You may have already heard bits and pieces on shared, vps, dedicated, or cloud hosting but these might sound super vague to you.
These topics could be a puzzle if you are new to web hosting.
Therefore, this blog post is written to help you understand the basic concepts, and key differences on different types of hosting with examples.
Table Of Content
- What is Shared Hosting?
- What is VPS Hosting?
- What is Dedicated Hosting?
- What is Cloud Hosting?
What is Shared Hosting?
The secret of shared hosting is in its name itself. It means sharing a server.
In shared hosting, multiple websites get hosted in one server sharing its available resources like cpu, memory, storage and bandwidth.
Individual accounts hosting their website on a shared server will have no idea about other account’s website hosting on the same server.
Shared hosting is the most affordable and quick pick for most people.
You can almost compare shared hosting with sharing a room with your friend.
You have separate bedrooms, however, you share the same kitchen and bathroom.
Pros and Cons of Shared Hosting
- Most cheapest and cost-effective hosting (starts at $1.99/month). Best choice for beginners.
- Easy to use. It provides Cpanel which is a web based application for uploading websites and also provides one click installation for WordPress and other e-commerce projects.
- Technical skills are not required. Complete maintenance and support is carried out by the hosting provider.
- You can upgrade the server resources with time your website grows without difficulty.
- There won’t be dedicated resources. Since you share your server with other websites.
- Your website performance(speed) can be affected when other account’s websites consume more resources like bandwidth, memory etc.
- There is a possible security risk. If one website is vulnerable and affects the server, all the websites get affected.
- No customization. You cannot install/remove extra softwares on the server for your website.
Who Should Choose Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting is perfect for low traffic websites which can have approximately or less than 10k visitors per month.
Low traffic website can be a fresh start blog, business information page, startup site, portfolio etc.
What is VPS Hosting?
VPS is an abbreviation for Virtual Private Server.
It has a similar concept to shared hosting.
Instead of running multiple websites on a single server, here, multiple virtual servers are running on one server.
In plain form, a main physical server is partitioned into multiple sub virtual servers. These sub virtual servers are called VPS.
Similarly, VPS runs sharing the resources of the main server.
However, you will still get private resources which you do not need to share with other accounts.
Think VPS like buying an apartment in a building.
Individual owners have their own private apartment. But still, parking, elevator, etc are the resources they need to share with each other.
Pros and Cons of VPS Hosting
- You will have less resources, but dedicated.
- There is less possibility for security risk. Though VPS shares the same resources, they are independent of each other.
- You will have more control. It comes along with root access. You can customise it by installing extra software and changing the files of the server.
- There are two types of VPS hosting. You can either choose managed VPS where everything is managed for your website by default or unmanaged VPS where you need to set up the server on your own.
- Expensive compared to shared hosting (starts at $3.95/month).
- Some technical knowledge is required. If you choose unmanaged VPS, you may need to deal with multiple issues while configuring the server.
Who Should Choose VPS Hosting?
Websites that need a custom environment setup which is not possible in shared hosting should choose VPS.
If your website is growing rapidly (consuming 1TB bandwidth per month) and has exceeded the limit of shared hosting, then it’s time for moving to VPS.
What is Dedicated Hosting?
From the name itself, it is exactly what it sounds like.
Dedicated hosting is a complete physical server where its resources are dedicated to a single account.
It is opposite to shared and VPS hosting.
Unlike them, here the resources won’t be divided into multiple virtual servers or shared with multiple users. You own it completely.
Think dedicated hosting like owning a house.
Any resource belonging to it is completely yours.
Pros and Cons of Dedicated Hosting
- You own a complete physical server that runs only for you.
- No resources are shared. This will directly improve the performance of your website.
- Complete control over the server. You are free to install additional softwares and can customise the server as per your requirement.
- Better security. You can customise or add additional firewalls on the server.
- Expensive than other hosting (starts at $79.99/month).
- Upgrading a dedicated server is tough. There is now way of adding additional resources. You need to completely shift to another server.
- Not suitable for everyone. It requires technical knowledge to configure and debug the issue.
Who Should Choose Dedicated Hosting?
Usually, dedicated hosting is owned by large organisations to satisfy their demanding traffic (above 5TB per month).
It is used for massive projects like online gaming, large ecommerce sites, etc for smooth performance, security and powerful computing.
What is Cloud Hosting?
Cloud hosting is an advanced hosting in the present time.
Cloud servers and VPS have one thing in common: both are virtual servers.
However, the difference is VPS is set-up in a single physical server, whereas Cloud is set-up in multiple physical servers connected to each other located in different regions.
This multi-region feature allows cloud hosting to uptime your website by 99.99%.
If one server fails to operate another aids to cover up that failure.
Suppose you have multiple warehouses placed in different countries of the world.
That allows your customers to receive goods on time. You can relate this example to cloud hosting.
Pros and Cons of Cloud Hosting
- Cost price is cheaper compared to dedicated hosting (starts at $9.99/month).
- High availability and performance. Provides failover and load balancing features. Your site loads faster and has less downtime.
- Maximum scalability. You can scale up and down your server quickly(realtime).
- Data is replicated in multiple servers this can cause security risk.
- Since there are multiple servers, you get customization access and need more technical knowledge.
Who Should Choose Cloud Hosting?
Cloud hosting is best for the users who want flexibility.
Users whose traffic may differ from time to time such as ecommerce sites, websites launching new products on a seasonal basis, etc.
Users who have predicted their traffic(grow or shrink) in the coming days can choose cloud hosting for great productivity.
Every hosting is perfect in its own aspect. It basically depends on your websites which service you should choose.
For that, you first need to determine your needs (goal of your website, budget, type of website, resources) and then select the services accordingly.
It is best to start with low hosting service and then upgrade gradually with time your website grows.
I hope this article was helpful for you to understand the different hosting services offered today.
If you have further queries, feel free to comment and I’ll be more than happy to help.