There comes a time in the lifespan of any successful website when you outgrow even the most feature-packed shared hosting package. Either that, or for the amount of money you’re paying out for that top-tier premium plan, you realise you could be getting much better value opting for a different hosting model altogether.
If that’s already happened to you, chances are you’ve been doing the rounds and checking out your options. In doing so, you’ve made the decision that, going forward, you’re definitely going to leave the days of running your site on a shared plan behind, and opt instead for either a cheap Virtual Private Server, or a fully robust dedicated server platform.
The only question now is, which one do you choose? If you’re struggling to make a decision, our experts put together the following comparison between VPS hosting and dedicated servers, to help you decide which one is right for your business.
There’s no subtle way to get around this; on the whole, a dedicated server is ultimately going to cost you a lot more money than you’re probably paying at the moment for a shared hosting plan.
That’s not to say they’re poor value for money; for the storage, bandwidth and RAM you get with a dedicated server, not to mention the flexibility and control, most server providers do represent a good deal. Still, if your limited budget is a crucial factor in making that all important decision, you might be better off looking at a Virtual Private Server instead.
Acting as a middle ground between the latter two options, a good quality VPS provides many of the features of a dedicated solution with prices that aren’t that much more expensive than a top level premium shared hosting account.
Ease of use
The fact that a VPS serves as a compromise between shared and dedicated server hosting is often one of the major reasons why so many businesses and website owners invest them, and not just because it saves them a bit of money.
If you’ve only ever been used to shared hosting in the past, you might find getting your head around the sheer volume of things you can control with a dedicated server a tad overwhelming.
On the other hand, if you still think dedicated might be the way to go eventually, then you might be better off at least starting with a VPS, seeing it as something of a test-run before you go ahead and make that big investment. Think of it as a transition between the two, making your move from basic to advanced hosting much smoother than if you simply jumped straight in from one to the other.
Flexibility and control
We’ve already touched on the fact that dedicated servers come with complete freedom and control do whatever you like with them. This is great news if things like root access are vital to your online operations, or if you simply prefer the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re in total control of your server.
With a VPS on the other hand, you certainly get a lot more control than you would with a shared hosting plan, but not as much as with dedicated, meaning this is one instance where the more expensive dedicated plans win out over cheaper VPS hosting.
Again, this comes down to that gentle transition from shared up to dedicated. Start with VPS, and you’ll have much more storage space than with a shared plan, along with ample bandwidth and a sufficient amount of RAM to run a decent sized website. Upgrade further to a dedicated server, and you can increase those resources even further, making them a better solution for very large, high-traffic websites.