Differences between Shared and Dedicated hosting
For many people, the details of how their sever works is not really on their mind. They just want something that is going to be reliable and will be able to host them with very few delays when they need it. However, understanding the details of how your server works can help you pick the best server possible for what you are hoping to accomplish.
The major difference between shared and dedicated hosting mainly comes down to who uses the server. On shared hosting platform you are going to be sharing your server with other customers, businesses, etc. While a dedicated hosting server is going to be a server that is personally made for you and can only be used by you.
Many small businesses and individuals use shared servers because there are very few reasons to have a dedicated server for only yourself when you are not operating on a large scale. In turn, many larger businesses that operate heavily in online and/or cloud environments are going to want dedicated servers for their own workflow purposes.
Each have their benefits and downsides of course and there will be cases where a smaller business or individual needs a dedicated server and a large business only needs a shared one. It just comes down to what is personally best for you.
Pros of Shared hosting
While everyone may operate online these days that does not mean every business or individual operates in the same way. Some are going to put more strain on a server in daily operations than others, but for those who do not then a shared server may be best for them.
The reason for this being that shared hosting typically has a smaller cost associated with it. The cost for the server is spread out among several users and this lower cost is a large part of why smaller businesses will go with shared servers.
Other benefits of shared hosting include the lack of required IT or security skills. When using a shared server all you need to do is purchase your share, connect to it, and then you are good to go as far as operating it is concerned. There is no need to set up firewalls or worry about fixing the server if there are crashes or issues, because all of that is handled by whoever is operating the server.
Shared hosting great for anyone that is just in need of a server that will help them get online and do what they need to do.
Cons of Shared Hosting
Shared hosting does come with its downsides of course. One of them is in the name, because you have to share servers with others there is the potential for traffic issues on your server. If someone you are sharing the server with is having a spike in activity that could lead to a slow down for you and everyone else across the server.
This shared status also in some plans can limit the amount of bandwidth and disk space available to you. If you are an individual or business that operates heavily online this could push you to your bandwidth limits frequently and in some cases push you over. This will usually cost extra and removes the benefit of the lower cost.
One of the benefits of a shared server is how you do not need to worry about fixing it when something breaks. At the same time that can be a major headache, because when a server goes down there are security issues all of that falls on someone else to fix. You have to wait. This lack of control over their own server might be frustrating for some users.
If any of these sounds like a con that you can not possibly deal with then you may want to consider a dedicated hosting platform.
Pros of Dedicated hosting
The benefit of dedicated hosting that everyone will enjoy is that it is your personal hosting server. You will never have to deal with someone else on the server slowing down your work for the day, because they are seeing a spike inactivity. You will be able to be completely hands on with your own server.
Any bandwidth limits are related to only you and you alone. You will not have to worry about pushing past your agreed to limits because someone else on the server happened to be busier that particular month.
This increased flexibility in your own dedicated server will allow you to choose your own platform, software, and have your own personal IP address. You can set up your own firewalls and if there are ever any drops in coverage you can personally take care of fixing them.
Servers like this are for those who want to be more hands on and do a heavy amount of work online.
Cons of Dedicated hosting
While dedicated hosting is great it still has its own drawbacks. Dedicated hosting is usually more expensive and the entirety of the bill is on you to pay. The previously mentioned plus of being able to install your own firewalls and handle your own IT maintenance can be a downside when you are not technically savvy.
The biggest downside of a dedicated host is that a lot of it falls on you to manage. Some organizations prefer this, but usually that will require hiring an IT team to stay on top of it. You can not purchase a dedicated server and leave it be. That can be very bad for a business.
Make an informed decision
At the end of the day what server you choose to go with is up to you, but it is important to make an informed decision based on what is best for you. If you are a business with a large building in your local downtown hub that employs hundreds of employees then you likely do not want to share a server with the building next door. That could impede workflow and lead to headaches.
At the same time, if you are a local flower shop and use a personal website to handle online ordering then you should not need more than a shared server for your needs as a business. It is all about perspective.
If you have questions about which server is best for you and what we can do as hosts for that server then feel free to contact us using our online contact form. We will do our best to help you.