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Shared vs VPS Hosting Plans – Which Should You Choose?

March 4, 2019

11:36 am

Figuring out the best way to host your website online can take a lot of research. Fortunately, if you're deciding between shared and VPS hosting, you've come to the right place.

Hosting your website online is a complicated process, and one of the biggest decisions you'll need to make involves the type of hosting you're going to use. Whether you're a large corporation with the potential for loads of traffic, or a small business simply hoping to get online, you'll need to choose wisely in order to avoid costly outages and pointless features.

In this regard, the differences between hosting types can be staggering. Shared vs VPS hosting is a perfect example – each hosting type caters to different types of businesses, which means you need to understand the differences before making your decision. We'll explain how shared hosting and VPS hosting differ, and what you should be looking for in terms of price, features, and reliability.

Shared vs VPS Hosting: Head-to-Head

Simply put, shared hosting plans are designed for individuals and smaller businesses that are looking to get set up online at a lower price. This type of hosting puts your website on a shared server, which can occasionally be affected by other users in terms of speeds and outages.

VPS hosting, on the other hand, is designed for medium-sized businesses looking for a more in-depth website. Your site will still be hosted on a shared server, but you'll be given your own “section”, granting you more control over how your site is hosted.

Here are a few basic differences between the two:

Shared Hosting

  • More affordable
  • Less reliable
  • Best for basic websites

VPS Hosting

  • Slightly less affordable
  • More reliable
  • Best for growing websites with more functionality

In so many words, neither hosting type is good nor bad – they're simply better for specific businesses. When it comes to looking for a hosting plan, you need to find the pleasant middle ground between overly expensive and low functionality, and that depends on what your company needs. We'll explain in more detail below.

In This Guide:

Shared Hosting Costs

As we've mentioned more than a few times, shared hosting is the least expensive avenue to getting your website online. These plans are always the lowest tier available from any provider, and for good reason. Yes, this hosting type is a bit less reliable – but if you aren't trying to do a lot with your website, it's the perfect first step.

Take an in-depth look at some of the most popular web hosting providers and their pricing plans below, and check out our comprehensive cost guide here:

Scroll horizontally to view full table on mobile devices

BluehostGoDaddyInMotionWPEngineA2 HostingHostGator1&1
Bluehost LogoGoDaddy LogoInMotion LogoWPEngine LogoA2 Hosting LogoHostGator Logo1&1 Logo
Number of Plans4433333
Starting Price (monthly)$7.99$7.99$7.99$35$7.99$6.95$8
Highest Price (monthly)$23.99$33.99$15.99$290$18.99$14.95$14
Money back guarantee30 Days90 Days60 DaysANYTIME45 Days60 Days
cPanel
Unmetered transfer
Free Backups
(Only on Turbo Plan – most expensive)
✗ ($35.88 start price)
Free Domain
Amount of Sites IncludedBasic: 1
Plus: Unlimited
Choice Plus: Unlimited
Go Pro: Unlimited
Economy: 1
Deluxe: Unlimited
Ultimate: Unlimited
Maximum: Unlimited
Launch: 2
Power: 6
Pro: Unlimited
StartUp: 1
Growth: 5
Scale: 15
Lite: 1
Swift: Unlimited
Turbo: Unlimited
Hatchling: 1
Baby: Unlimited
Business: Unlimited
Business: 1
Pro: 5
Expert: 50
Sub DomainsBasic: 25
Plus: Unlimited
Choice Plus: Unlimited
Go Pro: Unlimited
Economy: 25
Deluxe: Unlimited
Ultimate: Unlimited
Maximum: Unlimited
Launch: 25
Power: 100 Pro: Unlimited
Across all plans: UnlimitedLite: 5
Swift: Unlimited
Turbo: Unlimited
Across all plans: UnlimitedAcross all plans: 10,000
Email AccountBasic: 5
Plus: Unlimited
Choice Plus: Unlimited
Go Pro: Unlimited
Free business email for first yearAcross all plans: UnlimitedLite: 25
Swift: Unlimited
Turbo:
Unlimited
Across all plans: UnlimitedBusiness: 25
Pro: 100
Expert: 500
Included SSL CertificatesYes, free on Pro PlanUltimate: Free for 1 year
Maximum: Free
Yes, on ALL plansYes, on ALL plansYes, on ALL plansYes, on ALL plansYes, on ALL plans
Monthly Visitor LimitAcross all plans:
32,000 (between 7,000-8,000 per week)
N/A*Across all plans:
360,000 (between 400-500 per hour)
Startup: 25,000
Growth: 100,000
Scale: 400,000
*UnattainableAcross all plans: 240,000Across all plans: Unlimited
Knowledge Center
Live Chat
24/7 Live Chat
Phone
24/7 Phone
Tickets
Disk SpaceBasic: 50GB
Plus: Unlimited
Choice Plus: Unlimited
Go Pro: Unlimited
Economy: 100GB
Deluxe: Unlimited
Ultimate: Unlimited
Maximum: Unlimited
Across all plans: UnlimitedStartup: 10GB Growth: 20GB
Scale: 30GB
Across all plans: UnlimitedAcross all plans: UnlimitedBusiness: 100GB
Pro: 250GB
Expert: 500GB
Up Time Performance99.9899.9799.9799.9599.9599.9999.98
Best DealChoice Plus: $5.45
(normally $14.99)
Maximum: $19.99
(normally $33.99)
Launch: $6.39
(normally $7.99)
N/ATurbo: $9.31
(normally $18.99)
Business: $5.95
(normally $14.95)
Expert: $1
(normally $14)
All DiscountsSee DealsSee DealsSee DealsSee DealsSee DealsSee DealsSee Deals

