VPS or Shared hosting – Make the right choice

By Steven, on September 19, 2023, updated on September 16, 2023 - 9 min read

Are you on the verge of setting up your own website, and a pivotal question emerges: which web hosting to choose? VPS or shared hosting? Do you feel that tiny knot of uncertainty in the pit of your stomach? But don’t panic! You’re in the right place to understand and make the right decision.

Hosting your website is a fundamental choice that will influence its performance (especially in terms of speed and security). This is an arena where mistakes can be costly, both in time and money.

But fret not, with the guidance of Debugbar, you will have all the cards in hand to make an informed decision tailored to your needs.

Let’s dive into the depths of web hosting and uncover how to make the best choice for your project.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) – The 5 star solution

Before we get too in-depth, let’s have a quick rundown on what VPS is and what it brings to the table.

What is a VPS?

VPS or Virtual Private Server gives you a dedicated portion of a physical server.

It’s like living in an apartment complex. You have your own space, but share the building with others.

This exclusive, private space is yours to customize as per your needs, and trust us, it comes with its perks.

cloud servers

Pros and Cons of a VPS

Let’s dive deep into the perks and quirks of Virtual Private Servers.

Complete root server accessPricier than shared hosting
Better performance with dedicated resourcesTechnical expertise required
Scalability to match your traffic demandsBackend management complexity

Now you know the pros and cons of using a VPS. But before you make a decision, let’s explore what shared hosting is and if it’s the right choice for you.

Shared Hosting – The commoner’s choice!

So, what is this Shared hosting that has everyone raving about its affordability? Let’s uncover.

What is shared hosting?

Shared hosting is like living in a dormitory. You share resources, just like you share space with other students. But don’t worry, even though it’s shared, it still provides quite a competition to its pricey counterparts.

Pros and cons of shared hosting:

Shared hosting has its own set of goods and bads. Let’s evaluate them:

Very cost-efficient optionLimited performance capability
User-friendly and ideal for beginnersPotential slowdowns
Managed by the hosting providerPotential for security vulnerabilities

Quite a competition, isn’t it? But the question remains – which one of these two titans of hosting is suited for you? Let’s dissect their differences to find it.

physical servers

VPS vs shared hosting – The great divide

Now that we’ve gotten the basics out of the way, let’s get to the fun part – the differences!

AspectsShared HostingVPS Hosting
suitable for tight budgets.
Relatively high,
offers more features and services.
Control and customizationLimited control,
less customization.
Full root access for greater control and customization.
PerformanceSufficient for small to medium websites.Excellent,
suitable for websites with many visitors.
SecurityStandard security measures,
potential vulnerabilities due to shared environment.
Better security due to isolated environment,
allows installation of personalized security measures.
ScalabilitySuitable for sites with stable or slow-growing traffic.Ideal for rapidly expanding sites that require more resources.
Technical MaintenanceTaken care of by the hosting provider;
no technical expertise needed.
Requires user involvement; some technical expertise could be handy.
Managed VPS options available.

But let’s see that more precisely.

Difference in performance:

This is where the distinct advantages of VPS start to shine. With dedicated resources, your VPS treads on the fast lane, making sure your users don’t have to wait for your page to load.

Shared hosting, albeit quite efficient, could lose its track during a sudden wave of high traffic.

Performance aspectsShared hostingVPS hosting
Page loading speedsAdequate under moderate trafficExceptionally good due to dedicated resources
Handling traffic spikesPotential slowdownsBetter equipped to handle surge in traffic
Overall site speedCapped due to shared resourcesFaster as resources aren’t shared with others

Difference in security:

Security is important; you wouldn’t want your website vulnerable to entering the world of digital wrong-doers, do you?

  • Shared hosting might seem innocuous and safe, sharing resources could expose your site to vulnerabilities.

Imagine having a ‘noisy neighbor’ who leaves the main gate open; it’s not exactly what you signed up for.

But don’t worry, even this situation can be managed. Most shared hosting providers offer basic security features like :

  • Free SSL certificates,
  • Malware scans,
  • And automated backups.

DreamHost even offers data encryption with Let’s Encrypt SSL/TLS certificates on all its hosted domains.

  • On the other hand, VPS boosts your website’s security by not only offering basic security features but also giving you isolated server space; picture it like a fortress around your website that shields you from your neighbors.

It gives you the flexibility to:

  • Install personal security measures,
  • Monitor suspicious activities,
  • Control,
  • And customize your fortress just the way you prefer.

Providers like InMotion and Host Gator offer robust security features in their VPS plans, making it an ideal choice for businesses that prioritize data protection.

