In truth, price is not always the best determinant of which option is best for you.

Pricing is just one aspect when choosing the correct hosting solution. In fact, making a purchase based solely on price alone is an accident waiting to happen. When comparing shared hosting prices to VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting, it may seem like signing up for the lowest option available is a no-brainer, right?

Here’s a preview of what’s included in this in-depth hosting guide. Before making an informed decision on what type of hosting to choose, let’s first define shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting and cloud server hosting.

Keep the old saying in mind when deciding on a hosting provider: “You get what you pay for.” This is especially true when it comes to the hosting provider you select.

What exactly is shared Cloud Hosting?

Shared hosting is the most basic and least expensive hosting option. This option allows you to rent space on a shared hosting server. Many other websites are hosted on the same server as your website. This plan is the most affordable since they offer the least amount of performance, security, and flexibility.

What exactly is VPS hosting?

Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is a hybrid of shared and dedicated hosting. A physical server (also known as the parent) hosts numerous VPS instances, each of which is allocated a specific portion of the parent server’s hardware resources. These instances are rented and operate as independent servers. As a result, it’s effectively renting a portion of a dedicated server. These plans range in price and provide more inexpensive scalability, performance, and security than shared hosting.

What exactly is Cloud Server Hosting?

Cloud Servers, often referred to as Public Cloud Hosting, are enterprise-class cloud platforms that offer scalable cPanel hosting options. Cloud hosting may be set up in minutes and scaled up and down in response to traffic fluctuations or workload needs. The servers are also extremely stable, having redundant hardware and high availability built-in. These plans are also more expensive but offer the most scalability, flexibility, agility, and cost-efficiency.

What exactly is dedicated Cloud Hosting?

Cloud servers are receiving a lot of media attention these days, but traditional methods aren’t going away. So what exactly does fully managed dedicated hosting entail?

Dedicated servers are exactly what their name implies: a single server dedicated solely to you. You have complete control over the server hardware. In a data center, bare-metal servers often share network connectivity with nearby dedicated servers, although they don’t share any hardware. This hosting plan is typically more expensive than shared or VPS plans, but it offers superior performance, security, and flexibility, especially for those looking for a custom setup or proprietary hardware.

Now that we have a more basic understanding of each of the four hosting alternatives, let’s compare shared hosting vs VPS dedicated and cloud server hosting using a few different metrics to see how we arrived at this tiered structure. This assessment applies to products from any host, not just Liquid Web.

Pros and Cons of Shared Cloud Hosting

If you own a web agency, you are not alone in believing that shared web hosting, which can cost as little as $5 per site per month, is the most cost-effective option for your company.

However, take a closer look, and you’ll see how the financial, functional, and emotional benefits of a more comprehensive plan from a managed host offers significantly more bang for your buck. Managed hosting provides the performance, security, configurability and scalability you need to grow your business.

So, before we go into VPS versus dedicated, let’s start with the most fundamental option: Shared Hosting.

The Benefits of Shared Hosting

Because of their shared nature, shared hosting solutions are incredibly affordable. Unfortunately, shared hosting often oversells its hardware, resulting in more users on the server than the server can support, especially when all users are fully active. This permits small websites to be crammed in amongst the bigger ones, which may or may not work for some.

Low Performance is a disadvantage of shared hosting.

These plans often have relatively restricted resources since they are only given a portion of the available system hardware. Other sites on the same server can deprive a shared hosting account user of resources by monopolizing the restricted resources available. This shared hosting tier is suitable for stable and low-traffic websites.

Because the server’s power has to be shared among dozens, if not hundreds, of other customers and websites, shared hosting systems aren’t usually built to handle massive amounts of traffic and processing. However, shared hosting is perfectly suitable for average-sized and low-traffic sites, such as recreational sites, brochure information-only websites, or even modest blogs.

Inadequate Security

Activity from other sites on the server can affect your customers’ sites, exposing them to viruses, hackers, and other critical security concerns. The more domain names that lead to your shared server’s IP address, the more likely it is that you will be targeted.

Configurability is limited.

Each user is severely limited in their own environment. UI level modifications like .htaccess, PHP versions or a specific list of modules are the scope of customization. There is no access to server-level services or settings.

It’s rare to find a shared hosting service that offers the exact UI configurations you need when you want to install specialized applications (although it’s common to find hosting providers that already provide popular software like FFMPEG or ImageMagick installed). It is also doubtful that your host will install unique software for you on a shared workstation, which could compromise the security of other users.

