VPS vs. Dedicated Hosting, Which Should you Choose?
Making the right decision when it comes to your website hosting is like choosing the right house for your family. The website(s) are like the people living in the house and the hosting is the house. If you choose a three-bedroom home for a family of eight, it won’t provide enough room for everybody to live comfortably. The same is true with hosting.
If you choose VPS hosting for a website in need of dedicated web server hosting, you will run into all types of issues. VPS hosting is a great way to bridge the cost gap between shared and dedicated hosting, but it’s not the perfect solution for every project.
Understanding VPS Hosting
VPS stands for virtual private server and this type of hosting is the first upgrade from the cheaper shared hosting. VPS hosting provides a partition of a server for your website(s). You don’t have to share your assigned resources with any other hosting account like you do with shared hosting.
The main reason for choosing VPS hosting is because your website has grown to a higher traffic volume than shared hosting can handle. This is the first step in your journey towards a dedicated server for your website hosting.
What do VPS and Dedicated Server Hosting have in Common?
VPS hosting is known as the middle-range of hosting and was originally created to bridge the pricing gap between shared and dedicated server hosting. This type of hosting provides many of the benefits of a dedicated server without the high cost. When compared to shared hosting, VPS hosting is successful at providing some of the same things as dedicated hosting, but on a smaller scale.
When looking at virtual dedicated server vs dedicated server hosting the one thing that is very similar is the fact that the client has their own resources. They know how much bandwidth they have, how much space they can use and the other resources provided as a part of their package. This is the same with both types of hosting.
Another similar feature of the two, they are highly customizable. With virtual dedicated server and dedicated server hosting you can customize the type of security and the type of control panel used. These two items are very important and you won’t find shared hosting with customizable security or control panels.
The final similarity between virtual dedicated server and dedicated server hosting is the pricing structure. Even though virtual dedicated hosting is much cheaper compared to a dedicated server, the pricing structure is very similar. You pay for the resources you need and when you use them up, you can upgrade and pay more money each month for a larger amount of resources.
VPS hosting starts at a lower rate and will increase with each upgrade. As you need more resources, you will upgrade to the next level, which comes with a higher monthly cost. Dedicated hosting has the exact same price structure, but it starts at a higher price because you gain access to all the resources of the server.
Some of the Downfalls of VPS Hosting
Sometimes when you cannot afford dedicated server hosting and you choose VPS hosting instead, you don’t get enough resources. You might fly through your bandwidth in a matter of days and the package may end up costing more than a good dedicated web server would. This happens with sites receiving a large amount of traffic.
It’s always a good idea to assess the needs of your site before you upgrade from shared hosting to VPS or from one VPS package to another. Some hosting companies will allow you to purchase additional resources if you run out half way through the month, but this will just become more expensive. It’s always a better idea to upgrade to the next level of VPS hosting before purchasing additional resources.
How to Assess Your Bandwidth Needs
After looking at the VPS and Dedicated hosting packages from ITX Design, you will quickly realize each plan provides a little more bandwidth and disk space than the level below. Here’s how they breakdown.
- VPS Lite – 500GB of bandwidth
- VPS Basic – 1,500GB of bandwidth
- VPS Premium – 2,000GB of bandwidth
- Dedicated Webmaster – 5,000GB bandwidth
- Dedicated Professional – 10,000 GB bandwidth
- Dedicated Enterprise – 12,000GB of bandwidth
- Dedicated Monster – 15,000GB of bandwidth
If you want to calculate your bandwidth needs, you must look at the average page size of your website, the average visitors per day and the average pages viewed per visitor. These three numbers plugged into a basic formula will show you the estimated bandwidth you require.
Formula – # of Visitors x # of Pages x Avg. Page Size x 31 (days in a month) = Bandwidth Needed
Looking at a Couple Examples
Let’s look at a couple traffic exchanges for this example. The first is a newer choice and considered a medium traffic site called cresthits.com. The second we will look at is the largest traffic exchange in the industry called, easyhits4u.com.
By using the Pingdom Load Time calculator we can find out the average page size of both sites. We can use Website Outlook to figure out the average daily page views, which we can divide by the average page views per visit from Alexa.com, to figure out the average daily visitors.
