When you get to the point of choosing a website host, one decision you need to make is whether you want to opt for shared or dedicated website hosting.
Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so you’ll have to assess the needs of your own site and decide which kind of hosting would best answer them. And above all, of course, you have to know what each type of server actually is.
What Is Shared Website Hosting
Shared website hosting refers to a situation where your host has one server, and hosts more than one website on it. So you could see a site that posts information about cats sitting on the same server as one that sells sports equipment, right next door to the site of a local librarian running for city council. This doesn’t mean that someone coming to your web address would accidentally end up viewing one of the other sites instead.
But there are still ways in which this shared situation might affect your website.
The most important way is in actual site performance. Shared hosting is very much a “zero-sum” situation. That is, there is generally a fixed amount of resources and bandwidth available, so if one hosted website uses a huge proportion of those resources, there will be less to go around for everyone else using the same server. Surprisingly, though, there is less worry about security than you might think.
It’s not that someone has never hacked into another site that they share a server with, but it rarely happens, and your host can usually institute precautions against it. make sure you check out our post on Unlimited Space & Web Hosting Usage.
The only other drawback to shared website hosting might be that the overall structure on the server can be very generalized, so that it may have features you don’t need, or not have some you’d really prefer. It would be sort of “one size fits all” setup.
What Is Dedicated Website Hosting
Dedicated website hosting, as you might suspect, involves a server that is dedicated solely to your site. In essence, its space you rent from the hosting company. They own it and keep it running, but you’re the one who actually administers it. The advantage when it comes to resources is obvious: you’re not going to have anyone else on the server potentially hogging them. They’re all yours. You can also host many different domains on the server if you like, which you can’t always do on a shared server.
Nor will you be limited in the features available to you, as you were when you had to share. Of course, you do need to be capable of maintaining any server software and applications you install yourself, so that could be a drawback if you aren’t entirely savvy in that regard. But another plus is just that much more security, in that you don’t have neighbours on the same server who could potentially hack into your site.
If you have followed the steps that we outlined in our post on choosing website hosting, why size matters then you should have no trouble deciding on a suitable web hosting package for your business.
So it’s basically a choice between a website hosting server shared with others, which may have some limitations but which would be managed by the web host, or a dedicated server that would give your site a lot more freedom, but which you’d be controlling yourself.
If you’re operating a reasonably small business and don’t need the extra hassle, the shared server will probably do fine, but if your business is larger and you think you’ve got enough technical skill in your company to manage things yourself, then you’d likely do better on a dedicated server. It’s all a matter of making an accurate assessment of your needs as you look for your website home.
Here at MarketingTilt we have the resources to provide you with the website hosting solution you need for your online business. We use and recommend Hostgator for all your hosting needs. We also offer to host as part of our web design package if you use MarketingTilt to create your online business website.