Let’s have a quick comparison of their relative strengths in a tabulated format.

Security aspectsShared hostingVPS hosting
Basic security featuresGenerally offeredGenerally offered
Custom security measuresLimited scopeGreat flexibility and control
Vulnerability to others’ mistakePossible due to shared environmentMinimal due to isolated server space
security servers


In the digital world, growth is inevitable. The real question is, can your website accommodate it?

Let’s see how well both Shared hosting and VPS hosting can scale to your website’s growth.

  • Shared Hosting, the homely and comfy solution, is best suited for small-size websites anticipating a moderate amount of visitors without any significant growth plans.

It’s like living in a one-room apartment; it’s cozy, has everything you need, but it might start feeling cramped up if more people start moving in.

Shared Hosting is great for short-term needs or small-sized websites and can handle around 30,000 visitors per month comfortably.

But if there’s a sudden surge in traffic or as your website grows with time, Shared Hosting might stumble under the increased workload. If storage limits or server space become constraints, levelling up to improve performance becomes necessary.

  • Contrarily, VPS Hosting is the go-to choice for scalability. Like moving into a bigger place with ample room to accommodate everyone comfortably, VPS hosting grows with you.

It offers dedicated resources, providing more guaranteed capacity for your site’s needs.

It allows resource adjustments to cater to different traffic patterns, say increased bandwidth for e-commerce on Black Friday.

With customizable features for quick and easy scaling, investing in VPS hosting right from the beginning could be cost-effective in the long run if you anticipate a need for rapid scaling to meet growing demand.

Scalability aspectsShared hostingVPS hosting
Handling growing trafficSuitable for moderate trafficCan handle any volume of traffic
Adjusting resourcesLimited adjustmentsAdequate adjustments possible
Readiness for future growthLimited readinessHigh readiness, customizable for growth

Choosing between Shared and VPS Hosting pivots around scalability, which determines how your hosting plan can keep pace with your site’s growth.

It revolves around factors like storage and server capabilities. Some start with affordable Shared Hosting to test ideas, then upgrade to VPS as their site expands.

Small businesses could benefit from VPS hosting by paying a little more each month for more flexibility.

Management and control

So, how complex is it to manage these hosting types? After all, you are here to run a website rather than become a full-time network administrator.

So, let’s see which one suits your technical expertise and desired control level.

  • Shared Hosting, the ever-so-friendly option, comes with hosting configurations managed by the provider.

It’s like living in a hotel; everything is taken care of! From maintenance to room service, you just need to relax and enjoy your stay.

Shared Hosting plans are pre-configured and optimized for most users.

Ideal for beginners who prefer not to dip their toes into the technical nitty-gritty, Shared Hosting offers basic server administration without needing a dedicated system administrator.

It indeed restricts you to standardized server setups but in return gives you a hassle-free hosting experience. Now that sounds convenient, doesn’t it?

  • VPS Hosting, on the other hand, comes in two flavors, Managed VPS hosting and Unmanaged VPS hosting.
    • Managed VPS is like having a personal butler who takes care of all your needs while you focus on your priorities.

Managed hosting services include server monitoring, issue fixes, and security patches. Bluehost goes an extra mile by offering a single dashboard for easy website management.

  • Unmanaged VPS hosting is ideal for those who cherish their independence (and have a knack for technical aspects).

It’s akin to living in your house; you have complete freedom but also greater responsibility.

However, this also means that you can customize every nook and corner to your liking.

Aspects of managementShared hostingVPS Hosting
Technical maintenanceMinimal to zeroRequires user involvement
CustomizationLimited flexibility due to standardized setupsHigh customizability
Control over server environmentrestrictedComplete control with root access

In conclusion, the choice between Shared and VPS Hosting indeed revolves around your technical expertise and desired control and customization levels.

If you’re a novice in web development or prefer not to handle any backend stuff, shared hosting could be your bet.

On the other hand, if you are comfortable wielding control or have specific requirements, a VPS could be your perfect partner.

servers management


Let’s talk about the price tag. After all, you want the best for your website but within a budget, right?

  • Shared Hosting, being the economical choice, is incredibly affordable due to resources being shared among various websites. It’s like sharing a pizza among friends; everyone chips in, so it’s light on everyone’s pocket.

Shared Hosting plans usually expose you to more cost-effective options, such as Bluehost’s plans which start at a mere $2.95/month.

But remember, with great affordability might come ordinary service, so tread smartly!

  • In contrast, VPS hosting is the premium choice that comes with a slightly heftier price tag but offers enhanced storage, bandwidth, customization options, and stellar performance.

