There are lots of different web hosting services available, but as there are so many, it can be tricky to choose one and understand the differences between them.
Two examples of hosting services are shared hosting and dedicated hosting.
These both store website information on one server, but apart from this similarity, they have important differences that distinguish them from one another.
To make things a little easier, we’ll cover what both of these hosting services do in this article.
You’ll also learn the advantages and disadvantages of each service, as well as who each type of hosting service is best for.
Keep reading to learn more about dedicated hosting and shared hosting!
As mentioned in the introduction, dedicated hosting and shared hosting work by storing information for a website on one server.
When site users access a website through their internet browser, the server will transmit that information to them.
Other than this similarity, the two hosting services are different, as they store the website information on different kinds of servers.
In the case of dedicated hosting, the website won’t share the server with others, the server will only store that website’s data.
Shared hosting, on the other hand, involves other users sharing the same server, so the website will live amongst other sites.
Both of these have significant benefits and drawbacks, which we’ll cover in more detail below.
Shared hosting involves storing several websites on a single server.
You can picture shared hosting as a public bus service, as it is low cost, but involves sharing the service with others.
Shared hosting permits thousands of sites to be stored on one server, but this has both advantages and disadvantages.
The benefits of shared hosting are:
- Lower expenses
- No need for advanced technical skills
One of the biggest advantages of shared hosting is the price. The price of maintaining one server can be spread across all of its users.
This lowers the costs that customers have to pay, though some can choose to pay more to upgrade their service.
This might include access to more resources, as well as permitting more traffic to their site.
Lots of beginner site creators start with shared hosting as it doesn’t require much technical knowledge or understanding of servers.
These plans often come with control panels to manage the website, as well as pre-built programs that can adapt to a lot of websites.
Functions like installing updates and server maintenance are done by the hosting provider, so all you need to do is focus on your brand and business.
The drawbacks of shared hosting are:
- Need to share server resources
- Greater security risks
Shared hosting is ideal for newer sites that don’t expect much traffic and require limited resources.
Despite this, shared hosting does have its drawbacks, the most significant one being sharing resources with others.
Features like memory, disk space, processing power, and various other resources will be used by multiple users.
This can lead to the ‘bad neighbor’ consequence.
When a single site on a shared server takes up many resources, this can lead to other sites on that server slowing down.
Bear in mind that the possibility of this leading to a blatant problem isn’t that high.
Professional hosting providers have plenty of resources for all of their users and are good at moderating websites with a lot of traffic.
They also advise that growing sites should move to greater hosting services that deliver supplementary bandwidth.
Another disadvantage of shared hosting is the potential for security breaches.
If another user on your server is transmitting spam, this can lead to your server’s IP address being blacklisted later.
You can avoid this occurring by selecting a web hosting provider that has policies in place to avoid abusing the service.
Shared hosting is best for site owners who are just starting, as it’s low cost and ideal for beginners.
Small enterprises, personal projects, and some medium-sized companies can gain from the benefits of shared hosting.
While the disadvantages are off-putting, they are pretty insignificant, provided that the site traffic isn’t too high, and ensuring that the server is defended with trustworthy security protocols.
Once a site grows past the resources assigned in shared hosting environments, there are lots of other plans that can accommodate its needs.
Moving a site from one hosting provider to another is easy to do, and shouldn’t affect your website’s efficiency.
What Does Dedicated Hosting Mean?
Dedicated hosting involves hosting a site on one server, which is solely dedicated to your site.
This eliminates any competition linked with sharing resources over a shared server, which leads to better website performance.
If we use the public bus example to depict shared hosting as before, then we can think of dedicated hosting like renting a personal car.
This involves greater control over where you drive the vehicle, how fast it travels, and the radio stations that it plays.
Despite these pros, renting the car costs a lot more than taking the bus, and you’ll need more skill and understanding to maintain it correctly.
Dedicated hosting has very similar pros and cons.
Advantages Of Dedicated Hosting
The benefits of dedicated hosting are:
- Complete control of server resources
- Customization capabilities
Dedicated hosting means that you won’t have to share a server with other users, so there are no bad neighbor consequences.
The server’s disk space, memory, and processing power can all be dedicated to your site.
This also means that as no other users are on the server, other people cannot expose your site to cyber attacks.
There’s also no risk of your server’s IP address being blacklisted from the fault of other users.
Dedicated hosting also allows you to personalize your server to your desired settings.
You will also have administrative access that allows you to change the software’s code.
Disadvantages Of Dedicated Hosting
The drawbacks of dedicated hosting are:
- Higher costs
- Need technical skill
- Maintenance takes more effort
This greater control over the server and resources naturally costs more than shared hosting.
Renting private servers can cost anywhere from $60 and $350 every month, though this depends on how much the hosting provider does with security and maintenance.
In most cases, sites that receive traffic levels that need resources from private servers gain enough profit to afford dedicated hosting costs.
Another drawback of dedicated hosting is that it needs a lot of technical knowledge, particularly if you want to customize the server to your liking.
If you aren’t that skilled with technology, you can buy a plan which involves management support or hire a server administrator.
These will, however, add to the price of the plan. Dedicated hosting leaves a lot of server maintenance in your control, which has an added drawback.
As you are responsible for installing and updating patches to the server, this can distract you from other duties, such as your job, parenting, or caring for others.
Who Is Dedicated Hosting Best For?
Dedicated hosting is ideal for businesses with greater bandwidth needs and highly specialized requirements.
For instance, large businesses with lots of important information should invest in dedicated hosting due to its greater security levels.
Dedicated hosting is also good for people who have enough technical knowledge to profit from the customizability factor.
The Bottom Line
Selecting the best web hosting plan for your needs is important, as choosing the wrong one can lead to you losing time, effort, and money.
If you don’t require a lot of bandwidth, control, power, or memory, then you can save money through shared hosting.
If your site needs a lot of resources, and you have a team that can handle the technical skill that is required, dedicated hosting may be a better choice.
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