Running your own website requires routine maintenance to keep it secure and in working order. Whether you have no knowledge of web hosting or you’re experienced in web hosting yourself, this article will go over the differences between dedicated and shared web hosting and why it can be beneficial to invest in a dedicated web hosting service to maintain your website.
What is Shared and Dedicated Hosting
When choosing a web hosting provider, you’re going to come across both shared and dedicated providers. Shared hosting providers will host multiple websites on a single server in order to save on resources, and this generally demands less effort and experience in site building from the owner. Dedicated hosting providers will host a website on its own individual server that utilizes its own resources. Building and managing sites on dedicated servers is much more feature rich and complex. This demands more experience in web development as a result. Site admins can be hired to manage the site for you so that you can focus on running your business.
Shared and dedicated hosting also differ in their pricing, security, and efficiency.
Difference in Pricing
The more features and benefits that a hosting provider offers, the more money you’ll be investing into the service. Dedicated hosting plans run more expensive than shared hosting plans, but it’s important to note that the benefits outweigh the costs.
Shared hosting tends to be inexpensive in exchange for less control over server resources and customization, limited management tools, and greater vulnerability to security threats. In contrast, dedicated hosting offers much greater site and web app customization. Higher tiered plans may include features such as automatic vetted security updates and extensive management support that can make running a busy website less stressful. Shared plans often don’t provide such support and instead expect you to fix issues with your site on your own. You’ll want to keep the majority of your focus on managing other aspects of your business instead of spending hours maintaining your website yourself.
Security and Stability
It may be tempting to choose inexpensive shared hosting, but there are some caveats regarding the stability and security of your site that come with this option:
- Since websites on the same server must also share resources across that server, slowdown and lack of responsiveness may occur if other websites are utilizing an abundance of those resources.
- Because your site is on one shared server, it also shares the same level of security. So if there are vulnerabilities with the server or another site, your website may potentially be exposed to attacks. The quality of security has much better control on dedicated servers and includes much more elaborate features depending on the specific plan you purchase. It’s especially worth ensuring the security of your site if it utilizes ecommerce functionality.
- Since all sites share the same IP address of the server, one site getting blacklisted for suspicious activity might also result in your site being blacklisted as well. The likelihood of this occurring varies based on the provider’s policies on site activity. Websites hosted on dedicated servers do not experience this issue.
- Sometimes servers experience downtime due to maintenance or an error. Once the server goes down, so does your website. Users won’t be able to access your site during this time costing you potential traffic and customers. It’s also possible that site changes that were made could be rolled back or lost entirely. With dedicated hosting, you’ll have a better guarantee of consistent uptime for your website.
While shared web hosting might be suitable for beginners or small businesses, dedicated web hosting is a better long term option. Feel free to contact us for help in choosing the correct server for your business.