At TechEquipt we have had customers asking about the difference in prices of web hosting, what is a VPS? what hosting is best for website speed? and what do we recommend?
The price difference starts by looking at shared web hosting in comparison to a VPS (Virtual Private Server).
Shared Web Hosting
Shared web hosting is an easy and cost-effective way to get your website onto the internet. Due to the price, it is a common starting point for a new small website.
With a shared setup you can have hundreds or even thousands of websites on the same server that share the resources of the server – this is how they keep the price really low.
A shared server really works that whichever website grabs the server resources first gets to use them. An example being one website out of hundreds on the server may use most of the server memory. The result of this is if a website has a memory leak, it impacts on all websites on that server, if a website is hacked the rest of the websites on that server are likely impacted. These potential issues caused by other websites are unpredictable in nature as you don’t know what other websites are doing, you are affected by the actions of others.
The advantage of a shared environment is the price is lower and it will be a managed server, but the flip side of it being managed is there are limitations on software/operating system configurations and your web developer will have limited administration access to the server.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
A VPS is a technically superior solution. A VPS will have much fewer websites on a server but each website has their own private area meaning they do not share server resources with other websites. This technology keeps websites separate, conceptually meaning it is virtually your own private server and other websites will not impact on your website.
With the advantages of a consistently faster website, this will also impact on your website rank in search engines like Google, as speed is an SEO factor and a websites speed will also improve user satisfaction meaning a website user is less likely to leave your website and not return. Statistics show a large percentage of users will leave a website, with many not returning if a web page takes longer then 3 seconds to load.
The negatives of a VPS really are that they will cost more and they are often not managed. This means you will get an empty server, sometimes without even an operating system. This means you will need a professional to manage the server, install the operating system, make optimisations, install software and do security patching ongoing. While some see this as a negative, this should be seen as a positive as it means you can have the setup optimised exactly as you want it for your website, you can perform any action.
The question is then, should I use a VPS?
For a serious online business, TechEquipt will recommend an local VPS 99% of the time. The times when we would go for shared hosting is when cost is a significant concern or your website has little traffic or no real significance to your business. Dedicated servers will also become an option for larger websites.