With Indians developing a strong affinity towards the internet, there are a variety of website ideas that keep popping up in everyone’s minds. And when you sit down to work on the website idea, one of the first things that you need to do is to buy a hosting plan and choose a domain name. While registering your domain name is fairly simple, figuring out the right web hosting plan needs several rounds of careful evaluation before you take a decision.
With different types of hosting plans available in the market such as Shared hosting, Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting, Cloud Hosting or Dedicated hosting, you are likely to get spoilt for options and in many cases, a bit confused. As someone who is just starting out with websites or consolidating after a year or so of going LIVE with the site, your selection dilemma probably would revolve around two of the most used hosting products – Shared and VPS hosting
To make matters simple, we at HostGator India will help you understand and compare these two types of web hosting, thereby allowing you to take an informed decision.
Understanding Shared and VPS Hosting
When we speak of shared hosting, it is quite similar to sharing an apartment with many others. This means that you will be sharing expenses and other responsibilities as well. Here, actions of anyone who is sharing the apartment can impact everyone who is part of the shared deal.
On the other hand, virtual private server hosting resembles owning of a real estate like a condo, that is divided into multiple units which are held separately, but, surrounded by specific common areas that are shared with everyone. This ensures significantly less impact of someone’s actions on all those who are sharing the common spaces around the condo.
This simple comparison brings us to a more technical explanation for both hosting types.
What is Shared Hosting – multiple websites share the same web server and its resources. So, if you opt for shared hosting, you will be sharing the same storage, database, bandwidth, etc. as other websites that are hosted on the same server. You have to pay very less for shared hosting, but, your site gets limited customization and performance capabilities.
What is VPS Hosting – multiple sites still share a server technically, but, every website has a dedicated server space allotted, along with corresponding resources. If you go for VPS hosting, you get considerably more resource available for your website. You have to pay more for this premium hosting (as compared to shared one), but, your site gets better customization and performance capabilities (with access to a significantly higher amount of resources).
Difference between Shared hosting and VPS hosting
Server Resource Allocation and Performance
With shared hosting, your website has to share all resources and hence gets very limited space as well as bandwidth. You can efficiently manage with shared hosting when you are just starting out with a website, or expect little traffic in the first year. However, if the traffic increases or perhaps any of your web page experiences a sudden surge (against your expectations), then resources are likely to become scarce. The site’s performance could become sluggish, and there are even chances of experiencing downtime.
For such situations (when there is a high volume of traffic for your website), VPS hosting is a better option as it allocates considerably high server resources for your site – dedicated private disk space and high bandwidth, being the prominent resources. With VPS hosting, your site can continue to handle high volume traffic without worrying about running out of server resources. Websites are entitled to better performance with high bandwidth offering of VPS.
In case of shared hosting, all primary administration activities of the server are taken care by the hosting provider itself. And you don’t need any dedicated administrator, nor do you have to pay extra. On the other hand, if your website is hosted on a virtual private server, you more likely need to have the tech skills or may require a system administrator for managing the resources and maintaining the server, bug fixes, etc.
VPS allows you to have far better customisation, and you can configure a variety of software/apps to upgrade your site’s performance or security.
If your website does not accept any sensitive personal information from users, shared hosting could suffice with decent security features. However, owing to the server being shared there is a possibility that sites may get affected because a certain website within the server gets affected. At HostGator, we closely monitor our servers and immediately try to identify and suspend the site that may potentially cause harm to other websites.
With VPS hosting, the security is more robust. Your site is equipped with the ability to freely configure better security parameters such as authorised access, firewalls, and more.
Full Root Access
If you want full root access to your hosting environment, then VPS is the way to go. You are free to install any compatible custom software without any restrictions. This, however, is not possible with shared hosting, since the environment is customized by us and any kind of custom software installation is not permissible.
Summarizing the Benefits
The only thing you need to do is understand your requirements wisely, think long-term, and opt for the right hosting plan. Remember that shared hosting is ideal for a small website or blog that does not expect traffic more than few thousands every month. Also, if you are a total newbie to the world of websites and don’t want to indulge in technical or spend additional money, shared hosting could be the one for you.
On the other hand, VPS hosting should suit your needs if your website is already experiencing very high traffic, or is expected to scale quickly in future. This is the right option if you require more control, more flexibility, and better performance as well as security.