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What Is A Dedicated Server?

If you’re a new website owner you’ve likely opted for a shared hosting plan. Shared hosting is a great starting point offering affordable web hosting with plenty of benefits. However, if you’re looking for something more substantial you may have come across dedicated server hosting.

The question is “what is a dedicated server and why do you need one?”. Is it time for you to upgrade your hosting to a dedicated server? We’ve been in the hosting market for some time now (over 10 years) and have a lot of experience with the best hosting services.

We’ll explain what a dedicated server is, why you should use one, and compare dedicated servers to other types of hosting so you can decide what’s right for you.

Table of Contents

What Is Dedicated Hosting?

As the name suggested, dedicated hosting means you get a dedicated server to yourself. Unlike shared hosting, you won’t have to share your server with any other hosting customers. This of course comes with many benefits like more control, flexibility, and not having to worry about sharing resources with other websites.

However, dedicated hosting does come at a cost. By renting an entire server you’ll have access to all of the resources it can offer. Dedicated hosting is great if you’re running a large eCommerce store or enterprise business. Alternatively, some web developers prefer to use dedicated servers to show their clients what they’re working on, which is ideal if they have multiple customers.

How Does It Compare To A Shared Server?

Shared servers are notoriously cheap and affordable to rent because they are resources with hundreds and even thousands of other customers. Shared hosting is suitable for new websites, blogs, and small businesses, but if you start to exeed your server’s limits you may have to seek an alternative option.

Shared hosting comes with benefits like:

  • Affordability
  • Free features like domains and SSLs
  • Often a website builder
  • Easy setup
  • Simple management via a control panel
However, if you’re hosting your website on a shared server, you’re likely sacrificing performance and reliability. Whilst a lot of good web hosts like SiteGround offer an uptime guarantee, if another customer consistently exceeds their limits, this could have an impact on your own website.

4 Reasons To Choose A Dedicated Server

Dedicated server hosting is incredibly powerful, much akin to cloud hosting which offers great scalability and performance. However, if you’re wondering whether you need a dedicated server or not, we’ve nailed the reasons for choosing a dedicated server.

1. Increased Website Traffic

If your website is starting to grow in size and traffic, or you anticipate this happening, a dedicated server will be able to handle what you throw at it. If you’re on a shared hosting server and you get an influx of heavy traffic, your website’s performance and speed will suffer.

Poor performance and slow speeds will result in higher bounce rates and lower your conversions. If you foresee this happening, you should move your website to a dedicated server so that you don’t lose your customers.

WebFX says your website should be able to handle spikes of 30x your average daily traffic to account for events, promotions, and so on. We know that if you aren’t prepared for a situation like this your website could suffer, and may even drop in SEO ranking.

2. Optimal Speeds

Page loading times can have a huge impact on how your website runs, how it ranks, and how your website visitors view it. Slow pages can cause visitors to leave your site and in some cases never return.

Dedicated server hosting can help you optimize your website and ensure your website speeds are at their optimal levels. Dedicated servers allow you to manage and track your server resources so you can be prepared for any situation.

3. Security

Security should be an important aspect for any website, but especially so for eCommerce websites and websites that handle sensitive information. Whether you’re taking payments on your website or storing customer emails, you should make it a priority to protect this information.

Websites unfortunately often fall victim to hackers and cyber threats which could result in your website going down, experiencing poor performance, or in some cases being deleted. Dedicated server hosting puts you in charge of your security so you can be sure you have the right features you need.

This does put some pressure on you as you’ll be responsible for any outdated security or potential security issues, but it puts you in the driving seat. Some web hosts offer unmanaged and managed dedicated servers so if you think you need a dedicated server but don’t want to manage the security side of things, you can pay extra for someone to do this for you.

4. Control

Renting a dedicated server means you have complete control of your website’s hosting. Dedicated hosting gives you ultimate responsibility so you can choose to run your server how you want. You can even choose the type of operating system and software it uses.

If you want to adjust any hardware specifications, a dedicated server allows you to do this. It’s a tempting option for web developers or individuals with very specific requirements.

Best Dedicated Server Hosting

Many popular web hosts offer a dedicated server hosting option. As I mentioned earlier, some may even have the option of unmanaged and managed dedicated hosting. Some of the best recommended dedicated server hosts are ones that I have personally signed up to and tested.

Hosting Provider

Hardware Specs

Storage

Price

Bluehost

4 cores @ 2.3GHz

500GB

$79.99/mo

InMotion

4 core Intel Xeon E3-1246 v3

1TB SSD

$99.99/mo

A2 Hosting

2 cores @ 3.1GHz

2x 500GB

$99.59/mo

1. Bluehost ($79.99/mo)

Bluehost’s dedicated hosting is powerful and affordable. All of their dedicated servers include a free domain name for the 1st year, free SSL certificate, and 30-day money-back guarantee. You’ll have access to their dedicated support team 24/7/365. Their Standard plan includes 500GB mirrored storage, 4GB RAM, 5TB bandwidth, and 3 IP addresses.

2. InMotion ($99.99/mo)

InMotion offer managed and unmanaged dedicated servers. Their unmanaged dedicated servers start at $99.99/mo and managed start at $139.99/mo. With InMotion’s unmanaged dedicated hosting you’ll get full root access, the option to choose your OS, up to 15 IP addresses included, RAM starting at 16GB, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. A2 Hosting ($99.59/mo)

A2 Hosting’s unmanaged servers are pretty powerful and great value for money. With their Sprint plan you’ll get 8GB RAM, 10TB transfer, 2 cores, and your choice of Linux OS. A2 are well-known for their helpful support team who will get your server setup within 30 minutes of ordering.

Is A Dedicated Server Right For You?

Now that we’ve established what a dedicated server is and when you might need one, it’s time for you to decide whether you want to dive into the world of dedicated hosting.

If your website is struggling to keep up with the demand in traffic, it might be time to transfer your website over to a dedicated server. Although it’s an expensive option, we’ve seen that there are affordable dedicated web hosts that offer plenty of useful features. If your website is demanding a dedicated server then the likelihood is that your budget will cater for this.

Remember, it’s important to assess your web hosting situation regularly. You don’t want your website’s performance to slow down, resulting in poor loading times and higher bounce rates. If you’re still not sure whether you want to make the leap to a dedicated server, you could try some VPS hosting alternatives or scale your website as you go with cloud hosting.

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