Shared vs. VPS vs. Dedicated Hosting: Which Is the Best Option?
When hosting a web project, be it a website, a blog, a forum, or something more specialized such as bitcoin WordPress hosting, there are a lot of different choices. This variety of hosting choices means you have to do your research as each has their own advantages and disadvantages. VPS, shared, and dedicated hosting are three hosting options you’re likely to encounter, so here is a brief overview of each.
VPS or virtual private system hosting is a type of shared hosting solution. Unlike traditional shared hosting, there are fewer users and your site has a specific baseline amount of resources dedicated to it. VPS is a suitable upgrade to traditional shared hosting if you need more control, scalability, and dedicated system resources. VPS, while more expensive than traditional shared hosting, is still affordable with a $20 to $100 per month cost depending on needs and your hosting service provider.
- VPS Advantages: VPS offers a lot of positives as a hosting solution. When using VPS hosting you have a great deal of control over a part of the server that is secure and solely dedicated to your use. In addition to this security, VPS hosting is also fast and scalable, meaning you can grow (or shrink) your hosting resources as needed, keeping the price well within your control.
- VPS Disadvantages: as noted, VPS hosting is more expensive than traditional shared hosting as all those useful features come at a cost. Plus, you have to do research as hosting services many overstate what they can offer. Finally, setting up a VPS can require a bit of technical know-how if it’s unmanaged.
Shared hosting is a traditional and cheap method a lot of people use to get their first websites up and running. If you’ve ever seen a hosting service offering a year of hosting for an incredibly cheap price, this is likely what they were offering. Shared hosting has no dedicated resources, and your site is put up on a server with everyone else using server resources at the same time with no seniority. If you don’t need a lot of overhead or dedicated resources, shared hosting is an economical solution.
- Shared Hosting Advantages: a very cheap solution as hosting costs are typically only a few dollars a month. Shared hosting sites have a lot of first-time users, so they offer tools to help build a website. Despite being cheap, shared hosting is secure.
- Shared Hosting Disadvantages: you get what you pay. Shared hosting can be slow, lack high-level control, and stability is often not viable. While secure, you don’t have control of what other people could be doing on the server which can cause issues.
Direct hosting is the most powerful hosting solution. With direct hosting, you are the only ‘resident’ of the server and have complete control over its use, content, and resources. If you need high levels of security, complete control, and have the resources to manage it, direct hosting is a solution with a lot to offer.
- Direct Hosting Advantages: with direct hosting, you have admin level control over everything and have total access to all resources and content; nothing happens on your server without you knowing it. Direct hosting is also fast and comes with high-level customer support (often 24/7) when you need it.
- Direct Hosting Disadvantages: while powerful, direct hosting is expensive, often costing between $80 to $500 per month. Plus, you need the technical knowledge to keep it up and running. Depending on the size of your operation, a dedicated staff member may be required to keep processes running smoothly.
When asking which hosting method is best, it’s important to understand this is not a yes or no question. The best hosting solution depends on what you need and what you can afford. Before signing a contract be sure of two things; 1) what service levels are absolutely critical for your site, and 2) what features are nice to have but optional. This helps avoid overspending while still meeting your basic hosting needs.
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