Shared Hosting or VPS Hosting
In today’s era of technologies everyone is blogging, socializing, presenting himself on the internet. Building and maintaining a website does no longer seem like going through fire and water. Exactly the opposite – everyone is able to handle the task – the requirements of programming skills are reduced to a minimum, so the competition is growing every single day.
Instead of worrying about the technical part, people are now challenged to find a domain (the name of a site), which has not been already taken. The internet has become an ever present part of our everyday life and therefore has a great influence when it comes to making decisions. Whether we’re considering if we should wear long sleeves or short or we have decided to cook a new dish, or we’re trying to find an affordable course in organic chemistry, we always rely on the internet as a powerful source of information. It’s inevitable for every business company to create a website in order to build a unique image of itself or to leave a desirable impression in its’ customers’ eyes. A professional website is a must when talking about web presence and at some point the web hosting comes into question too. Finding a reliable web hosting provider is a big step, but it is even more important to choose the right web hosting plan, as it is a decision, which has a great impact on the budget and the income of your business in the near as well as in the distant future.
So before deepening in the subject let us quickly explain why exactly you need web hosting. Web hosting is the service, which actually connects your website to the internet. Simple as that. It’s practically possible to connect your PC to the internet in order to get the same effect, but the problem you will experience is that your computer is most probably not powerful enough in order to allow that several users visit your page. The web hosting providers own very powerful servers, which store your contain and put it on the internet. This will secure the availability of your pages as well as a faster loading process. The web hosting providers are offering more and more features and even the experienced people can get confused when choosing the optimal web hosting plan. The different types of web hosting plans correspond to the traffic volumes, bandwidth and other requirements, which the customers may have. Small to medium businesses often require a lower amount of resources and do not have the budget for owning a server, so the dedicated server hosting is out of the question. Therefore they stay in front of the dilemma: shared or VPS hosting? And then, it’s time for the following questions: “Do I have control over the security?”, “Who takes care of the server’s management?”, “Are there cheap managed VPS plans?” and so on, and so on… In the following article we will try to present precisely both the shared and the VPS hosting, so hopefully you will be able choose for yourself.
If the whole web hosting idea is new to you, you are probably asking yourself: what does actually ‘shared hosting’ mean? It’s easily imaginable if you think of it as the life in an apartment house – you will be located on the same server as many other accounts so all of you will be sharing a certain amount of resources (such as memory and CPU time). So here comes the problem: if one of the other accounts, located on your server, is, for example, using 80% of the server’s memory because of its’ high levels of traffic at some point, the other users will be left with just 20% memory to share, which will possibly result in downtime or slowly loading pages. This is called the ‘bad neighbor effect’. It could be even worse if for example one of the users downloads a game, which contains a virus. Chances are that all of the sites will be affected, which will most definitely reflect negatively on your business. Unfortunately, such problems are completely unpredictable and most of the time there’s nothing to do about them but wait for the administration team to tackle with them. And the bad news – depending on the hardware’s characteristic data there could be up to 2.000-3.000 other accounts in your ‘apartment house’. Some of the web hosting providers try to prevent such crises by detecting the possible damage-makers (such as websites with inadmissibly huge levels of traffic), but this doesn’t work very well in the long term. So, as you can see, by choosing this type of web hosting you will not have any control over the performance of your site. This would harm the SEO ranking of your site as well, because the performance is one of the important factors, influencing the ranking. Unfortunately, the amount of disk space and the traffic volume capacity you will be given are low, because of the many other users, which the provider should consider. You will not be able to install any apps in order to improve the software, as the server will be fully configured by the web hosting provider. This includes the (impossible) setup of some WordPress plugins as well. Of course, the security is also beneath criticism, since you’re sharing the same server with many other people. A good side of this type of hosting is the fact that it is really easy to set up and handle. However, it is as clear as day that with shared hosting you get what you paid for. This type of hosting can be a good idea only for people, which intend to create websites with low traffic (under 500 visitors a day) and no requirements when it comes to speed, as the major advantage of this hosting plan is the low price.
