Shared Vs Dedicated Web Hosting: What's The Difference?

Shared Vs Dedicated Web Hosting: What's The Difference?

Published Under: Guides & Tips | Web Hosting
Last Updated: May 28, 2021
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Nowadays, having a website is essential to numerous individuals and groups. Businesses use one for many reasons, such as reaching their target audience, selling products, or educating visitors. Regardless of what their purposes are, websites function as intended when they're well developed. Aside from proper coding, a key factor to a correctly working website is its web host.

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Choosing the right hosting package is crucial when you want to get your website up and running without a problem. Some options might be too overwhelming for you to understand or appreciate. But regardless of how complex they may be, you have to remember two things: shared hosting and dedicated hosting. This article will discuss them and help you figure out which one might be best for you.

Shared Web Hosting

Shared server hosting is one of the most utilized types of hosting options. With this, a single server hosts and stores thousands of websites, hence the word 'shared' in the term. Because of this specific scheme, everyone also shares the hosting features available, allocated bandwidth, and, most importantly, storage cost. However, even though a shared server is involved, it's safe and secure. The server limits the access of sensitive information strictly to its account management users and developers. This means that the other customers assigned to the same server can't get to your website's data and vice versa.

Dedicated Web Hosting

As for dedicated hosting, none of its vital resources are shared. The server dedicates its entire capacity to your website. Furthermore, you have full access to many services and software customization options in the whole operating environment. These are the main reasons a dedicated server is a perfect fit for websites requiring more processing power and traffic capacity.

Key Differences

Here are some of the differences between shared and dedicated web hosting services.

1. Server Management

Maintaining a website hosted on a shared server requires a limited number of specialized skills to accomplish managerial tasks. Building your online presence is easier with this type of setup. A drawback to this is you can't make software configurations. Still, you're given access to file management options, email accounts, databases, error logs, and website analytics features.

The cost-effectiveness and accessibility of shared web hosting make it appealing to a wide variety of clients. Experts advise beginners and new business owners who aim to promote their companies to use a shared hosting plan for their websites. A shared hosting server is adequate for web pages with light to moderate online traffic and doesn't require complex server configurations.

On the contrary, for the most part, maintaining a website with a dedicated web host requires a high level of comprehension regarding website development, server modifications, and other technicalities. With its high degree of customizations and computing power, a dedicated server is a hefty investment that comes with many technical factors that must be addressed.

2. Server Performance

The performance of shared web hosts is relatively inferior to that of dedicated web hosts because multiple users share the same resources in a single server. Not only that, a steep spike in traffic to another website might produce a negative effect on your end. The resource limits may not accommodate a heavy influx of visitors. Additionally, the account might be suspended to safeguard other users.

Because all the existing services it provides are available to your site, a dedicated web host tends to be more reliable and efficient. As such, it can handle an increase in the amount of website traffic and engagement.

3. Cost

This is among the primary considerations in choosing a web host. As mentioned above, one of the advantages of a shared server is its low investment cost. Because the maintenance expenses for it are distributed evenly among clients, it's widely regarded as an affordable option for first-time website owners. Suppose you foresee continuous growth for your website. In that case, you also have the opportunity to pay more for an upgrade to a higher tier of hosting service that allows more traffic and provides more significant resources.

Dedicated hosting, on the other hand, requires you to pay significantly more for the access you have to vast resources and control. Server maintenance also plays a massive role in the substantial price, depending on the level of involvement from the hosting provider. However, any website that requires the resources of a dedicated server is usually profitable enough to cover the expenses of having a dedicated host.

4. Flexibility

Depending on the service provider, shared web hosting may disallow any customization to its back-end configurations. This is due to the fact that any changes you make will technically apply to all the other websites using the same server. Although some hosting services allow adjustments like increased cloud storage capacity, the level of customization is limited overall.

On the other hand, dedicated hosting plans permit free reign on customizations. As discussed earlier, dedicated hosting plans give you exclusive and unrestricted access to a web server. Because of that, you can configure any aspect of the entire web environment, such as app optimization and bandwidth allocation, according to your specifications or preferences.

5. Level Of Security

When it comes to cybersecurity, shared web hosting is generally more susceptible to an attack. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s unsafe or unreliable. It’s just that since multiple websites are sharing the same server, more doors to potential risks and security breaches may be opened.

Dedicated hosting servers may also be vulnerable to cyberattacks. Still, attackers will find it hard to initiate those since dedicated hosting providers implement stringent security protocols. You're paying a premium price for premium services and features, so those are exactly what you'll get.

But whether you go for a shared or dedicated web hosting plan, it’s advisable to choose a reputable hosting provider capable of implementing optimal security.

6. Scalability

Scalability is often unaccounted for, especially for newer business websites. However, when your business expands and traffic to your website increases, you should carefully consider this matter.

Those who opt for shared web hosting plans will have difficulty scaling. The bandwidth for this option may be insufficient to accommodate an increased amount of traffic to a website. For this situation, dedicated web hosting would be a better solution.

Websites using dedicated hosting are highly scalable because of the absence of competition vying for the server's resources. This type of plan can accommodate website growth for an extended time.

7. Need For Technical Knowledge

Some people might say that it doesn’t take a lot of knowledge to start a website. For a shared web hosting service, that may prove to be entirely accurate. In a shared hosting setup, the hosting company handles all aspects of server activity, including control and maintenance, so you don't have to focus too much on the technicalities.

It's different for a dedicated hosting plan. Most of its advantages have to do with its flexibility. So before selecting this type of arrangement, it's a must for you to have established knowledge in server management and administrative implementation.

Conclusion

These are only some of the most prominent differences between shared web hosts and dedicated web hosts. Don't forget to factor in your priorities and needs. Also, consider the server management guidelines, server performance, existing security protocols, and monthly subscription and maintenance costs. Both shared and dedicated web hosting services have their pros and cons, so you must take the time to weigh them before finalizing your decision.

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Disclaimer: Whilst we have made every effort to ensure that the information we have provided is accurate, it is not and advice. We cannot accept any responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions. Visit third party sites at your own risk. This article does not constitute legal advice