What is the difference between VPS and shared hosting?

Choosing a hosting provider for your website can seem confusing. Two of the most popular hosting solutions, VPS and shared hosting, can appear to be especially tricky to decide between. In fact, there are some clear distinctions between the two, and understanding these will enable you to determine which is best for you.

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Shared hosting

Shared hosting is the lowest cost hosting solution: indeed, in many cases it’s even available for free. Shared hosting means that the files associated with your website, along with countless others, will be stored on a physical server owned by the hosting provider. There may be some additional services available as part of your package, but generally this should be seen as an entry-level option. You will have access to a simple-to-use control panel, but customisation options will be minimal. There is the risk that sharing the server resources can lead to performance issues, and even the danger that your website could be shut down if another website on the server suffers a security breach. Having said that, it can work well for small websites with little traffic, or blogs. If you do decide that shared hosting is the best option for you, make sure that you pick a provider that guarantees monitoring and 99.9% uptime.

VPS hosting

VPS hosting, meanwhile, also stores your website on a shared server, but this is where the similarity ends. With VPS hosting, yours is one of a limited number of sites (usually no more than 20) held by a single server, and your allocated resources such as bandwidth and storage are ring-fenced. This prevents the scenario that often blights shared hosting, whereby hungrier websites use more than their fair share of server capabilities, causing other websites to suffer as a result. Instead, VPS website hosting creates a virtual private server for each website. This means that VPS offers you the benefits of a private server but at a much more affordable price point. With more customisation options and scalability, it’s a better choice for many businesses. If you want to research options, click here for information on web hosting.

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On face value, both VPS and shared hosting provide web services based on the communal use of a server. In practice, there is a marked contrast between the resulting services. Understanding your needs will allow you to make the right choice.

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