If you love Web Development and have recently started developing websites, this must have crossed your mind, that what exactly is the difference between AWS(i.e Amazon Web Services which is a Virtual Private Cloud), a VPS(Virtual Private Server) and Shared Hosting? What should I choose for hosting my website? Which is the cheapest option? And which is the best one? In this article, we will try to answer all of these questions, which will help you in understanding what all these 3 services are, how they differ from each other and which is the best one for you.
What is Shared Hosting?
When a Server machine running a set of software capable of running a website, which includes a Web Server like Tomcat, Apache, Windows IIS etc, a database management system like MySQL, MSSQL etc, a server-side language Java, Php etc is provided to multiple users by dividing the available resources equally, it is known as a Shared Hosting service. In shared hosting, a single server may host 100 websites, depending upon the capacity of the server.
Features of Shared Hosting
- This is the cheapest available option and you can easily get hands on a shared hosting service for as low as $4/month or Rs. 200-250/month INR.
- This type of hosting is best suited for early-stage startups, where your website is not getting too much traffic and you want a budget hosting plan.
- Also, in shared hosting, you do not have to worry about the Server's functioning as it is completely taken care of by the service providing company.
- As the server is shared by multiple users, hence you do not get the root access to the server and hence cannot install any additional software or service on the server machine.
- Generally shared hosting services provide CPanel, which makes it easier for a beginner to handle the hosting of their website, as CPanel provides a GUI for File handling which otherwise requires using FTP clients or SSH knowledge.
- If for any reason, your website gets high traffic, and your website traffic leads to resource overload, then your website will start showing errors to users or in extreme cases your hosting provider may even take your website down temporarily to prevent other websites on the same server from being affected.
- Companies like Bigrock, GoDaddy, Bluehost, Hostgator etc provides shared hosting.
These are some of the important points that you must know about shared hosting. Shared hosting has its own pros and cons, but we recommend you to go for this if you are still learning website development and do not want to get into the trouble of setting up your server yourself.
What is Virtual Private Server(VPS)?
A Virtual Private Server is more or less an independent machine which is designated to you and you can use it like you want. Generally while setting up the VPS you can opt for server setup as most of the companies provide one-click standard installations for some popular configurations like a LAMP(Linux, Apache, MySQL, and Php) Server, or setup for Python with Apache and MySQL or Ngnix with Python etc. Or, you can opt for custom setup and you can install everything yourself.
When we say Virtual, it means that a powerful server machine is divided into virtual machines with defined RAM, ROM etc, which is provided to you and you have total control over it. It is based on the concept of virtualization.
Features of VPS
- A VPS comes in yearly plans starting from $10/month to a Dedicated Server plan where you get access to the complete physical server.
- A VPS generally doesn't come with an option for the user to stop the server once started, unless the subscription is over, in which case the hosting provider will shut down your server.
- You can install any service or software on your server.
- You can even setup WHM panel and become a hosting provider and host multiple websites on your server.
- To get a CPanel on your VPS, you will have to pay extra, as CPanel is a paid service, which will cost you about $80-$100/year extra.
- As all the resources are dedicated to hosting your web application on your VPS and are not shared with other users hence it makes your website fast.
- But, in case of a VPS, you have to take care of all the security needs of your website.
- You get root access to the server.
- If your website traffic increases putting your server resources under load, then there is no way to provide extra resources at runtime.
- Companies like Bigrock, Hostgator, GoDaddy etc provides VPS hosting services.
What is Virtual Private Cloud(VPC)?
You must be wondering that the title said AWS, here they changed it to VPC. Actually, VPC is the general term which stands for Virtual Private Cloud. AWS(Amazon Web Service) is a VPC service. In a VPC all the resources are available in the cloud, which means resources are available on demand. Hence it is more or less like a VPS, as in this case also you get a Virtual machine, but this virtual machine comes with infinite resources, rather than a fixed configuration.
Features of VPC
- A VPC is just like VPS but it provides resources which are not necessarily located at a single physical location.
- You are promised a certain server configuration, but if for some reason your website traffic increases and demand more resources, then a VPC service provides additional resources required to serve the increased traffic, at runtime, without affecting your server. In AWS, this feature is called Elastic Load Balancing.
- A VPC like AWS or Digital Ocean server will cost you anywhere starting from Rs. 1000/month
- In a VPC, user gets an option to anytime switch off the server and then switch it back on when required. This helps save money if the server is not being used.
- It is very easy to expand when your website is hosted on a VPC as it provides elastic cloud services.
- A VPC service is capable of providing almost 100% uptime.
- Companies like AWS, DigitalOcean, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud etc provide VPC hosting services.
We hope this article helps you understand the difference between VPC, VPS and shared hosting and thereby help you in taking the right decision to choose the right hosting plan for your website. If you have any question or confusion, feel free to post them in the comment section.