VPS Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting: what are the Pros and Cons of each?

By Sidney H. Alexander

March 14, 2020


​This is one question that gets asked a lot just before starting a site, the short answer is ​that depends on what your needs are. ​Dedicated hosting is better overall but in some scenarios VPS hosting could be a better option. ​Keep reading to find out the differences between both so you can pick the best option for you. If you're ready to buy now, I recommend you read ​my ​breakdown of the best VPS hosts.

​Dedicated or managed hosting is when someone leases an entire server for themselves and do not share it with anyone else. They have full control over the server so it is typically more flexible for them. ​In this article we are going to explore the differences between dedicated hosting and VPS hosting.

​​Pros & Cons​:


​​​VPS ​Hosting pros & cons:


Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is where several sites share the same server but use their own resources when it comes to things like bandwidth and RAM. It also uses specialist software known as a hypervisor. This lets you ‘borrow’ additional resources from other websites on the same server if you have reached your resource limit and need more. Typically, it is the most suitable for large personal websites or websites for small businesses.

​VPS ​Hosting Pros

  • ​Cheaper than dedicated hosting
  • ​Usually provides adequate performance levels for most types of websites

​VPS Hosting Cons

  • ​Since you’re still sharing resources, features may sometimes be limited
  • ​Is unable to match dedicated hosting in terms of performance or resources

​Dedicated ​Hosting and pros and cons:


Dedicated hosting is the most expensive type of hosting that you can get, but it’s also the best for several reasons. You don’t share a server and you have full control over your server settings. You can choose your own resource limits. This type of hosting is usually the best choice for medium and large business websites or for smaller websites that want room to grow.

​​Dedicated ​Hosting Pros

  • ​Allows for almost infinite website growth; no need to upgrade to a higher plan if your website or business gets bigger
  • ​Exceptional performance and massive resource limits

Dedicated Hosting Cons

  • ​Requires some technical knowledge
  • ​Expensive monthly price plans compared to other types of hosting

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​Security


Security with VPS vs Dedicated hosting is like living in an apartment compared to having your own house. If you’re living in an apartment and another resident leaves the door to your building open, you may be at risk, even if your apartment has top-notch security and a scary dog. After all, you could get accosted in the laundry room!

This is similar to what might happen on VPS hosting if another site on your server has a security breach, for example. While your specific website might not be the target, you’ve got less security than you did when all the doors were locked.

On the other hand, dedicated hosting is like living in your own home. While it could still be burgled, you are wholly responsible for keeping it safe and you can’t be put at risk by the carelessness of others.

The Verdict: ​Although VPS hosting is generally quite secure, you should opt for dedicated hosting if you want a higher level of protection. While both hosting types allow you to install your own security software to protect your site, you will be in full control of any security breaches when you opt for dedicated hosting.

​Resource Allocation:


When it comes to resource allocation, one of the simplest ways to think about it is to use the analogy of sharing a meal with family or friends. When you opt for VPS hosting, imagine you’re sharing all the resources; like sharing a meal where there are various dishes on the table for anybody to help themselves. If you want extra, there’s a chance there might be some leftover for you, but it’s never guaranteed.

On the other hand, dedicated hosting is like having your own plate. It could be a small, average-sized or large meal depending on how hungry you are but either way, nobody’s sharing it with you. And similar to how you’d pay more getting your own dedicated plate when you’re eating at a buffet compared to tucking into the food available to everybody, you’ll pay more for dedicated hosting. But you’ll have 100% of the resources all to yourself.

Compared to VPS hosting, dedicated hosting is less limited. Since you hold a bigger portion of the server’s hardware, you have a lot more resources. And, you’ll get root access over the server environment, allowing you to edit any file on the server and install extra software if you need it, which isn’t possible with any other type of hosting.

The Verdict: ​​Dedicated hosting is the clear winner; you get access to as many resources as you like, and you don’t need to rely on anybody else. It’s especially ideal if you expect your website to grow substantially, as it can grow with you without any need to upgrade your plan. While VPS hosting does have its benefits, it’s no comparison with the number of resources you’ll get on a dedicated hosting plan.

​​​Performance:


When it comes to the web hosting world, good performance is measured by how quickly and how well your website both loads and runs for visitors. Performance is a little bit like a bus journey; if there are only a few passengers on the bus, the driver will only need to stop occasionally to let them off, meaning that you will arrive at your destination sooner. On the other hand, if lots of people are on the bus the driver will likely need to stop at every stop, inevitably slowing down your website.

