Cheap web hosting is often frowned upon by more experience webmasters, however it is a beacon of hope for aspiring web site owners on a very limited budget. Cheap web hosting gives the average person a gateway into the web hosting community by giving them the ability to host their web site for only a few dollars a month. However, it is debatable as to which kind of cheap web hosting is the best.
VPS web hosting is very different from shared hosting because it comes in a wide range of plans, all of which are priced very differently, with the cheapest plans starting at about $10 per month and the most expensive costing about $200 or more per month. The cheapest shared hosting plan on the other hand only costs about $3 per month, with the most expensive type costing about $50 per month. The following information will attempt to draw an accurate comparison of the two hosting types in their cheapest forms.
Fees and Startup Costs
Since budgeting is of obvious importance when shopping for cheap web hosting plans, it is best to compare the fees and startup costs associated with each type of hosting plan first. The fees associated with VPS hosting plans will differ greatly depending upon the hosting company, however most hosting providers do charge a setup fee when the plan is first purchased. Even so, most cheap VPS plans do not require you to pay more than one month upfront, which greatly diminishes the total setup costs. Cheap shared hosting plans usually do not have nay setup fees, however many of them require you to pay at least a year upfront, which makes the startup costs equal to or greater than that of a cheap VPS hosting plan.
Features and Limitations
Even though novice webmasters do not need a very comprehensive hosting plan, it is still beneficial to have access to the best possible hosting plan for your money. Shared web hosting plans are known for having strict limitations that cannot be bypassed without upgrading your plan to a more expensive solution. However, VPS hosting is slightly more expandable because it is possible to instantly draw resources from another part of the server and allocate them to your site during unexpected traffic surges. If you are expecting traffic surges then you may want to consider a VPS hosting plan, as they are better at accommodating sudden server loads, and they are easier to upgrade.
Support and Reliability
As in every other industry, you will undoubtedly get what you pay for. As such, cheap web shooting plans of all types are notorious for being unreliable and inconsistent. However, the reliability and support of a hosting plan will usually depend primarily on the hosting provider. Nonetheless, VPS hosting is consistently more reliable than shared hosting based on the server environment and how it is configured. Ideally, a new webmaster on a budget should look for a cheap VPS hosting plan from a reliable hosting provider with no startup fees and a flexible billing schedule.