Differences between Shared & Dedicated Website Hosting

Published by Sam Wilson on

Are you looking to host your website and not sure if you need a shared or dedicated web hosting? This article will highlight the key differences between a shared and dedicated web hosting. In a shared web hosting plan you are sharing bandwidth, storage space and server resources with other websites hosted on the same server whereas a dedicated server would just host your websites and all server resources are available to your websites only. Of course, dedicated hosting gives you more control and lets you handle more traffic and data but at the same time it can cost alot more than a shared web hosting.

Multiple websites hosted on the same server

In shared web hosting there are multiple websites hosted on the same server which at times can be a potential risk for your website. If there are alot of websites with explicit content or hacking related sites then it might be a potential risk for your data. Most of the hosts offer automatic backups to secure your data. You can check other websites that are hosted on your shared server using the Reverse IP Lookup. Whereas dedicated hosting just hosts your websites and all server resources are dedicated to your website. However, you have to protect your server from viruses and any threats on the web.

Limitation of server resources

As the server resources are shared in a shared web hosting account you are limited to the number of concurrent connections that your web hosting account supports. This means that you can have a limited number of people browsing your website at the same time and when you reach the threshold your site goes down. It also depends on how your website is coded. Webmasters use static HTML landing pages to decrease page load times and accommodate more visitors. Most of the web hosts offer unlimited disk space and bandwidth with shared web hosting accounts so you can upload unlimited amount of data if there is no fair usage policy. However, there is no limitation in a dedicated hosting account as all server resources are available for your website.

Level of server control

Control is something you have to compromise in shared web hosting as all the applications are pre installed by the host and you do not have access to the server root which means you can not install an application of your choice if you are an advanced level webmaster. However, the features are enough for webmasters to manage all aspects of their web hosting needs. A dedicated server on the other hand gives you more control and access to the server root so you can pretty much install anything including operating systems.

Technical knowledge required

There is not much technical knowledge or skills required to manage shared web hosting as web hosting companies have made the user control panels very user friendly with help and tips so even a beginner can get started in no time. But you would need some prior server management skills to manage a dedicated server.

Cost comparison

The cost of shared web hosting is also shared which makes it affordable for webmasters. Typically a shared web hosting plan starts from $2/month and a dedicated web hosting plan would start from $50/month. Cost of one month for a dedicated server is equivalent to the cost of full year shared web hosting.

If you are looking for something in between shared and dedicated you can have a look at VPS Hosting which give you more control and server resources than shared web hosting and they cost less than dedicated servers. Typically a good VPS hosting starts from $30/month.

Whether you are looking to host an e-commerce website or a personal blog you should carefully consider the best web hosting solution for your website. A good quality shared web hosting plan is a perfect choice for many online businesses.

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