When you are starting a business or your online journey, it is incredibly easy to get overwhelmed. One way to stop feeling like you are drowning and unable to make any decisions to take an afternoon and access what it is you are trying to do with your website. Planning ahead is often a skipped step in the process but save yourself time, money, and effort down the road by figuring out your goals.
Before you even start looking at hosting providers, you should look at your business and decide your five-year plan. What sort of website are you looking to host? Is it an eCommerce? Will you be making money off it? Or is it merely a hobbyist or static page that you will keep updated? Access where you are right now in the process. Are you a brand new website or are you well-established and trying to decide if you want an upgrade?
Deciding these questions aren’t easy sometimes, but we will try to help make your life a bit more simple by clearly explaining the differences between shared hosting and dedicated hosting so you can decide which one is right for you.
What Is Shared Hosting?
In shared hosting, the server is split between multiple users. That means the resources, bandwidth, and storage are all divided and shared. As the user, you don’t know who your neighbors are or even how many there are.
The good thing about shared hosting is each user is only allowed to use a certain amount of the piece of the server’s resources. Once you as the user have used up your portion, you can either scale up to the next plan or face slow page load times.
What Is Dedicated Server Hosting
Dedicated hosting is on the opposite side of the spectrum; it is the most expensive hosting plan, and you share the server with no one. All resources, bandwidth, storage, everything is dedicated solely to you. Because of the lack of neighbors, a dedicated server user will decide what type of operating system, hardware, and other features they want for their website.
Server Resources And Configuration
Dedicated hosting plans allow you to rent out the entire server, so you can scale the server resources and adjust them within seconds. Dedicated hosting plans give you complete control over everything, so you can review the performance and optimize all settings.
One huge benefit of dedicated hosting plans is having access to the server root and configuration. Root access is the ability to access, edit, and remove files and software from your server. Root access should only be used by people who have technical skills and know what they are doing because it is very easy to delete something vital accidentally.
With shared hosting, you are splitting the server with others, so that means your access to resources is going to be much smaller than with a dedicated hosting plan. You also will have limited options of configuration.
However, with shared hosting plans, there are still great options to configure and customize your site as you like. Almost all shared hosting plans come with a control panel (like cPanel) to help you have access to folders, files, and applications. You can manage your database, email accounts, and server analytics.
Dedicated servers are well-known for their ability to scale with your business as needed. Scalability is what attracts many website users to dedicate hosting because it means they can handle more traffic, transaction processing, or data storage without having to pay outrageous fees.
Dedicated hosting can scale or down quickly, and some hosting services even offer an automatic monitoring system. Your server can monitor itself and adjusts the resources based on your needs. If your site experiences a sudden influx of traffic, your website can still handle it and won’t crash.
On the other hand, shared hosting is not well-known for its ability to scale. Everyone else on your server shares the resources you have access to, so there is no room for you to scale up. If you want to scale up, you will have to upgrade to another type of hosting, like cloud hosting.
With dedicated hosting, you have the option to choose self-managed, semi-managed, or managed services. The type of plan you pick will determine the cost and how involved you or your hosting service is in the maintenance and security of the server.
With a self-managed hosting plan, you take care of updating and maintaining everything, and with managed, the hosting provider takes care of the technical side for you. Which level you choose depends on your own technical skills and the time you wish to spend on managing your site. With self-managed, you will also get a higher level of control and can make more choices on the server.
Dedicated servers tend to be the most secure compared to shared and virtual providers. Many times, dedicated hosting will include DDoS protection, IP address blocking, and other server-level features. Top dedicated hosting services will offer RAID Storage, or a redundant array of independent disks. This is also known as disk mirroring, and it helps keep your data safe.
Unlike with shared hosting, dedicated hosting users never have to worry about noisy neighbors on their server who might be spam or malware infected sites that will affect others on the server.
You can find hosts that have decent security with shared hosting plans. It is up to you, ultimately, to keep your data and website as secure as possible. However, there is nothing you can do to stop issues caused by your neighbors on the same server. Your chances of running into problems diminish if you use a reputable, reliable server.
Shared hosting, as you remember, means that the server space is shared, which means the cost is too. Dedicated hosting is going to cost 15 to 20 times more per month than shared hosting. Shared hosting can cost as little as $1.99 per month with great deals available if you sign up for a one or three year deal.
Dedicated hosting can cost upwards of a hundred (or hundreds) of dollars a month to host. But if you need the extra resources, control, and flexibility over your server, then dedicated hosting might be the right thing for you.
Is A Shared Or Dedicated Hosting Plan Right For Me?
Shared hosting and dedicated hosting are on opposite ends of the spectrums.
If you are new to web hosting, a shared hosting platform is what is best for you most likely. Shared hosting is ideal for smaller websites that aren’t resource heavy and don’t see high levels of traffic. While you don’t have the option for complex or customized server configurations, the chances are high that you probably don’t need that. You will share the server with others, but you also share the cost, so you can pay as long as a few dollars a month to host your website.
On the other side is dedicated hosting which is geared towards users who will need more resources and capabilities. Since you are the sole user on the server, it means you can configure your system however you wish. If you want a unique IP address you don’t share with others, have a very feature-rich website, or see massive amounts of traffic each month, dedicated hosting could be the right option for you.
However, for dedicated hosting, if you don’t have a managed hosting plan or a team to help you configure the system, you could be wasting the true potential of a dedicated hosting plan. Access your skills and budget before going with a dedicated hosting plant to make sure it is a good fit.
Here are The Best Dedicated Server Hosting Services