Shared hosting may be fine for a fledgling business at its inception, but after some success has been achieved, the need for a more robust solution will become apparent. Although a larger shared hosting plan can work for a period of time, a growing company will soon need a better solution, and this will likely be in the form of a dedicated server.
Advantages & Points to Consider
- A good dedicated server can handle far more than a shared hosting plan allows. With a shared plan, you’re literally sharing a server with several other businesses. Therefore, the machine’s resources are capped and divided. With a dedicated server, you get the entire thing to yourself.
- Dedicated servers can provide faster response times. Since you can use all the server’s resources instead of having to share, it may be able to render your Web pages much faster than a shared host could. One caveat: Beware of “cheap” dedicated servers that are so stripped down they aren’t any more powerful than what you’d get with a shared plan. Cheap servers can be great for people who just want to play games, but they’re not enterprise-level solutions.
- Dedicated servers don’t have as many limitations. Although most dedicated server providers impose some restrictions, this is mainly to ensure basic security and to prevent activities such as email spamming. You’ll be able to run pretty much any kind of software you want.
- Consider server security when deciding between managed and unmanaged dedicated servers. Maintaining security involves technical activities such as installing update patches on server-side software such as Apache and PHP, setting access permissions, logging activity and more. If you don’t have the qualifications to handle these tasks and don’t want to make errors while figuring it out, go for a managed dedicated server. That way the server company can do all that for you.
- The original provider doesn’t always offer the best deal. Sometimes it’s cheaper to go through a reseller because some resellers are so big they get volume discounts. Make sure to check all the options rather than making assumptions.
- Don’t assume a single server will always do the job. A site like Amazon, for example, has enough servers to fill a data center of its own! Therefore, you should choose a solution that makes it easy for you to add capacity as needed.
- Keep scalability in mind. The dedicated server provider should be able to upgrade and downgrade your machine to meet your changing needs without any hassle. It should also be easy to add or remove machines from your package. This is good for more than long-term business growth. Many ecommerce sites, for example, experience a traffic spike during the holiday season. You don’t want to have to permanently add capacity just to cover a two-month period of high demand.
Choosing the Best Provider
These are just some of the things you should consider when deciding on a dedicated server. Don’t forget about business basics such as the host’s reputation, the length of time it’s been in business, and the location of its data centers. Once you consider all these factors, it should be easy for you to find the dedicated server hosting solution that will meet your needs now and in the future.