Picture it: For months, your website is barely chugging along, happily gathering a few loyal visitors every day. Then, out of nowhere, a popular vlogger mentions your website on YouTube and you suddenly have hundreds – then thousands of daily visitors. If you sustain that kind of interest over time, it might be time to upgrade your web hosting to a dedicated server hosting account.
If you already have a website, you probably already know what web hosting is, but, just in case, we’ll walk you through it.
What’ s web hosting?
Okay, let’s say you type up a Word document on your computer. That Word document can’t exist unless it’s stored somewhere, like on your hard drive or flash drive. The same goes for websites. Every website on the internet is stored on a server. The thing is, though, that web servers are expensive. They’re big, sprawling machines that require a cool location and lots of electricity to keep running.
Most people who have a website don’t bother buying their own servers. Instead, they use servers provided by a web hosting company. A web hosting company is a company that rents server space to webmasters in exchange for a fee. By choosing web hosting instead of buying servers and hiring staff to maintain those servers, webmasters save a fortune annually, while making money from their websites.
Types of web hosting
There are lots of types of web hosting, but for this crash course, you really only need to know about these three:
- Shared hosting
- VPS hosting
- Dedicated server hosting
What makes it different?
To help you really understand dedicated server hosting, we’ll compare it to shared hosting and VPS hosting.
Remember how we told you that all websites on the internet are stored on a server? Well, with shared hosting, multiple websites share a single server, which means multiple websites share the server’s resources. This type of hosting is fine for websites that don’t need lots of server resources – for instance, smaller websites that get fewer than a hundred daily visitors – but for bigger websites that need more server space, this kind of hosting is terribly inefficient.
This brings us to VPS hosting. VPS hosting means Virtual Private Server hosting, and with this kind of web hosting, multiple websites still share the resources of a single server, but the server is split into separate private servers using virtualization technology. This means that users have more control over their own private server, but there’s a limit to how much of the server’s resources any one website can have access to. This is better for big websites than shared hosting, but for websites that need even more room, the only solution is dedicated server hosting.
With dedicated server hosting, one server is dedicated to hosting one website. This means that all the server’s resources are dedicated to ensuring that this website loads quickly, remains secure, and has all the storage space it could possibly need.
Why bigger sites prefer dedicated hosting?
1. Dedicated server hosting offers more security than any other kind of hosting
For smaller, more personal websites, the level of security you get on a shared server is completely fine. These kinds of websites aren’t typically targeted by hackers. But if you have a bigger website or a website that handles sensitive information (like credit card information, company secrets, or medical records), you’ll want the extra protection you get when you choose dedicated hosting.
2. Dedicated server hosting means more stable servers
With a shared server, resources may vary from day to day, depending on how much traffic the other websites are seeing. If one website has higher traffic than usual, it will pull server resources away from your website. With dedicated hosting, your website is the only website that uses your server’s resources. This makes for more stable servers.
3. Dedicated server hosting means you can customize your server any way you see fit
You can’t customize a shared server, because what you do to the Operating System will affect all the other users. With a dedicated server, you can tweak the Operating System to your heart’s content. If your website needs extra security layers within the Operating System, you can add them. If you love fiddling with your server and experimenting with different Operating Systems to see how they affect site performance, you can. This makes dedicated hosting perfect for more tech-savvy webmasters and for websites that handle sensitive information.
4. Dedicated server hosting gives your website more room to grow
With dedicated hosting, your website has more server space. So, when all your hard work is finally noticed on a popular social media site, you can benefit from that extra traffic. Your website won’t be overwhelmed by your newfound fans.
Are there any downsides?
Dedicated hosting is great. You get lots of server space, total control over your server’s resources, and a server that won’t be brought to its knees by traffic spikes. So, why don’t we recommend dedicated hosting for all our clients?
The truth is that not everybody has the budget for dedicated hosting. It’s one of our premium hosting packages, and new webmasters usually don’t have that kind of money lying around. The thing is, though, that if you need dedicated hosting for your site’s security or because your website has outgrown other kinds of web hosting, dedicated hosting is definitely worth the money. And it’s still way less than you’d pay if you tried to operate your own server.
Should you choose dedicated server hosting?
When you get dedicated hosting, you can rest easy knowing you have a more secure server. And when your website experiences a boost in traffic, you get to actually benefit.
But you know your website best. Have you been getting a lot more traffic than usual? Is your website starting to slow down? Does your website handle sensitive information? Do you have the budget for dedicated server hosting?
If your answer is “Yes” to any of these questions, get dedicated server hosting. The one thing we can promise is that you won’t regret it!