Dedicated vs. Shared Web Hosts—Truly Different or a Case of Tomayto, Tomahto?

As of October 2017, there were well over 1.2 billion websites and increasing by the second, according to Internet Live Stats, an online company that records such statistics in real time. With the proliferation of websites, it’s only a matter of time before you decide to set up shop, if you haven’t already. Businesses of all sizes understand how important it is to have a web presence for consumers and customers to visit in order to gather information about the company and to ask questions. Companies that provide technical services to the public, realize the high value in having sections on their sites devoted to frequently asked questions from users, which saves them the cost of having customer service personnel answer these fundamental questions via a phone call.

Whether a website is for a single person, a small business or a large enterprise, the common denominator is that it must have a web hosting provider.

If you’re unclear about the role a web hosting provider plays, then consider this analogy. If you create a word processing file on your computer, for instance, a basic Word file, then since that file is sitting on your computer, your computer is “hosting” it, right? Now if you move that file off your computer and put it elsewhere, say, on Dropbox, then they are basically hosting it. The host is, therefore, responsible for where your file resides. On a grander scale, since a website is just a big grouping of files, the web hosting provider is simply acting as the “landlord” for it, giving it a home and making sure it has everything necessary to run well. Therefore you would want to have a hosting provider that is good, such as Verpex.

While there are multiple flavors of web hosting providers, the two main ones are dedicated and shared web hosts. You might wonder whether these are truly different beasts or whether the naming is just some kind of marketing ploy that’s designed to make you think they are so different, but in reality, are essentially about the same.

Dedicated Web Hosting Provider

A dedicated web hosting provider, such as Liquid Web, enables you to have your website housed on its own server. For all intents and purposes, you can call it your private server since other websites aren’t sharing it and its resources with you under a shared web hosting arrangement. Since it’s just your website enjoying all this undivided attention, your website tends to perform much better than on a shared server. Visitors will generally experience faster page load times and fewer, if any, issues. These are points that shouldn’t be taken lightly. A poor user experience can lead to user defection, which no one wants. If you’re a small-business operator—maybe you’re a home business owner who’s selling large volumes of merchandise—forced to resolve technical problems on your site, that can result in a sales loss of thousands of dollars, even if the site is down for a relatively short period of time.

A web hosting provider with a dedicated hosting option is worth their weight in gold if they can prevent this problem and keep your site functioning without hiccups. You’ll pay more for a dedicated option, as you probably have guessed, but then again what kind of value would you put on lost customers?

Shared Web Hosting Provider

In contrast to the fees that you’d pay for a dedicated web hosting provider, the hosting fees for a shared web host are far less. For example, a dedicated plan could cost upwards of $100 or more per month, while a shared plan could cost under $10 per month. That said, there are many reasons that the majority of individuals and small businesses use a shared plan. There’s the price factor; however, more important, most realize that a shared plan simply gives them everything they need. In other words, they have no need to pay more when they’re not dissatisfied.

Granted, a shared model means divvying up the server’s resources, such as memory and CPU time—much like having roommates and having to share the expense of electricity and so forth—but generally that’s not an issue. Most don’t experience any kind of problem that would be deemed significant enough to make them want to upgrade. It’s not entirely heavenly, either, because there are those times when one site may be hogging resources and it negatively impacts all others.

Both Advantageous

Dedicated and shared web hosting providers are indeed two distinct beasts. They each offer advantages that the other doesn’t and should therefore be looked at from the standpoint of what your individual needs are. We do recommend to check the performance of dedicated and shared servers at Hosting Foundry. It doesn’t make sense to pay more for a service that offers you more features than you need anymore than it does to simply pay less for a service that shortchanges you in the areas that mean the most to you.

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