So that’s it, then – a VPS is for everything in between, right? Well, yes…and no. A VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a flexible solution that falls in between shared and dedicated hosting, not only in price but also in the way it functions. Like a dedicated server, a site hosted on a VPS gets its own RAM and disk space; however, like a shared server, it uses the same processing capacity (CPU) as a certain number of other sites. So, while your site’s performance isn’t reliant on shared RAM and disk space, it is dependent on a shared processor. Moreover, the distribution of processor share varies from provider to provider. The table below shows how most hosting companies break down the differences between shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting plans:
In answering this question, maybe it’s better to examine how VPS hosting fits in to the overall offerings of most hosting companies. Shared hosting is just that – your site is hosted on a machine with a bunch of other sites, and each of you share the same resources, including RAM, disk space, and CPU. Your site uses what it needs if it’s available, and if it’s not – well, that’s the limitation of shared hosting. Likewise, a dedicated server is also self-explanatory – your site is the only one hosted on server, and you have all the aforementioned resources available at your beck and call. Dedicated hosting is therefore for those large sites with big databases and lots of traffic, whereas the limitations of shared hosting’s usually prevent it from housing that kind of site. Dedicated servers are also relatively expensive, while one can get a shared hosting plan for under $10 per month.