Shared vs Dedicated vs VPS Hosting

Wondering what the difference is between shared, dedicated and VPS hosting? Read on to find out more;

One of the major challenges for people who are just starting out with their websites or blogs surrounds the nature of the web hosting plan that they are going to opt for. Part of the challenge stems from the fact that there is no uniformity among Web Hosting Companies when it comes to the naming of their packages. However, you need not worry, because, by whatever name the plan that you are interested in is called, it should fall into one of the following traditional categories;

  • Shared Hosting
  • Dedicated Hosting
  • Virtual Private Server Hosting

About Web Hosting

In order to understand what SharedDedicated and VPS Hosting are, you need to first understand how web hosting works.

Each of the over 1.1 billion websites that make up the World Wide Web has to be housed somewhere; from where it can be accessed by people across the world over the internet.

While it is possible for you to house your website on your own computer, that is hardly practical, considering the technical aspects of web hosting.

Web Hosting Companies

This is where web hosting companies come into play. These are usually large concerns, that are dedicated to the storage, management and distribution of multiple websites across the internet. You can check out some of the best known web hosting companies that can be found out there through the provided link.  Web hosting companies house websites on servers.

What Is a Server?

A server can be described as a computer that has the specialized purpose of providing a service to other computers across a network.  In the case of web hosting, the purpose that is served by the servers is that of maintaining and distributing the content that forms the World Wide Web. Servers can be huge; each one capable of housing hundreds of websites. Let us now look at the differences that exist between shared, dedicated and vps hosting.

Shared Hosting

Having understood what Web Hosting is and how it works, it is now possible for you to appreciate the meaning of Shared Hosting. I mentioned above that Web Hosting Servers are capable of housing hundreds of website at once. That is essentially what Shared Hosting is.

In simple words, Shared Hosting refers to the process by which multiple websites are housed on a single website.

Advantage of Shared Hosting: It is Cheap

The one major advantage of shared hosting is that it is cheap. In fact, is is the cheapest between shared, dedicated and VPS hosting options. As you can see in the above 1&1 hosting screenshot, Web Hosting costs can be as low as $0.99 cents per month for entry level packages.

Of course, there are, as is usually the case with these things, caveats to the advertised packages; not least of which is the fact that there are usually hidden costs that are associated with web hosting.

So, why is shared hosting so cheap when compared to other types of web hosting? The answer is a simple matter of economics; thousands of websites are sharing the overheads that come with hosting, such as server maintenance and security, which helps bring prices down to the astonishingly low levels where they are today.

Disadvantages of Shared Hosting

The major disadvantage of shared hosting is that because there are so many of you sharing the same server, your website can get bogged down if other sites begin to attract large amounts of traffic. All of you share a finite amount of resources, despite the fact that individual needs tend to vary from one moment to the next.

With shared hosting, it is also possible for your site to be affected by the technical problems that are triggered by another site on the same server.

Dedicated Hosting

The next in our list of the main types of web hosting is Dedicated Hosting. It is the dream of every blogger and website owner that their site will attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every month (at least that is our dream). However, when that happens, this tends to slow down things by putting a strain on the communal resource that is a Shared Server.

If your website has grown that big, or if you are a large company that requires the use of your own space for other reasons, the most logical thing for you to do is move to a Dedicated Server. So, what is a dedicated server?

A Dedicated Server is a server that is reserved solely for the use of a single website or company.


One of the major advantages of Dedicated Hosting is that it provides you with the kind of control and flexibility that can set you apart, particularly if your website has grown big. You have control over the size of your server, and the kind of setup that you want to put on it.

Disadvantages of Dedicated Hosting

The major disadvantage of Dedicated Hosting is that it is, by far, more expensive than Shared Hosting. In fact, between shared, dedicated and vps hosting, dedicated hosting is the most expensive.

In this case, you are not sharing overheads with anyone else, which means that all the costs of maintaining and securing your server fall on your shoulders.

However, this should not be a problem because the one reason why you would, particularly if you are an ordinary blogger, wish to move to a Dedicated Server setup is that you would have grown big enough to be able to afford it.

Virtual Private Server Hosting (VPS Hosting)

Another way through which you can get your website online is through a Virtual Private Server. Most of the Web Hosting companies that are out there offer the VPS option. So, what is a Virtual Private Server?

Virtual Private Server can be described as a simulated Dedicated Server.

Should you choose to move to a VPS, you will, as is the case with Dedicated Hosting, get your own private server environment, that is not shared with anyone else.

However, what you need to understand is that VPS hosting is actually a form of Shared Hosting. There are a number of you on the same server, although this tends to be less than what would be the case with Shared Hosting.

VPS Hosting Benefits: It is cheaper than Dedicated Hosting

As mentioned above, with VPS hosting, infrastructure is, as is the case with Shared Hosting, shared among a number of clients. What differs is that each customer has their own virtualized dedicated environment.

A major advantage of this is, therefore, that VPS hosting, unlike Dedicated Hosting, shares the costs that come with the running of a server. As a result, VPS hosting is, by far, cheaper than dedicated hosting.

You can think of VPS hosting as providing the middle ground for Dedicated and Shared Hosting.

Disadvantages of VPS Hosting

One disadvantage of VPS hosting is that it is still more expensive than Shared Hosting. There is also the fact that it can have some of the woes that come with Shared Hosting, in that a problem with one VPS can cascade onto others.


I have previously written an article that showed you how to create a website in a few easy steps. I have also talked about choosing a domain for your site. You should read those articles if you wish to know more about web hosting. You can also read another article in which I explain what cloud hosting is. You can get started on your website with cheap, high quality web hosting from 1&1 by clicking on the banner below.

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