If you have a terrific website that’s starting to get a lot of traffic, you’re probably wondering about the advantages of switching to a new hosting plan. For many businesses, the options are VPS (virtual private server) or dedicated hosting. This article covers about VPS Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting for a WordPress Website
Both types of hosting are a significant improvement above inexpensive shared hosting, which is where many webmasters begin. While both are significant upgrades, it’s critical to grasp the fundamental distinctions between a VPS and a dedicated server so you can select the best solution for your business.
For the vast majority of users, a VPS will be the best solution. I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Before I go into that, let me explain how VPS and dedicated hosting work and how to choose the best option for you.
After that, once I’ve covered the theory, I’ll suggest some of the best VPS and dedicated server providers to assist you in getting up and running with a reputable company.
Servers and Hosting Plans: A Basic Overview
To begin, let’s review some basic hosting concepts, such as the distinction between a server and a hosting plan.
A server is essentially a computer with a hard disk, a CPU, some memory, and a number of input/output ports – it’s extremely similar to your own computer in many aspects. Regardless of whether you choose a VPS or a dedicated plan, it goes to reason that the larger and more powerful the server’s hardware is, the faster your site will be able to run.
When it comes to choosing a server plan, certain of the above-mentioned hardware components are very crucial, including:
- The processor’s speed.
- The quantity of memory that is available.
- The amount of disk/storage space available.
So, what makes picking a server so difficult? Your hosting plan and how these hardware components are actually employed within the server are two other elements that contribute to your server environment.
A server isn’t the only component of a hosting plan. A hosting package includes the server as well as a variety of administration services, such as essential software upgrades, security protocols (such as malware scans and automatic virus eradication), and general performance monitoring, to mention a few. The following elements should be considered while determining the suitability of a hosting plan:
- The hardware on the server.
- Various management services were provided.
- The way the hardware is put to work.
The final point on the list, how the hardware is used, is essentially what distinguishes VPS and dedicated hosting services. So, let’s get this party started…
VPS Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting – How it Works
With dedicated hosting, there is only one user who has access to the entire server’s hardware. With a VPS hosting package, on the other hand, the server’s hardware is virtually divided between numerous customers (thus the ‘virtual’ in ‘virtual private server’).
A dedicated hosting plan is comparable to having your own personal computer. You own all of the gear and have exclusive access to all of the available resources. You can also ensure that each piece of hardware and software is precisely what you want it to be because you own everything. Do you want to employ a specific processor model or brand? You can have that amount of control with a dedicated server.
Let’s use a non-technical analogy to illustrate our idea. Let’s imagine you’re looking to rent office space for your company…
Renting a separate office building – the complete physical facility — would be the equivalent of renting a dedicated server. You’re the only one who has access to that office building, thus there’s no need to share resources. You may also personalize it by decorating and arranging it in any way you desire. Do you want to paint your walls a specific color? That’s something you can do. Do you want to replace the furnishings with something new? You can do it as well.
A virtual private server (VPS) is similar to owning a portion of a computer. Let’s say your computer has 16 GB of RAM and you share it with three other accounts equally. Each account would receive 4 GB of the computer’s total memory of 16 GB. You do not, however, have to share your 4 GB with any other account, unlike shared hosting. That is, while you only get a portion of the server’s resources, you have complete control over those resources.
A VPS provider achieves this division by using ‘virtualization’ technology to effectively divide resources among several users. The VPS provider partitions each account on the server using a ‘hypervisor,’ which is a technical term. Each account is totally isolated from the others thanks to the hypervisor. It’s also what distinguishes a VPS from shared hosting in terms of security. While a malevolent actor may theoretically overcome the hypervisor, doing so is very impossible and extremely unlikely. As a result, your website won’t have to worry about conflicts with other users on the server.
Using a VPS is similar to renting a private room within a coworking space – you’re still sharing the main building with other firms, so you can’t tear out all of the furniture and repaint the walls like you might with a dedicated server. However, you will have your own private section within your private room, which you will not have to share with anyone else. That private area is sufficient for most enterprises.
Many VPS providers now run their services on cloud hosting infrastructure. The underlying concept is the same, but there’s a variation in what’s going on underneath the hood:
- Traditional VPS – the resources for your site originate from a single physical computer.
- Cloud VPS – your website’s resources are provided by a network of computers (referred to as “the cloud”).
Although they are officially distinct, as a user, you can consider them to be practically the same.
VPS Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting – The Difference
It’s critical to recognize that the only distinctions between VPS and dedicated servers worth mentioning are in the way the hardware is used. VPS and dedicated hosting can both provide low-cost and high-cost servers, and both can be lightning quick! Both services can also include features such as automatic malware detection and removal, yearly security audits, and more.
Some packages will include specific services for free, while others will require you to pay a little fee, so look into the specific management services offered by the hosting business you’re considering.
Now let’s look at the distinctions between the two sorts of services as a result of their architectures.
This is purely a business decision. Because the costs per customer will be reduced if a hosting business can fit more customers on the same server, these packages will be less expensive. As a result, VPS plans are significantly less expensive than dedicated plans. Unmanaged VPS services start at $5 per month on the low end. However, a VPS with higher capacity and/or management services might quickly cost hundreds of dollars per month.
Even the cheapest unmanaged dedicated server will set you back at least $50 per month, and that’s on the low end. Other low-cost dedicated servers typically cost between $80 and $100. Mid-range solutions will cost roughly $250 per month, and the sky’s the limit from there. A fully managed dedicated hosting package can cost thousands of dollars per month, depending on your needs – however this is normally reserved for websites with tens of millions of monthly visitors.
Dedicated servers are often thought to be more secure than virtual private servers. This is because, in addition to the usual threats that any hosting plan must contend with, a VPS has one flaw that a dedicated server does not: The hypervisor is a virtual machine.
