Does your website need more power because of increased traffic? What about startups that want to scale their web hosting solutions within a tight budget? Shared hosting and VPS (virtual private servers) bring many benefits and limitations, depending on your configuration. If you’re ready to create your website or want to switch from a shared or private plan, we will answer your burning questions about choosing the right server for you.
It’s a little tricky to pinpoint exactly when to use VPS hosting since new technologies are blending the two to meet budget demands, but we’ll go over the main differences so you can make the best choice. So what is a VPS and shared hosting, and what’s the difference between them?
What Is A VPS?
A virtual private server is the lovechild of dedicated hosting and shared hosting. Basically, a VPS runs independently from other websites for more control and performance.
What Is Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting is like carpooling. It’s both cost-effective and environmentally friendly because you “share a ride” with others to reach a destination. Shared hosting operates a single physical server to host multiple sites. Each customer shares monthly traffic, disk space, and other resources that associate with their personal or business website.
Let’s go over the main differences between shared and private hosting.
If security is a concern, a private server offers better monitoring tools, larger backup space, and improved performance reliability. Customers that need any form of online payment or receive sensitive data are users that require these features.
The main security concern about shared hosting is if one website becomes infected, others could be vulnerable, too. This shouldn’t scare you off, though, as most shared settings know how to isolate themselves and require different sets of permissions to protect subfolders with sensitive data.
High Traffic Volume
If you know your website will need to handle a lot of digital visitors, a private solution is probably the best bet. Some businesses that underestimate how much traffic will visit their website can risk losing customers due to slow loading times, or even worse, their server crashes. Realistic expectations require practical solutions.
Shared hosting may not be the best choice if you’re expecting high traffic or fast scalability. It’s not impossible, but heavy sites can exhaust shared servers. This is a great option for small website owners or any mid-tier traffic site.
If you’re running a website on a shared server and it seems sluggish, you probably need to switch to a private server. It’s natural for websites to grow as users add more content and increase their value. A private server enables scalability to avoid slow load times.
Although shared hosting is slower compared to more independent options, it’s still a popular hosting option despite slower speeds. New technologies streamline their servers to keep shared websites as fast as possible. It’s still not as reliable as a private server, but it’s enough for most use cases.
If you manage an online store, it’s generally recommended to choose a private server. Why? Because a virtual private server is likely to pass the PCI Data Security Standard compliance test required by every major credit card brand to protect their interests such as data theft or cyber-attacks.
You want to do everything you can do to protect your payment gateway to avoid costly legal issues. Users that need bookkeeping, billing, and related advanced programming usually opt for private servers to perform similar tasks.
Are you comfortable about sharing your online store with someone else? Sometimes a backend process can “implode,” and since each product contains its own purchase credentials, shared connections may negatively affect their digital neighbors.
Many e-commerce websites make shared hosting work for them, but only after they consult professionals or thoroughly research the pros and cons.
There are many more distinctions between the two, but unless you’re an advanced user with specific configurations outside of mainstream use, you probably don’t need to worry about them.
Private hosting allows custom server configurations or any other advanced programming for more control over your website. Shared hosting grants the same benefits at a slightly lower quality and cost that serves the needs of most low-mid tier users.
Whichever server is right for you, make sure it hits the sweet spot between relevant features and value for your website.