To truly understand how VPS works, it’s important to get familiar with some of the basics of web hosting, including other common plans. Here’s a brief breakdown of the differences between shared, dedicated, and VPS hosting.
1. Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is the most common form of web hosting and works well for many new website owners. When you purchase a shared hosting plan, you’re sharing key resources like CPU, RAM, and hard drive space with other website owners using that same server.
Let’s use an analogy to make understanding this concept a little easier.
Think of a shared server as a large apartment complex, and all of the individual apartments are rented by other website owners. All of you need a place to live — just like your website’s files — but going out to buy a huge family home would be too expensive for your needs. Sharing common areas and utilities in an apartment block helps keep costs down. And the same is true for shared hosting.
There are a few downsides to shared hosting, though, mostly because you’re sharing. For instance, if someone else on your shared server has a huge spike in traffic, that could affect your website’s performance. However, if you’re just getting your website off the ground and don’t have huge traffic volume, shared hosting is a great way to get online!
2. Dedicated Hosting
Dedicated hosting is the opposite of shared hosting. Rather than pooling resources (and sharing the costs) with other website owners, you have one dedicated server that is reserved for your website only.
Sounds great, right? The catch is that it’s more expensive, but you get 100% control over your resources and can customize the software to meet your individual needs. This type of hosting package is best for websites with robust technical demands. For example, dedicated hosting could be right for you if:
- you are getting large amounts of traffic each day.
- you need to install your own operating system.
- you are handling thousands of financial transactions.
- your website requires custom software.
3. VPS Hosting
VPS hosting sits squarely between shared and dedicated. When you choose VPS, there will be other websites hosted on the same hardware as yours (remember that powerful server we talked about earlier?).
But — and it’s a big one — your website is the only domain allocated to your particular virtual compartment. And that means you get your own operating system, dedicated storage, powerful CPU, scalable RAM, and unlimited bandwidth.
With a VPS, you are getting many of the benefits of a dedicated server — for an affordable price. In short, VPS hosting can give you more bang for your buck.