How do I choose – Hosting
To help you choose, I have included both a non-technical explanation and a non-technical analogy below. In the analogy, we compare the different types of hosting plans with an Olympic-sized swimming pool. To get a full understanding, you may want to read both.
Shared hosting is perfect for entry-level website hosting. This is where your website will be stored on the same server as multiple other websites. With a shared hosting plan, all domains share the same server resources, such as RAM (Random Access Memory) and CPU (Central Processing Unit). However, because all resources are shared, the cost of shared hosting plans are relatively low, making them an excellent option for website owners in their beginning stages.
Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
A VPS hosting plan is the ultimate middle ground between a shared server and a dedicated server. It’s ideal for website owners that need more control, but don’t necessarily need a dedicated server.
VPS hosting is unique because each website is hosted within its own space on the server, though it still shares a physical server with other users. While VPS hosting provides website owners with more customization and storage space, they’re still not able to handle incredibly high traffic levels or spikes in usage meaning that the site performance can still be affected by other sites on the server
Typically, VPS hosting is used by website owners who want dedicated hosting but don’t have the technical knowledge needed. VPS hosting offers the cost benefits of shared hosting with the control of dedicated hosting. A great choice for advanced users and those that want specific software and package installations.
Dedicated hosting gives website owners the most control over the server that their website is stored on. That’s because the server is exclusively rented by you and your website is the only one stored on it. This means that you have full root and admin access, so you can control everything from security to operating system that you run.
Think of a hosting server like an Olympic-size swimming pool. Not everyone needs an expensive, giant Olympic-size pool. So, it’s nice to have cheaper options which may suffice.
With Shared Web Hosting, you get to use the entire Olympic-size swimming pool; however, you must share it with other swimmers. This means you won’t always get to enjoy the benefit of using the high dive because you may have to wait behind someone else while they dive. You won’t always be able to swim laps without someone getting in your way. However, sometimes the number of swimmers may be very few (like in the middle of the night) and you have a little more privacy and room, but those other swimmers will surely be back, and they can come swim in the same pool you use whenever they want. Also, the pool owners may have rules like no running and no bringing your entire extended family to take up the entire pool and not leave room for anyone else. If someone does a cannonball, you might get splashed, but the disturbance would be temporary. If that swimmer continually does cannonballs and disturbs other swimmers, then that swimmer would be asked to stop doing cannonballs or asked to get their own pool.
This is similar to how a shared server works; you share the resources with other users, but you can still enjoy a large number of resources when no one else is using them, and the hosting company will also post rules to make sure every user has a fair amount of resources when needed.
With VPS Hosting, you get to use a roped-off section of the Olympic-size swimming pool, and you do NOT share your section with other swimmers. This means you won’t ever get to enjoy the benefit of using the entire pool, but you will have your section completely to yourself. In this case, you won’t have to wait for other swimmers to get out of your way. Also, the pool owners will have more lenient rules since you aren’t sharing your section of the pool with anyone else (so, you can have as many people as you like as long as they stay in your section). If someone does a cannonball in their own section of the pool, you won’t get directly splashed, but it is possible you may feel some ripples in the water.
This is similar to how a VPS container works; you get your own resources within your own container, but you still share the server with other users. The other users don’t get in your way or see your part of the server, so you have much more privacy and freedom to do what you want. However, you will never have the full power of the server at your disposal.
Dedicated Server hosting is like owning the entire Olympic-size swimming pool and having it entirely to yourself. You won’t have to follow someone else’s rules about sharing and running. You can paint the walls purple, add lawn chairs and do as many cannonballs as you want. It’s the best solution for any of your swimming needs, but if you always swim by yourself or only need enough room to practice diving, then you may not need an entire Olympic-size swimming pool.