Shared hosting is straightforward—you share your server with other companies and individuals.
A dedicated server, on the other hand, means that only your website—and other websites you manage—are hosted on the server. While shared hosting is a cheaper solution, it may not meet the needs of your business the way a dedicated server can. Let’s break this down even further.
There are several factors that impact the cost and value of dedicated hosting: server performance, optimization, customization, website reputation, security, technical skill requirements, bandwidth, and disk space.
If you’ve ever gone to a website and got annoyed by the slow page load speed or transaction error messages, oftentimes it means the website is struggling with poor server performance. Shared hosting shares the server performance across all websites attached to it. By contrast, a dedicated server will have stable response times and reliability, and it’s not impacted by the performance of other websites to work optimally.
Dedicated hosting allows for far more optimization than shared hosting does. Since your company has complete control over its own server, you have more speed and performance options.
A shared hosting service must limit the software installed by multiple users. If not, something malicious could be uploaded that could affect your server’s security. Broken scripts can cause every site on the server to go down. On the plus side, less customization means a much easier learning curve.
A dedicated server gives you more room to customize. You can install optimized software that meets your company and customer requirements without worrying about restrictions or impacting another company’s websites.
Website and IP Blacklist (Your Online Reputation with Search Engines)
You don’t know who else is on your shared server. This means that your IP address and website can be blacklisted if someone else from your server sends spam or malicious content. Search engines like Google tend to err on the side of safety, so repairing your online reputation after a blacklist can be difficult.
When it comes to security for shared vs dedicated hosting, dedicated hosting wins easily.
Through the shared host option, you’re opening yourself up to increased security breaches. If someone else on your server is hacked, your server and its performance can suffer. In addition, your site’s security could become compromised. If you allow financial transactions on your site or keep customer information, this can be especially worrisome.
On a dedicated server, you can a) increase your security, b) use the integrated security of your hosting service, which is a secondary shield to protect your company, your customers, and your online reputation from malicious intent.
A shared host option will provide a limited amount of resources and options. This also means you won’t need a lot of technical know-how to get started. It’s a great option for small businesses just starting out.
Depending on your needs, a dedicated server can be completely under your control—for those technically inclined—or fall under a dedicated technical support team of system administrators.
Bandwidth and Disk Space
The amount of disk space and bandwidth allocated on a shared hosting server is limited. If you surpass that allotted amount, you’ll be charged and/or penalized. As long as you stay within your limits, you’ll be fine. Our shared service allows for unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and email through all of our shared business hosting plans. Dedicated hosting allows you to use those resources when needed.
Choosing the right type of hosting solution can save tons of frustration down the road. Only you can compare the pros and cons for your company’s needs. Shared hosting may be your company’s most cost-effective solution and could fit your needs. On the other hand, a dedicated server may be just what your website needs to thrive.
Hopefully, we have cleared up the differences between dedicated and shared hosting for you. If you are still hesitant about committing to a solution, give us a call. We’d be happy to talk you through the options and help you select the right option for your business.