Shared vs VPS vs Dedicated Hosting for Startups

No new business can hope to succeed in today’s environment without a vibrant website. As a startup, that’s something that you need to keep in mind. Your business needs to be represented properly on the internet. And that representation comes in the form of your own website. 

For beginners, creating a website can be challenging. There are many things that require sometimes tough decisions. One decision that you will need to make is whether to choose shared, VPS or dedicated hosting for your site. This article is meant to clarify the issue, so you don’t stumble as you move forward with your project. 

Shared hosting

There are many web hosting companies out there. You won’t have trouble getting one for your business. Most of these web hosts offer shared hosting (some shared hosting companies offer LiteSpeed server, you can learn about Apache vs NGINX and see how it works compare to LiteSpeed). What you need to understand is that websites are hosted on servers that are located in various parts of the globe. These servers are run and maintained by web hosting companies. 

What shared hosting essentially means is that you will be renting space on one of these servers, along with other people. A server may have tens or hundreds of websites running at the same time. The advantage of sharing is that you also get to share the costs. Hence shared hosting is the cheapest option for those looking for affordable web hosting solutions. 

That makes it ideal for most startups. The average web hosting fee is $2.50 per month globally. Of course, there will be other costs associated with running a website. You may have to hire a developer, as an example. You will also need to pay for your domain. Domain names usually cost $12 annually. 

The challenge with shared hosting is that there may be no scope for growth and there is not flexibility. You get a preconfigured environment. Should your site grow to a certain level, you may need to move to your own server. That’s easy enough to do, so it shouldn’t be a problem. Another challenge that’s associated with shared hosting is that your site may be compromised if other sites on the same server are not secure. So, your security is not entirely up to you. 

Dedicated Hosting

The next web hosting option for startups is dedicated hosting. We have just noted that with shared hosting you will be sharing server space with others. With dedicated hosting, you get a server that’s dedicated solely to your use. 

This option is ideal for big enterprises. If you expect your business to grow exponentially over the coming years, and if you have the money, then dedicated option will be a good option for you. The major challenge is cost. You won’t be sharing server space with anyone else, making this option rather expensive, particularly for startups. 

One major advantage of dedicated hosting is that you get your own hosting environment that you can craft to your liking. That’s not available with shared hosting, where the environment comes preconfigured to suite everyone’s needs. So, dedicated hosting offers flexibility. It also offers scalability, meaning you can always get additional servers should your business outgrow your current resources.  

VPS Hosting

Shared hosting lacks flexibility, while dedicated hosting is expensive. So, what’s the middle ground? That comes in the form of VPS hosting. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. It offers the best of both worlds in terms of cost and flexibility. 

With VPS hosting, you get your own server space. However, this server space is “virtual,” meaning you will be sharing it with others. It’s your own space on a server that’s being used by others. VPS hosting offers the advantages of dedicated hosting. 

You can set up your environment however you want. Your space is yours entirely to deal with as you see fit. However, the server is still shared, meaning you will be sharing the costs with others. That makes VPS hosting an affordable option, particularly for startups. 

Which option should you opt for? 

In this post, we outlined some of the major advantages and disadvantages of shared, dedicated and VPS hosting. But which option is ideal for startups? Well, the biggest consideration for most startups is cost. Are you in South Africa? You may wish to check out these cheap South African web hosts for small business.

Generally speaking, shared hosting should be ideal for all startups. There is no need to fork out hundreds of dollars per month on hosting when your business is just getting started. In fact, most business never need to move from shared hosting. 

However, should the need arise, the good news is that it’s easy enough to make the switch from shared to VPS or dedicated hosting. It’s something that can be done in a matter of hours. So, you shouldn’t strain your budget by picking an expensive host at the onset. You can always make adjustments as you move forward with your venture.  

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