Advice for anyone planning to set up a new website always begins with the recommendation to get a hosting package. But what kind? A new website owner must choose between options such as shared, dedicated, or VPS hosting plans. And, while all of these can provide an online home for that new site, they offer very different services that aren’t appropriate for every website. For new and smaller sites, shared hosting can be the least expensive and most accessible of these options – but it also comes with some significant limitations.
At Bluehost, we know speed is a huge factor when it comes to hosting. We want our users to have the best experience with their websites and the best websites overall, which is why we implemented platform optimizations resulting in major hosting improvements. You’ll now see server response times that are up to 70% faster.
Breaking Down Shared Hosting
Shared web hosting packages are offered by just about every hosting provider. Just as the name implies, multiple websites, often thousands of them, are hosted on a single server maintained by the hosting service. Each user on a shared server gets an allotment of the server’s total available bandwidth, power and memory, and users can set up multiple sites under a single user account. This is, of course, is a very different offering than a more expensive.
If you’re building your first website, shared hosting is probably the right solution for your company. That’s because, with shared hosting, many websites share a single server. The server’s resources — including memory, storage space, and computing power — are proportionately distributed amongst shared client websites. Depending on your hosting package, you’ll have a limited amount of server resources at your disposal.
Shared hosting is by far the most commonly used type of web hosting. And, for good reason; it’s cost-efficient and easy to manage, making it ideal for most small and medium-sized businesses.
The good news is that most web hosts recognize that shared hosting is often an initial web hosting solution but not necessarily the end game. As a result, scaling up to other hosting plans is usually available at the click of a button.
Because it’s easy to upgrade or change hosting providers, shared hosting is a great place to start as you begin to understand your website needs. Although shared hosting is an entry-level option for launching a website, you should still aim to be thorough when evaluating potential providers.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Shared Hosting
A shared hosting plan provides the user with space on the host’s shared server for a monthly fee. Users are responsible for setting up and running their own sites, and a single account can include multiple sites, as long as the total package doesn’t exceed the allotted space on the server.
The hosting provider is responsible for providing customer support, maintaining server hardware and software, including security protocols and updates, and safeguarding against crashes and downtime. These provisions are set out in the hosting contract, which establishes what users can and can’t do with respect to their sites, and under what circumstances the host can suspend or terminate a user’s account.
Shared hosting isn’t for everyone, but this kind of inexpensive hosting can help new businesses, entrepreneurs and independent creatives get a web presence quickly – even if funding is tight.
The Advantages of Shared Hosting
Low Costs Put Hosting Within Everyone’s Reach
The appeal of shared hosting plans comes largely from its extremely low cost, so that anyone can create and maintain a website with a very modest investment. Those low costs are possible because a hosting provider is carrying so many sites on a single server and collecting money from each one.
Many providers offer promotional specials that allow new users to set up shared hosting for rates that can start at less than $5 per month – although standard rates will apply once the discount period is over. Tiered packages are also available, with additional features included for higher prices. Users can usually upgrade their hosting to a higher tier at any time – or switch to a different type of hosting altogether.
Shared Hosting is User-Friendly
Shared hosting setups can be easy to use, even for a website owner with no experience in website design or development. These plans typically come with basic customer support from the hosting service, and offer options for “one-click” website installs like WordPress, which can create a live site in minutes, while also allowing for some customization. Each site on an account has its own control panel, which provides tools for webmasters to manage their content and basic look.
Although shared hosting allows new users to create a website on a shoestring budget with most basic features essential to running the site, this kind of bare bones service does have drawbacks.
The Disadvantages of Shared Hosting
All sites on a shared server operate on a standard allotment of the server’s total resources, including memory, bandwidth and CPU power. But, just as a spike in demand can overload a city’s power grid during a heat wave, a sudden surge of traffic on one site can cause others to slow down, even if they aren’t responsible for the increased use of server resources. To keep things evened out, shared hosting providers may put a cap on the amount of traffic or visitors a site can have in order to stay eligible for its shared hosting plan.
Security Can Be An Issue
In shared hosting, everything related to the maintenance of the servers is the responsibility of the hosting provider – and that includes security. The sites on that server operate independently, but shared technology can make it possible for malicious activity on one site to infect others nearby. Website owners in a shared hosting situation have to place their trust in the security provided by the host, since this kind of hosting package offers no options for users to install their own security measures to protect their sites.
