Dedicated servers offer high-performance solutions for websites that have outgrown their current web hosting
What is dedicated hosting?
Dedicated hosting gives you the use of your own personal server, allowing for maximum security, performance, customisation and control of your website. Sound too good to be true? Dedicated hosting is not for everyone. Servers come at a high cost with standard dedicated hosting plans starting at around $100 per month.
Who should consider using dedicated hosting?
If your website receives a lot of traffic and requires more storage and resources than shared, VPS or cloud hosting can offer, you might need a dedicated server.
You should consider dedicated hosting if you have any of the following:
- High-traffic website
- Large business
- Website with video streaming
- E-commerce site
- Website storing sensitive and personal information
- Interactive gaming site
- Business with a large customer base
How dedicated hosting works
Where shared and VPS hosting give you resources within a shared server, dedicated hosting gives you the whole server to yourself. This can be a great solution for anyone who wants complete control over their server.
With dedicated hosting, you will essentially rent a physical server from a web host. You will be the only user with access to this server, so you won’t have to share any resources. Dedicated hosting gives you the ability to choose your operating system, content management system, applications and plug-ins. You can have the highest level of security, flexibility, reliability and customisation with dedicated hosting, but you’ll have to pay for it.
Dedicated hosting is the most expensive type of web hosting. You will also need technical experience to maintain your own server and may need to hire a person, or team, to do so. If your business or website does not have the budget for dedicated hosting, or doesn’t need the resources of an entire server, you might want to consider VPS or cloud hosting.
How much does dedicated hosting cost?
Dedicated hosting plans start at around $100 per month but can go upwards of thousands of dollars per month, depending on your usage. Most web hosting companies offer some form of dedicated hosting. It is crucial to know the needs of your business or website before you buy a dedicated hosting plan to avoid paying for resources or features that you don’t need.
Benefits of dedicated hosting
- Security. One of the most appealing aspects of dedicated hosting is that you will have access to the highest levels of privacy and security available. No other users or websites will have access to your server, so you can install additional security features to protect against hackers, viruses and malware.
- Performance. With a dedicated server, you can get maximum reliability, stability and uptime. Dedicated hosting can help you have a faster website with as little downtime as possible.
- Customisation. Having a dedicated server means you can customise almost anything about your website. You can choose the best operating system, content management systems, applications and security features to suit your needs.
- Resources. The resources of your dedicated server are available only to you, so you will not be affected by any other websites like you would with shared hosting. This means no other users will be able to eat up your bandwidth, CPU and RAM and your website won’t lag if another site experiences a spike in traffic.
- Flexibility. Within the limits of your physical server, you can scale your website up or down to accommodate growth.
- Customer support. Paying more for dedicated hosting often gives you access to more support from your hosting provider. Look for a web host with 24/7 support so you can get help the moment something goes wrong.
Disadvantages of dedicated hosting
- Cost. Dedicated hosting is the most expensive form of web hosting. If your website does not need the resources of a dedicated server, you should consider another type of web hosting, such as VPS hosting or cloud hosting.
- Maintenance. Dedicated servers can be complicated to set up and maintain. If you aren’t tech savvy, you may have to hire a specialist to run your server or pay for a hosting plan that includes server administration.
- Scalability. Every physical server has a limited amount of resources. If you outgrow the limitations of your server, you will have to pay to upgrade your hardware.
- Server damage. Physical servers can be susceptible to crashes and damage. You will not have direct access to the physical server as it will be stored by your web host. Make sure to ask any potential host what precautions they have in place to protect your server from destruction, including natural disasters.
- Backups. You will need to perform regular backups of all data stored on your server to protect against any crashes. Some web hosts provide this service as part of their dedicated hosting plans.
How to choose the best dedicated server for you
One of the most important factors in making sure your website succeeds is choosing the right web host. When you are comparing different dedicated web hosting providers, consider the following features:
- Operating system. Which operating system, Linux or Windows, would be better for your server? Often this will be determined by the technology you want to use on your website.
- Resources. How much RAM, processing power and storage will your website require?
- Price. While you probably want to keep costs low, it might be worth stretching your budget to make sure your dedicated server has everything your website needs.
- Applications. If you plan to run any specific applications on your website, make sure you choose a server that supports them. Keep in mind, Microsoft applications require a Windows operating system.
- Security. Does your host provide any security features or protections for your dedicated server? Be sure to ask your host about data backups, data privacy, fire protection, hardware maintenance and technical support.
How can I migrate to a dedicated server?
If you have outgrown your existing hosting service and would like to migrate to a dedicated server, you should find out if your existing hosting provider offers dedicated hosting plans. Your host may offer migration services to take care of everything from backing up your data to configuring your new server. If not, you will need to back up all data manually to ensure nothing is lost in the transfer process. Make sure to identify all of the resources you will need from your new dedicated server before choosing a hosting plan to avoid paying for unnecessary features.