When it comes to web hosting services, there are so many options to choose from that you may not know where to start. For the sake of simplicity, this guide will focus on two web hosting setups on opposite ends of the spectrum: shared hosting vs dedicated hosting. By the end of this article, you should have a better understanding of what each of these web hosting options has to offer and be able to make the best decision about where and how to host your website.
Choosing the right hosting plan is very important for the smooth running of your website. When you browse through website hosting plans, things can seem a little overwhelming. There are different plans with lots of features and lots of pricing options. How do you know what is best for you and your website? Today, let’s take a look at the differences between shared hosting and dedicated hosting.
What is shared hosting?
Shared hosting is the simplest type of hosting solution. One physical server is shared by multiple website owners. This means that all server resources like CPU, disk space, RAM, and bandwidth are shared among multiple websites. This drastically reduces costs for consumers and makes it a lucrative option for consumers on a budget.
What is Dedicated Hosting?
Unlike shared hosting plans, dedicated hosting assigns the entire server to a single client. This means that all server resources are assigned to the website. When a website starts to grow in terms of traffic, it may outweigh the benefits of shared hosting. Website resource requirements change with expansion and this is when one is looking for dedicated hosting. While having all the resources available may sound like a good idea, it can be expensive and, for many, unaffordable or necessary.
Shared hosting versus dedicated hosting
Shared hosting and dedicated hosting store your website data on one server. When web users access your website through their browser, this server sends your data to them. Here is the overview of shared hosting vs dedicated hosting.
Sites hosted on servers: This is the main difference between the two. With shared hosting, multiple websites are hosted on a single server. It just depends on the hosting provider how many clients and customers are hosted on the server. However, a good hosting provider guarantees a fair usage policy for each website so that it doesn’t exceed the allotted bandwidth. On the other hand, as the name suggests, Dedicated Hosting assumes that the server is dedicated to the client for which all resources are assigned.
Resource Allocation: With shared hosting, you must share resources with other websites. Modern hosting providers combine multiple server resources to accommodate multiple clients. Storage space and bandwidth are limited and customers may be billed for the excess. On the other hand, with dedicated hosting, all resources like CPU, RAM, storage space, and bandwidth are completely dedicated to your business.
Server Reliability and security: Server reliability is usually measured by a parameter called Runtime Score, which is the percentage of time the server is available to a website instead of being down. Server reliability is considered the most important factor as it has the potential to build or break any business. Shared resources on a shared hosting plan may not be available in the event of a sudden spike in traffic. However, this may not be a problem for most hosting providers who manage and optimize resource consumption. Dedicated servers are the most reliable in the business as resources are not shared among other websites. It’s better equipped to jump in traffic.
Security: While shared hosting offers basic security features such as SSL certificates and firewalls, the fact that IP addresses are shared with other website owners can harm your website if other websites do not invest in adequate website security.
With a dedicated server, the risk of a security breach is much lower because you’re not sharing storage space with other, less secure websites. Additionally, you can install multiple layers of security for your current SSL certificate and firewall.
Technical Knowledge Requirements: Shared hosting is best suited for people with no prior technical knowledge of server management, or for those who don’t want to spend time getting technical details of website management from the backend and prefer to rely on various aspects of the business. On the other hand, you need a technician to handle your dedicated server. However, many hosting providers offer dedicated server-managed plans where the provider can perform all the basic tasks on the backend.
Cost: Shared hosting is the cheapest option out there. Since resources are shared across multiple websites, the cost per website is also significantly reduced. Dedicated hosting, on the other hand, is expensive because you buy the entire server for yourself. Additional costs may arise in the server administration process.
Consider the following questions to help you decide between shared hosting and dedicated hosting:
How much control do you want over your server and its functions?
Do you expect your website traffic and payouts to remain stable or increase significantly in the near future?
Do you need basic security features or a strong layer of security?
What is your monthly budget for a hosting package?
When comparing shared and dedicated hosting, consider the following features to ensure you get the right hosting for your website:
- server administration
- Website implementation
- Website security
- Hosting fee
- Deciding on a hosting plan can take some time before.
However, finding the right one for your website and ultimately your business needs is critical to online success.
Which Hosting Option Is Right For Your Business?
Choosing the right web hosting plan can save you a lot of time and money. If you don’t need a lot of bandwidth, memory, processing power, or control, then shared hosting can save you money. However, if your website requires a lot of server resources and your team can manage the dedicated hosting setup effectively, go for dedicated web hosting. If your website is in the middle, choose VPS hosting.