Shared Hosting Vs. Dedicated Hosting For Your Small Business Website - Here’s How to Decide between the Two

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If you’re reading this, it means that you’ve already gone through some info about web hosting. Cutting down your options to just two of them gets you closer to your final choice. At the end of the day, you’re choosing between spending as little as possible (with the shared web hosting) and making the splurge for the sake of stability and security (it’s the case for the dedicated web hosting). This statement is brutally put, as each of the two types of web hosting brings a lot more to the table.


What’s the main difference between the shared and the dedicated hosting?

When you go with the dedicated server hosting plan, your website is going to be the only site hosted on that server. In the case of shared hosting though, the amount of disk space and the bandwidth are limited as several users are sharing the server.

It may not be a problem when your business has low traffic or when you don’t need many resources anyway (web hosting isn’t just for online store), but it can get pretty serious when your performance is altered. For instance, if you’re playing ARK, you’re going to want to have a dedicated server so that you don’t experience lagging anymore. It takes one sec to see your best options here.

Deciding between the dedicated and the shared hosting comes down to knowing your needs precisely. Even if both of the types have ups and downs, you should always choose according to your needs.


Let’s get into the details!

For some, the price is going to be the selling point for the shared web hosting (it’s the cheapest type of web hosting, after all). But you should be aware of all the aspects and differences that both kinds of web hosting bring into the equation:


  • Bandwidth &disk space


If you go with the shared hosting, you should be aware that the amount of disk space and bandwidth are going to be limited due to the reality that other sites are on that server. You may use more, but you’re going to pay more for the extra-amount of bandwidth. After all, it’s a utility that you’re using. Even if you pay for the resources, the hosts make sure that they charge you extra when you’re using some specific elements (videos and music, for instance), no matter if you’ve already used the bandwidth or not!

It’s not the case with the dedicated server, where all the disk space and the bandwidth you need is at your disposal. You don’t need to share the resources, and you don’t have any limitations for the disk space or bandwidth. It all depends on the needs you have.


  • Sites on the same server


As the name says it, when you go with the shared hosting, other organizations are going to host their web sites on the same server. If you want and need to be unique, you should go with the dedicated server as it means you’re going to be the only one on that server.


  • Security


It’s common for the hosting companies to install firewalls in the case of shared hosting, but also to run server security applications or programs. Security professionals are supposed to ensure a safe and stable environment for all the organizations on a server. Anyone owning a dedicated server is going to have to deal with the security issues on his own. You need to use the best software for identifying and solving the threats for your web site. The hosting company is only going to take care of the server’s power and physical security.

Fundamentally, you have an IT team for your dedicated server; the team is going to check the safety programs installed on your server. Truth be told since you’re the only one using the server, the risk for viruses, spyware, or malware is a lot lower with the dedicated server. There’s simply no poor neighbors to alter the safety of your server.


  • The technical abilities


One great thing about shared hosting is that you no longer have to hire a professional team for technical problems. The shared hosting provider is going to address anything related to administration, maintenance, and security. Operating the server is going to be a lot easier like so. The downside is that your organization isn’t going to have a word in many aspects related to web hosting.

On the other hand, one selecting the dedicated server will have to know a lot about IT. Webmaster abilities for setting up, installing, and managing the server are crucial. If you don’t have the money or the time to take care of it, but you don’t want to give up on the power and the space provided by the dedicated server, you can always choose a specialized hosting plan that is entirely managed by the hosting provider. Make sure your wallet isn’t thin, though. A fully managed, the dedicated hosting plan is going to cost more than a collocated dedicated server.

Just that you know, the managed services are still going to be less expensive than having your own IT department for your website.


  • Server performance and response time


Some unexpected spikes of web traffic on the shared hosting may reduce the limited bandwidth resources of the server. Slow loading time and slow response time are only some of the immediate effects that your site may experience. Even though it’s not your fault, your users are going to feel frustrated soon enough. After all, you depend on the users from someone else’s sites.

A neighbor going popular all of a sudden may impact your site, causing some traffic jam. The risk for this kind of scenario for the dedicated server is rather low. You’re not sharing your resources with anyone on the dedicated server, which is why responsivity and good bandwidth is something to rely on at all time.


  • Control


Shared hosting is the equivalent of less control. It’s the hosting company that is going to make all the choices for you. It’s quite the opposite for the dedicated server, where you can enjoy effective control and flexibility.

If you’re sitting on the fence, you should go with the fully managed hosting service as they provide both speed and flexibility similar to the dedicated server. However, you don’t need the technical skills as they also offer the expert management team.


  • IP blacklisting


Another aspect to consider is that shared servers come with the risk of Google (and the other search engines too) to blacklist your website if any of your neighbors on the server developed an illegal activity. A lousy neighbor may get the complete IP address blacklisted. Simply put, your website becomes invisible. You’re not going to have to deal with this sort of situation with the dedicated server as you don’t have any neighbors. Unless you’re the one engaging in illegal internet practices, you shouldn’t stress about becoming blacklisted.


  • Costs


As you’re sharing the resources with several users, it makes sense that you’re going to pay less for a shared web hosting plan. The shared hosting is the most affordable type and makes the perfect choice for a small business that is only interested in tapping the water of online business.

As the dedicated server addresses to just one user, it’s perfectly understandable why you’re going to pay more for the services. Don’t forget that in exchange for the price, you get to enjoy the flexibility, the customization options that allow you to have and run a web site exactly how you plan.


So how to decide between the two?

You need to start by taking a good look at the budget, the skills, the options you have, and the level of control you want over your website.

At the end of the day, it’s not a matter of one being better than the other, but about one matching your needs better than the different type of web hosting.


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