10th Jan2021

Dedicated server vs. VPS vs. Shared hosting – Which one is for me?

by James Smith

Unlike many other things in life, you can’t choose a hosting option based solely on price. This is because hosting comes in several different forms, each providing different performance, security, configurability, and scalability. Let’s examine the core differences between Dedicated, VPS, and Shared servers:

Dedicated Server

A dedicated server is a single server whose resources are all devoted to your use. As a result, this type of hosting offers the best performance, security, configurability, and scalability. However, this also means that they are the most expensive option.

Dedicated servers are ideal for websites that receive over one thousand unique visitors on a daily basis. This kind of traffic requires the devoted resources that only a dedicated server can provide. However, traffic is not the only reason you might opt for this type of hosting. For instance, if you deal with sensitive personal data, you may need a dedicated server’s security. VPS and shared hosting don’t put you in control of server security the way dedicated hosting does. With this kind of hosting, you get complete control to optimize the security of your site and any stored customer information.

You might also want a dedicated server for internal applications for employees that are crucial to your business’s seamless functioning. Or if you have a customer-facing application with significant demand. You could also use a dedicated server as a backup server to protect your data in the case of an outage or disruption.

VPS Hosting

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. Virtual server hosting functions a bit like dedicated hosting in that it has its own allocated resources. However, rather than being a standalone physical server, a VPS is a virtually partitioned portion of a parent server. Therefore there can be several VPS’ on a single server. The virtual partitions between VPSs prevent one VPS from affecting any others. As a result, you get optimal website performance and security with a fair amount of configurability and a certain degree of scalability (depending on your plan).

VPS hosting is usually chosen by websites with a medium amount of traffic (less than one thousand unique visitors a day). Additionally, websites will choose VPS hosting when they want to ensure that their sites won’t be affected by other sites’ traffic or security. VPS hosting offers many of the same benefits of a dedicated server, but it has the advantage of being less expensive. Like a dedicated server, a VPS can host multiple websites, but it is limited by the amount of bandwidth and storage set by the hosting provider.

In addition to being used for hosting websites, a VPS can host one or multiple web applications or be used as a file server to host images, files, videos, etc. Additionally, they can be used as a database server, mail server, or DNS server.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is the least expensive type of hosting. However, it does come with several drawbacks. This type of hosting involves multiple websites sharing the resources of a single server. This means that if one site has a surge in traffic, your site’s performance may be affected. Or if one of the sites on the server has a security issue, your site’s security could be affected. It’s sort of like doing laps in a swimming pool where there are no lane dividers.

Shared hosting is best for small websites that don’t expect a lot of traffic and don’t require a lot of security. It’s also ideal for beginners or people without a lot of technical experience as users have no control over the server’s configuration. Additionally, shared hosting is easy to set up and get started with. This type of hosting is best for personal blogs, portfolio sites, wedding websites, small business sites, and database-driven sites.

Summary

The type of hosting you choose largely depends on the needs of your website. If you expect that your site will receive over a thousand unique visitors a day and will deal with a great deal of personal data, then you need the performance and security of a dedicated server. Governments and corporations are the most common users of this type of hosting. If you’re not a government or corporate entity, you likely won’t need a dedicated server’s resources. If, however, you’re a medium to large business with a fair amount of regular traffic, you’ll need your own resources. In that case, you’ll want a VPS. If you go with shared hosting, you’ll be sharing the resources of a server with other sites, so your site may be affected by another site’s performance. With a VPS, you don’t have to worry about that. Therefore, the only sites that should ever really use shared hosting are sites with a small amount of daily traffic.
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