VPS Hosting Costs

Yes, VPS hosting prices are a little bit higher compared to shared hosting. However, the added cost contributes to a more reliable experience, sectioning off an area of a shared server specifically for your needs. You'll be able to scale your site better, all while preventing slow speeds and outages.

Check out how VPS hosting providers stack up against each other on price and features, and don't forget to take a look at our comprehensive guide to web hosting costs:

Scroll horizontally to view full table on mobile devices

BluehostGoDaddyInMotionA2 HostingHostGator1&1
Bluehost LogoGoDaddy LogoInMotion LogoA2 Hosting LogoHostGator Logo1&1 Logo
Number of Plans343334
Starting Price$29.99$40.99$39.99$49.99$89.95$10
Highest Price$119.99$100.99$144.99$99.99$159.95$40
Money back guarantee30 Days30 DaysAnytime45 Days60 Days
Available RAMStandard: 2GB
Enhanced: 4GB
Ultimate: 8GB
Launch: 2GB
Enhanced: 4GB
Grow: 6GB
Expand: 8GB
VPS-1000: 4GB
VPS-2000: 6GB
VPS-3000: 8GB
Power: 4GB
Prestige: 6GB
Pinnacle: 8GB
Snappy 2000: 2GB
Snappy 4000: 4GB
Snappy 8000: 8GB
VPS M: 1GB
VPS L: 2GB
VPS XL: 4GB
VPS XXL: 8GB
Root Access✔(Optional)
Free Back Ups

($0.20/mo)

Windows
Linux
CPU CoresStandard: 2
Enhanced: 2
Ultimate: 4
Launch: 1
Enhanced: 2
Grow: 3
Expand: 4
Across all plans: UnlimitedPower: 4
Prestige: 6
Pinnacle: 8
Snappy 2000: 2
Snappy 4000: 2
Snappy 8000: 4
VPS M: 1
VPS L: 2
VPS XL: 2
VPS XXL: 4
Email AccountsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited250
Dedicated IP AddressesStandard: 1
Enhanced: 2
Ultimate: 2
Across all plans: 1VPS-1000: 3
VPS-2000: 4
VPS-3000: 5
Across all plans: 2Across all plans: 2Across all plans: 1
Free Domain
Allowed Domains / WebsitesAcross all plans: Unlimited*MultipleAcross all plans: UnlimitedAcross all plans: UnlimitedAcross all plans: UnlimitedAcross all plans: 100
BandwidthStandard: 1TB
Enhanced: 2TB
Ultimate: 3 TB
Across all plans: UnlimitedVPS -1000: 4TB
VPS -2000: 5TB
VPS – 3000: 6TB
Power: 2TB
Prestige: 3TB
Pinnacle: 4TB
Snappy 2000: 1.5TB
Snappy 4000: 2TB
Snappy 8000: 3TB
Across all plans: Unlimited
Included SSL Certificates
Knowledge Center
Live Chat
24/7 Live Chat
24/7 Phone
Tickets
StorageStandard: 30GB
Enhanced: 60GB
Ultimate: 120GB
Launch: 40 GB
Enhanced: 60 GB
Grow: 150 GB
Expand: 200 GB
VPS-1000: 75GB
VPS-2000: 150GB
VPS-3000: 260GB
Power: 75GB
Prestige: 100GB
Pinnacle: 150GB
Snappy 2000: 120GB
Snappy 4000: 165GB
Snappy 8000: 240GB
VPS M: 50GB
VPS L: 80GB
VPS XL: 120GB
VPS XXL: 160GB
Up Time Performance99.9899.9799.9799.9599.9999.98
Best DealUltimate: $59.99
(normally $119.99)
Ultimate: $101.99
(normally $203.99)
VPS – 3000: $69.34
(normally $144.99)
Prestige: $46.19
(normally $69.99)
Snappy 8000: $49.95
(normally $159.95)
VPS XL: $1
(normally $30)
All DiscountsSee DealsSee DealsSee DealsSee DealsSee DealsSee Deals

