Shared, Dedicated, VPS, and Cloud hosting Different types explained
All sites and blogs on the Internet start with hosting.
is one of those beasts with so many variables that everyone gets lost, even developers with plenty of prior knowledge. In this article I’ll clear up the differences between the most common hosting types: shared, VPS, dedicated and cloud, let’s get started.
Shared Hosting – Cheapest, Best for Beginners
Shared hosting is the budget option. It is extremely cheap, but also not very good.
Some of the most well-known hosts in this segment are Bluehost, Siteground, and A Small Orange.
VPS Hosting – More powerful than Shared hosting
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server and is probably the most popular service to upgrade to and it can be the most well-balanced one as well.
A VPS server is still a shared environment, but the way it is shared is very different.
First of all, a VPS server is usually limited to 10-20. This decreases stress in itself, but the real improvement comes in the form of the hypervisor – which is the coolest name for something ever.
A VPS server is literally split into as many parts as there are users. If there are 10 users, 10GB of RAM and 200GB of hard drive space on the server, each user will be able to expand 1GB of RAM and 20GB of space. Once you hit the RAM limit your site may go down, but the others will remain stable. The hypervisor is the one responsible for managing the virtual machines that create this separation within the server.
Dedicated Hosting – If Your Site Exceeds 100k Visits/month
This is the hosting service that negates all bad neighbour issues because you are all alone on a server. This provides a host of benefits, but also comes with quite a few downsides.
Since you get a computer all on your own, many companies allow you to customise it extensively. You may be able to choose the amount and type of memory, the OS to install, and other hardware elements that make up a computer. This gives you a lot of flexibility which may be needed for some specialised software.
The downside here is that you actually need to know quite a bit about computers and server technology. While there are managed dedicated hosting solutions you’ll still need to do a lot more on your own.
Cloud hosting is essentially the same as VPS hosting. Some companies don’t even call their service VPS anymore, the say Cloud or Cloud VPS. Let’s look at what cloud computing is first, and get back to what this has to do with hosting.
Until now we’ve been talking about computing that is similar to buying unit based products. If I buy a one-use battery and put it in video camera I can use it for a set amount of time until the battery runs out.
Cloud-based computing is similar to how utilities work. If I plug my video camera into the mains I can use it as much as I need and it will take as much power as it requires at the moment. If it is on standby it will use very little power when it is recording it will use a lot more but the electric system can handle the changes in power requirements.
Choosing a hosting package can be pretty difficult. The first step is understanding the type of hosting you need: shared, VPS, dedicated or cloud. Hopefully, this article has given you the background to figure that out.
If you’re just starting out (building your first blog/site) – go with shared hosting. It’s cheapest and usually more than you need at the beginning.
As the next step, you should take a look at a bunch of companies, I recommend checking our top rated hosts to find the best ones. Look at what’s on offer and compare the RAM, disc space, CDN usage, bandwidth and other quantifiable resources. Then take a look at any additional features on offer.
At the end of the process, you should have 2-3 favourites at which point it will boil down to personal preference. Perhaps a short talk with support – to gauge their helpfulness – will go a long way.