In general, having all the server to yourself gives you key advantages in three areas: performance, security and control.
We’ll get deeper into each of the benefits of dedicated hosting below, but first a little backgrounder on our subject. Hosting is responsible for putting all the elements of your website – images, audio, video, documents, files and others – into the Internet so that anyone that goes online can search and visit your website. Web hosting is a paid service provided by companies who rent out their servers to house your website.
This server resides in data centers operated and maintained with state-of-the-art technology to ensure that your website is up and available all the time, loads and opens fast, can handle as much traffic, has the necessary bandwidth and storage that you need, and comes with safety and security mechanisms. Over 1.3 billion websites are powered by hosting companies and services, and the number keeps growing every day.
There are actually three ways that you can have your website hosted, but for simplicity, we’re just comparing the first two:
Shared hosting and dedicated hosting occupy the extreme ends of the scale when it comes to cost and capabilities. If budget is no problem or if you are really serious in having a fully optimized website and willing to invest in it, then dedicated hosting is the way to go for good reasons
One of the most important reasons is improving your website’s loading time. It has been found out that even just a one-second delay in page load time can reduce lead conversions by 7%. Moreover, a one-second page could cost businesses earning $100,000 a day to lose around $2.5 million in lost sales every year. Dedicated hosting will provide you that crucial edge when it comes to fast and responsive websites. But what really distinguishes dedicated hosting from shared hosting?
Having a dedicated server to host your website means you harness all the power of that server – CPU, RAM, disk storage, and everything else – to run your website. Unlike a shared server, you are not sharing resources of the server with other websites which translates to a truly fast loading website unhampered and fully utilizing the server’s capabilities.
One other major difference is the cost. The many websites that reside in one shared server not only divide the resources of that server but also the cost for its upkeep and maintenance to keep it running; hence the cost is cheaper. Not so for dedicated servers which are at the top tier of pricing plans. But when you think about it, a more expensive dedicated server that gives you fast loading times and improves conversion rates (which means more customers and sales) could more than compensate for the higher cost and prove more viable in the long run.
So, what are the benefits of dedicated hosting over shared hosting? We can clearly answer that through a simple comparison on three major fronts: performance, security, and control. Let’s go over each of them.
Shared Hosting: This will always have performance limitations because the server’s resources are used to run several websites simultaneously. Hence, you can never be sure how you website performs and, in relation to that, how you website fares when it comes to the user experience of your visitor. Even if a vendor professes 5X loading speed, this may not be the case in the real-world like for instance if a website that shares your server experiences heavy traffic, more server resources such as bandwidth may be devoted to that website and your website may suffer critical lag. Two to three seconds delay in loading time is enough for visitors to abandon your website. Another thing, some shared hosting providers charge for additional bandwidth consumed which means extra cost if it’s you who experience spikes in traffic.
Dedicated Hosting: The above-shared hosting scenario is a non-issue on a dedicated server because you are not sharing resources. Whether you have thousands of visitors or a few, you can provide a great experience to your visitors with fast response and loading times since all the server’s resources – processing power, RAM, bandwidth, storage, etc. – go to handle everything solely for your website.
Shared Hosting: Security issues are more likely to crop up with shared hosting because, for one thing, you have no way of knowing what kind of websites are with you aboard that server. If your neighboring website is engaged in unethical or illegal internet practices such as spamming or distributing copyrighted materials, then the server IP address can be blacklisted by search engines. Or worse, the entire server can be taken down by authorities. In another possible scenario, although hosting providers normally install firewalls and other security applications on shared servers, it only takes one erroneous script or one malware on one website to affect the whole shared server and send it crashing together with all other websites it hosts, including yours.
Dedicated Hosting: There is less risk and more security since you’re the only one using the server. You can run any type of scripts and software, and deploy security measures like firewalls and anti-virus to suit your requirements. You get to tailor your security configurations on top of what hosting companies provide for dedicated servers including 24/7 network monitoring, security audits, scanning systems, and updates and backups, among others. These are alongside rigid security implemented by hosting companies on their physical server facilities and data centers.
Shared Hosting: This is ideal for website owners who don’t have expertise on the technical side of things as the hosting provider will take care of the backend side to maintain your website. This, however, removes from you sufficient control over the types of files and scripts that you can use which means you can’t employ sophisticated features and advanced applications to run your website. That may be alright if you want the economical option of having your website run on basic functionalities. But that may not be the optimum situation for an ecommerce or business website that needs more robust or expanded functions such integration with other apps, plugins and extensions.
Dedicated Hosting: You have greater control over the server to customize and extend the functionality of your website. You can put in your preferred scripts, programs, and applications. As mentioned earlier, you can add your own security measures. You’ll even have control over your server resources. These will require you to have some technical knowledge to run a variety of software or scripting languages. You are the webmaster who can customize your server and website environment to match your specific needs.
In some situations, providers offer full root access to the dedicated server, enabling you to further customize it. With no other cohabitants on the server, you have the freedom and flexibility to configure it the way you want it. If you lack the necessary technical expertise, you can opt for a dedicated “managed hosting” where the hosting provider’s team will do the work for you, which usually entail additional cost. Some providers tuck in free server management as part of their dedicated server plans.
