Kick-Starting Your Website: Should You Choose a Dedicated or Shared Server?
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Kick-Starting Your Website: Should You Choose a Dedicated or Shared Server?

17/10/2016

When you are looking to host your website, you will hear technical terms thrown around such as dedicated servers or shared servers. While both will serve the purpose of providing a place for your site to ‘live’, there are differences that you should be aware of before making your final decision about what type of server you end up using.

What is a dedicated server?

A dedicated server for a website means that your site will be the only website to exist on that server. While this might not seem like a big deal, having your own dedicated server can truly help your site. The benefits of using a dedicated server include:

  • Sole use of dedicated bandwidth and disk space- so there are no limitations on the amount you can use.
  • Heightened security
  • No risk of blacklisting- unless you yourself use unethical website practices
  • Higher levels of performance and response times
  • More control

Although a dedicated server can provide many benefits, there are a few cons to consider as well. Cons of a dedicated server include:

  • Overhead - private and dedicated server space is more costly than shared servers
  • More technical skills required - A dedicated server will need to be administered and managed by a webmaster; these are skills that not everyone has, which again, pushes the costs higher if you have to hire a professional

What is a shared server?

Shared server space is a server that hosts several websites besides your own. Sharing a server with a hosting package attracts many due to the lower costs associated with it. Before you make a decision, there are a few pros and cons of a shared server that you should be aware of.

Pros:

  • Lower overhead costs
  • No need to have high levels of tech skills to operate
  • Automatic security provided by the host service

However, there are some cons that come with shared servers that can affect your final decision. Cons include:

  • Limits on bandwidth and disk space.
  • Higher risk of being blacklisted- if one website on the shared server is blacklisted, all the sites on the server are affected.
  • More traffic on the server will sometimes make your site’s response time slower
  • Higher risk of malware or viruses due to the shared space
  • Many times, who you are sharing with is not disclosed.

Hosting your site is important for security and traffic reasons, among others. Before you make your decision for a dedicated server or a shared one, consider all the factors above to find the right server for your website and business needs.

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