VPS vs. Dedicated WordPress Hosting
Throughout the process of creating your WordPress website, you’ll have to make some important decisions. One primary consideration is your hosting type. This can be confusing for many, and making the wrong decision can have negative repercussions.
While there are many hosting options available, a Virtual Private Server (VPS) and dedicated hosting are two higher-level solutions. VPS and dedicated hosting are among the higher tier of hosting options for WordPress websites. Both use just one server to host a website, but in different ways. The former offers hosting on a shared server that contains virtual ‘divisions’. The server can be split among many different websites, meaning resources are limited.
In contrast, a dedicated hosting environment means you have the entire server – including its various resources – to yourself. In other words, your website is the only one on the server.
In this post, we’ll introduce the differences between VPS and dedicated WordPress hosting. We’ll discuss various factors – including scalability and cost – and examine the different websites each hosting option is best for. Let’s get started!
Speed and performance are crucial elements of your website’s User Experience (UX). However, uptime is also important, and is a serious factor to consider when choosing your hosting plan.
With both VPS and dedicated hosting, your website is found on one server. This can mean if something happens to the physical server, you may experience site downtime. Where VPS and dedicated differ is in how often downtime can occur.
VPS hosting occurs in a shared environment, which means resources can often be spread thinly. On occasion, this may overload the server and cause downtime for all websites being hosted.
As such, dedicated hosting is the better option. With only your website located on the server, there is less risk of resource overload. You can also be sure your server is better protected against hacks and other malicious attacks, which brings us to security.
Security is one factor that absolutely cannot be ignored. As mentioned above, both VPS and dedicated hosting use a sinlge server. This makes it possible to secure your website quite easily. However, there’s no doubt that dedicated hosting is the more secure option.
With a dedicated hosting plan, you have complete control over your server. This isn’t true for VPS, where you share your server with a number of other websites. However, consider that increased security can mean reduced customization options. This may or may not be a problem for your site, but one you should consider nonetheless.
The way you configure your server is known as customization, and it’s a factor that should be considered when deciding between VPS and dedicated hosting.
In short, both options provide administration access at the Operating System (OS) level. You also have varying levels of control over the customization process, depending on the server’s setup.
However, where a dedicated server beats VPS is when it comes to server-level access. With a dedicated server, you have direct access to it (unlike VPS, which is of course virtual). Depending on your host, this means you can choose from a variety of server upgrades, including database software and memory.
For high-traffic websites, flexibility is critical. It enables you to customize your resource needs and ensure you can grow your website.
VPS and dedicated hosting offers month-to-month scalability, which means you can alter your resources (including network bandwidth) on a regular basis. Essentially, you pay for what you use.
This makes both options a solid one for websites with steady, but growing, levels of traffic. As your website grows, so too can the resources you expend.
Regardless of your website’s physical needs, cost is always something to consider. After all, the best option will also be the one that makes the most financial sense for you.
In short, dedicated hosting costs more. You’re paying for your own server, as well as the resources necessary to successfully run your site. However, a higher cost doesn’t mean it isn’t cost effective.
As mentioned previously, VPS and dedicated hosting plans can be scaled monthly. You’ll know exactly what you’re paying each month, and there are no overage charges associated with resource use. If the resource levels you chose last month didn’t seem to be enough, you can always scale up for an established fee.
Which Is Right for You?
The fact is, almost any website can benefit from either VPS or dedicated hosting. This includes personal blogs, small businesses, and even enterprise-grade sites. They’re both powerful solutions that are flexible, scalable, and possible to customize. So, how can you determine the right option for you?
With all other things being equal, website traffic numbers should be the largest indicator. The guidelines are just that, but they’re helpful when you’re struggling to make your decision:
Using the various factors outlined above, we’ve come up with the above guidelines. However, cost will likely be a large factor that will help you to make the ultimate decision.
VPS vs. Cloud Hosting
Another higher-tier hosting option is cloud hosting. This hosts your website on various servers in different locations, and differs significantly from both VPS and dedicated solutions.
The major differences are with regards to scalability and customization. While both options enable you to scale your resources month-to-month, you can also do it instantaneously with cloud hosting. This is great for websites with unpredictable traffic patterns. Unfortunately, cloud hosting does have less server customization abilities as it’s spread across multiple servers.
No matter the hosting option you choose, you could always do with having hosting professionals guiding you every step of the way. This is why we recommend you consider WP Engine and its many hosting plans, including VPS, dedicated, and cloud-based options. With 24/7 customer support and managed hosting plans, you can let the professionals do their jobs. You can then focus on the more important elements of your website and business, including content creation and management.