One of the best ways of reaching out to a global market is by advertising your products and services through a website. For a website to stay up 24×7, it has to be hosted on a web server. It is possible to set up your own web server, but it requires substantial maintenance work and advanced equipment to keep it running all the time. Instead, outsourcing the job of hosting web pages to companies which run professional web hosting services is a more cost-effective option. There are three prime options to choose from. You could go for a dedicated web server, which hosts your site exclusively or go for either one of shared hosting or VPS. The dedicated server option is mandatory for websites with high daily traffic, while the rest of the two options are ideal for small business web sites with low traffic.
Difference Between Shared and VPS Hosting
Both services are designed to keep your website up 24×7 and they differ substantially in the amount of control that a webmaster gets in hosting the website and other facilities.
A shared hosting service manages multiple websites through the same server software. The resources of the server are divided to host every one of the websites. Each website may be provided with a separate hard drive volume, to host its web pages.
The user control is provided through software programs installed on the server like DirectAdmin, Plesk, cPanel, and InterWorx. Using these web-based control systems, the webmasters can upload and make changes to the content of their web pages. Most of the standard applications are made available to webmasters, but the entire job of server maintenance and software upgrades is handled by the hosting company.
If you need advanced software development for your website, shared web hosting is not the ideal choice. The operating system used is mostly Linux. A typical service will offer you plenty of hard drive space on the server, FTP, mySQL databases, and email. Such a service can also be run privately and is known as server colocation.
A VPS (virtual private server) service offers a separate operating system for every web site, along with dedicated RAM, which allows a webmaster to have complete control over site management and also provides the freedom to carry out advanced software development. So, even though your website shares the same machine with other websites, your own operating system is isolated. These services provide high bandwidth and the user is completely in charge of server administration. These are ideal for websites with moderate level traffic and plenty of online software features.
When you analyze the security features of both services, it will be realized that VPS is more secure than shared hosting. If one website that is a part of the shared hosting program is hacked, all other websites shared on it are vulnerable to hacking attacks. On the other hand, since VPS services offer a separate operating system, they are more secure. So, if you are looking for a high level of security and expecting a high amount of traffic, VPS is a better choice.
Not surprisingly, VPS is costlier compared to shared hosting services as they offer dedicated RAM, more facilities, and a greater level of security. These services charge upwards of USD 30 per month to more than USD 100 per month for hosting your website. On the other hand, a shared hosting service has a starting cost around USD 7 per month, which may range up to USD 20 for greater number of facilities and bandwidth. Ergo, it has advantages when it comes to cost. If you are looking for low-cost web hosting, this is the hosting type you should go for.
For small websites with very limited traffic, shared hosting is the cheapest and most cost-effective option, but it provides very limited amount of control to the user. On the other hand, for websites with a greater amount of traffic load and more functionality, a VPS service is ideal. Analyze your web hosting requirements and your budget to decide which of the two services will be ideal for your website.