Sunday, August 15, 2010

Which is the best type of hosting for my web site: VPS or Shared?

Choosing a web host for your new or existing web site can be difficult, mainly because there are factors to consider that you may not be familiar with. This article will sort out some important factors and help you make your choice with confidence. The question is, should I choose VPS Web Hosting?

Shared, VPS or Dedicated?

VPSs (Virtual Private Servers) represent the middle ground between shared and dedicated hosting.

Shared hosting means you're sharing all of the host's resources, RAM, disk space and CPU, with other web sites. Your site will be one among many. Sharing is a nice concept, but it means there will be less for you when it comes to your web site.

At the other end of the spectrum is the dedicated host. This means your web site will live on a machine that hosts only your site. This sounds nice but there are disadvantages. One disadvantage can be cost. Another one can be that you end up with a low-end machine if you have to keep costs down. Finally, you may be killing a fly with a bazooka, getting (and paying for) more than you need.

Rather than having to choose between the aforementioned options, there is another one you should consider: VPS.

VPS offers dedicated RAM and disk space, while sharing only the CPU.

What makes VPS a better choice than shared hosting?

First, you get server-level customization. I'm a huge fan of customization. I like things to look, feel and work according to my own preferences. With VPS, you are allowed to set things up the way you like.

Second, you get burstable memory. On a practical level this means there's additional power available when you need it. When there's a spike in your traffic, your site won't bog down or crash. Instead, the resources available for your site will ramp up to handle the added load.

Third, you get scalability. It's not one-size-fits-all, but instead you get what you need at the moment with room to grow and without the trauma and disruption of switching machines or upgrading. Starting with a single site and no databases, for example, you can grow into several sites, large databases, e-commerce, etc., easily and smoothly.

Can my site benefit from a VPS?

It may be time to move up from shared to VPS hosting if you're starting to feel cramped by your current host. You want/need more resources because your site/s and your traffic are feeling a pinch, or you find you need customization options that are not allowed by your shared host. Going to a dedicated server is overkill, but you need more than you have now.

If you now have multiple sites, dynamic content and the possibility of major spikes in traffic, VPS may be just the ticket.

(Sponsored post.)

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