings or run custom server-side scripts.

You can generally tweak a variety of settings with a VPS, because it’s your own virtual server, as you would be able to do on a dedicated server. You can create certain modifications that can affect the way the site is loading or working, and you can also monitor many other items. You should choose a VPS over shared hosting if you are someone who wants or requires to have this amount of control over a device.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.