Shared Hosting is Cheaper than VPS

Shared Hosting Is Better for Personal Sites

When it comes to web hosting, it's important to look at what you're using your site for. If you're an individual or very small company that's simply trying to boost your online presence, you probably don't have a lot of resources to dedicate to something like web hosting.

This is where a shared hosting plan comes in handy. It's a great jumping off point for personal sites – you won't be draining your valuable capital, but you'll still have a functional, visible website up and running. You'll be able to test the waters in regards to how much traffic you'll attract, before you pull the trigger on a larger purchase.

VPS Hosting Is Better for Small Business Sites

Now, if you're a small- to medium-sized company that is expecting a bit more traffic on a more regular basis, low-cost shared hosting plans might not work out for you. Growing businesses can't be cut off from revenue, and an outage can mean fewer conversions.

In this case, a VPS hosting plan will fit you perfectly. While you'll still be sharing a server with other companies and individuals, you'll function within your own area. This makes your site less prone to outages and slow speeds, which makes it more than worth the added cost if you're a growing business.

Shared Hosting Is Cheaper

Shared hosting costs are cheaper because you're sharing a server with other companies and individuals. If you're a smaller operation, you can almost certainly get by with shared hosting, and save yourself some money for other business necessities.

But remember: you get what you pay for. Shared hosting has its downfalls, particularly if you're looking for a reliable site that can handle a lot of traffic without crashing or slowing down. If you're a larger company with serious web hosting demands, it's probably better to spend a little bit more.

VPS Hosting is more reliable than SharedVPS Hosting Is More Reliable

If you're looking for a web hosting plan that focuses on reliability over affordability, VPS hosting is the best option for you. A dedicated section of a shared server provides all the stability you need to keep outages and lagging speeds to an absolute minimum.

Let's be clear – we're not saying that shared hosting is unreliable. While down-time can happen, it's not going to be a daily occurrence with any decent hosting provider. For a business website, though, any downtime or slower bandwidth will have an impact on your bottom line.

That may not matter for a personal blog or small website, so these sorts of sites can opt for shared hosting. But, for a decent-sized business site, VPS is the way to go.

Yes, VPS hosting does cost a little bit more than shared hosting, but if you need the added infrastructure, it's a no-brainer. Plus, if you're looking to scale your website with your company, VPS hosting provides a much more affordable means of adding storage and data along the way.

Both Are Cheaper Than Dedicated Hosting

Shared and VPS hosting are not the only types of hosting you can find. Dedicated hosting plans will put your website on a server all of its own, giving you a lot of control over how stable your site is and how it's hosted.

However, dedicated hosting plans are expensive. Like, seriously expensive. Dedicated hosting plans from popular providers will often cost several hundreds of dollars per month, providing huge storage caches and massive data allotments. In short, unless you're a massive company with huge site traffic demands, you can probably play it safe with one of the less expensive hosting types.

Final Verdict

It's a tie! Depending on what you need a web hosting plan for, you could easily go with shared hosting or VPS hosting.

Individuals and very small companies can get away with the less reliable, more affordable shared hosting, as their web hosting needs are minimal. However, small- to medium-sized businesses looking to scale will need VPS hosting, which provides a more stable environment for their website to cut back on outages and slow speeds – albeit at a somewhat higher price.

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Conor is the Senior Writer for Tech.co. For the last four years, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His extensive background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host tech-centric events like Startup Night at SXSW and the Timmy Awards for Tech in Motion. You can email Conor at conor@tech.co.