VPS or Dedicated Hosting for your business?
Every website needs a home. The question is: what kind of home does it need? Just like homeowners may need extra rooms as they think of the future pattern of tiny feet, new businesses could quickly outgrow their allocation of resources with shared hosting and need to expand.
Many businesses will need powerful hosting from the start, while others will have expanded beyond their initial hosting arrangement and are looking for the next stage. They will likely choose either a VPS (Virtual Private Server) or Dedicated server hosting package, but deciding which is best for their needs is not always as simple as it seems.
In this article, we will make the VPS vs. Dedicated server distinction, weigh the pros and cons of each of these hosting types, and help you work out which is best for your web project.
What is VPS Hosting?
Virtual private servers offer a type of hosting that sits somewhere between shared hosting and having your own dedicated server. The server that you use is shared between other users (like shared hosting), but it is divided using virtualization software. This means each user effectively has their own virtual server, with their own resources and environment, but the physical server is divided and shared.
When you have a VPS plan, the number of users you are sharing with is much lower than when you choose Shared Hosting. VPS Hosting also provides you with root access, the choice of operating system (OS), and complete control of your virtual server.
There is also the option for your VPS Hosting provider to host you using either cloud hosting or a traditional server. Find out more about the differences between traditional VPS and cloud hosting.
What is Dedicated Hosting?
This is, quite simply, when you have the entire server to yourself. With a Dedicated server, you have more space and resources, as well as complete control over the setup, management, and configuration.
If VPS Hosting can be seen as owning an apartment in a building with other tenants, then Dedicated Hosting is having your own house.
For everything you need to know, take a look at this Dedicated Hosting guide.
How Dedicated Hosting and VPS Hosting compare
When choosing a VPS or Dedicated server, you will see that the differences between the two hosting types make them suited to users with different needs.
With a Dedicated server, you will have more hardware power as well as a higher degree of flexibility. Dedicated Hosting also enables improved resource isolation because you are the sole owner of the server. With VPS, the isolation is virtual, so there may be several other virtual machines on the same server node.
Managed vs. unmanaged hosting
With VPS and Dedicated hosting, you can choose whether your servers are managed or unmanaged. When you have managed hosting, the provider will take on certain responsibilities and services so the user doesn’t have to. With unmanaged hosting the user has more responsibilities, which can be better suited to those with advanced server administration skills. These users will have the extra control of root access, creating a custom environment, and choosing the firewalls, monitoring software, and other tools that may be needed.
While some providers sell managed products separately, others sell them as optional add-ons.
Namecheap offers three levels of management and additional ad hoc support as needed. We also sell server management as an add-on at an extra price. Alternatively, we offer a managed service at an additional total cost of your subscription.
You can find out more about Namecheap’s VPS management options in this article.
VPS Hosting vs. Dedicated Hosting: Pros and Cons
When comparing two products, it’s always good to look at the individual features to see how they match up. Here we have focused on six of the main factors affecting the hosting-type decision.
Dedicated servers generally come with more power. You can notice this when you look at the following server specs:
- Core count
Naturally, the specs vary with each individual provider, but in most cases, Dedicated servers have a greater capacity in comparison to VPS servers.
First, VPS and Dedicated servers are very flexible in terms of security. They both provide you with the control to install and configure any security tooling, or the hosting provider may already have it installed as part of the management plan.
However, unlike VPS users, Dedicated server users are not at risk of being hacked by their node neighbors, which puts them at a slight advantage.
But security shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for users on VPS, who can secure their servers so their server neighbors may pose less of a risk. Similarly, Dedicated Hosting users are also exposed to external attacks if they do not look after important security measures, such as anti-malware, logging, and a firewall.
The performance of a server will depend on the following criteria:
- Server optimization
- The software and licenses that are used for server optimization and the ability of the system admin that set up the server and its components
- The specifics of the project that is running on the server
For small projects, there could potentially be no difference in performance when comparing a Dedicated server vs. VPS server, provided that everything is set up the same way. But performance results may vary when there are differences in the setup or resource consumption, such as when the project is too large for a Virtual Private Server and therefore isn’t able to perform as effectively.
Configuration and customization
Dedicated Hosting usually offers a greater range of plans, as well as more flexibility in the use of operating systems. With VPS Hosting it is sometimes the case that you can only install the OS from a limited number of templates. Dedicated Hosting also usually offers more hardware control and the ability to include more server optimization solutions, due to a greater resource capacity.
However, additional resource adjustments with a Dedicated server are somewhat limited as upgrades are more difficult.
There are more options for upgrading your resources or plans when you have VPS Hosting. With Dedicated Hosting, however, any upgrades will usually mean purchasing a new server, which is a more complicated process.
If you want to have a server all to yourself, then you need to pay for the privilege. Dedicated Hosting does not just cost more, but also there are the additional costs of extra licenses. Things like a control panel and firewall are more expensive for a Dedicated server.
Namecheap VPS vs. Dedicated Hosting
Here is a summary of the pros and cons of the VPS and Dedicated Hosting products we offer at Namecheap. This breakdown of the difference between a dedicated server and VPS may vary with other hosting providers.
Resource isolation on the virtual level
No control over hardware
Limited range of OS templates
|More hardware resources than VPS
Full resource isolation
No OS choice — you can set up any OS you need
Should you choose VPS or Dedicated Hosting?
Whether a Virtual Private Server vs. Dedicated server is better for your needs depends on the specific needs of your project or business.
Reasons to choose VPS Hosting
Perhaps you require the control of having root access, but you cannot be quite sure how many resources you will need. This could be the case for those who run a small personal or educational project. Then it may be a good idea to go with VPS.
You can find more reasons to choose VPS Hosting in this article.
Reasons to choose Dedicated Hosting
VPS may also include Root access, but with Dedicated hosting, you will be able to configure security to the highest level. You should go for a Dedicated server for your project if the following are true:
- You require more power. You may find that the required specifications (RAM, storage, bandwidth, etc.) for your project are not typically offered with VPS plans. This may be the case if you run resource-extensive projects, in such things as gaming, video streaming, e-commerce, popular news resources, or other websites with huge traffic spikes.
- Your project requires a completely isolated environment. This could include your internal business infrastructure, a testing sandbox, or compliance with certain security certifications.
Have we helped you make a decision?
Your choice of server type can make all the difference for your website hosting. Are you ready to take on the extra responsibilities of a dedicated server — and do you really need all the extra resources? Can you predict how your project is going to grow and are you able to factor in the scalability you will need? How important are price and security to you? The answers to these questions are not always completely clear. This is why the planning and review stages are crucial in the decision-making process.
Whichever you decide to go for, it’s good to know that every type of hosting can be found in the same place. Namecheap has a wide selection of Hosting plans so you will always find the one that meets the needs of your project.