As a result, a shared hosting package provides far less control.

Scalability is limited.

In general, shared server packages are not very flexible. Depending on the hosting provider, the user is limited to a plan that enables certain restrictions based on bandwidth, disk usage, and other considerations. These packages can be upgraded or downgraded based on your needs and budget. Unfortunately, scaling up is limited due to the separation of resources among shared users, which may require a move to a new server or product type. Increasing your disk quota and, in certain

situations, reducing CPU access constraints are common options for modifying the resources in your package.

Pros and Cons of VPS Hosting

As we shift gears to understand the benefits of VPS hosting, we see that performance is essential. If you want to keep your customers happy, you have to deliver exceptional results.

According to a Kissmetrics poll, over half of online users anticipate a site to load in two seconds or less, and visitors are likely to leave a site that takes more than three seconds to open.

In addition, 79% of online shoppers who experienced website performance issues said they would not return to the site to make a purchase again, and 44% would tell a friend if they had a bad online shopping experience.

What’s the bottom line here?

The one-second difference it takes for a page to load could cost you money from disgruntled visitors. So make sure you understand the benefits of dedicated virtual server hosting before we compare VPS vs dedicated servers.

Advantages of VPS Hosting

Excellent Scalability

VPS systems provide greater capabilities for adding and deleting resources, such as CPU cores, system memory, and more drives or disk space, through your hosting provider, making them very versatile in scaling factors. They are only limited by the hardware available on the parent server. However, they are often transferrable between similar parents, allowing them to be transferred quickly and modified with minimum downtime and turnaround time for upward growth.

Maximum Security

Each user has an area separated from their neighbours by their IP address. In rare cases, a virus may be able to overcome the hypervisor, leaving all sites on the VPS server exposed. Both VPS and dedicated solutions offer solid security, but when comparing the security margins of VPS versus dedicated hosting, dedicated still comes out on top.

Some Customization 

A virtual private server has minimal limitations. Each environment is isolated from the others on the server and functions like a dedicated server with a few exceptions. The main limitation is direct access to the hardware. This prevents the VPS from running hardware emulation or accessing non-network-linked storage devices.

In terms of control over installing particular software and unique configurations, a VPS server gives you full access to your system, allowing you to enable, disable, install, or delete any program you want and alter configurations to your exact needs. Furthermore, with VPS Hosting, you are not limited to the applications that your hosting provider installs in your environment.

Performance in the Mid-Tier

This can be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on your needs. VPS instances (as opposed to dedicated) are limited by the hardware assigned to the plan. When running in a visualized layout, the hardware suffers a performance hit. However, this load has reduced over time and now offers a level of performance that matches that of dedicated servers.

The disadvantages of VPS hosting

Cost in the Middle

Another advantage is the variable cost, although it will still be more expensive than the low cost of simple shared solutions. VPS options come in a variety of sizes, from the smallest 2GB server to massive 128-core machines. Prime VPS servers are often built with the best available hardware to give consumers the most configuration options. However, when it comes to VPS versus dedicated servers, both are more expensive than shared hosting.

Pros and Cons of Dedicated Hosting

Now that we’ve identified some of the main disadvantages of shared hosting let’s take a closer look at VPS vs. dedicated hosting. When it comes to hosting solutions, dedicated servers can do it all. They provide the foundation for all web-hosted sites and apps. Because all software must run on actual hardware in one way or another, there are virtually no limitations for dedicated servers.

You can also use a dedicated server in combination with other dedicated servers to set up highly available or clustered services to prevent or minimize downtime during critical hardware incidents.

A single dedicated server can act as a parent server for numerous VPS servers using hardware emulation. These VPS instances can be transferred between multiple host servers similarly configured to accommodate more or less hardware as needed. Dedicated vs. Virtual Private Servers give you complete control over your hosting environment.

Benefits of Dedicated Hosting Maximum Security

Because you are the only dedicated server user, the chance of an attack is low. Your connection, as well as your hardware, is entirely secret and contained. Another key factor to consider is that dedicated hosting may use more complex security measures, such as a classic hardware firewall, whereas shared and VPS hosting cannot. This perfectly illustrates why choosing the correct hosting solution is about more than pricing alone.

High Efficiency

Dedicated servers provide direct access to hardware and exceptional performance for specific configurations.

