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What’s better: hosting or virtual server?

Sometimes people ask what’s better to host a website: a hosting or a virtual (dedicated) server. In fact, both options are good for websites. However, there are some pros and cons and they’re mostly about price and settings. Sometimes it’s better to use a general hosting, but sometimes dedicated server is the only option.

In this article, we are going to tell you all advantages and disadvantages of virtual server and to help you figure out when you need a hosting and when you need a server.

What to choose: hosting or virtual server?

First and foremost, let’s figure out what’s the difference between the two. Hosting is a server with a number of services installed (web server, mail server, FTP etc). Hosting is perfect for ordinary websites. Most of the settings are already adjusted, so all you need to do is to upload your website and launch it.

A virtual server is your own dedicated server that you can configure the way you need it and used for whatever tasks you need to do, including website hosting. In other words, you can set up and configure a server as a hosting.

Pros and cons of general website hosting:

Pros:

  • Everything is set up. Upload your websites and start.
  • User-friendly hoisting panel. Only necessary things - nothing more
  • Low cost compared to VDS
  • You can start your trial period, install a CMS and your website will be online in the next couple of minutes.

Cons:

  • Dependency on your “neighbors”, because you have joint hardware resources
  • A public IP address (but you can always buy a dedicated address)

In conclusion, hosting is good when you don’t want (or don’t know how) to fidget tinker with settings. One of its weak spots is the dependency on the neighbors and limited resources. If you plan on hosting simple websites - hosting is your best option. If you want to see how to create a website from scratch quickly on hosting, take a look at this guide (with a video)

If you‘re planning to host high-load projects (huge e-commerce website, or websites that require quick pages loading, you’d better choose a virtual server.

Pros and cons of Virtual Private Server:

Pros:

  • Your projects are stored in completely dedicated resources. This ensures constant high speed and performance 
  • Every dedicated server receives a dedicated IP address. You are the only owner and you won’t find it in any blacklists
  • You will configure the server the way you need it. You’ll be able to open and close ports, manage policies etc

Cons:

  • Requires detailed settings. Can be solved by leasing ISPManager panel that makes it easier to adjust servers even without tech expertise. In fact, with this panel, you get a full-set server, just like in case with hosting.
  • The price higher than for hosting.
  • Requires more tech knowledge than hosting (even with ISPManager panel)

What’s the conclusion? Obviously, if your website projects are not sensitive to node load and hosting neighbors’ activity, as well as public IP addresses (landing pages, simple websites), or you’re new to websites building - hosting is your best choice.

In case you have important commercial projects that deal with massive traffic or you’re sensitive to SEO optimization and require high loading speed, no doubt you need to order a virtual server.

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