It’s received wisdom in the web hosting world, that the standard progression of hosting goes like this:
Shared Hosting -> VPS Hosting -> Dedicated Servers
But is this always true? Is a VPS is always better than any and all shared hosting? In my opinion, no. There are situations where shared hosting is objectively better. As a general rule of course, a VPS performs better. But not always.
You Can Get a VPS with as Low as 256 MB RAM!
The lower limit for a cloud configuration on NameHero is 512 MB RAM. But there are providers who go even lower. I’ve seen some providers offer a VPS with just 256 MB RAM. This is absurdly low, and I can’t imagine any decently sized website being able to run efficiently. Especially if you consider adding something like cPanel, you can forget about performance!
cPanel Adds a Lot of Overhead
The system requirements page for cPanel recommends a minimum of 1 GB ram. And it can go up depending on the OS. Higher versions of CentOS for example require more RAM. Even for CloudLinux 6, the minimum requirement is 768 MB.
No Burst-ability with a VPS
It’s true that in a shared hosting environment, you don’t have all the resources to yourself. And this the main reason why so many prefer a VPS, where the entire resources of the server are at your disposal. However, a shared hosting plan can offer you more resources than your fair share for a short period of time. This is known as “burst” usage.
Say your site experiences a brief surge of traffic, or needs to perform some occasional maintenance that requires extra resources. Shared hosting plans like NameHero will allow you to use a larger portion of your resources compared to normal to tide you over the hump. Of course, you can’t constantly keep hogging up resources to the detriment of everyone else!
You May Not Even Save Money!
Of course, a VPS is normally more expensive than shared hosting. But if you take the lowest priced custom VPS configuration from NameHero, it’s actually less expensive than shared hosting! That’s because even the barest shared hosting plan offers more than a basic VPS including cPanel, automatic backups, and so much more.
A bare minimum VPS is a sad thing to witness!
Management Headaches with Most Web Hosts
NameHero’s managed cloud services give you a VPS with the important software already installed. Despite that however, it’s still a lot more technically challenging than simply logging into a shared hosting server and setting up a website. But if you take the lowest possible VPS package, you’ll get a bare metal server with nothing installed. No cPanel, and no Interworx. You’ll have to manage everything yourself starting at the command line, including setting up SSL.
For most people, this extra layer of headaches is too much. They want to spend time managing their website, catering to customers and trying to improve their business. Any time spent on technical issues is an opportunity cost that could be saved elsewhere.
So a VPS Isn’t Always Better Than Shared Hosting
I hope I’ve done enough to demonstrate that just because you have a VPS, doesn’t mean that it’s automatically better than all shared hosting. Some shared hosting plans like NameHero’s Business Cloud are truly high-end with advanced LiteSpeed caching, high RAM and 4 CPU cores. And the cheapest available VPS is nothing but a 512 MB machine with nothing pre-installed.
These two are not comparable!
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!