Restrictions Can – and Do – Apply
Shared server hosting accounts typically come with tight restrictions, and users can be blindsided by these provisions if they don’t read the hosting contract carefully. Hosting services can prohibit users from installing certain kinds of plugins or applications on their sites, which limits options for customizing. Promotional offers for extremely low prices can triple once the introductory period is over – and users can be automatically billed for the standard rate.
Hosting providers reserve the right to terminate a user’s hosting account for a variety of reasons, too. If a site “outgrows” its allotted resources by gaining large amounts of traffic that affects other users, the account can be closed. Similarly, if a site attracts malware or massive amounts of spam comments, it can be locked out and site owners must clean up the problem before the site can go live again.
Who Should Use Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting works well for sites that have a relatively low volume of website traffic and don’t require large amounts of memory. But larger businesses or sites with a lot of traffic may not be a good fit for the shared hosting environment, and small sites that become successful may need more resources in order to expand.
When that happens, a site owner could upgrade the plan to a higher tier of services in shared hosting, or graduate to other solutions such as dedicated or VPS hosting. It’s also possible to stay on an ultra low cost shared hosting plan indefinitely, if a site remains relatively small and doesn’t consume excessive amounts of the shared server’s resources. With low costs and minimal features, a shared hosting service can help new users build an online presence quickly, with room to grow.
what is vps hosting
Before we go in-depth about VPS hosting, first let us spell out what VPS stands for – Virtual Private Server. Let us define the word server first. To put it simply, a server is an authoritative computer that keeps all of the files and data that creates your site.
For example, when a person enters your domain name into his or her browser, the server will put your site to the searcher’s screen. On the other hand, for the virtual facet, Virtual Private Server utilizes virtualization technology to divide the server into multiple servers.
It is like a piece of machinery that works or operates like several multiple servers. Now for the word private. It means just what it entails. Meaning, what’s yours is yours. You don’t need to share CPU, RAM, or any files with others.
Overall, a Virtual Private Server Hosting provides you with exclusive resources on a single server with multiple users. It is a more stable and secure solution compared to shared hosting where you can’t even get a private server space. Not to mention, it much more affordable and offers stellar flexibility compared to shared hosting.
How Does VPS Works?
Virtual Private Server hosting offers users a virtual server that resembles a physical server. But, as a matter of fact, the server is being shared among multiple servers. With the help of the virtualization technology, your server hosting establishes a virtual layer over the OS or operating system of the server.
This virtual layer then splits the server into segments and permits a user to install their own software and operating system. For that reason, a VPS hosting is both private and virtual since you have the entire control over it.
Getting a Virtual Private Server hosting allows you to establish your site within a stable and secure environment with insured resources such as CPU cores, memory, disk space, etc. With that in mind, you won’t have to share your server with others.
To genuinely understand and fathom how virtual private server works, it is of the utmost importance to become aware of the basics of web hosting. Here is a concise breakdown of the differences between VPS, dedicated, and shared.
Virtual Private Server falls between dedicated and shared hosting. If you opt for VPS hosting, there’ll be other sites hosted on the very same hardware as yours. However, what sets it apart from the other two is that it is a big one.
By that we mean, your site is, for the most part, the only domain allotted to your virtual compartment. Thus, you get to have your own OS (operating system), unlimited bandwidth, dedicated storage, scalable RAM, and powerful CPU.
With a virtual private server, you can get tons of benefits and advantages of a dedicated server, for a reasonable price.
The most common type of web hosting and goes well for start-up site owners are, more often than not, Shared Hosting. When you buy a shared hosting account, you are also sharing essential and all-important resources such as RAM, CPU, and hard drive space with the other site owners who are also leveraging that shared server.
To better understand what shared hosting is all about, let us use an analogy. Consider a shared server as a vast and enormous apartment complex. , and all of you share the same sentiment. That is to have a place to stay into, like your site’s data, but purchasing a big family home would be too costly for your budget.
Sharing utilities and common areas in an apartment complex aids in keeping the costs down, which is also true for shared hosting. Going back to shared hosting, since other site owners are also using the same shared server you have, your web interface will be uncomplicated to navigate because website hosts set up and control the server for the users.
Unfortunately, there are several drawbacks to shared hosting, well most likely because you are sharing critical resources to other owners. For example, when a site owner on your shared server gets a towering spike in traffic, that could impact the performance of your site.
But if your goal is to get your site off the ground and do not have that much traffic volume, then shared hosting is an excellent way to introduce yourself to the online world.