So which is the better alternative? The virtual private server (VPS) has many similarities with the shared hosting. The easiest way to understand it is to look at it like it is a server within another server. You will be sharing a physical server with other users (many times fewer compared to shared hosting), but this server will be divided in many compartments. Each of these compartments will have entire disposal of its’ own resources, so the ‘bad neighbor effect’ is completely eliminated and your site will not be affected because of someone else’s mistakes. A VPS hosting plan will guarantee you a higher amount of memory and CPU. You will get exactly the resources that you pay for and bearing this in mind it’s quite obvious that your site will work a lot better. And here comes the biggest advantage of this type of web hosting: it’s scalable. This means that with the growth of your website the amount of the resources, allocated to you, will increase as well (of course, after you inform your provider). You will also have the opportunity to choose your operating system. With VPS you will be able to configure whatever additional software you like, because your environment is fully under your control. The security levels of a virtual private server are way better than shared hosting simply because you don’t share an operating system with anyone else, so no one would be able to download your files. This means that you will have the opportunity to keep your confidential information safe. In most cases you will be given full control over firewall and the other security settings. Of course, the prices of this type of hosting are higher, but when it comes to business it’s better to invest in order to succeed. And what about managing? When talking about this type of web hosting there are mainly two options – unmanaged and managed VPS. The main difference is that with managed VPS all of the technical issues and all of the work on the server’s maintenance are in the hands of your web hosting provider. This means that by choosing this option you will have more time to focus on your business and spare yourself some nerves instead of worrying about all of the problems, which you might experience. You will be provided with a control panel, so you will be able to easily handle your website. The administration team of the web hosting company will take care of the data backups and you will be bound no to lose any important information. The unmanaged VPS leaves you in charge of every technical aspect of your server – you will have to configure, maintain, update and fix it whenever needed, which requires not just some excellent IT skills, but a lot of free time as well. It’s obvious that the managed VPS would cost you more, but you could always find a cheap managed VPS and spare yourself a lot of time. We can only recommend you to look up our cheap managed VPS plans and decide for yourself. Basically you can think of the VPS hosting as a bridge between the shared hosting and a dedicated server. This is why it’s very practical for small and medium businesses – it allows the expansion of the business at reasonable prices (as you share most of the costs with the other users).
Your website is a reflection of your business image and a way to attract (or unfortunately lose) potential clients. If you are striving for a professional and unique business image, you should consider well the choice of web hosting plan, because it is a great factor for the speed and the whole performance of your website. No one likes waiting for hours when loading a page or experiencing a server crash frequently. The care for your website is a sign of your commitment to your business. The more customer friendly the site seems, the better the chances for the growth of the per-day visitors. It’s important to secure an always available technical support, regular updates and backups in order to gain your customers’ attention and trust, as the website would be their first impression of your company. All of these matters are related to the hosting plan you choose. Many site owners, without having a thorough knowledge on the subject, are attracted to the shared hosting because of the low prices and easy management. However, this type of hosting does not provide the opportunity of expansion of the business due to the fact that it’s not scalable. Choosing this type of hosting will make your website dependent on many factors, which aren’t under your control, such as the traffic levels of other websites or the poor security. Even if you decide to start with a shared hosting plan, it is inevitable for your site to outgrow its’ limitations and you will soon be transferring to VPS hosting anyway.
So what is the conclusion? The shared hosting is an option, suitable only for small sites owners or bloggers, who do not predict any future growth of their internet page or for people, who only want to try out a particular feature or to work on their website. Frankly, if you are serious about your business, you need to choose VPS hosting. In the past it was only used by people, able to manage their servers on their own. Nowadays, especially with the cheap managed VPS plans, it’s not just easy, but also affordable to go with this type of hosting even if you don’t have the skills to configure and maintain a server. You will not only allow your business (and, of course, website) to grow undisturbedly and to experience constant uptime, but you will have the flexibility to install and configure any application you’d like in order to improve the performance of your page. If you go with managed VPS you will have enough time to focus on your business and think about strategies and budgeting instead of worrying about the technical part. It’s surely going to cost more than a shared hosting plan, but the image of your business will be more professional and the business will flourish soon. Investing a little more at the beginning will bring you great results on the long run.