Hosting Tutorial & Guide

Shared Hosting V.S. VPS Hosting – Which Is Right for Your Website?

updated on Jan 03, 2015
Shared Hosting V.S. VPS Hosting – Which Is Right for Your Website? Shared hosting and VPS hosting are 2 popular platforms for hosting individual and business websites. As many people always get confused about which one is the suitable choice that can serve their websites with the right features and performance at an appropriate expense, for a better understanding, we have worked out a comparison between the 2 hosting types on price, server control, security, performance, technical support and some other aspects.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is a web hosting service with which hundreds or even thousands of users share a single server and have access to a certain amount of resources. For this service, it is the hosting providers' responsibility to handle the technical issues like security update, operating system and control panel installation, and server maintenance, so users only need to build and manage their websites. Generally, it is appropriate for hosting the websites with less than 3,000 page views or 1000 unique visitors daily.

VPS Hosting

VPS, which is the abbreviation of Virtual Private Server, is a virtual machine created on a physical server. As VPS hosting enjoys an independent server environment, every virtual server has its own disk space, RAM, CPU, and IP addresses. VPS users still share the server with others, but they are provided with individual computer functions. Due to this, VPS is surely more advanced than shared web hosting, and works for the medium sized websites with up to 10,000 unique visitors daily.

Generally speaking, VPS hosting falls into 3 groups: fully managed hosting, semi-managed hosting, and unmanaged hosting, which require different amounts of technical knowledge and skills.


Shared Hosting VS VPS Hosting - Price The users of both shared hosting and VPS hosting share the overall cost of a physical server with other end-users. However, as a server usually serves more than 200 shared hosting users but only approximately 20 VPS users, the price of a shared hosting unit is much lower than that of a VPS.

A VPS always costs several times the monthly fee of shared hosting. The common price of a shared hosting package is between $3/mo and $8/mo in the market, while that of a VPS hosting package is $14.99/mo to $70/mo.

Server Control

Shared hosting users only have very limited access to their server and database server. They can feel free to install third-party applications like WordPress and Drupal on their hosting accounts, but they are given no right to access the operating system and some other server-related aspects.

Things are different for VPS hosting. To some extent, a virtual private server performs like a dedicated server, so the users always have root access to the operating system to make modifications as they want. Besides, they are also entitled to get full administrative access to the database server.


Shared Hosting VS VPS Hosting - Security Compared to VPS hosting, websites in the shared hosting environment are more likely to be compromised by hacks. If a website is attacked, it is probably that many of its neighbors are badly affected and run into security troubles.

On the other hand, due to the more advanced virtualization technologies, the websites hosted on virtual private servers are much safer because it is less possible for them to be seriously impacted by neighbors' security issues. Besides, the user portioning also enables VPS users to customize firewall configurations to keep themselves more secure.


With reliable and high performance servers, the uptime and speed of the websites hosted on the shared web hosting platform can be good. But as security issues always have large effects on website performance, those websites might be slow or even down because of others' being attacked. Besides, a sudden traffic surge can also get the websites down.

On the contrary, with the sufficient RAM, CPU and processors, VPS hosting service is able to keep the hosted websites always staying online and running fast. As some web hosts also provide a certain amount of burstable RAM, even a large traffic spike can be easily handled without influencing the site performance.

Technical Support

Shared Hosting VS VPS Hosting - Support Basically, shared hosting packages come with 24x7 technical support via email and support ticket system, while some of them also allow users to contact the support team via phone or live chat. The support covers the issues about hosting account, application installation, site transfer, etc.

As for VPS hosting, fully managed service includes around-the-clock technical support covering operating system updates, security patches, hardware maintenance, performance monitoring, and web server support, so users only need to manage the databases, the installed software and some other simple issues. However, for people who use the unmanaged service, it's their own responsibility to do all of those things excluding the virtualization and hardware maintenance.


Based on the details presented above, we have come out the conclusion of this comparison as following.
  • Shared hosting is a suitable choice for webmasters who have limited budget, run small websites or have no knowledge on server management.
  • VPS hosting is optimized for webmasters who have websites with a large number of visits, want to execute complex tasks or require robust security and performance.

If you have a website for which shared hosting is enough for now but still have the concern that there is no growing room for the future needs, we suggest you to go with a web host that offers both shared hosting and VPS hosting and allows anytime upgrade.

In case that you have no idea where to go at this time, we have the following recommendations, all of which are fully tested and carefully selected based on our criteria on affordability, performance, technical support and features.