Shared Hosting vs Dedicated Server

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Shared hosting entails that your website resides on a server along with websites from other users and together you share the resources on that server.  Shared hosting is cheap, efficient and a great option for the right customer.  With dedicated hosting you rent a private server for your own use and you can choose exactly the make and model of that server from the operating system, the processor, and the choice of managed or unmanaged device. But it’s also the most expensive hosting service and the best option for customers who are supporting many sites. 

Comparing Shared & Dedicated Hosting

Both shared and dedicated hosting are valuable services but they are services that are specific to certain customers.  For example, it’s in your interest to choose a dedicated server if you have a medium to large business with an ecommerce operation, or if you have multiple websites with lots of traffic. If you have a small personal website for instance to share a hobby, family events like a wedding,  or a blog, shared hosting is the best option. You can review the advantages & disadvantages for both hosting services below.

A shared hosting plan will generally be enough for most people, small and medium sized businesses though should look into the dedicated server option

Dedicate Server

Benefits: The greatest advantage of a dedicated server is the ability to completely control your hosting. You can have a private Linux or Windows server, you can choose the software, the security, the amount of disk space, bandwidth, the scripts, the control panel, you have full root access, and you can have a  private IP – essentially you can customize your server exactly how you want. 

One of the primary advantages of shared hosting is that any person can use it, whether you’re a new user or a webmaster

Disadvantages: Of course the disadvantage to having so much control is that you have to know what you’re doing. After all you are responsible for maintaining the server, not the physical hardware, but the all of the software, security patches, updates, and so on. Unless you have an experienced webmaster at your disposal, the task is very daunting. Choosing a managed dedicated server can help, but this can also be fairly expensive and set you back $100 +/month.

Shared Hosting

Benefits: One of the primary advantages of shared hosting is that any person can use it, whether you’re a new user or a webmaster. You’re not responsible for providing maintenance or security for any hardware or software and you can manage all of the features on your account directly through the browser with an easy to use control panel. The hosting company also provides you with bonus features for e-commerce (online stores), multimedia (streaming audio & video), advertisements (Google, Facebook, Bing! credit), design tools (Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, a sitebuilder), and more to get you started for a price as low as $2.99/month and not more than $11.

Disadvantages: When you have shared hosting, even if you have unlimited bandwidth and disk space, you’re still sharing all of your resources with neighboring accounts on the same server. If you use too much bandwidth or disk space, your hosting company will limit the amount available to you, which can affect the overall performance, stability, and security of your account. Because of this, shared hosting isn’t the best solution for businesses that have multiple heavy traffic websites, websites that require a lot of multimedia with numerous videos and clips, or large e-commerce sites that would benefit from a private IP address, more firewalls and encryption for financial transactions. 

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