Choosing Between Shared, VPS and Dedicated Hosting For Your Website

When choosing a web hosting plan, there are some major differences in the type of services available. Knowing which type of service will be best for your website’s needs is important. Let’s take a moment to look at the different options and their benefits.

There are basically three types of hosting available for website owners. The most basic being shared hosting, to the mid-range VPS hosting, all the way to dedicated hosting providing full-access and the highest security and performance options. The benefits and drawbacks of each are as follows:

1. Shared Hosting

Best suited for the owner with a small website that does not anticipate large amounts of traffic, this type of server hosting has no partitions and is home to many different websites that share the same IP address. An economical option, shared servers start as low as $3 per month. Limited in user abilities, they do not allow for customization of firewalls or software. All server level software is pre-installed and shared hosting typically comes with full technical support. However, as the IP address, RAM, CPU and disk space are shared with other websites hosted on the server, shared hosting tends to be slower transferring data or emails due to the sharing of resources. Remember to check with your hosting company in regards to technical support and their procedures regarding other users.

2. Virtual Private Server (VPS)

Created by building a virtual partition within a server, VPS grants features such as dedicated IP addresses and easy transfer of thousands of GBs of data. It is housed in the same physical environment as other web hosting accounts, but is separated by the created partition making it able to have independent features such as RAM and disk space.

Usually starting at about $40 a month, VPS hosting allows for some customization of security and firewall performance. It also allows you to specify which IP addresses may access certain information. However, be sure to verify the type of technical support your provider supplies for VPS servers so that it is sufficient for your anticipated needs regarding support, especially for non-standard software. If your website anticipates traffic with high bandwidth needs, VPS hosting may be an ideal choice if the full-features offered by dedicated hosting is not budget friendly or simply not required.

3. Dedicated Server

Dedicated hosting is designed for websites that utilize high bandwidth options such as streaming videos, podcasts and easy transfer of data and information to large numbers of visitors each month. It also works well for intranet purposes such as companies with many employees or large corporations. They provide more customization options than VPS or shared hosting and are very powerful. You will need technical skill to maintain and keep security operating on a dedicated server if your hosting company provides only minimal support in these areas.

Starting for about $200 per month, dedicated servers provide resources that are yours alone and the highest amount of customization among the other hosting options.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the types of hosting available, you have the knowledge necessary to review the options granted by shared hosting, VPS hosting and dedicated hosting and be able to objectively view your website. This will assist with making the right hosting decision for launching or re-launching your website so that it will perform at it’s optimal best.

Jason Hong is a partner channels specialist at InMotion Hosting, a leading provider of virtual private servers in North America. You can follow him on Twitter @IMH_affiliate.

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