Virtual Private Server Hosting vs. Dedicated Hosting: How Do You Choose?


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If you have a website for your business, you must do everything possible to keep it running all the time. Using a good quality hosting service is one of the best things you can do to accomplish that goal.

If you believe your site will get a lot of traffic, ensure you have hosting that can handle it. Typically it is best to get either a VPS or a dedicated server. Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of these options so you can pick the right one for your business.

Key takeaways:

  • VPS hosting is an excellent balance between shared hosting technologies and a dedicated server for those who want a more economical option.
  • Dedicated servers allow you full control over virtually every aspect of the server, which is ideal for many situations.
  • Choosing the best hosting company to work with is just as important as picking the right type of hosting.

What Is VPS Hosting?

With VPS hosting, your website is hosted on a server shared with several other customer websites, similar to shared hosting. Unlike shared hosting, you are assigned exclusive access to a set amount of system resources on the server when you use VPS hosting. This helps to minimize the potential impact the other sites on the server could have on yours.

In addition, since you’re given exclusive access to your virtual environment on the server, you generally have greater control over how things are configured. For example, you can often choose your operating system and even the installed software type. You can find VPS options with almost any system specs you want, making it an excellent option for many site types.

What are the advantages of VPS hosting?

There are many benefits to going with VPS hosting over shared hosting or dedicated servers, so it’s a popular choice.

  • Lots of options: You can get VPS hosting with basic system specs or advanced ones, based on your needs.
  • Affordable: While generally more expensive than shared hosting, it’s quite budget-friendly compared to dedicated hosting.
  • Upgradable: In most cases, you can easily add system resources to your account as your site grows.

What are the disadvantages of VPS hosting?

While there’s no doubt that VPS hosting is a great option for many sites, there are some downsides to be aware of as well:

  • Sharing hardware: While VPS hosting does a lot to keep your sites segmented from other sites on the server, you’re still sharing access to the same physical hardware, which can be a concern.
  • Potential upgrade limits: You can upgrade your VPS easily, yet you are limited based on the server’s hardware. If the hardware is all being used, your hosting company has to migrate you to a new server to upgrade, which generally isn’t a problem.
  • Lots of options: It’s great that you can find VPS hosting with almost any level of system specs, but it also makes it confusing if you don’t have much experience in this area. Ensure you’re getting the level of service you want at a fair price.

What Is Dedicated Server Hosting?

Dedicated server hosting is where your website is the only one running on a physical server or even multiple physical servers. You can have full control of the entire server, including the operating system, the versions of software, what is installed, and much more. Hosting companies offer a variety of types of servers at different price points to meet the needs of larger websites.

What are the advantages of dedicated hosting?

Dedicated servers are a great option for certain situations and come with some significant advantages:

  • Full control: Since you aren’t sharing access to the server with anyone else, you can typically have full control over every server aspect, which is sometimes important.
  • Powerful: Good web servers are made with commercial-grade hardware that has impressive specs, so it can handle even a large amount of traffic to your website.
  • Choose your specs: Most hosting companies offering dedicated servers have multiple tiers available, so you can get the system specs you need. Some allow you to custom-build your server.

What are the disadvantages of dedicated hosting?

While dedicated servers are widely considered the top-tier option for hosting, this type isn’t right for everyone. The following disadvantages must be considered before signing up for this type of hosting:

  • Price: Dedicated servers are almost always the most expensive option since you use the entire server.
  • Technically advanced: Running a dedicated server can be quite complicated, especially if you need configuration options outside the standard. The hosting company can manage your server, but that takes away some control.
  • Single point of failure: If your site runs on one server with a hardware problem, it can go down. Your hosting company may not have a similar server ready to use, which could extend the downtime.

How Do You Choose the Best Hosting for Your Business?

If you’re deciding whether a VPS or a dedicated server is the best option for your hosting, it should be pretty easy to decide which option to go with. A VPS is a more popular option because it’s much more affordable and has significant advantages.

The main reason to go with a dedicated server is if you need complete control over the entire server or if your site is very large and gets high traffic. If your site receives thousands of visitors simultaneously, you likely need multiple dedicated servers to run your page.

Choosing the right hosting technology, as is working with a trusted hosting company. Ensure you work with the right hosting provider, no matter which hosting type you choose.

See our recommendations for the best VPS hosting providers and the best dedicated hosting companies.

FAQs About Virtual Private Server vs. Dedicated Hosting

What is the difference between virtual private server hosting and dedicated hosting?

VPS hosting works on a virtual shared server, where you host your website with others. And dedicated hosting provides your server to work off.

Why is a dedicated server better than a virtual private server?

Dedicated servers offer more security, power, privacy, and customization opportunities than VPS. Also, dedicated servers are much more flexible and offer the ultimate power a web hosting service can offer.

What is a disadvantage of a dedicated server?

Dedicated servers are more expensive than other hosting. Managing a dedicated server requires essential technical knowledge to set up, install, and administer.

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