An Introduction to Shared Hosting and Dedicated Hosting

六月 26, 2012 by  Filed under: Web Hosting 
 

Web hosting is a huge online business, this is simply because every website needs to be hosted somewhere on the internet. When it comes to choosing what type of hosting you need for your website the different types of hosting on offer can be fairly confusing. The two most popular types of hosting are shared hosting and dedicated hosting and both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Whether dedicated or shared hosting is best for you depends on the needs of you and your website. This article provides an introduction to shared and dedicated hosting and the main advantages of each.

Shared web hosting is where many websites share the same server – as a result you have to share resources and an IP address with what is generally a large number of other users. Shared hosting is a good choice for small websites, such as personal blogs, as they only need minimal resources and bandwidth. The main advantage of shared hosting is the cost – as the server is shared with a number of different websites the cost of running them can be split between all the users leading to a lower price. Shared hosting can also be fairly straightforward to use with one-click management options.

However, though the main advantage of shared hosting is a result of the larger number of users, this can also bring problems. Clients on a shared server may share the cost but they also have to share the power and speed of the server. If you share a server with a site that starts to attract a higher visitor count, your site’s performance and speed are likely to be negatively affected. Equally, you can be penalised with a temporary deactivation if your website begins to use up too many resources.

Shared hosting can be like living in a large apartment block in that you cannot choose your neighbours. If one of your ‘neighbours’ does not follow good security practices then you can also be at risk. In a similar vein if you are sharing a server with a site that produces spam, your site can be misrecognised as spam by search engines due to sharing the same IP address. Some of the problems associated with this can be averted by getting a dedicated IP address for your website.

Dedicated hosting, in simple terms, is the opposite of shared hosting. With shared hosting there are numerous users on one server, with dedicated hosting you are the sole user of a ‘dedicated’ server. This is, however, a more expensive option as you cannot split the cost with any other users. The price for dedicated hosting can also increase dramatically with any added extras that web hosting companies offer. Dedicated hosting is, in general, more appropriate for larger websites and for businesses.

The major advantages of dedicated hosting are the improved performance and shorter loading times that having a server just for your website brings. You are not tied to any other websites and therefore your website’s performance is unaffected by the popularity of other sites. The security of your site is also completely down to you and can also be further improved by choosing a managed dedicated hosting provider that offers virus protection and constant monitoring.

Dedicated hosting also gives you greater control; you can choose what to do with your server and can configure it however you wish. With a dedicated hosting scheme users can choose what software and applications they want to use to a greater extent. More options for website customisation are also available on a dedicated hosting service while shared hosting providers mostly tend to limit the amount that you can do.

There are advantages to using both dedicated and shared hosting schemes and your choice will come down to what your needs for your website are. Smaller websites such as blogs and personal sites will do well with a shared hosting scheme while bigger sites with more traffic or more advanced requirements will need the features offered on a dedicated hosting scheme.

© Izzy Evans 2012

If you are interested in finding out more about the different types of web hosting available then you can visit Dedicated Hosting

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