Pros and Cons of Shared, VPS, and Dedicated Hosting: Which is Right for Your Website?

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Launching a new website project can be very exciting and highly rewarding.  It can also be difficult, frustrating, time consuming, and well, you get the picture.  Choosing the right web hosting company is one of the tough decisions you will have to make fairly early in the process so that your website can be built around the hosting company specs.

Considering the vast number of web hosting companies on the market today and the enormous range of features and different services they provide, it’s important to first decide what features or services you need, and secondly, to understand what options are available to you.

Here we’ll review the Pros and Cons of three options:

  • Shared Hosting
  • Virtual Private Server Hosting or VPS
  • Dedicated Hosting


Each of these hosting options has its own advantages and disadvantages.  Each offers a wide range of solutions to choose from.  Determining which solution works best is what we’ll examine now.

Shared Hosting

It’s just what the name suggests.  A Shared Hosting company installs your website onto their server, along with up to several thousand other client websites.  Each hosting client then shares space with all the other clients, as well as sharing CPU time, disk space, security, and memory.

Shared hosting is likely the most economical type of website hosting company.  Because many maintenance tools, updates, security software programs can be shared across the board, shared hosting reduces your cost of upkeep and maintenance.

With shared hosting, however, you can lack independence from the actions of other website owners.  If one website gets hacked, your website might also get hacked, leaving your site vulnerable to whatever the hackers want to accomplish.

Some Shared Hosting Pros:

  • It’s easy to get started with shared hosting in comparison to other, more vibrant hosting options.
  • It’s the least expensive out of the three options.
  • The hosting company handles all the technical aspects, including maintenance, upgrades, and security.
  • You don’t need to have any technical computer skills.  They do it all for you.


Some Shared Hosting Cons:

  • Your page load time could be slow due to the fact that the hosting company is running many websites at the same time.
  • Server resources and reaction time from personnel can be limited if there’s a problem.
  • Security is not guaranteed.
  • You have no control over the performance of the server.


That said, Shared Hosting is a great place to start when it comes to bringing a website to life.  If you own a small business and don’t expect a great deal of traffic on your website, Shared Hosting offers the most basic set of services for websites.

Virtual Private Server or VPS Hosting

VPS hosting provides virtual server resources on a physical server.  Like Shared Hosting, VPS hosting offers you dedicated server space that is shared with other—but not as many—websites.  It reserves a certain number of resources for each website client, offering you greater control and the opportunity to customize your services.  It is not a “one-server-fits-all hosting company.

VPS mimics a Dedicated Server environment within Shared Server hosting. So, it offers more features, is less expensive than Dedicated Hosting, and it offers your website slightly better security, reliability, and faster page loads.

Because it uses technology partitions for each website client, you will have your own private space with fewer clients using the same hardware at the same time. This makes a VPS perform as if each website has its very own server.

VPS Hosting offers a set of basic resources, but you can add resources easily when needed.  Some of the resources and services they offer include:

  • Root access
  • Isolated environment
  • Multiple operating system compatibility
  • Backup and Security
  • Scalability
  • Reliability
  • Good Customer Support


Some VPS Hosting Pros:

  • Page load is fast, especially compared to Shared Hosting services.
  • VPS is still affordable, and you can add services on as needed.  You only pay for what you need.
  • Because your website is technologically partitioned with part of their server wholly dedicated just to you, that means that you are completely separated from other website clients.  Much more secure.
  • You have root server access so that you can customize to suit your needs, giving you much more control over your hosting environment.
  • VPS hosting can grow as you grow.  A scalable hosting service allows you to increase resources and usability, as you gain success.

Some VPS Hosting Cons:

  • VPS hosting is more expensive than Shared Hosting.
  • It is still possible to get slower service if many clients use the server at a peak traffic time.
  • VPS requires regular maintenance and software responsibilities.


A Virtual Private Server gives you access to more features, more control over your hosting environment, and more dedicated resources than Shared Hosting.  If you feel comfortable with your basic technological computer know-how, VPS is a great option for your small to medium sized business.

Dedicated Hosting

Again, just as the name implies, Dedicated Hosting means that you are the only website client on a single server dedicated only for your own personal use.  You don’t share the server with any other client.  You hold the full rights and resources the hosting company offers, allowing you to configure the exact specifications the way you want them.  If you expect to drive from 250,000 users to half a million users each month, Dedicated Hosting is for you.

Dedicated hosting provides high performance, and a greater level of security when compared to the two other forms of hosting.  Keeping your site’s performance high is one of the most important aspects needed for a successful website. Great website performance provides a positive user experience. It helps to grow SEO rankings, increases traffic and uptime, and it encourages cash flow.  Dedicated Hosting makes it much easier to keep your performance level at an optimum.

Dedicated Hosting Pros:

  • You and your IT team have full access to the wide array of settings so that you can customize the server to best suit your needs.
  • You exclusively “own” a dedicated server.  No other company can share it with you.
  • It’s fast.  Very fast.  
  • You get 24/7 support.
  • Because you can customize the server to meet your exact website specs, your overall performance is usually at 100%.
  • You don’t have to worry about security, hackers, viruses, or malware taking your website down.


Dedicated Hosting Cons:

  • It is very expensive.
  • You will need a computer tech person, a complete technical department staff, or a skilled internet marketing company to update, optimize and maintain the server.


Dedicated Hosting is essential for large companies that generate a great deal of cash flow via their website.  If you expect to drive from 500,000 or more users each month and if you need a high level of website security, Dedicated Hosting is the best choice for you.

Web Hosting Security

Each of the three website hosting options offered here have different levels of security. 

  • Shared Hosting is at the lowest level.  Other websites can dictate how secure your website is.  If another site on the shared server gets hacked, if it uploads a virus or malware, your website could also be in danger.
  • VPS has a slightly higher security level, but it can still leave your website vulnerable.  If one virus is uploaded by mistake, all the websites on this server could be in trouble.
  • Dedicated Hosting has the best security option available.  Yes, it’s more expensive, but how expensive is it to recreate your website, recover data, content, and client lists?  How time consuming?  How long will your website be down?  How many sales will you lose?  Dedicated Hosting can minimize the risks of malicious attacks.


Whether you choose Shared Hosting, Virtual Private Server hosting, or Dedicated Hosting, the bottom line is this:  

  • What will it cost?
  • Can you afford to limit your website’s performance?
  • Do you need some or total control over your server specs?
  • Do you care if you share a server with hundreds of other websites?
  • Is it important to your business and cash flow to exclusively “own” your own server?
  • Do you have an IT team that perform all essential maintenance?
  • Does your hosting company provide you with various functionalities?
  • Does your hosting company have real processing power? 
  • Real-time file sharing?


These are just a few points to consider when shopping for a hosting server company.

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