It’s akin to hiring your personal pizza chef; yes, it costs more but imagine the luxury of having your custom-made pizza anytime! Bluehost’s VPS pricing starts from $29.99/month and justifies it by offering top-tier services and resources.

Research ratings reveal DreamHost seems to be the most affordable option for Shared hosting, whereas Bluehost offers a bang for your buck in VPS hosting.

However, remember that promotional offers and initial discounts could influence the pricing, especially during the initial subscription period.

Some providers offer website builders as an all-in-one alternative with design, domain, and hosting under one umbrella, offering another affordable solution.

At the end of the day, balance is key. The pricing strategy should balance value, affordability, and quality of service. It’s not just about getting a cheaper deal; it’s about purposeful spending on value-packed services like brilliant customer support and reliable uptime along with enhanced features according to the chosen plan.

Picking your choice – VPS or Shared hosting?

Choosing between Shared and VPS hosting requires a careful analysis of several factors.

Your website’s needs, growth projections, budget, technical expertise, and individual preferences play crucial roles in making an informed decision.

Here’s a brief comparison to help you out:

ConsiderationsShared hostingVPS hosting
BudgetCost-effective and perfect for tight budgetsMore pricey but packs more value for your bucks
Expertise and controlBetter suited for beginners with less technical expertisePerfect for those comfortable with backend management
Traffic predictionsIdeal for sites expecting moderate to low trafficExcellent choice for sites expecting many visits or quick growth
Performance requirementsDecent performance sufficient for most small to medium sitesOutstanding performance with greater stability and speed
servers monitoring

The best web hosting providers in the market

Surely enough, now you might be wondering about the best providers in the market. To ease your exploration, we’ve gathered some top choices for both shared hosting and VPS hosting.

Shared hosting providers:

  1. Host Gator: Offers unlimited storage, bandwidth and includes a free domain, SSL and backups.
  2. Bluehost: Multiple plans with unlimited sites, a free domain, SSL and included backups from the Plus plan.
  3. DreamHost: Comes with a custom control panel, daily backups, unmetered bandwidth and 24/7 support, and free SSL.

VPS hosting providers:

  1. Bluehost: Unlimited bandwidth, storage up to 120GB, free IP address, domains, and premium customer support in all their plans.
  2. Host Gator: Offers plans with a range of 2-8GB RAM, root access, storage up to 240GB, unmetered bandwidth and weekly backups.
  3. InMotion: Provides storage up to 360GB, complimentary SSL certificate, robust security and unlimited bandwidth for plans with 8GB RAM or more.

Are there other types of hosting?

Absolutely! Apart from Shared and VPS hosting, 3 other solutions are commonly used:

  1. Dedicated Hosting: As the name suggests, this form of hosting dedicates an entire server for your website ensuring the highest level of resources and control.
  2. Cloud Hosting: This is a more flexible option that leverages multiple servers for enhanced uptime and scaling possibilities.
  3. WordPress Hosting: If you are using WordPress for your website (just like millions others), some providers offer hosting services tailored specifically for WordPress websites with optimized performance and security measures.

Is it possible to switch from one to another?

Yes it is! Nothing is permanent in the hosting world. Upgrading or downgrading your hosting plan is as easy as pie!

Most hosting providers allow easy transitions between plans. If you’re starting with Shared hosting and as your traffic grows or business expands, you can swiftly switch to a VPS plan or even a dedicated server with minimal downtime (or none at all).

Planning ahead always helps! Anticipating when you might need to upgrade can prevent future migraines.

However, before you choose, always ensure that your provider offers seamless transitions between plans before committing to their services.

VPS or Shared hosting: Wrapping it up

To simplify the long story:

  • Shared Hosting is an economical option perfect for beginners with smaller websites or blogs. It’s a ‘get-set-go’ solution which let’s you start your online journey quickly and economically.
  • On the other hand, VPS hosting shines with its ability to provide better control, customization, performance, speed and scalability. It could be worth investing in a VPS plan if you anticipate high traffic or significant growth in the future.

Choosing between VPS (Virtual Private Server) or Shared hosting ultimately boils down to your specific needs and priorities.

And don’t forget that there are other hosting solutions : dedicated hosting, Cloud hosting and WordPress hosting.

By understanding these two types of hosting, you can make an informed decision about which option is the best fit for your website. So ask yourself, what does my website need? What are my future plans? How important is speed and performance to me? Remember, the goal isn’t just to pick a hosting type but rather to find a solution that will help your website grow and succeed.