Maximum Customizability

Because the user has direct access to the hardware, dedicated servers can be configured in any way with no constraints or restrictions from the host. While VPS hosting provides greater control over installing certain applications and configuring settings, so do dedicated servers and cloud servers. However, while VPS and dedicated servers provide more configurability, shared hosting simply offers surface-level customization and management.

The Drawbacks of Dedicated Cloud Hosting

Scalability at the Mid-Level

Dedicated servers offer high performance but are limited by physical hardware and disk space. Upgrades are always feasible. However, downtime or major migrations may be needed depending on the upgrade. Server clustering and high availability solutions can help to reduce this, but they are often significantly more expensive. Again, the difference may be small, but when comparing dedicated servers vs VPS hosting, VPS hosting receives maximum scalability.

High Price

These servers will be more expensive in terms of monthly recurring costs and hardware upgrades. The cost of a dedicated server comes from paying for the hardware used rather than piggybacking on a larger pool utilized for VPS setups. It’s important to know that the costs may vary depending on whether you choose managed or unmanaged dedicated servers.

Pros and Cons of Cloud Server Hosting

Scalability on a cloud server is on-demand and occurs when resources are required, with no downtime. Similarly, if a hardware failure or security breach occurs, VPS hosting may require some downtime to repair hardware on the parent server or patch the downed systems. However, the cluster is redundant on a cloud server, so there is no downtime for end-users or website/app visitors, resulting in a better experience.

Benefits of Cloud Hosting

Excellent Scalability

Public cloud servers can rapidly scale up and down to meet exceptional traffic and resource needs. Cloud servers are the most scalable hosting accessible, with higher scalable bandwidth and resiliency. Cloud servers are composed of numerous servers linked together using virtualization.

High-Performance Cloud Servers provide exceptional performance, particularly for sites and applications with erratic traffic or requiring resources to scale quickly.

Cloud servers with high security are constantly checked for security issues. In addition, since they are redundant by using virtualization across numerous servers, you can rest assured that your website will remain operational even if something goes wrong.

Some Customizability

Cloud servers, like VPS and dedicated hosting solutions, provide total access to the systems and are highly scalable cPanel solutions, so the configuration possibilities are endless. However, unlike dedicated servers, which provide clients complete control, cloud servers do not give customers root access and are only utilized with Linux and cPanel.

The Drawbacks of Cloud Hosting

High Price

Cloud servers are less costly than dedicated servers. The price difference is due to cloud servers providing access to a pool of highly available servers. Scaling among these highly available servers is limited by the number of unused resources available across all linked servers.

How Do You Choose Between Shared, VPS, Dedicated, and Cloud Hosting?

When picking between shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting, choose a hosting company that will not only suit your demands now but will also be able to fulfill your future needs. It is obvious that shared hosting is the least expensive option, it may potentially become significantly more costly for web firms in the long term.

All of the hosting solutions featured in this article have pros and cons that you should consider when determining which one is best for your needs. Your specific needs will dictate the most important features and functionality in most situations.

Based on the benefits and downsides of each, here’s a summary of which hosting you’ll most likely want:

Shared Hosting: As the most basic service, shared hosting does not offer much in terms of performance, security, or customization. Shared hosting, on the other hand, offers the lowest cost. This type of hosting is best suited for static websites with little traffic.

VPS Hosting: VPS hosting is a middle-of-the-road service with inexpensive scalability and greater performance and security than shared hosting. It is less expensive than dedicated or cloud hosting. VPS hosting is a good solution for production and development settings since it can accommodate the majority of websites and apps while offering exceptional performance.

Dedicated Hosting: Dedicated hosting is a viable solution with higher performance and security than shared and VPS hosting, as well as more unconstrained configurability than cloud servers. However, cloud hosting offers more scalability. Therefore, dedicated servers are top hosting options that can meet the demands of practically any website or product, particularly those requiring unique setups or legacy applications.

Cloud Hosting: Although more expensive than shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting, cloud hosting is a premium, top-of-the-line service. Cloud hosting is ideal for individuals that want a cPanel solution that is easily deployable, scalable, and dependable.


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Rhyno Cybersecurity is a Canadian-based company focusing on 24/7 Managed Detection and Response, Penetration Testing, Enterprise Cloud, and Cybersecurity Solutions for small and midsize businesses.

Our products and services are robust, innovative, and cost-effective. Underpinned by our 24x7x365 Security Operations Centre (SOC), our experts ensure you have access to cybersecurity expertise when you need it the most.

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