Going with a virtual private server or a shared hosting account
Shared hosting and a virtual private server (VPS) are just two of several options available for your web hosting needs. They are the most economical among all options, and both come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Knowing the pros and cons of both will help you decide which is best for your needs. This article aims to provide you with that information in order to help you make an informed decision. We’ll start by explaining the nuts and bolts of each option.
Definition of Shared Hosting and Virtual Private Servers
Shared hosting is a scenario in which multiple customers share the space on a single computer. All of their individual websites and applications will be located on the same hard drive, utilize the same operating system, and be affected by any problems that might arise on the computer. Security is managed through software solutions which limit the access of folders on a permissions basis. In most cases, individuals will not have root privilege or be able to access anything outside of their own folders.
A Virtual Private Server is a scenario in which several customers share the same CPU and hard drive space, yet have completely separate operating environments. This is achieved by creating virtual computers on the hard drive, each with its own operating system and applications. Security is achieved by limiting access to a customer’s environment only to those individuals approved by the customer. It is, for all intents and purposes, a cross between shared hosting and a dedicated server.
Pros and Cons of Shared Hosting
The biggest advantage to shared hosting is that it is extremely inexpensive. In fact, it is the least expensive of all of hosting options, making it the most popular among companies with limited web hosting needs. In many cases a monthly plan sufficient for small business can be had for as little as $10-$12 per month.
Another advantage of shared hosting lies in the fact that many web hosting companies provide a good selection of scripts and applications that can be installed with a simple click of a mouse. Small companies without a dedicated IT staff will find the scripts and applications very helpful.
Finally, scalability is the last advantage of shared hosting. Scalability allows your website and its related applications to grow easily as your company grows, without the need to constantly modify or reconfigure your site.
The biggest disadvantage to shared hosting is performance. Most shared hosting plans limit your bandwidth to a certain extent, and you’ll be sharing computer resources with a number of other customers on the same computer. That means if your server has only 5 GB of memory, that memory usage must be shared among all customers on the computer. During peak traffic times that could slow down your website.
Another concern is security. While your specific folders can be “locked” to keep other customers out, if your server is hacked or suffers any external attack, it will affect everything on the machine. In other words, if one customer suffers an external attack it will most likely affect all of you on the same server. While security measures are continually being improved, this is always a risk of shared hosting.
Pros and Cons of a VPS
Security and customizable control are the two biggest advantages that drive customers to choose a VPS in Canada. With their own virtual computing environment, VPS customers can customize their operating system, applications, and how the end-user experience will be seen. The added security afforded by the VPS also means a reduced risk of suffering the consequences if another customer’s environment is compromised.
As for the disadvantages, the VPS option usually costs significantly more than the shared option. Where shared hosting can be had for $10 a month, a virtual private server could run you five times that amount. Companies most likely to use the VPS option will be those requiring more usability than simply displaying a one or two page website. Lastly, utilizing a VPS requires quite a bit more knowledge of web hosting and applications than shared hosting does. With a VPS, you’ll need at least one IT employee who knows what he’s doing.
Best Shared Hosting for Canadians
HostPapa.ca offers a great shared hosting service, and provides you with a free domain when you purchase their low priced shared hosting service.
HostGator.com is another great option for your shared hosting need. Use the HostGator Coupon Codes WEBLEGAL994 for $9.94 off your order or WEBLEGAL25 for 25% off your order.
Read our HostPapa Review.
Read our HostGator Review.
Best VPS Hosting for Canadians
The virtual private servers offered by LiquidWeb.com are the ones we recommend for our fellow webmasters from Canada.
Read our Liquid Web Review.