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What are the Differences Between Shared, Semi-Dedicated, Reseller and VPS Hosting?

There are many types of web hosting plans offered by hosting providers. When you add in the marketing terminology, it can become very confusing and difficult to compare. In this information blog post, we’ll try to help you better understand the various types of hosting services so you can make an educated decision based on your web hosting needs.

  • Shared
    • Designed for small to medium websites.
    • Can have multiple websites under one account.
    • If one site is compromised the other sites can become compromised.
  • Semi-dedicated
    • Designed for larger websites.
    • Can be more cost and time effective than a Virtual Private Server (VPS). You manage your website and the provider manages the OS (patching, administration, security, etc.).
    • If one site is compromised, the other sites can become compromised.
  • Reseller
    • Designed for multiple websites owned by different people or businesses.
    • Multiple accounts vs. one account with Shared Hosting.
    • If one website under that account is compromised other websites under the other accounts will not be.
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS)
    • Designed for any size website or application where isolation, OS and application customization, or corporate policy dictates.
    • Can scale well beyond the resource limits of other hosting types.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting plans are “single user” plans designed for single website applications. This is the preferred choice for a small business with a single website or an individual looking to host their portfolio site, blog site, forum, or to start learning how to do website development.

Shared hosting plans can also host multiple websites using what’s called “addon domains.” These are simply sub-directories under the main account with DNS maps that point to them. While hosting multiple sites on a single account may sound like a good option, there are security and performance issues that can arise:

  • Security: Let’s say you have a shared hosting account with 10 addon domains and one of them was to get hacked. Now the hacker has access to all the websites residing on this account.
  • Performance: Each account (cPanel account or shared account) is allocated a certain amount of resources (memory, CPU and disk IO). Every additional website added to this single hosting account consumes more of the finite resources that are available. As more websites are added, they start to compete against each other for memory, CPU and disk IO (commonly called contention) which ultimately will slow down all of the websites hosted on the account.

If you plan to host multiple websites, a Reseller account will be the better choice.

Semi-dedicated Hosting

Semi-dedicated hosting is on the same platform as Shared Hosting but includes additional resources tailored for large, high-traffic, or resource-intensive websites and applications. Semi-dedicated plans are a great alternative to a Virtual Private Server (VPS) when:

  • you don’t need isolation, OS and application customization, or have corporate policy mandates.
  • you don’t have the experience or staff to administer, patch and secure your own VPS.

If you’ve outgrown Shared Hosting, consider Semi-dedicated before moving to a VPS.  

Reseller Hosting

A Reseller account is not just for those interested in reselling web hosting. Its primary function is to properly partition or separate multiple hosted websites into their own “containers.” 

Reseller hosting is similar to shared hosting with one major difference: You have a dashboard to manage multiple accounts. This means you can create multiple “shared” style hosting plans and use a single dashboard (WHM) to manage them. As additional websites or customers are added, each can be assigned to its own cPanel account. Each account has its own unique login, username and password, email accounts, and most importantly, its own resources. This ensures each site is more secure and has access to its memory, CPU and disk IO.

In addition to simply using a Reseller plan for hosting multiple websites, many hosting resellers utilize reseller plans from a parent provider such as VeeroTech to sell web hosting to their clients. You can utilize the included billing software (WHMCS) to automatically bill your clients, provide a support desk, and provision hosting accounts from automated ordering.

Reseller hosting accounts are also great for web designers, development firms, and companies that need to host multiple website accounts.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting

A Virtual Private Server is similar to a physical server except that it is virtual. We utilize very powerful datacenter-grade physical servers that host multiple virtual servers on high speed RAID 10 SSD disk arrays with many disks for safety and performance. A VPS is a solution for those who require one or more of the following:

  • Custom application or application stacks
  • Custom scripts
  • Specialized server settings
  • Larger amounts of resources
  • Company policies/guidelines that require isolation

VeeroTech offers three types of VPS solutions:

A fully managed VPS is a virtual server that is fully managed by our staff. Our engineers monitor, tune and maintain each VPS and respond to any issues that may arise. We handle all of the server-side tasks, daily backups, as well as customer requests that may need to be completed. The most common operating systems deployed on a VPS are flavors of Linux like CentOS and Ubuntu. A managed VPS is ideal for those who require an isolated solution or larger amounts of dedicated resources but don’t want the hassle of managing a server. Our managed VPS’s also include a licensed version of cPanel & WHM, firewall, Softaculous script installer, R1Soft backups & more.

A self-managed VPS (also known as unmanaged, droplet, root access, or instance) is managed by you. The hosting provider ensures only the virtual server is online, not the OS. It also does not include backups, control panels or any type of maintenance. A self-managed VPS is a good solution for those who have the expertise and resources to manage, secure, and maintain their own servers.

Although this is a cheaper option, it can quickly become compromised or break due to the knowledge required to maintain and secure the server. If you’re running a business, this is an important factor to consider.

A storage or backup VPS is a great alternative to other “cloud storage” options because, not only is it your data, it is on your server. This provides an extra layer of security, privacy, and management. 

Starting with a Shared, Semi-dedicated or Reseller Hosting plan can be a more cost-effective solution to handle most needs, unless yours require a VPS. If you are still unsure which option to choose, feel free to ask us.

If you have any web hosting questions please feel free to reach out to us. We're happy to help.  

Our Guiding Principles

  • Provide consistent, stable, and reliable web hosting services.
  • Ensure rapid ticket response and quick resolutions to issues.
  • Never saturate or over-provision servers to ensure stability and speed for our customers.
  • Use only high-quality enterprise-class hardware to ensure minimal downtime from hardware failures.
  • Provide clear pricing with no hidden fees or gotchas.
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