With VPS, you pay for what you use in the sense that you select a certain amount of bandwidth and storage to be allocated in advance. Scaling involves resizing your resources. But with cloud hosting, you pay for what you use in that your resource levels are not pre-determined, which means unpredictable pricing that tends to be more costly than VPS due to the overhead and complexity involved.
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Shared hosting is cheap and allows you to install any gallery platform you wish if a hosting plan meets its requirements. But be careful and study your hosting provider’s Acceptable Use Policy thoroughly. The truth is, that even if they claim unlimited storage with their plans, they don’t want you to use much of it. On the contrary, they secretly hope that you will use less and they can host many other clients on the same server. For that reason, hosting providers usually put limitations on their policies (e.g. “no more than 10 GB for images,” etc.). So don’t be convinced that you have unlimited storage without first checking your shared hosting provider's policies or you will find your account suspended someday.
You’re paying more, so there SHOULD be a minimum uptime guarantee and better server speed. Look for a host that offers 99.5% at a very minimum, although ideally, I’d rather go with someone who offers 99.9%. Search through some reviews as there are many who have put this to the test. For example, any of WHSR’s many web host reviews include an uptime record as one of our key tests.
Essentially, here’s the criteria I would use to judge things – if your site is made up of primarily static, HTML-based content, then you probably don’t need a VPS package. However, if you have a large amount of files stored, multiple sites, dynamic content, and the possibility of major traffic from time to time, then you might consider upgrading to a VPS. It’s a powerful package that allows you to do more than you could with a shared hosting plan, but requires less investment than a dedicated server.
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