web-hostingWhen it comes time to get your website up and running on the Internet, you’re going to have to first pick a type of hosting plan.  For many people, this comes down to a simple decision between going with a dedicated web hosting plan versus a shared web hosting plan.  Unfortunately, the decision isn’t always as simple as it looks.  Based on your individual or company needs—as well as your budget—you will not only have to account for the present, but also your future growth as well (at least in the short term as you can always switch plans if your web hosting company has scalability options).

What is Shared Web Hosting Vs Dedicated Web Hosting?

Shared hosting is simply when many websites are hosted on a single server.  This means that your website will be together on one server with other websites that have signed shared hosting contracts with the same service provider.  This works out a little bit cheaper for you since instead of having a server dedicated just to your website, you are sharing the resources with other sites, thus increasing the amount of clientele the company can take on (based on limited server space).  You will share the resources on that server with the other sites, meaning you’ll share bandwidth, database, email accounts, FTP accounts and other space on the server.

As you can probably guess from above, a dedicated web hosting server is simply when your server is not shared with others.  Your site is the only one on that server and as such, you’ll have full run of the server’s resources.

Pros and Cons of Shared Hosting

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of shared hosting so that you can get a better idea of which type of web hosting plan is best for your company.

Pros of shared hosting:

  • Extremely affordable because the resources of the server are shared, meaning the web hosting company can cut discounts to users
  • Ideal for small businesses, blogs and personal websites
  • All technical issues with server are taken care of by the web hosting company, meaning you can just focus on running your business and optimizing your website
  • No need for prior knowledge about Windows or Linux
  • No need for an administer since user interfaces such as cPanel makes it simple to manage your own website
  • Even though server is shared, email goes to your domain name
  • Can have more than one database
  • MySQL and PHP support from most web hosting providers

Cons of shared hosting:

  • Limited security features due to shared server
  • Higher incident of hacking, though a good web hosting provider will be able to prevent this
  • Cannot run any other software programs or utilities other than the ones either supported or provided by the web hosting company
  • Websites can be slow if you have a lot of data since there are other websites on the server
  • Servers can get overloaded and freeze up the website
  • Customer service is more of a “walk-through” with shared hosting plans meaning you’ll be doing most of the trouble-shooting yourself

Pros and Cons of Dedicated Hosting Servers

Now let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of dedicated hosting plans so that you can better make a decision on which web hosting plan is best for your needs.

Pros of dedicated hosting servers:

  • Faster speed, connectivity and upload time
  • Ability to manage large amounts of traffic without interrupting service
  • More storage and data options
  • Total control of your own server
  • More security and difficult to hack, making this ideal for companies with lots of customer information or large corporate accounts
  • Ability to run software and utilities of your own choosing
  • Control panel has more features giving you a greater amount of control
  • Customer service is more “hands-on” with dedicated servers since you are paying more

Cons of dedicated hosting servers:

  • Higher price than shared servers
  • Need to administer the server so prior knowledge (or outsourcing the job) is needed
  • Diagnostics and problem resolution is more difficult

Which is better—Shared Hosting or Dedicated Hosting?

When it’s all said and done, both types of web hosting plans have their advantages and disadvantages.  The bottom line comes down to which is a better fit for your company, your skill set and your overall budget?

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