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Difference Between Shared Web Hosting and VPS Web Hosting

Shared Web Hosting vs. VPS Web Hosting

For many people who cannot afford to have dedicated machines to host their small- to medium-sized site, there are two options: Shared Web Hosting and Virtual Private Server (VPS) Web Hosting. Both of them squeeze multiple sites into a single computer, thereby allowing the owners to share the cost of the hosting. Comparing the two, it is easy to see that shared web hosting is generally cheaper than VPS hosting. This is one of the reasons why many bargain hunters go with shared hosting rather than VPS.

The main difference between shared and VPS hosting is how they partition the hardware for each occupant. With shared hosting, all the hosts occupy the same operating system just like running multiple programs on a single operating system. With VPS hosting, each user has his own operating system running virtually on the hardware. Each user’s operating system is independent from the others’. That means that if one crashes or is restarted, the others are not affected.

VPS provides administrative and root access to the user, giving him the ability to configure his site just as he wants. Administrative access is absent in shared hosting, and configurations are done through a control panel like Plesk or CPanel. Shared hosting is good for beginners because the control panel is a much easier way of doing things, although it is a lot less flexible.

Security is another aspect where VPS excels over shared hosting. As each user is completely isolated from other users, security is implemented individually. With shared web hosting, any user can just upload scripts and run them. This can lead to exploits or other unwanted effects that affect all users on that computer.

One major lure of shared hosting is their seemingly extensive limits on resources like drive space. This is because the resources are pooled and only ‘soft’ limits are imposed. Providers know that many users won’t be using their accounts to the maximum, so they notoriously oversell their server’s capacity. In situations where many of the occupants use more than the provider anticipated, a shortage happens. This doesn’t happen with VPS hosting as each user has an allocation that cannot be accessed by other users. This allocation is always available to the user.


1. Shared Web Hosting is cheaper than VPS Web Hosting
2. VPS Web Hosting uses virtualization, while Shared Web Hosting does not
3. VPS Web Hosting provides administrative access, while Shared Web Hosting does not
4. VPS Web Hosting is more secure than Shared Web Hosting
5. VPS Web Hosting has set allocations, while Shared Web Hosting has ‘soft’ limits

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1 Comment

  1. I’ve been on my VPS for about two years now and I love it. In my opinion, if you can afford it, you should be on a virtual private server.

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