Whether you’re a large business or small business, these days you are expected to have a website. But have you thought about what web hosting plan level is right for you? With all the options out there for hosting, it can be a daunting task, but one of the most important decisions you can make is whether or not you should have a dedicated server.
A dedicated server is a machine with the sole job of hosting only your website. Compare this to shared servers, where a given machine may be hosting an unspecified amount of websites. In shared environments, each website must share the machine’s resources, such as bandwidth, processor cycles, and operating system. Depending on the web hosting provider, there may also be security concerns from other websites.
When you use a dedicated server, the entire machine and its resources are there for your website. Dedicated servers can be set up to create a highly secure environment for your website, keeping hackers and spammers away. Since you are in control of the entire machine, you can configure tighter security based around your personal needs and business rules.
With this level of control, you can also use other features that are not available to websites running on a shared server. Scheduling scripts, control panels, and maintenance are all done on your terms. Other resources such as bandwidth and connectivity are also consistently available for your website to use. This helps you maintain better connection speeds and up-time.
For the advanced user, dedicated web hosting plans will allow you to have a custom or static IP address, access to the email server, and all global firewall settings. These are necessary for companies that are running elaborate web applications and not just a corporate website.
There are other physical benefits to having a dedicated server. Every bit of RAM in the machine is available to your website alone, improving application speed. All hard drive space is also available for your website since you do not have to share it with others.
Keep in mind that shared servers have their benefits. If you have a tight budget and have a very specific scope of work, you maybe be able to work well within a shared server. However, if you are the type of web master who wants a more reliable, secure, and configurable environment, the dedicated web hosting solution is the right choice.