There are a lot of options available to you when choosing where and how to host your website. One of those options you should understand is the difference between a Shared Web Hosting plan and a Virtual Private Server (VPS).
Shared hosting can be thought of as communal living. Think of an apartment or a dorm where there are doors to keep everyone separated but no locks. You cannot customize anything but you share maintenance cost and responsibility with your neighbors. Your website runs on the same hardware and software as many other customers of your hosting provider. Shared hosting is typically the lowest cost option for hosting your website content and are great for simpler websites. A shared hosting plan typically does not require any specific technical skills. Your hosting provider will usually provide a web based Control Panel you can use to manage your website.
Virtual Private Server
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting is like living in duplex. You have full control over your environment, you can lock the doors, and you share only major infrastructure components like your foundation, the roof, and the yard. A VPS mimics a dedicated server. Multiple VPS instances can run on the same physical hardware. With a VPS you receive a dedicated operating system, control over the security, the software choices, and the configuration. The memory and CPU resources assigned to your VPS are dedicated to you. VPS servers are great if you have requirements that require unique firewall rules, custom server configurations, or dedicated CPU and memory for your applications. You can also host multiple websites on a VPS. If you are familiar with running a desktop using VMWare, Virtual Box, or Parallels the technology is very similar. Using a VPS requires some technical skills related to operating systems and web server management. There are web based control panels that can be installed to help minimize the learning curve.
Here is a link to a great infographic that describes the differences in a picture.
If you have any questions about Shared Hosting vs. VPS just give us a call and we’ll be happy to answer those for you. Our staff is available 24x7x365 to help you with your web hosting needs.