Shared Hosting Vs VPS Hosting – 5 Key Differences

By Sidney H. Alexander

February 18, 2020


​This is one question that gets asked a lot just before starting a site, the short answer is ​that VPS hosting is far superior but it comes at a price so its not the best choice in every situation. ​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.

Shared hosting may be the least expensive option, but VPS can also offer excellent value for money. Spend some time figuring out which type of hosting you’ll need, to ensure the right choice. Most personal or beginner websites will find the features offered by shared hosting are more than enough. But for those setting up an online store, or a site that you plan to expand in the future, you’ll be better equipped by upgrading to the more personalized, scalable features of VPS hosting.

​​Pros & Cons​:


​Shared ​Hosting pros & cons:


Shared ​Hosting Pros

  • ​It’s the cheapest option
  • ​It’s great for beginners and those new to tech
  • ​Performs well on static or low-traffic websites

Shared Hosting Cons

  • ​Higher security risks
  • ​Lack of dedicated resources
  • ​Sharing a server with other sites can affect your site’s performance

VPS ​Hosting and pros and cons:


​VPS ​Hosting Pros

  • ​Offers excellent value for money
  • ​More control and customization
  • ​Scalable plans that can grow with your site

​VPS Hosting Cons

  • ​Costs slightly more than shared hosting
  • ​Requires some basic tech knowledge
  • ​You will need an idea of the amount of storage and bandwidth you’ll need

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Resource Allocation:


Certain resources are necessary for everybody. For example, your cell phone plan will come with a set limit on the number of minutes, texts and data that you can use. Hosting works the same way, but the resources here are things like memory or storage space.

When you opt for a shared hosting plan, you will be sharing resources, as the name suggests. These resources will be shared with other sites on your server and could lead to issues; if one website is using up too much bandwidth, for example, then every other site on the server will be affected. Imagine it as trying to cook in a kitchen when all the hobs are already being used.

VPS hosting offers a less limited option. Since you are allocated a larger portion of the server’s hardware, you will have access to more resources. And, you’ll be given root access over the server environment, which allows you to install extra software and edit files on the server.

The Verdict: You will get more hardware with VPS hosting compared to shared hosting, which equals more resources. There’s less worry about how other websites will affect your performance - unlike shared hosting, where you rely a lot on those around you.

​​Security:


For the most part, you can rest assured that shared hosting is very safe; providers are always working to improve security, but that being said, there are no guarantees. This is due to the other sites that you will be sharing the server with.

For example, if just one site makes an error and causes a security breach, this affects every site on the server, making them vulnerable.

On the other hand, VPS hosting is more secure. You’re on a server with other VPS users offering everybody higher security, and you have more control over your own protection.

The Verdict: ​Security is more under your control when you opt for VPS hosting compared to shared hosting, along with a greater range of security features from your provider. Avoid shared hosting if you plan to process user information through your site.

​​​Performance:


Even if you’ve got tight security and all the resources in the world, what your site visitors really care about is their experience, manifested in just how smoothly your site runs. Features such as the amount of bandwidth you’ll get will vary between plans, while uptime varies depending on the provider that you opt for.

Research suggests that almost half of all internet users want websites to load in no more than two seconds. With that in mind, you need to choose a plan that can easily handle increased traffic waves without slowing the site’s loading speed down.

The Verdict: ​​VPS hosting typically outperforms shared hosting when it comes to site performance. Generally, you are allocated more bandwidth, and it’s better equipped and prepared to handle traffic spikes. If you’re planning on launching a small site that doesn’t expect large visitor volumes, then shared hosting is fine, but it’s important to be aware as to how a sudden increase in its popularity will affect performance.

​Configuration and Customization:


Usually, your hosting’s configuration - or setup - will be taken care of for you. When you opt for a shared hosting plan, the configuration is down to your provider, allowing you to get on with the more important stuff.

On the other hand, VPS hosting is a bit more complicated. There are two options available; managed and unmanaged. Managed plans are the same as shared hosting; setting up will be taken care of by the provider. But opting for an unmanaged plan means that it’s up to you, so avoid this option unless you’re a developer or a hosting expert.

There’s a clear difference between the two hosting types in terms of customization. Shared hosting has limits that can’t be exceeded, while VPS hosting allows you to customize your plan and alter limits each month if needed.

The Verdict: ​​​VPS hosting comes up trumps for customization, especially if you choose a managed plan so that there’s no need to worry about setting anything up. It’s more flexible as you can decide your own limit needs.

​​Scalability:


Decide what your ambitions are before choosing between shared and VPS hosting. If you own a small website with a modest number of visitors and don’t plan on much growth, shared hosting is ideal.

With shared hosting, website growth can lead to problems. A visitor count growing from hundreds to thousands, for example, could turn your homepage into an error message.

On the other hand, VPS hosting grows with you. For small businesses, paying a little extra at the beginning allows for more leeway later on, and helps avoid website problems as the business gets bigger.

The Verdict: VPS hosting wins hands-down when it comes to scalability. While shared hosting has its perks for personal sites or small businesses with no intention to grow, VPS is essential for ambitious companies who want to scale without concerns about their website crashing.

​​​The Final Score


​Shared hosting 0 - 5 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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