Jan 132012

What is a dedicated server and is it right for me?

When looking for a web host, you have to consider the size of your site in terms of storage requirements, the processing power required and the bandwidth required to handle your traffic. Most people start with a basic shared web hosting service, then graduate to VPS hosting and then to dedicated servers. If you have a large website, that generates a lot of traffic, it would be better to consider a dedicated server.

Dedicated hosting or dedicated web server means that you are assigned a web server that hosts only your site(s) and is not shared with anybody else.

There are advantages and disadvantages associated with dedicated servers.

Advantages of a dedicated server

  • The main advantage is that your website is the sole user of the server. Other websites cannot affect your sites performance.
  • Unless your dedicated server is underpowered, your users will experience better response times that translate to greater customer satisfaction with your web services.
  • With dedicated hosting, you can have your hardware and software tailored to meet your needs. You can always change them as and when needed.
  • You get at least one static IP address that is unique to your site. That is a requirement for many secure sites that hosts a shopping cart. You can have several static IPs if your applications so require.
  • A static IP is also better for your SEO efforts. You don’t share your IP and accordingly the activity of others does not affect your site and your IP.

Disadvantages of a dedicated server

  • The main disadvantage is cost. The improved performance and the ability to customize to your needs come at a price and it better deliver in increased revenue or reduced costs elsewhere.
  • Another disadvantage of dedicated servers is the management of the server. You must have in-house technical support or outsourced support to take care of your server. If you are willing to pay more, you can always opt for a managed dedicated web server where the hosting service also provides you technical support.
  • If you don’t mind paying a little more, you can have a fully customizable dedicated server with better speed, security, storage and bandwidth for a better user experience and greater productivity of your own employees.