Many small businesses start out of an entrepreneur’s living room, guest room or garage. Big dreams begun in small places, and with incredibly limited resources. The internet has become an effective way to stretch those tight budgets, with blogs and e-commerce sites creating part to full-time income for thousands of Americans. Some websites have become so successful that those same entrepreneurs are moving into offices and hiring employees. But as your space and workforce needs grow as you expand your business, so do your online needs. Most people who launch websites do so through a hosting program. There are hundreds available online, and most of them offer top notch service. But how do you determine what sort of hosting your business requires? Let’s take a look at two of the most popular hosting plans, shared and VPS, and why you would choose one over the other.
There are several basic differences between shared hosting and VPS hosting. With a shared hosting plan, you have the ability to share your server bandwith with other users and websites. VPS hosting, which stands for Virtual Private Server, also allows for a shared server, but each user has their own, dedicated functionality.
There are also differences within the features each hosting type provides. With shared hosting, each user is sharing the service equally and intertwined. Therefore, if one site on the server suffers from some sort of scripting error or other glitch, every single user will be impacted simultaneously. Since VPS hosting allows for dedicated functionality, the various other users would not be similarly affected by a glitch in one set of information. The data and any files kept by one user would not be impacted by a malfunction that impacts any other user. So regardless of the functionality of the hosting service you choose, VPS service will offer a higher level of security and solid, consistent performance.
When it comes to email service, it all comes down to privacy. Shared hosting means you have one server, regardless of how many email addresses you’ve purchased. So all of the mail from your office will be coming from the same server. Additionally, the hosting service may be handling hundreds of thousands of other domains simultaneously, and all of their various email addresses. Basically, any security measures you take to protect your emails are incredibly important with shared hosting, and all passwords should be frequently changed. With VPS hosting, you receive your own, individual email server. That means that server is only handling your company emails, and nobody else’s. You’ll have complete access, and control over all security. Additionally, your emails will be sent from a unique IP address, which actually will speed up transfer and lessen the amount of times your emails are blocked or considered spam.
Firewall protection is a cut and dry issue. With shared hosting, it is a necessity, and will help your system stay safe from hackers, malware and viruses. With VPS hosting, there is no firewall, as the service is dedicated to you. That way, everyone at your company will have access to everything on the server, with no slowdown.
Both shared and VPS are HIPAA compliant hosting services, and will perform up to their specifications. VPS will certainly be more expensive, so might not be the best option for startups or very small businesses. But once you have graduated to a medium-sized business, or once you have the internet traffic of one, it may be time to upgrade.