Taking into account the differences between Shared, VPS and Dedicated Hosting is an important decision. When you are setting up your website, the option that you choose will dictate what you can readily achieve. This isn’t to say that one option is superior in every way – merely that you will need to match the best option for what you are hoping to achieve.
Shared Hosting, in brief, is a solution where you are renting web space and bandwidth from a server location that you share with a number of other people. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server, and in this situation the hosting company has partitioned their hardware so that the sections each effectively act as an individual server. A Dedicated Server is exactly that. You are the only person using that server and you have a lot more options in how you use it and the software that you can install. A quick breakdown of the differences between Shared, VPS and Dedicated Hosting shows the following:
In general, these are the features that you can expect if you choose a shared hosting solution:
- This is the cheapest hosting option.
- Maintenance, Configuration and Upkeep costs are shared with other site owners.
- Web space offerings typically up to 1000MB in size
- Bandwidth offerings typically up to 40GB
- Slower server response times.
- A problem that takes down one website will take down all the websites.
The great advantage of shared hosting is that the running costs are shared among all people using the service. This drives down prices in an already competitive market. For most small sites, this is sufficient, and is often a good place to start when working out which of Shared, VPS and Dedicated Hosting is best for you.
The advantages and disadvantages of taking up a VPS Hosting solution are:
- Cheaper than Dedicated Hosting, but more expensive than Shared Hosting.
- You can install your own applications on your Virtual Server.
- Problems with other users’ sites may not affect yours and vice versa
- Provides guaranteed levels of memory and storage
- Shares CPU capacity across the virtual services.
- Technically more complex to run.
A VPS Hosting solution is a good way to step up your presence if you are in need of running a database-driven server or application. It is also better for where you need more flexibility in your server configuration. You do need to be more technically skilled however to take full advantage.
The features of Dedicated Hosting are:
- Guaranteed access to server resources
- Total flexibility in how you configure and run the server
- The most reliable solution
- The most expensive solution
- Priority support given by hosting companies.
Dedicated Hosting is the most flexible and powerful solution because you are given full administrative control of the server. You are also the only person with access to the server’s resources so you don’t have to struggle for capacity with anyone else.
With Shared being the cheapest and Dedicated the most expensive; and with the complexity and reliability of service also rising on the same scale it really just comes down to a trade-off. Bear that in mind when considering the differences between Shared, VPS and Dedicated Hosting for your next website.
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