As your business grows, you will inevitably come to a point where you’ll be re-evaluating the technologies that drives your business. It is now more important than ever that your website is reliable and performs when needed, especially if your business relies on its website.
Performance, reliability and cost soon becomes prime considerations when looking for suitable solutions to host your website – one that is capable of handling increased demands from higher levels of web activity.
There are several options for hosting out there. Most likely, you may have come across dedicated servers at some point, if not, this is something worth considering.
There are several advantages of using dedicated servers as opposed to shared hosting, below we list the key areas that stand out to help you decide if dedicated servers are for you, and how it differs compared to shared hosting.
Performance & Bandwidth
In shared hosting, you are sharing a server that is used to host several other applications or websites by other customers. This means you will also be sharing resources.
Shared hosting has limitations on performance and the amount of traffic you can receive at a given time. This is done to give a fair experience for other customers who will be sharing the same server.
However, in some rare cases, you may still be susceptible to any performance dips and outages as the result of other customers activity. If someone else’s site experiences a surge, it could impact the availability and performance of your site and visa versa.
If you don’t expect to have much traffic on your website, a shared option would be more than sufficient.
For a growing business, stability and performance is important – you’ll soon find that you’ll be outgrowing a shared hosting solution quickly.
Using a dedicated server would mean that the entire server and it’s resources is at your disposal. Your website would not have to share the space with anyone else’s nor would your bandwidth be reduced to take account of other people’s traffic.
Security & reliability
You never know what sort of websites and potential scripts that they could be running on the shared server that would cause vulnerabilities to the security of your website, it’s data and the stability.
Using a dedicated server, you would be in control of your security and reliability. A good dedicated server provider would have staff at the data centre to monitor the equipment and ensure that everything is running smoothly on your behalf.
As you are sharing a server and its resources, there are limitations to the control you have in order to preserve the quality of service. On a shared hosting plan, you may be restricted to a certain level of access that would not enable you to install or run certain programs or scripts that you may need for your web service.
This is a measure put in place to limit the potential instabilities this level of access and control to the servers could bring.
On a dedicated server, you would have total control to set up the environment the way you wish, install any programs and run any script within reason. Keep in mind, data centres would typically not allow you to run anything that is not above board or constitutes to spam. This is to protect the reputation and standard of quality to the service.
Having control would also allow you to diagnose and identify potential problems before they arise.
It is important to highlight that you would need to have a certain level of advanced technical knowledge in order to make use of a dedicated server, or at least have someone that does.
Shared hosting is typically significantly cheaper than those of dedicated servers. As highlighted above, the cost is due to the fact that you are renting a shared space on a server.
The difference in cost is worth the investment if you need something that offers reliability, control and performance. You may even find that in terms of performance for your money, using dedicated servers may work out more economically for you.
When you’re looking to take your website to the next level, dedicated servers offer performance, reliability, security and control that you wouldn’t find in shared hosting. The fact that you are not sharing resources with other people is a major plus point.
Dedicated servers are also customisable to a degree, so depending on how much power and the usage type, you could customise the specification of the server to accommodate the load you’ll be putting the servers under.
However, dedicated servers are not for everyone. It does require a good level of technical knowledge to use, and you may have to hire someone that knows how to use dedicated servers.
You may also want to consider using a dedicated server hosting provider within your own country. You would want one that offers a good level of support and service based on your own timezone. There are also performance benefits to having a server in the same country as you.
Dedicated servers may seem expensive from the onset, but they could be more affordable than you think.