For the most part, dedicated hosting is, without a doubt, the contrary to shared hosting. Instead of sharing costs and resources with the other site owners, you have one system that’s for your website only.
Does it sound great to you? Well, it may cost you more than shared hosting, but you get the complete control over your resources. Plus, you can opt to personalize software to align with your needs.
Dedicated hosting is suitable for sites with vigorous technical demands. Say, for instance, this type of hosting package could be best for you if:
- You’re installing your own OS (operating system).
- You have a huge traffic volume on a daily basis.
- You’re managing lots of financial transactions.
- Your site needs custom software.
Cloud hosting uses one server. However, it’s more of a cluster server that works in the cloud. Meaning, every server in the cluster keeps an updated copy of your site. So, if one of the servers is, for the most part, occupied, the cluster, by its own nature, redirects the traffic to a website that has less traffic.
For that reason, there is always a server in the cluster that can accommodate the demands of your site visitors. There is no downtime.
It’s good to stress that VPS hosting and cloud hosting are not restricted or limited to each other. Rather, plenty of hosting companies provide virtual private server on a cloud framework.
The most excellent way to assess and determine whether you need to upgrade or not to VPS is to monitor your website. For a more in-depth explanation, here’s a list of eight indications that tells you when you need to go virtual.
If you are anxious and troubled about your site’s security, then perhaps it’s time to upgrade to VPS. Upgrading to a virtual private server will boost your site’s security features and website reliability, add more backup space, and can make any online payment more secure and convenient. With a virtual private server, you can get substantial resources and excellent security features.
High Traffic Volumes
With VPS, you gradually start to encounter high traffic volumes. It’s particularly helpful if you’re website is just starting up and do not get a significant amount of traffic. But if your site’s readers are continually growing, it may be the time to upgrade.
If you do not want to make your website run slow or crash because it’s incapable of handling too much traffic, then switch to VPS. Do yourself and your site a big favor and upgrade to a virtual private server.
For websites that consume or takes up massive amounts of RAM, shared hosting may not be the perfect web hosting for you. Keep in mind that as your site develops and you post more and more article, you’ll start seeing a decline in your site’s loading time.
When this happens, it is a sign that you’re reaching the limit of capacity or in the realms of your limits. As such, consider going virtual. Upgrading to a virtual private server will allow you to remove obstacles when hitting specific restrictions on your website without worrying about slow site speed.
When you have or planning to have an online store, consider upgrading your web hosting plan to a virtual private server. Why? It’s because virtual private server enables you to have a more dedicated and secure server where you’re more likely to meet the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.
The PCI compliance test was, for the most part, built by huge credit card brands to secure cardholders against data theft. So, if one of your payment methods is by credit card, do everything in your power to make sure that all of your customers’ financial information is safe. Since a virtual private server is more secure and stable compared to shared hosting, it is a much better alternative for e-commerce sites.
Installing Custom Software
More often than not, shared hosting is ideal for site owners who establish their website with WordPress plugins and other common programs. If need to have custom software, then consider a hosting option that lets you have more control over it.
Likewise, a few standard taxes, integrative programs, bookkeeping, billing demands 24 hours server availability and high-speed internet. To be able to employ these apps successfully, you will need to upgrade to a dedicated hosting plan or VPS.
If you have a shared server, you will only come across frustrations when you know that advanced actions are not allowed or that applications don’t support these apps to run correctly. Rather than resolving this possible problem, upgrade to a virtual private server and you’ll instantly have more control over your actions.
Does your website run into server errors too often? When your site runs into errors, it is more likely that your audience is also. So, while you can resolve these issues immediately, then do it. Keep in mind that there’s no room for errors especially if you are running an e-commerce site. Avoid such server errors by upgrading to a virtual private server.
It’s good to stress that dedicated and shared server are much costlier than VPS hosting. Therefore, if you want to boost your bandwidth, enhance your security features, and have more RAM, then a virtual private server is the most affordable option for you.
Do you build and develop websites for your clients? If that’s the case, it may be pricier to buy an individual shared server again and again. Moreover, it can be hard for you to manage and monitor each domain from different accounts.
But with a virtual private server, you can manage lots of domains and all the while ensuring that you still have sufficient RAM for each website to run correctly.
Shared Hosting can be a great way to improve your website and get more visitors. However, it’s important to use the right shared hosting tools and account for your needs. By setting up a shared hosting account and using the right shared hostingservices, you can maximize your site’s performance and get more visitors.