In terms of web hosting, shared hosting is like the bus with lots of people on it. Because of the sheer number of sites on the server, loading speeds are inevitably going to be slowed down. On the other hand, VPS hosting is like having your own bus - and if your bus fills up, you can get a second one in service using bandwidth from other sites.

Dedicated hosting gives you a super-fast double-decker bus all to yourself, capable of allowing tons of users to visit your site at the fastest speed. And there’s no chance of anybody else getting on the bus and slowing the journey down.

The Verdict: ​​​Dedicated hosting wins again, unsurprisingly, with greater resources limits that mean your site is able to deal with massive traffic surges while still loading quickly. While VPS hosting does tend to offer great loading speeds, there’s always the chance that multiple sites on the server will experience traffic spikes and subsequently slow yours down.

​Configuration and Customization:


Both managed and unmanaged plans are available with both VPS and dedicated hosting. Think of this as putting flat-pack furniture together. An unmanaged plan gives you all the pieces and the tools but you need to do it yourself. On the other hand, a managed plan is like getting furniture that’s built for you by a professional; you might have to pay a little more for the convenience, but it’s worth it if you don’t want to sit with a blueprint for hours figuring out which screws go where.

Unsurprisingly, most people tend to be of the opinion that managed plans are the better option, even if they are a little more expensive. When it comes to customization, both VPS and dedicated hosting allow you to adapt and change your resource limits each month, so there’s not all that much difference between the two.

The Verdict: ​​​​It’s a close tie here, with both VPS and dedicated hosting offering managed and unmanaged plans to choose from. Both provide you with adjustable resources that you can change each month as needed. However, VPS hosting does have a small edge on dedicated hosting since you will be able to borrow resources from other sites if you hit your monthly limits.

​​Scalability:


Scalability describes the extent that your hosting plan is able to grow along with your website. VPS hosting is a bit like growing a small tree; there’s some space to grow, but it’ll never get as high as a massive oak tree, unlike dedicated hosting, which offers all the resources and performance that you could ask for. As a result, there isn’t really much room left to scale since you’ve already got everything that you need, although there is the option to adjust your limits monthly if needed.

The Verdict: ​VPS hosting wins on scalability. It’s the best choice for sites that are stuck between needing either a shared or a dedicated hosting plan and is able to easily grow with your site until you are ready to upgrade to dedicated hosting. On the other hand, dedicated hosting is a great choice if you already have a huge site that is ready for it.

​​​Price:


As you can probably imagine, dedicated hosting tends to be more expensive when compared to VPS hosting. Opting for dedicated hosting means that you are getting the best level of hosting possible, so it’s no surprise that they are the plans you pay the most for.

On the other hand, VPS hosting offers a wide range of price options to choose from, with various plan tiers that provide you with access to varying resource limit levels.

When it comes to providers, Bluehost offers the best price for both dedicated and VPS hosting plans compared to the other top providers. In terms of quality, the best VPS hosting is provided by InMotion, while HostGator is the best provider to opt for if you want dedicated hosting.

The Verdict: ​​VPS hosting wins again; it’s easy to see that while dedicated hosting may give you greater levels of performance, resources, and security, it all comes at a higher price that might not be necessary for small and medium websites. On the other hand, VPS hosting offers adequate capacity for the majority of websites at a far more affordable price.

​​​The Final Score


​​Dedicated hosting ​3 - ​2 VPS Hosting

Related Posts from around the internet:

​​To add to the article, i search the different platforms and find the best conversations from around the internet. Below you can find some great comments from a reddit discussion.

​Title:Pros/Cons of a VPS over Shared hosting?

Comment from discussion

Sidney H. Alexander

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About the Author

Hi, Sidney here, I am addicted to techy stuff, anything breaking edge is my favorite, and I love writing so Digitizd.com was born. I realized that there is a huge market for advising people on tech related topics. People just don't have the in-depth knowledge of the digital world that they need to make purchasing decisions. So I am the middle man, the advisor, the guru, call me what you want. I just hope you enjoy my writing. Please leave a comment with your thoughts or questions. Thanks, Sidney

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VPS Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting: what are the Pros and Cons of each?

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