Shared web hosting is probably the most prevalent type of
hosting available; it is also the cheapest - available for just a
dollar or two in some cases. By comparison, our VPS plans start at
Shared hosting works by installing a control panel like cPanel
or Plesk on a powerful, dedicated server which is then shared by
potentially thousands of customers. Typically, you will receive
scripting language - PHP being the most common.
When compared to a VPS, shared hosting has three major
- You are not the administrator of your hosting setup and are
limited in terms of the software that can be run. You may have
access to a MySQL database but be out of luck if you require
PostgreSQL instead. If you are lucky the provider may install some
software on your behalf, but largely you will be restricted to just
a few pieces of software.
- Often you will only be able to host one "site". If you want to
run multiple sites, expect to pay for multiple accounts.
- Due to the cost structure, shared hosting relies on your
website using very little resources. If your site becomes popular
and needs "too much" of CPU or memory, your provider may ask for
more money, ask you to leave, or simply suspend your service.
- Conversely as a shared environment, if another customer on your
host starts using too many resources your own website may be slowed
to a crawl until your service provider intervenes
A VPS has none of these restrictions:
- You are the administrator of your VPS and can install any
software you want.
- A VPS supports "unlimited" domains - you are paying for a
certain amount of CPU, memory, disk space, and bandwidth. Whether
you use those resources to host 1 large website or 100 tiny
websites is entirely up to you.
- It is not possible to use "too much" CPU, memory, or disk
space. You have paid for a certain amount and can expect to make
full use of it.
- Likewise, VPS
resource allocations are such that its not possible for a
fellow customer to excessively slow down your website.
A shared hosting account is by its very nature, "managed" - you
are not required to upgrade the operating system, web server, or
database server applications. By comparison, our service is unmanaged - meaning
you (or your employees) need the technical knowledge to update and
configure the operating system.
If you require a managed service, shared hosting is easily the
most cost effective means of obtaining it. If you do not require
management services, than the cost difference is less noticable.
When choosing between the two types of service, ask yourself:
- Do I have the funding available for a VPS?
- Do I (or an employee) have the technical skills required to
manage an operating system installation?
- Do I need to use any non-standard website software (or run software that
is not web-related at all? )
- Do I want to host multiple websites?
- Is my site too popular (or likely to soon be too popular) for
the small amount of resources shared hosting provides?
- Are the inherent performance fluctuations of a shared hosting
If you answered yes to three or more questions then a VPS is
likely to be the best solution for you.