What is shared hosting, VPS, dedicated server

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For web hosting, the best advice is to start small and then upgrade it as per your website grows big and needs more robust web servers. What is the difference between shared hosting, VPS (virtual private server) and dedicated server hosting? (Wikipedia: What is a web server?)

Shared hosting is considered to be the quickest and by the far the easiest way to get online. All you need to do is sign up with a company that offers shared hosting and you would be online in a matter of few minutes, it does not take more than that. If you are going run programs like WordPress, it would be best to go for a Linux server. You can also easily setup your emails, sub domain by navigating using the cPanel.

There was time when a Virtual Private Server or VPS could be done only on mainframe systems. Due to the advancement of technology, a VPS is now easily available from a hosting company. The way that a Virtual Private Server works is by dividing things like storage space, RAM, processing power and the physical server equally among the number of servers that are being partitioned out.

With a VPS, you would have the benefit of more space and bandwidth for usage purposes. Like shared hosting, you could have your website completed and you could be online in a matter of just a few minutes. However, this time varies from one provider to another. With VPS, you would be able to have a control on the server. This is accomplished since every partition on the server in managed individually. The server can be rebooted both remotely and individually.

You also get to decide the kind of operating system that needs to be installed. Some web hosting companies would install a Linux operating system for you. If you require a Windows server, you would need to purchase a license. You might also want to check if there are options for packages that are available on lease because some providers tend to do that as well. One thing that you definitely need to manage a Virtual Private Server is skill. This is considered to be a disadvantage when you compare it to a shared hosting. Shared hosting is cheaper when compared to a VPS.

With a dedicated server, you have the luxury of having complete control of the whole server. Dedicated servers are leased from a service provider. Once it is leased, we would be able to use their disk space and bandwidth. The functions of a dedicated server are similar to a VPS. The only difference is that you would have complete control of the server. When you are using a dedicated server leased from a service provider, you would also be offered services along with it. Some of the services offered are faulty part replacement, server reboot, etc.

Different providers tend to provide different levels of services. In order to operate the server, you would need to have the highest level of skill, much more than what is needed for a VPS. Cost of a dedicated server is much more than that of a VPS and a shared hosting.