Shared Hosting VS Dedicated Server

Are you at a crossroads now, deciding which type of hosting best suits your needs, a Shared Hosting or a Dedicated Server may be the answer. This is definitely an important decision as it will affect how your business will run on the webspace in the future. So, before you start submitting a ticket to the support department or calling the sales department of any hosting provider to ask regarding your confusion, take a look at the guidelines and tips which I’m about to introduce to you.

First of all, ask yourself, which type of web busineses are you planning to get involved in? Next, I’ll show you the advantages, disadvantages and features offered to you by both shared hosting and dedicated server hosting. Before I proceed further, let’s refresh your mind with the definition of both types of hosting. Shared hosting, as most of you should be well-versed, is hosting where a lot of websites share the same resources in one server. Resources here simply mean the total webspace, the memory, the processor speed, as well as the bandwidth.

Dedicated server on the other hand, give you the freedom of being alone. Alone means you are the sole owner of the server. You can do whatever you want and no other sites share the resources with you. It sure comes with a price as dedicated server is way more expensive than shared hosting. However, if you believe that the advantages which I shall be listing in a short while are the advantages you long to have, then it’s wise to conclude that these advantages can outweigh the expensive price (but still affordable) of dedicated server.

Facing the challenges in the world of sharing!

Here’s a simple analogy; renting a room on your own or finding a roommate to share the room with you. Simply, that’s the problem or risks you might be facing when you opt for shared hosting. Shared hosting is just like you rent a room with a few other roommates. Won’t it be congested to share in a small room? However, there is a reason why people choose to find roommates. Price is the main concern. Same goes to hosting industry.

Shared hosting is cheaper and more affordable compared to dedicated hosting. Nowadays, you can find shared hosting with the price of USD4 to USD15 per month. Therefore, if you think that price is an issue and you are still green in hosting world and your online business has yet to achieve heavy traffic, the best solution is to go for shared hosting first. Consequently, you have to bear the drawbacks of shared hosting but if you choose a reliable and experienced hosting provider (probably in a hosting industry for around 3-4 years), the provider will ensure the most minimal drawbacks for its clients. In shared hosting environment, you will encounter certain disadvantages as follows:

Sharing Same IP

Having the same IP address in shared hosting is the main concern when other sites in the server is actually being blacklisted for unethical activities such as spamming or generating illegal script. Since, you share the same server, it’s obvious you will share the same IP address. So, when other sites are blacklisted, those sharing the same IP with them will also unfortunately share the same fate – being banned alltogether by search engine. You will be the victim of crime which you don’t commit. However, there are times where you can buy yourself a dedicated IP but this usually is not needed unless you are getting yourself an SSL certificate. In cases such as this one, it depends on your hosting provider on how they deal with clients who do illegal and unapproved activities. Usually, a reliable and responsible host will suspend those sites which perform spamming in order to rescue other sites who are innocent. In short, to get yourself a shared hosting, get to know how your provider deal with those sites which are hosted in the same server as you.

Slow Server Response Time

Using the same analogy as above, if you and your roommates want to use the bathroom, you have to queue up, correct? Hence, it will slow down your daily work. Same goes to shared hosting. If one of your neighbours have heavy daily traffic, it will consume most of the bandwidth and when things get tighten up, you will feel the slow response time such as difficulty accessing your website. This is because server will respond to the requested file in order of the queue. If one of the visitor happens to request it later and is on a long queue, that visitor will experience slow response time and might eventually end up leaving your website.

Server Crashes Regularly

The factor to server crashes more often than usual, is the fact that certain scripts are generated and it can overload a server’s resources. If webhosting provider does not monitor the server’s activity, those poorly-written CGI script can give you more headache than relief. Hence, it’s vital for host provider to monitor the server regularly to prevent server from crashes and to protect your site from being affected. You as a client, please do take the initiative to question your providers on how they take precautions for cases like this one. A well-knowledgable and reliable host provider will be able to answer your question to your satisfaction.

Despite aforementioned bad points, a lot of websites also use this shared hosting solution and if a proper provider is chosen, you can be assured that such incidents will barely happen.

Dedicated Hosting – A world of your own

What makes people opt for dedicated hosting instead of shared hosting? Again, the most important criterion is money. If you can afford a costly solution like this, go ahead. However, don’t just simply go ahead without weighing the pros and cons of dedicated hosting. Even if you have money, and you are just a small medium enterprise, think twice for investing in dedicated hosting. Reason is because dedicated hosting is mainly for large and busy sites such as portal, search engine, online content provider, heavy traffic forums and etc. In addition, dedicated hosting usually requires more technical-savvy specialist to monitor it. Listed below are some of the advantages why dedicated hosting is a popular option:

You are the boss!

Here, it means you have more control of everything. You can install whatever applications and scripts you want. You can do script testing and if anything were to happen, no one else to blame but yourself. You will have the ability to customise the hardware and softwares installed on your server, which you cannot find this priviledge if you are under shared hosting.

No more limitation in bandwidth usage

Compare to shared hosting, you might get yourself a “warning letter” from your hosting provider if you exceed the maximum bandwidth allocated to you. With dedicated hosting, you have the amount of bandwidth of a server. Hence, downloading and uploading any materials from your site will not be a problem if you have a lot of daily visitors performing such activity.

More Secured

Having a dedicated server is in fact more secured compared to shared hosting. This is because dedicated server will be provided its own firewall. Therefore, the information stored in dedicated server is less vulnerable to attacks by hackers or any malicious codes. In addition, hosting provider will usually provide backup for you with added fee, but, in terms of security, it’s actually worth it.

Better Performance

Since dedicated hosting means only you alone are hosted in that server, the response time of the server to requested files will be so much faster compared to shared hosting. Visitors who browse your website will feel happy because your pages will appear on their browser fast enough to satisfy them. Fast loading time will always brighten anyone’s day!

Generally, choosing which type of hosting solely depends on your needs. So, to make a wise decision, do more researches and evaluations as well as consult those highly technical savvy people. A Shared Hosting or a Dedicated Server may be the solution. Remember that a good and smart decision will determine your online storefronts’ success.

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