Shared vs. Dedicated Server: Which Type of Web Hosting is Better?
When it comes to web hosting, there are several different hosting options. Two of the most popular choices are shared and dedicated. There are major price differences between the two, but that isn’t the only thing that sets shared and dedicated hosting apart. If you don’t know which would be better for you, here’s a breakdown of how they contrast so you can decide for yourself.
Bandwidth and Disk Space
Bandwidth basically means the amount of traffic on your site. Everything someone does on your website uses bandwidth. If you max out on your bandwidth, then users won’t be able to access your site until you’re given more. Along with bandwidth, you’re given disk space to store files or send/receive emails.
Shared hosting provides you with a limited amount of bandwidth and space. The amount is based on the plan you choose and is easily identifiable before you purchase the plan. Some shared plans offer “unlimited” bandwidth, but this may not be true — you’ll still have a “soft limit” bandwidth. Dedicated hosting allows for massive traffic, and some web hosting sites even allow you to truly have unlimited bandwidth and disk space.
The better the performance, the better the website is for your visitors. Shared hosting plans have limited resources, so you can never be confident about your site’s performance. For example, if another website that’s being hosted runs a major campaign or receives massive traffic at once, it can affect users that visit your site; they can experience long load times and deter visitors.
Dedicated hosting websites never have performance issues due to other users traffic. The server is dedicated to providing optimum performance to your site alone.
When you subscribe to a shared hosting service, you’ll be placed on a server with several other websites. Due to this, your site is less safe because you’re sharing a server. If a server crashes due to overload or other various reasons, your site will also crash. It’s impossible to know which other sites are on the same server, so you’re at the mercy of the host.
Dedicated services have much more reliability because only your information is on that server. Additionally, the web host keeps an eye on your server to make sure it’s running smoothly — but, of course, this can cause a price increase.
Shared hosting is one of the most popular methods of running a website because it requires little management and control. While it’s perfect for someone with limited experience, it may not be the best option for those with experience with web hosting. Naturally, the lack of control also means if you want a specific software or another server aspect, you may be limited by what’s allowed by your web host.
Dedicated servers allow complete control over every resource, which is ideal for large websites. However, you do need technical knowledge on web hosting to use a dedicated server. If you aren’t sure what software you should use or the various script languages supported, you may consider shared hosting.
As mentioned before, there’s a significant price difference between shared and dedicated hosting. Shared is relatively cheap, and it’s on average less than $10 per month. In fact, some websites, like A Small Orange, charge only $5 to use a domain and create your own website using its servers.
Because dedicated servers are managed to ensure the best service possible, you’ll have to pay much more — Dreamhost is a well known dedicated hosting service. The price of this service depends on how much storage, cores, and ram you want for your site. Packages start at $149 per month or $1,788 yearly.