Are you trying to figure out the right answer in the VPS vs. dedicated server debate?
To make the right choice, you have to consider various factors, including the traffic on your website, the level of control you want over your servers, and your budget. Each option has its fair share of pros and cons, which is why you need to dig deeper into your requirements.
VPS Server Pros and Cons
- More raw server power for cheaper prices
- Easy setup
- Greater flexibility in terms of features
- Unrestricted root access to the server
- Protection against most known DDoS attacks and security exploits
- Website remains unaffected by traffic searches and other user problem
- Limited control over your server’s physical hardware
- Technical know-how required
- Less powerful than dedicated servers
- Slower customer support
- Improperly configured servers may create problems
Dedicated Server Pros and Cons
- Extremely powerful; can handle high-performance websites with any number of visitors daily
- No resource sharing ensures greater reliability and scalability
- Greater flexibility in server configurations and third-party app integration
- High level of security
- Easy customization to suit requirements
- Excellent customer support
- High costs
- Previous experience in handling dedicated servers needed
- Requires daily monitoring and regular server maintenance
- Server safety is the user’s responsibility
- Difficult to accurately assess the resources required
Performance: Dedicated Server Wins
The general rule of thumb is the higher your resource limits, the faster your website can handle large traffic spikes and load swiftly. That’s why dedicated servers are way ahead of any other type of hosting in terms of performance.
The speed of a VPS server is somewhat slow. Not that it isn’t fast—just slower compared to a dedicated server. Even when the servers have the same specifications, dedicated servers will always have a performance advantage over VPS ones because there’s no resource sharing between users. Websites will load faster and be more responsive.
Security: Dedicated Server Wins
As someone running an online business and managing data, you must prioritize evaluating the level of security before choosing a hosting server, especially with the growing number of cyberattacks.
The good news is that both VPS and dedicated servers are very secure options, but the latter offers higher protection.
VPN servers have a hypervisor that creates and manages each of the virtual machines on the main server. When another website on the VPN server is attacked or hacked, your website is also exposed to some risk because of the possibility of the attack spilling over to your website.
On the other hand, with a dedicated server, you’re the sole owner of the physical server. No external site can affect your website, and the only way you may get attacked is when the cybercriminal targets your website specifically—or you make an oversight when it comes to ensuring security.
Note that VPN servers are in no way unstable or insecure. But if you’re in a very security-conscious space (think: payment processing, financial services), investing in a dedicated server will give you greater peace of mind.
Scalability: VPS Server Wins
If you’re starting out or growing your website, you want an option that can continue providing you with adequate resources as needed. VPS hosting servers do just that.
On a VPS server, you can easily scale your server resources (think: CPU, memory, storage space) without upgrading your subscription. The overall growth pace is smooth, with no glitches or mistakes. No need to worry about experiencing any downtime as the server imposes no limits on how much your website can grow.
It’s why VPS servers are an excellent choice for medium-sized websites wanting to expand their audience over time.
On the other hand, dedicated server hosting gives you significant resource allocation right away. As such, you won’t likely need to upgrade your plan and can focus on maintaining your web traffic rather than increasing your server capabilities.
Of course, you can change your limitations every month, but you won’t need much to advance your website because you already have the necessities.
Allocation of Resources: Dedicated Server Wins
How resources are allocated is one of the key differences between VPS and dedicated servers.
In the case of VPS servers, you don’t own the entire server and only a part of it. Since you share the physical server with other users that are only virtually separated, you also share the resources. But the fact you also have root access to the server means you can install add-ons and other software to make required changes to your server files.
If you don’t like this traditional VPS setup, you can also opt for cloud VPS which lets you access resources from multiple servers. This makes the resources more substantial for individual use compared to that additional setup.
However, this still isn’t enough to beat dedicated servers in this criteria.
As a dedicated server owner, you own the entire physical server. This total ownership extends to all the resources on the server too. Every bit of bandwidth and every byte of RAM. Therefore, you have complete control over your resources and don’t have to rely on others
You also have the flexibility to get a lower or higher amount of resources based on your needs and budget.
The ability to personalize is another factor to consider when choosing a hosting type for your website.
Both VPS and dedicated servers offer managed and unmanaged plans, letting you decide your resource limits every month. When you pick a managed plan, the hosting provider is responsible for building and maintaining the server. But when you choose an unmanaged plan, the responsibility shifts on your shoulders.
In the end, you decide which option best suits your needs.
Configuration: Dedicated Server Wins
Greater configuration flexibility is another dedicated server advantage.
As you’re the only user on the dedicated server, you have full control over everything. You can pretty much do anything you want, whether it’s wanting more resources or changing core software and/or hardware. You can put together a configuration for whatever website or running, as long as you have the skills.
Admittedly, most users don’t have to (nor want to) play around with server settings. Unless you have a very specific configuration to run a specialized application—or any other special case—having configuration flexibility isn’t a critical consideration and you can choose a VPS server too.
Affordability: VPS Server Wins
Price is a significant factor in any business decision, and web hosting is no different. You should consider the financial implications of choosing a server based on your requirements, but if we only talk about affordability, VPS servers are undoubtedly cheaper than dedicated servers.
You get an excellent range of different prices, making it more suitable for most user budgets. VPS servers also offer advanced features to support your growth despite the cheaper price tag.
That said, dedicated servers being more expensive isn’t surprising. And after all, you get your own physical shower that you don’t have to share with anyone else, on all the resources on it, and can do and configure settings as you please.
Server Support: Tie
The level of support you receive depends on the hosting company and your hosting plan, but you’re generally assured of great customer support regardless of whether you’re a dedicated server or a VPS server client.
The only difference here is the priority. As a dedicated server client, you pay more money and are naturally given a higher preference when it comes to resolving issues.
Why did I still tie both options? VPS servers are the middle ground between shared servers and dedicated servers. While you may have to wait a few minutes longer than a dedicated server client, customer support is still excellent and efficient.
Migration: VPS Server Wins
As a VPS server client, you can easily move on from one hosting to another since everything you own is virtual. However, when you opt for a dedicated server, your files are stored on a physical server, one you cannot take with you.
When you host your website on a dedicated server, you don’t actually purchase the server—you only rent the space. So, if you decide to move on to another server, you’ll have to empty the space and go.
When deciding between VPS servers vs. dedicated servers, you need to factor in your website traffic and scalability, as well as your budget and desired customization/configuration flexibility.
Choose VPS servers if:
- You’re a small- to medium-sized business website owner
- Your website traffic is growing steadily and you want more control
- You want to scale your website without making a significant investment
- You’re expecting a sudden traffic surge for specific events or festivals (for example, Black Friday or last-minute business shopping) and want to avoid any downtime
- You’re running low on memory and getting a lot of blank pages (RAM)
- You need an affordable middle ground between shared and dedicated hosting
If this sounds like a fit, see our top picks for the best virtual private servers (VPS hosting).
Choose dedicated servers if:
- You own a high traffic ecommerce or business website
- Your website has completely outgrown VPS resource allocation
- You want to operate multiple websites simultaneously
- You want highly specialized software and hardware for your website
- You’re frustrated with the slow site performance with your current plan
- You want to (and have the skills) to configure and maintain your own server
If dedicated servers are a better fit for your needs, see our top picks for the best dedicated hosting plans.