Which Web Hosting Type to Choose Shared or Dedicated?
Choosing a web hosting type can be a daunting task for someone who is new to web hosting. The world of web hosting is filled with innumerable plans. They all look attractive. One seems to be better than the other when features are compared. To pick and choose one web hosting type you need to understand the difference between each type.
The question is should you opt for something that is the most popular choice and also the cheaper one, although with a number of limitations, or should you go for the costlier option, one with more features? To overcome this problem you need to understand all the features offered by your web host.
While studying various web hosting types we have ruled out Free Hosting as an option. We consider it unsuitable for professional web sites. Other than this there are only two types of hosting that need our attention. You have to choose either shared hosting or dedicated hosting.
In trying to select a web hosting type it should be understood that one size doesn’t fit all. You shouldn’t select with a blind eye. It is true that both shared and dedicated hosting have a place of their own and each one of them is good in its own sense. Just because shared hosting is cheaper of the two that doesn’t mean that it will not deliver good performance. Similarly dedicated hosting with its high price tag doesn’t make it the ideal solution for all your web hosting needs.
Both these web hosting type cater to a different segment of website. While shared is a preferred choice with small to medium websites dedicated hosting on the other hand is ideal for large to mega websites.
Dedicated hosting can very well host a small websites too, but it would be a waste of finance to spend on server resources that will never be required by them. Similarly a shared hosting platform will fall short of delivering service when a big website would demand more from it.
So the most important criteria to choose a web hosting type is to identify your own requirement and then to compare those with the features offered by various web hosts. Nearly all web hosts provide both shared and dedicated types of hosting.
Features That Distinguish Each Web Hosting Type
Let us compare some salient features that distinguish each web hosting type:
1 - Disc Space & Bandwidth
Dedicated hosting is a clear winner in terms of disc space and bandwidth. This is one of the purposes of selecting a dedicated server because large websites need more space and bandwidth to handle massive traffic demands. Although space and bandwidth are quite cheap nowadays yet it does not mean that if your website does not require you still opt for a dedicated web hosting type. Even with shared hosting space or bandwidth is hardly ever a limitation for a website owner.
2 - Reliability, Security & Stability
Shared web hosting type is less reliable than dedicated hosting. In shared hosting the server resources are shared by a number of websites. Running of a wrong script or any other fault on part of any webmaster can lead to server crash or breakdown that can be quite frequent.
In contrast a dedicated server offers more reliability in terms of breakdown guarantee. Further a dedicated hosting facilitates running of almost any kind of script, application or software and hence has fewer chances of getting dysfunctional due to the fault of the webmaster. Additionally with a dedicated server your web host is constantly monitoring the smooth running of your website.
If downtime is critical to the growth of your business then you must definitely look forward to dedicated web hosting type to host your website.
In shared web hosting type, since server resources are shared, the performance of one website affects the functioning of another website on the same server. Sudden spike in traffic can eat away a major portion of the shared bandwidth and as a result other websites too can face slow down. Similar woes can be encountered with shared RAM and disc space.
Sometimes your shared hosting web host can penalize you with suspension of your website in case of sudden spike in your web traffic or bill you for consuming extra bandwidth. You might even have to go for a higher plan. In dedicated hosting there is never any fear of crossing any limit and you have ample stability to handle any growth of your website.
3 - Control, Flexibility & Limitations
The main reason why professional webmasters choose dedicated hosting is that it offers complete control and flexibility over server resources. Here one can use any kind of software or application and the server supports all kinds of scripting languages. One can create any environment that one likes to work in. It rarely ever meets any limitations.
In some cases of dedicated web hosting type, even the root access code is given to the webmaster to log on their server by themselves.
Comparatively, shared web hosting type falls short of lending sufficient control and is not very flexible due to limitations on the type of files and scripting language etc. One is further bound by usage of server resources like space, bandwidth, RAM etc. This lack is more than compensated by a low cost of shared hosting plans. If one doesn’t require additional features and advances applications to run on their websites then shared hosting can be quite a boon.
To be able to take control in your own hands you must be technically sound to run and maintain a dedicated server. It requires up to date knowledge and trained staff to do so. In managed hosting your web host provides you with complete maintenance of your server, but of course with an additional cost for you to bear. This aspect makes dedicated hosting costlier of the two types of web hosting.
4 - Price Factor
The price factor is an important consideration while choosing a web hosting type. Shared hosting is designed with a view to bring down average cost per unit by sharing server resources. This comes by sacrificing certain features which otherwise would add to the cost of the plan. Here only the essentials are provided for and it suits many webmasters who don’t require any additional specific feature to run on their website.
Dedicated hosting, on the other hand is all about high performance and feature rich environment. It has complex infrastructure and requires technical support for its upkeep. Every aspect of dedicated hosting renders a cost to the web host. These features and capabilities come at an increased price tag and more maintenance responsibilities for web hosts which all translate to high cost of their hosting packages.
Shared hosting type offers facility both for monthly or annual payments. Dedicated hosting is for premium clientele and here at times hosting companies do not require their clients to pay in advance.
On the face of it one is forced to imagine that dedicated hosting type is far superior to shared hosting. But the fact is that both types are good and have their own ideal place in the world of web hosting.
It is for you to determine your own requirements and find out which one of the two is ideal in your case. Don’t pick the costliest one on the pretext that the more you pay the better you will get. No doubt about it. The costlier one will definitely be a better package. But do you really require all the features that come with the costlier plan?
Besides coming with a higher price tag, dedicated hosting requires additional technical skills and know how to operate their servers. In the absence of this knowledge you will have to rely on either your web host to provide with technical assistance or hire staff that is capable of installing and running your website on day to day basis. This will render additional financial burden on you.
But if you are running a large to mega website that has massive traffic associated with it, then you have no choice but to for dedicated hosting. Smaller websites will be wasting their resources here which can do quite well with limited features of shared web hosting type.
In brief it can be said that dedicated hosting offers you endless choices and has practically nil limitations. But all that come at a price. If you have requirement for all those value added features and can really make use of them then you must opt for dedicated hosting. However, if you website can work without the aid of these features and you think that you will never ever need those services in future, then you should avoid paying for something you don’t have a need for. Go for shared web hosting.
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