Shared Hosting: You are limited to the amount of bandwidth and disk space you can use since these are shared with other websites on the server. Unless specifically stated that the shared hosting plan carries unlimited bandwidth and storage, hosting providers typically charge clients who exceed their allotted amount.
Dedicated Hosting: Among the regular offerings of hosting providers for their dedicated hosting plans is unmetered or unlimited bandwidth and unlimited storage or databases. Again this is made possible because there is no allotment limitation and sharing of bandwidth and disk space – resources which are solely for your use. You can build as much traffic or store as much data and files as you want without worries of surpassing the limit and paying extra.
Hosting providers usually offer the three main hosting options – shared, VPS, and dedicated – and some others such as WordPress, business, and reseller hosting. Below are some of the leading hosting companies that offer dedicated hosting plans. Provided are links to full reviews if you need more detailed information. You can also check our article on top 20 dedicated server hosting solutions of 2019 to learn about some of the best hosting providers available today.
InMotionHosting is the recipient of an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, a consumer protection agency that reviews the integrity and performance of businesses in the U.S. and Canada. For 15 years it has been certified as a top web hosting by experts for outstanding service and best business practices. It is likewise among the top 10 in our hosting provider category. The accolades are not without solid bases. The popular offers a wide range of hosting plans for just about every business type and size – from startups to global companies. Among its noted offerings are fast web hosting with free SSDs, free 1-click installer form over 400 applications, free cPanel for easy server management, and free domain to get you started. If you want to know more about the great deals the provider is offering, simply visit InMotion pricing plans here.
InMotion Hosting Dedicated Hosting features:
HostGator offers powerful web hosting solutions made easy and affordable regardless if you’re an internet expert or just starting out. It presently hosts over eight million domains and has technology partnerships Cisco, Dell and AT&T. Whether you’re a personal user, business owner, or web pro, HostGator can provide hosting solutions to match your specific needs. It provides all regular hosting options as well as domain service packages and offers 99.9% uptime, 24/7/365 support, and 45-day money back guarantee. You also get freebies with the available plans including a website builder with 4,500 free website templates, free site migration and scripts transfers, free advertising credits.
HostGator Dedicated Hosting features:
GoDaddy is an American web hosting company that currently powers more than 8 million websites from 37,000 servers. Presently, it is also the largest internet domain registrar, managing over 63 million domains or roughly 21% of the world’s total domains. It offers basic site builder plans, shared hosting, VPS, dedicated server, and WordPress hosting which comes with a free domain, SFTP uploads, and SSD storage. It offers free daily backups and 99.9% uptime guarantee. Its data centers are based in the US, Asia, and Europe and uses state-of-the-art facilities such as 24/7 on-site monitoring, fire protection, N+1 air conditioning, and redundant UPS power supply. These are put in place to ensure you get reliable and secure web hosting services at all times. Its dedicated server plans are the penultimate in cost, features, and solutions.
GoDaddy Dedicated Hosting features:
Bluehost offers all standard hosting options as well as domain registration in a range of budget-friendly pricing plans with the lowest pegged at just $2.95/month for shared hosting. It is a WordPress recommended hosting provider with its quick single click WP install and easy WP management. It offers in-house services using its own fiber connections, data centers and Linux kernel running on custom servers. Bluehost’s web hosting plans are noted for its provision of generous high bandwidths and storage space. The service is ideal for those who use PHP applications that need lightweight CMS installs, such as in the case of WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. Another great thing about Bluehost is that you can be assured that your website is up at all times as it provides power backups of its facilities, while regular user account backups are also implemented.
Bluehost Dedicated Hosting features:
IPage comes with a lot of freebies – free domain registration, free drag and drop site builder, free email address, and thousands of free templates. All its plans include over $500 worth of extras that come in the form of free security tools, free WordPress building tools, Google AdWords, and Bing ad credits. Among its core offerings are scalable bandwidth, unlimited domain names, unlimited MySQL databases, free domain for one year, free online store and PayPal integration, mobile-optimized site builder, enhanced security suite, 24/7 network monitoring, vDeck control panel, visitor statistics/site traffic reporting, customizable email address with your domain name, online help and ticketing system, and 24/7 phone and chat support, among others.
iPage Dedicated Hosting features:
While shared server is currently the most popular hosting option basically because of its cheaper cost, it is not however the most optimal choice. There are pros and cons of both dedicated hosting and shared hosting, but you have to think about your website especially if you utilize it as a platform for online selling and e-commerce. It must be first and foremost optimized and responsive for that kind of business, and a good hosting service can provide you that through its dedicated servers built to handle higher traffic, bandwidth, storage, and enterprise-grade security.
Yes, it will need bigger investments but you’ll soon realize better ROI with a dedicated system. Dedicated hosting may not be the initial option for you but do prepare to go that route when you are genuinely considering leveling up your business and you’re business requirements call for it. If budget is not a deciding factor, then go for it now to give your website a competitive edge. Remember, it takes just a couple of seconds for website visitors to transform from lost opportunities to paying customers. Dedicated hosting ensures that you have all the resources for your website to attract, convert, and realize profits for your online business.
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