The hypervisor is responsible for establishing and administering each of the virtual machines (allotments) on the server, in addition to having the best name ever. Most viruses only impact one virtual machine (i.e., a single user account), but in certain extremely rare circumstances, they may be sophisticated enough to bypass the hypervisor entirely, infecting all of the server’s accounts.
Is this something that most people should be concerned about? No, it’s not true. However, if you work in a highly secure industry (such as financial services), the added security that a dedicated server provides may be worth it.
One feature of dedicated servers that stands out is their configuration flexibility. Because you’re the only user on the system, you have near-total control over everything, including modifying various portions of its basic software and/or hardware.
You’ll be able to build together a configuration that’s just appropriate for whatever site you’re running if you have full control over the server (if you have the abilities). Most users will never need to — or want to — fiddle with such settings, but a dedicated server will almost certainly be the only option for individuals who require a very particular configuration to run a highly specialized application or other unusual scenarios.
The hardware requirements of the server have a significant impact on performance. When two servers with identical characteristics are compared, dedicated servers will always outperform VPS servers since they don’t have to share resources with other users or with a VPS server. Simply put, using a server in a visualized configuration imposes a performance ‘cost.’ As technology progresses, though, this ‘tax’ becomes smaller and smaller.
Even under high traffic loads, it will be possible to achieve good performance with a VPS alone in 2021. Top-tier VPS services from providers like DigitalOcean or Linode, for example, may easily compete with a decent dedicated server.
VPS Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting – How to Choose
In a nutshell, VPS hosting is nearly always a better alternative than switching to a dedicated server, especially now that providers like DigitalOcean are offering low-cost, high-performance VPS options. In most cases, a VPS can provide you with the same or greater performance and reliability than a dedicated server at a lower cost.
Furthermore, scaling a VPS is now relatively simple, allowing you to rapidly add resources to your site as it expands. For example, DigitalOcean’s top-end general-purpose VPS (one of our recommended providers) has the following features:
- 40 virtual CPUs with 160 GB RAM
- SSD storage capacity of 500 GB
- 9 TB of data transfer
Most dedicated servers will be blown away by that, thus a VPS can easily compete in terms of performance and resources.
More crucially, a VPS retains all of the major disadvantages of shared hosting, including the’shared’ portion. Sharing actual resources with other websites can have a significant impact on performance and reliability. A VPS and a dedicated server both allow you to avoid this, but a VPS does it in a far more cost-effective bundle.
That isn’t to say you shouldn’t use a dedicated server occasionally. However, you must have a compelling motive for doing so. So, what are a few of such justifications?
WHEN SHOULD YOU CHOOSE DEDICATED HOSTING?
Ask yourself three questions to see if you’re in one of the scenarios where a dedicated server is required:
- Is my site getting more than 500,000 page visits per month on a regular basis?
- Is it necessary for me to have highly specialized hardware and/or software? Do I have the knowledge and experience to actually set this up?
- Do I have any special regulatory needs that necessitate the use of a dedicated server? If you work in a highly regulated sector like law, banking, or government services, you may require/desire a completely dedicated environment for peace of mind and/or regulatory compliance.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should strongly consider looking into dedicated hosting. If the answers are ‘no,’ as they will be for the vast majority of individuals, a VPS should suffice.
VPS Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting – The Best of Them
If you’ve read thus far, you should have a solid notion of which form of hosting is best for your requirements. Again, a VPS is nearly always the best option, but if you fall into one of the instances listed above, you may want to consider a dedicated server.
Let’s move on to the next key question: what are the finest providers for VPS and dedicated server hosting if you’ve chosen that a VPS or dedicated server is perfect for you? Let’s start with VPS providers, which I believe the majority of people should use.
BEST VPS PROVIDERS
One of the most important considerations in choosing a VPS provider is whether or not you want an unmanaged VPS or a managed VPS, and, if you want a managed VPS, which actual management services do you want? Remember:
- Unmanaged VPS — you only get the hardware. You don’t get help with setting it up or maintaining it.
- Managed VPS — your host will help you to get up and running, and make sure things generally go right. You may also get convenient services, such as automatic backups, malware scans and server management tools, depending on the host.
In 2021, the best choice for an unmanaged VPS is usually to go with one of the top cloud VPS providers. Here are some of the best options:
Again, these providers all offer unmanaged solutions, so, unless you’re a developer or have some tech chops, you won’t be able to use them by yourself. To get around this limitation, you could pair your unmanaged VPS with a more user-friendly server control panel such as cPanel, Plesk, RunCloud or GridPane (only for WordPress sites).
An even simpler option would be to use Cloudways, which is a managed hosting service that lets you choose your own preferred cloud VPS provider from five options — DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, AWS or Google Cloud.
On the other hand, if you want a managed VPS, many established web hosting companies offer their own managed VPS products. Here are some good options:
- SiteGround — managed cloud VPS plans starting at $80 a month.
- A2 Hosting — managed VPS plans from $34 a month (or unmanaged plans for just $5).
- DreamHost — cheap managed VPS plans from just $10 a month.
- Pagely — very premium managed VPS plans for WordPress sites from $199 a month. A good option for serious businesses with mission-critical WordPress sites.
BEST DEDICATED SERVER PROVIDERS
A dedicated server is a more specialized product, so you’ll want to shop around. However, here are some of the bigger names to get you started:
- Liquid Web — a well-respected provider with unmanaged dedicated servers from $169 a month. You can add management for an extra $20 a month.
- Hetzner — a popular budget-friendly host in Europe that has very cheap unmanaged servers from €40.46 or managed offerings from €100+.
- BlueHost — unmanaged dedicated servers from $80 a month.
- DreamHost — fully managed dedicated servers from $149 a month.
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