Dedicated hosting is a type of hosting service where an entire server is rented out by the hosting company. With it, you’ll get full control of its resources, such as disk space, memory, and the entire backend.
There are two types of dedicated hosting: managed and unmanaged. The former is easier to use since the web host will handle maintenance for you, while the latter is perfect for advanced users.
With unmanaged dedicated hosting, you have the freedom to add a custom firewall, install software and change server configurations, have a dedicated IP address, and customize the security settings.
Due to its flexibility, this service is great for high traffic websites that prioritize website security and page load times. Examples are giant Ecommerce websites, online gaming servers, agency websites with a large number of clients, and companies with large databases.
In this article, I’m going to discuss how dedicated hosting differs from shared hosting, what are its benefits and weaknesses, and whether your website needs this particular web hosting plan.
Differences Between Shared and Dedicated Hosting
The biggest difference that separates shared and dedicated hosting is how websites are hosted. Shared hosting hosts multiple users on a single server, while former reserves a server for a single user.
Shared hosting is what many beginner site owners opt for when starting their first websites. After all, it’s affordable and can accommodate a simple website. However, as your website grows, your hosting plan needs an upgrade, too.
To further understand the difference between shared and dedicated hosting, let’s take a look at the list below:
- Level of control. With shared hosting, your control over the server is limited since the web host has to share it equally among all users. Dedicated hosting, on the other hand, lets you configure the server according to your needs.
- Costs. Shared hosting is more affordable because operating costs are divided among many users. Meanwhile, dedicated hosting is a bit on the expensive side because you’re using the server yourself.
- Security. Sites on a shared server have a higher security risk compared to those hosted on dedicated servers. If one of the websites in a shared server has a security breach, other sites will be exposed to the same threat. You won’t encounter this problem with dedicated hosting.
- Page load time. With many users on a single server, shared hosting means sharing bandwidth and other resources. This may cause you to experience sudden slow response times when other sites have a traffic jump. Such a case is very unlikely to happen with dedicated hosting, where you’re the only one who is using the server.
- Technical skills. If you’re using shared hosting, you don’t have to have any technical skills since maintenance and security are managed by the hosting provider. With dedicated hosting, however, you need to know how to manage servers or hire IT staff. It’s also possible to opt for a fully-managed server, but the cost would surely be higher.
Pros and Cons of Dedicated Hosting
From the explanations above, we can have a quick outline of the disadvantages and advantages of dedicated hosting:
- Reliable performance. The disk space, bandwidth, CPU, and other resources are adjusted to your site’s needs, so there won’t be any problem if your site has a sudden traffic spike.
- With unmanaged dedicated hosting, you get complete access to the server and its configurations. For big corporations and organizations that are able to hire IT staff, using this type of hosting service is highly cost-effective.
- High security because the server is totally yours. Other than that, a dedicated server means you’ll have a dedicated IP address, which is needed to install an SSL certificate.
- Most hosting providers offer extra features for users of dedicated servers. Some examples include premium support, easy upgrades, RAID storage, and daily backups.
- Higher monthly price compared to other hosting plans.
- If you go for unmanaged dedicated hosting, you need to have technical skills to operate and maintain the server.
How Much Does Dedicated Hosting Cost?
Dedicated hosting’s pricing is highly influenced by the size of resources themselves, like the amount of storage space, RAM, and bandwidth. Aside from that, the price is also dependent on whether you go with managed or unmanaged hosting.
So, depending on those two factors, the price ranges from $100 to $700 per month.
Key Factors in Choosing a Dedicated Hosting
When choosing your dedicated hosting plan, you’ll have to know how much resources you need — the number of CPU cores, RAM, and bandwidth.
Having multiple CPU cores and a lot of RAM can boost performance if you have a lot of applications installed on your server. Meanwhile, a large bandwidth will improve your site’s response time.
What is more, see how the web host handles site security. Your server hardware should be constantly updated and monitored. Some companies even provide extra solutions like spam and anti-malware software.
Lastly, make sure to check for online reviews. See what others say about the company. If they have a great customer experience, then you’re most likely in good hands.
Once you found a hosting provider with these key factors, know your technical capability and choose your server solution: managed or unmanaged hosting.
Understand your particular needs and start shopping around.
Dedicated hosting is perfect for fast-growing websites with high levels of traffic. What is more, sites that handle many sensitive data like eCommerce and membership platforms will also need this hosting to provide high-security measures.
I hope this article has helped you to understand the subject, what benefits you’ll get by purchasing this kind of hosting, and provide you with enough information to decide whether you need this hosting or not.