Shared vs. Dedicated Web Hosting Services: Which One is Right for You?

In the modern age of the internet, it is important for businesses to have an impactful online presence. Having a website is one way to go about it. However it requires web hosting services as well.But what does web hosting mean? To lay it out simply, hosting a website means making it  accessible on the internet for the users. The story doesn’t end here, there are different types of web services including shared and dedicated services. Now the question here is how would you know which type is best for your business? We are here to answer that with this blog, so that you can choose the best hosting services for your website. But first let’s understand a bit more about Web hosting.

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What is Web Hosting:

Web hosting refers to the online service that makes a website accessible to the users on the internet. In less technical terms, think of it like this,  to access anything it has to exist and be stored somewhere right? That’s where web hosting comes in. It refers to a place (a server), where the content, data and the files of a website are stored. These servers are offered by web hosting service providers in exchange of monthly or yearly fee. The service providers are then responsible to keep the servers secure and running all the time. Because an unresponsive or badly maintained server may affect the traffic on the website. 

What is shared web hosting?

As the name suggests, shared web hosting services refers to the practice of using the same server to host multiple websites. Since the websites are using the same server, hence they share the resources of the server as well including storage space , processing power, and bandwidth. However, due to sharing, the websites have a heavy influence on their performance from the performance of other websites. Imagine you are living in an apartment building and you share all the resources such as water, electricity and others. Consider the apartment as a server and the residents as websites. Now when a resident overuses resources like water, other residents may suffer from the lack of water for the day affecting the flow of their chores. Similarly when a website due to its better performance over uses a resource , other websites may suffer from low performance.  Let us  explore further on the pros and cons of shared web hosting services.

Pros of shared web hosting:

Shared web hosting can be quite useful and manageable for the small businesses or the businesses that do not require many resources. Some of the benefits of shared web hosting are as follows:

  • Cost effective:

Shared web hosting is quite budget friendly, making it the first choice for small businesses. The multiple users of the server divide the cost of hosting making it easily affordable.  

  • Ease of Use:

Shared hosting providers simplify website management, with user friendly control pane. As a result users with less technical expertise are also able to manage their websites easily.  

  • Low maintenance:

Servicer providers manage the website mainly including the maintenance of the server, security and updates as well. Hence the website owners do not have to worry about such tasks.

  • Quick setup:

Being pre configured, shared web hosting makes it easier for businesses to quickly setup and run their website. 

Cons of shared web hosting:

Shared web hosting services may be cost effective and quick to set up , however they have their own set of challenges that cannot be ignored:l

  • Limited resources:

Since multiple websites are working on the same server,  the server may not be able to support all the websites with equal amounts of resources. Hence the websites may not be as efficiently active as they should be. 

  • Security risks:

Security risks are high when the websites share the server. They are vulnerable to data breaches or viruses, making it quite risky to share a server. 

  • Less control:

At one point, the websites are mainly managed by a shared web hosting service provider which may leave very little control of the website to its owner. 

  • Scalability issues:

If your business has a potential to grow rapidly, shared web hosting may hinder the scalability of your website. 

  • Variable Performance:

Since multiple websites are sharing the same server, the performance of the website may vary based on the performance of other websites. 

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What is dedicated web hosting?

Dedicated web hosting services may refer to having servers that are only dedicated to your website. If shared web hosting is an apartment, dedicated hosting is a house with a lawn owned by a single family with enough resources to support the family.  However Just like shared web hosting, it also has its own sets of benefits and challenges.

Pros of dedicated web hosting:

Dedicated web hosting services are the best choice for large enterprises and organizations, since they support scalability and reliable, active performance of the website. 

  • Best Performance:

Dedicated servers have unmatched performance, specifically for the websites that utilize many resources of the server. 

  • Total control:

The complete control of the website is in the hands of the website owner.THey manage all the installations, configurations and security patches. 

  • Enhanced security:

Since the server is dedicated to a single website, the vulnerability to the viruses and security risks is reduced. 

  • Reliable uptime:

Dedicated web hosting supports the invariable uptime of the website, adding consistency to the website’s performance.

  • Scalability:

For a business that has a potential to grow or is growing rapidly, dedicated web hosting services will be best for such businesses.  They support the scalability of the business without compromising on the performance of the website. 

Cons of dedicated web hosting

While dedicated web hosting services are good for large enterprises or organizations, they have their own drawbacks for small businesses.

  • Higher cost

Since the servers are dedicated to just a single website, the cost is to be paid by the single owner making it quite costly for the small businesses.

  • Resource overkill:

If your business is not as resource intensive, the resources provided by dedicated servers may not be as useful.

  • Complex management

Server management and website management in dedicated hosting is not as easy specifically for beginners. 

  • Setup time

It is more complex to set up than shared web hosting and may take longer to set up as well. 

  • Responsibility:

The responsibility to manage the website lies upon the owner of the website including updates and security management.

Which web hosting service is right for you?

If you have a small business that does not require a large number of resources , shared web hosting services are better for your business as they are cost effective, and quick and easy to set up. With time as you feel your business is growing you can move to dedicated hosting. However if you have a large enterprise or organization, you may go for dedicated hosting services as you may need to scale your business website frequently. 

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The Bottom Line

Shared web hosting services and dedicated web hosting services have their own sets of challenges and benefits. Depending on your business requirements you can decide which services will suit your needs best.  For more information you can always contact us at 403 IT solutions.