Both shared and Virtual Private Server (VPS) web hosting solutions have unique strengths.
Which hosting strategy your organisation chooses to use depends entirely on the needs of your business. Businesses want to ensure continuity, growth, agility and cost effectiveness. Web hosting can help drive these businesses objectives and online presence via:
Shared hosting is the most economical option for hosting and appropriate for businesses that run simple tasks such as:
► Planning to host and maintain only your web site and a couple of blogs; and
► Setting up and maintaining a limited number of email accounts and have no intention to scale up.
VPS hosting, on the other hand, is appropriate for businesses that require running of:
► Big data
► Enterprise-grade emails
► Multiple, e-commerce or media-rich websites
► Mobile and software applications
► Staging servers
Let’s take a simple approach to understand these two web hosting solutions. Imagine your company has partnered with an advertising firm that caters to a lot of other companies like yours. Since you are not their only client, the resources of the firm—in terms of manpower and time—are divided among all clients. If one client requires more work done, manpower resources will get directed towards their needs first. And as the advertising firm takes on more clients, you will get less access to their resources.
Finally, because you are just one of many clients, your access to higher-end capabilities might be restricted. This is what shared hosting is all about. With shared hosting, a lot of businesses split the resources of one physical server, and that has both pros and cons.
Benefits and Limitations to Consider Before Investing in Shared Hosting Cost
To understand if shared hosting is suitable for your particular business, you will need to look into its benefits and limitations.With shared hosting, the cost of resources is shouldered by all the businesses using a particular shared hosting solution. Hence, individual costs go down significantly.
Another benefit of shared hosting is that businesses don’t need to worry about server management. Highly-trained professionals at the web hosting company will do all the heavy-lifting on the technological front. This makes shared hosting popular among startups, as it doesn’t require high-level IT skill sets, while giving them incredibly short time-to-market. All a business needs to do is upload a fully developed website, configure it, and publish it.
If a shared hosting user runs a high number of email accounts on a server, chances are other users will experience reduced web hosting performance. This is also why some shared hosting providers do not allow clients to host unlimited mails, purely to ensure that none of their clients experience poor hosting performance. In other case, clients may be allowed to host unlimited emails as some service providers offer, but at a significantly reduced performance.
Malicious attacks towards a simple website on a server may spread problems throughout the whole user base. This is often referred to as the “bad neighbour” effect. It is completely unpredictable and almost impossible to plan for.
As shared hosting providers need to ensure the security and the stability of their server, so they won’t allow your business to install modules, run programs or run scripts on a shared server.
How VPS Hosting is Different from Shared Hosting
VPS hosting offers the total opposite of what shared hosting can offer as shared below:
VPS hosting is more like partnering with an advertising firm, but with a twist. In this case, a portion of the firm’s resources are set aside just for you to use, regardless of the frequency of use. Those resources are on the advertising firm’s payroll, but they work only for you.
This gives your business more flexibility when it comes to getting things done. When the firm isn’t tied up with projects, it can drive all its resources towards your work. But when it has a lot of other work, you are still assured of the same amount of resources (which you already paid for) dedicated to getting work done for you.
With VPS hosting, your business is still sharing a physical machine with other businesses, but your business has a predefined amount of resources dedicated to it, such as CPU, RAM and storage space.
A major concern that businesses face is ensuring service uptime. Unlike shared hosting, if an organisation is using a VPS hosting solution for its website and emails, it will have dedicated access to storage and computing resources. What this means for businesses is that the chances of experiencing down time—even with greater amount of traffic—is very thin. As such, businesses can expect no performance loss when they host enterprise-grade emails and content-intensive websites. More so if the VPS hosting is in the cloud. Typically cloud VPS uses a network of servers to facilitate auto fail over in the rare case of network or other forms of failure to maximise service uptime.
Control and Cost
Unlike shared hosting, VPS hosting allows businesses to have greater control over the resources they use. They can install modules and run scripts with ease, which is not possible with a shared hosting solution. The only downside is that VPS hosting solutions are much more expensive.
IT skills set
With VPS hosting, businesses are wholly responsible for installing software patches, running modules, scripts and applications and maintaining security. Hence, businesses will require higher levels of IT skill sets—like having personnel with working knowledge of Linux and Windows for example.
That said, there are web hosting services which provide the more convenient “Managed VPS Hosting”. The even better news is, if you are less IT-savvy but you need a super-duper VPS hosting just for your emails and websites, there are some service providers that can offer you fully-managed email and web hosting plan on VPS with dedicated computing resources. Such service is recommended when you host:
► E-commerce / Media-rich / Heavy traffic websites
► Multiple websites
► Enterprise-grade emails
In a Nutshell
In order to decide what type of web hosting will suit your business, or your specific business requirements, you need to know the differences between Shared and VPS web hosting.
Shared hosting is less expensive, and does not require customers to be IT-savvy, but can have performance issues and cannot be customised . Go with one that that does not offer “unlimited” emails or storage space will be your best bet to ensure that you do not fall into the trap of “bad neighbour” effect that will affect your own email and web performance. Better still, go with one that is able to commit isolated resources for your shared hosting to totally avoid disruptive performance.
VPS hosting gives you more freedom with root access to install modules like PHP, Apache, Server Level Proxy, run software applications and more. It offers greater control over the infrastructure you are renting as some resources are dedicated to you. This results in higher assured performance, but is also more expensive and requires a higher level of IT knowledge from your team.
Fret not if you require IT assistance, you can subscribe to different “managed services” offered by hosting providers and let them handle your server technicalities so that you can focus on your business.If you require dedicated resources to host your emails and websites, look for service providers that offer this software-as-a-service (SaaS) on VPS computing resources.