Choosing the best web hosting option for your project can depend on a number of factors, and we're here to help you choose the one that's right for you. In this article, we're going to compare and contrast two of the most popular types of hosting, shared hosting and VPS. As you read through, try to keep the factors that are most important to you in mind to make the right decision.

What is shared hosting?

Shared hosting is when your data is stored on the same server as others', meaning you share the server space and resources. This is what makes shared hosting the cheapest web hosting option, as the server provider maximises the use of their hardware. Shared hosting is ideal for small-scale projects, or for when you're just starting out. Undoubtedly great for those on a tight budget, but sooner or later the decreased performance levels will lead you to upgrade.

What is a VPS?

VPS or Virtual Private Servers use virtualisation technology to split a single physical server into multiple virtual servers. This allows VPS hosting to offer users a high degree of flexibility and control, as well as performance, at a lower cost, making them a tempting alternative to dedicated servers. The technology behind VPS servers gives many users the chance to reap the benefits of one server, without compromising resources or security.

Learn more: What is a VPS?

The difference between shared hosting and a VPS

Although both shared and VPS hosting have you sharing physical server space with others, only shared hosting has you also sharing server resources. This will have an impact on both performance and security, as sharing a server with other projects can reduce the performance of your own. The virtualisation technology that makes VPS hosting possible isolates your data from others, offering a far greater level of security than in shared tenancy.

So shared hosting is cheap, but is that saving worth the cost in performance and potential security risks?

Pros and cons of shared hosting

There are numerous advantages and disadvantages to choosing shared hosting for your projects.


  • Cost: Shared hosting is one of the cheapest forms of hosting on the market and it’s a great first choice for those just starting out online.
  • Low maintenance: Shared hosting is very hands-off compared to a VPS, as we'll take care of almost all of the management for you so you can focus on your business.
  • Easy to scale: It's easy to scale your web hosting up to your needs. This can be done with just a few clicks in your Control Panel.
  • Beginner-friendly: Shared hosting is relatively easy to get started with. That’s why it's often the first choice for start-ups, personal websites or those with a small budget.
  • Great for low-traffic or static websites: If you have a personal blog, a portfolio site or something that you’re not aiming to grow into a large-scale project or business, then shared hosting may provide everything you need without the premium


  • Compromised security: Shared tenancy has a higher potential for security risks. For example, if one user gets hacked, it's possible that you'll be exposed too. You may even be sharing server space with unsavoury sites.
  • Reduced bandwidth and slower page speeds: The more people you share server resources with, the thinner your bandwidth is stretched. Ultimately this results in slower page speeds, which can affect everything from sales to SEO.
  • Usage rates and performance: If you're sharing server space with particularly intense neighbours, you may find your resources throttled more than you'd like. This will ultimately decrease the speed and performance you get. This is why shared hosting isn't suited ot projects such as high-traffic ecommerce.
  • No root access: Shared hosting plans come with a whole host of restrictions. So if you ever needed root access for tailoring your site, this wouldn’t be possible with shared hosting.

Pros and cons of a VPS

What about the advantages and disadvantages of going with a virtual private server? We'll run you through them all.


  • Cost: Although more expensive than shared web hosting, you actually get a lot of bang for your buck with a VPS. These servers offer many of the same benefits as dedicated server hosting, but at a lower price point.
  • Resources: Not only are all of your server resources dedicated solely to you, it’s also super easy to increase or decrease your resource levels. So, if you find yourself taking on more than your VPS package can handle, simply ramp up your resources in the Control Panel.
  • Security: Despite the fact that you share a physical server with other users, the virtualised environment on a VPS is completely separate and secure. Our VPS packages also offer extra cyber security features to ensure that your data is completely protected.
  • Full root access: Full root access means you can control every aspect of your server, from user management to security and everything in between. This is something shared hosting doesn’t come with, but with a VPS, you get a blank slate to customise to your liking.
  • Scalability: VPS hosting allows you to easily add more resources with just a click. You can scale up during busy periods, and scale back when things quiet down.


  • Management: Although our Control Panel has been designed to be easy to use, you will need some technical knowledge when configuring your virtual private server.
  • Larger projects: Although we offer some beefy virtual private servers like our VPS XXL, we wouldn't recommend VPS hosting for the very biggest projects. In those cases, you should opt for a dedicated server or even a cloud server.

Shared hosting vs VPS: comparison table

VPS hosting

Shared hosting

  • Cheaper than dedicated hosting
  • More expensive than shared hosting
  • Cheapest option on the market
  • Reliable performance at all times
  • Performance can be unreliable at peak times
  • Resources are dedicated to you
  • Server resources are shared between server users
  • Extra levels of security. Full control over patches and updates and virtualisation protects your data
  • Open to risks if another server tenant gets hacked or compromised
  • Easy to increase or decrease VPS resources
  • Easy to upgrade or downgrade

Common questions about VPS and shared hosting

Is VPS faster than shared hosting?

Yes, a VPS is much faster than shared hosting. This is because it gives your website its own resources separate from others, making it better at handling lots of visitors and data. With shared hosting, you have to share resources with other websites – hence the name – which can be slower when many people are visiting sites on the server all at the same time.

Is VPS safer than shared hosting?

Yes, a VPS is safer than shared hosting. By design, a VPS is private, meaning the server can only be accessed by the user who’s renting from the provider unless they allow port forwarding or set controls for users they wish to grant access to. A VPS is more secure than shared hosting because it provides a separate virtual environment for every user on the physical server.

Why do people use shared hosting?

Shared hosting is still used mostly due to the accessibility of costs. It’s far cheaper to host your website on a shared server than it is on a VPS, dedicated server or cloud server. However, bear in mind that you do get what you pay for, and you need to consider the risks that may come with hosting your site on the same server as others.

When should you switch from shared hosting to VPS?

If you find you’re getting lots of traffic (and as a result – lots of downtime and server errors!) then it’s time to upgrade. A VPS can provide you with tons of resources to ensure your site keeps its uptime high and can handle tons of traffic volume.

Another sign you need to switch from shared hosting to VPS is if the data your handling is sensitive. A VPS can offer a more isolated and secure environment compared to shared hosting – vastly reducing the risk of security breaches, DDoS attacks and data leaks.

Shared hosting vs VPS: which is right for you?

If you're just starting out with a small project, or your website has low traffic levels, shared hosting could be an ideal cost-effective option. However, if your project is more demanding, or you'd like to future-proof your project, we'd suggest a VPS. There are many things you can do with a VPS, from hosting ecommerce sites to gaming servers and more.

Ultimately, the hosting option you pick will depend on what you are wanting to use it for, your budget, and your performance expectations.

Interested in what a VPS can do for you? Get in touch with our sales team today to find the perfect server package for you.