- CrestHits – 770 daily page views / 1.80 views per visitor = 428 visitors per day
- EasyHits4U – 1,127,049 daily page views / 48.90 views per visitor = 23,048 visitors per day
Page Size from Pingdom
- CrestHits – 906.4KB
- EasyHits4U – 795.9KB
Now, we can plug both into the formula from above to figure out which package fits with each site.
- CrestHits – 428 visitors x 1.80 page views x 906.4KB page size x 31 = 21,647,007KB or 21.7 GB
- EasyHits4U – 23,048 visitors x 48.90 page views x 795.9KB x 31 = 27,807,522,860 KB or 27,807.5 GB
CrestHits can get by with the VPS Lite package, whereas EasyHits4U would need at least two of the Dedicated Monster web servers for hosting. This is a bit of an extreme example, but it shows you how to calculate your needs. Both of these sites grow every day, which is another variable you must factor into the equation.
Factoring for Growth
If your website has received an average of 500 visitors a day over the past 6 months, but over the last month, you’re receiving an average of 1,500 visitors per day, you require more bandwidth than you did at the beginning. Make sure to factor for this by using the above equation with your most recent traffic numbers.
When considering the differences in size of the VPS and Dedicated web server hosting packages from ITX Design, make sure you run the numbers first. You don’t want to suffer downtime because you chose a package with fewer resources than you need. Always round up and choose a package capable of supporting your expected growth.
Bigger is Better, at least with Hosting
As long as you choose a top hosting company, such as ITX Design, bigger is always better. Going back to the example of a family living in a house, many families have an extra room called a guest room. This is used to accommodate family and friends when they visit. Of course, it can also be used if a new addition to the family becomes a reality.
Hosting works the same way. When you choose between VPS and dedicated hosting, you want more resources than you need. This will allow for growth without the added expense. It also allows you to expand into new areas, such as a new website or a blog, if that’s part of your plan.
Comparing Affordable VPS Hosting to Dedicated Hosting
There used to be a huge gap between shared hosting and dedicated hosting. It used to be that if you could not afford to spend at least $150 a month for hosting you had to use shared hosting for your website or blog. However, affordable VPS hosting changed all that and filled in the gap perfectly. So, how does it compare to dedicated hosting?
Dedicated hosting gives you the entire server and this is going to be a more secure type of hosting than VPS hosting. Yes it’s more secure than shared hosting, but you are still on the same server as other hosting accounts. This still leaves you more vulnerable than if you were renting or owned the entire server.
The biggest difference between dedicated and VPS hosting is found within the price. If you want to rent the smallest server from a hosting company, it will cost you around $140 a month. That is enough to get a very large VPS package, but if you do reach this point with your affordable VPS hosting, it may be time to think about upgrading to dedicated hosting.
How are Virtual Dedicated Server Hosting and Dedicated Hosting Different?
Of course, it’s easy to point out the price as a difference between VPS and dedicated hosting. However, this really isn’t much of a difference. Since most dedicated hosting packages provide a larger allocation of resources, compared to VPS hosting packages, the price is about the same based on the resources provided. The easy way to look at VPS and dedicated hosting, when looking at the price, is to look at a dedicated server as the next step after the largest VPS hosting package.
The major difference found between virtual dedicated server hosting and dedicated hosting is the “shared” part of the hosting. Even though you’re provided your own allocation of resources with VPS hosting, you still share a server with other websites. This isn’t the case with dedicated server hosting. When you pay for a dedicated server, you’re the only one using the resources of that server.
Another difference comes in the size of the hosting package. Typically, VPS hosting packages only offer a portion of the resources you get with a dedicated server package. This makes perfect sense, as VPS hosting fills the gap between shared and dedicated hosting.
Making the Final Decision Between VPS and Dedicated Hosting
The right decision for your website(s) can be determined by the number and your own business plan. The good news, if you start with the smallest VPS package, you can upgrade as needed. This allows you to grow your business and your hosting together.
After looking over your business plan and your current needs, if you have any questions about the right size VPS or dedicated hosting company for your needs; you can contact the support team at ITX Design for help.