Most of the webmasters and bloggers begin with shared hosting wherein multiple sites are hosted on the same server. But when your shared account hosting starts finding it difficult to handle the load of your traffic, speed or space requirements, two options that can be considered are Virtual Private Server (VPS), and dedicated hosting. Before you go ahead with one, it is important to understand what they actually mean and which one would be right for you. In this article, we will try to explore the difference and the benefits/drawbacks of each.
What’s the difference?
In Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting, multiple partitions are created on a single machine. Each partition functions as a server on its own and allows complete access to the user to install software or OS to perform tasks at root level. Thus, it is almost like dedicated hosting but has limited resources.
Dedicated Server on the other hand is a service wherein the entire physical server is at your disposal without you having to share it with anyone else. You can choose your software and OS. Compared to VPS, it offers higher levels of stability, performance, and control.
With virtual private servers, you can take over the control on virtualized machine of servers but with dedicated servers, you have full control on your personal servers and complete access to its resources.
VPS hosting offers you the flexibility to use your resources according to the needs; instead of paying for the server resources which you aren’t using, it allows you to keep your online requirements and server size aligned.
The cost factor
In dedicated hosting you’ll be getting the entire server and obviously it is going to cost you more than VPS which is just one among multiple virtual partitions on the same server. To give a rough estimate, VPS hosting could be available for as low as $20 a month whereas the most basic dedicated hosting may cost you around $100 a month. Either of these can be managed or unmanaged hosting. If it’s managed, it’s going to cost you more since you will not have to worry about its day to day maintenance. Apart from this, server quality and configuration will also have a bearing on the prices that you get.
When should I consider going dedicated?
Making a switch over to a dedicated server can either be out of choice or due to compulsion. A VPS, though an independent virtual machine, nevertheless is part of the same physical machine which is also shared by other users. So, if your website is inviting a huge influx of traffic or using other resources to an extent that it has a crippling effect on other VPS users on the same machine, you have no other choice than to go dedicated.
But sometimes, you have obvious reasons to prefer a dedicated server over VPS. If you want to have a faster loading site to give a better browsing experience to your audience, if you have a space extensive site (e.g. a video loading/sharing site), if you want to host a large number of sites on the same server, or if your site requires a higher level of security, you’d better go for dedicated hosting.
Thus, in short, it can be said that cost, traffic load and security are the major considerations when it comes to deciding between dedicated and VPS hosting. Dedicated hosting is costlier and is capable of taking care of high volumes of traffic. But VPS hosting suffices for majority of individuals and small to mid-sized businesses.