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What is a Dedicated Server - A Complete Guide

A server is needed to host a blog, website, app, etc. You can choose either a dedicated server or a shared server. Both have advantages and disadvantages. This article will help you choose the best-suited server for your needs.

 

What is a Dedicated server? 

 

A dedicated server is your exclusive server. You do not share this server with any other client of your service provider. A cloud or a Managed Service Provider (MSP) hosts and manages it for you. 

 

A dedicated server belongs to you entirely. Hence, the best benefit of dedicated hosting is that your business will not suffer because of another website’s growing traffic. You can also host more than one website on the server. 

 

Not sharing resources with others is costly but comes with great benefits. A dedicated server is not suitable for every beginner, but it becomes essential as the traffic grows.   

  

Pros and cons of a Dedicated server 

 

You must carefully examine all the pros and cons of dedicated hosting before opting for one. 

 

Pros:

  1. Full access and control: You have complete control over the server. Hence, you can customize it however you like it. In addition, you can install any additional software, applications, or programs to meet your requirements.  

  2. Speed matters: Your website, app, or whatever you’re hosting on the dedicated server will load faster. Your search engine ranking will increase, and your customers will be happier. A dedicated server is more reliable because you don’t have to share resources with others.  

  3. Secured: A dedicated server is more secure because you are the only one using it. That means you don’t have to worry about others infecting it with viruses that could also affect you. Moreover, you can take additional security measures to secure your website further. 

 

Cons:

  1. Expensive option: There is no denying that dedicated hosting is a costly option. You have to bear all the expenses of hosting the server because you’re the only one using it. Though it is not suitable for small businesses and new bloggers, you can always change it later.   

  2. Requires technical know-how: You need some technical knowledge to manage a dedicated server. Although you can hire management services, that would be an additional expense.   

 

What is a Shared server? 

 

A shared server is a server that hosts multiple websites. These website owners are unknown to each other. They share the server resources, and there are limitations on the use of resources. But the limitation is defined by the hosting package you choose. 

 

Shared hosting is a cheaper option and works well for small businesses and new website owners. When you sign up for the shared hosting service, the service provider will create a separate space for your website on the server. All your website’s data will be stored in that space only. 

 

Similarly, other websites also have a partitioned space where their data is stored. A shared server is suited for someone who doesn’t get much traffic and has little to no technical knowledge of managing the server.  

 

Pros and cons of a Shared server 

 

The under-mentioned pros and cons will let you know whether a shared server is best suited for you or not. 

 

Pros:

  1. Economical option: Shared hosting is the cheapest option available. The cost of maintaining a shared server is less because you share your resources with others. Hence, it is suitable for small businesses.   

  2. Beginner-friendly: Shared hosting is best suited for newbies. You don’t need to have any technical knowledge to host your website on a shared server. That will be taken care of by the service provider. 

 

Cons:

  1. Security risks: Shared hosting is a less secure option because you share the server with other websites. There is always the risk of them bringing any virus which might affect your website. Meanwhile, a dedicated server has no such issue. It is a considerable risk because you have no idea who you’re sharing the server with.  

  2. Performance issues: A shared server hosts multiple websites. Some of these websites may have much more traffic than your website. This can create poor performance issues for your website. Plus, the server can get overburdened, and your website will perform much worse as traffic increases.  

 

Who needs a dedicated server? 

 

As mentioned above, a dedicated server isn’t for everyone. So then who will benefit from a dedicated server? Let’s find out. 

 

  1. Midsize to large-scale organizations that deal in hundreds of e-commerce transactions every hour or have enormous supply chain infrastructure.  

  2. Web hosting resellers need it because it is easier for them to manage all their clients in one place. A dedicated server is best for them as they don’t have to manage multiple accounts on various providers. 

  3. System administrators, developers, and information technology businesses like custom software, SAAS, and e-commerce sites require dedicated servers. It is so they can customize their server according to their needs and run resource-intensive services. 

 

Why should you opt for a dedicated server?

 

We have already discussed both dedicated and shared hosting pros and cons. We also mentioned that different businesses have different needs. This means not every business can go for dedicated hosting. But for those who want to host their websites on a dedicated server, we present you a few more reasons why you should opt for it.  

 

Suitable for growing websites: Shared hosting is great when your website is not getting much traffic. But as soon as your website starts attracting increased traffic, you need to switch to a dedicated server. A shared server is not capable of handling websites with increasing traffic because they host multiple websites. Sharing resources can result in poor performance and loss of revenue. 

 

Security is a big concern: One of the biggest cons of shared hosting is less security. You don’t know your neighbors on a shared server. They can pose big security concerns for your website. When it comes to security, a dedicated server is worth every penny. You can customize additional features to safeguard your website from any threat. This is especially important for websites storing sensitive information. 

 

Page loading time is an SEO factor: Google ranks websites with less loading time higher. Plus, customers don’t like to wait for more than two to three seconds for a website to load. They simply move to another website. Hosting your website on a shared server can lead to a loss of revenue as your website may take more time to load. A dedicated server solves this problem because it is not burdened by multiple websites. 

 

Take full control of your server: If you want to take full control of your server, dedicated hosting is the option you should go for. The biggest advantage of a dedicated server is that you can choose to use the server however you want. In addition, unlike shared hosting, a dedicated server gives you the customization option. You can even choose your preferred server software, hardware specifications, and operating system.   

 

How to manage a dedicated server? 

 

Before choosing a dedicated server, you must also know how to manage it properly. Having some basic knowledge will enable you to make an informed choice. You will also realize whether or not you can manage it yourself.

 

  1. Use Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) to manage your files on the server. It also uploads, creates, and deletes files and manages file permission settings through a secure connection.

  2. Account Management Panel (AMP) helps your business manage domain names, account/billing information, and additional services smoothly. 

  3. Web Host Manager (WHM) is best for those who manage multiple websites on the server. They can create different user accounts with custom resource allocation for a better customer experience. 

  4. Softaculous will help you install popular website applications, including WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla, with just one click. 

  5. The backup manager will let you automatically back up website files and databases in a separate backup drive. 

  6. Install server-side apps using Secure Shell (SSH) Access. It will also help you perform other tasks that could not be performed via FTP. 

  7. cPanel helps you manage the server by allowing you to create new FTP and email accounts, configure domains and subdomains, and manage files and databases on the server. 

 

Additional benefits of a dedicated server 

 

Read about the additional features of dedicated hosting before finalizing your decision. 

 

  1. A dedicated hosting service comes equipped with a dedicated IP address. This keeps your website safe from spam customers present on the shared server space.

  2. A dedicated server is managed by a team of experts. They install and upgrade every necessary service on time. And you can spend your time on other important tasks. 

  3. A dedicated server comes with free migration tools. As a result, you can easily transfer your website from one hosting platform to another. 

  4. SSL certificates help you transfer your customer’s private data safely.  

 

Takeaway

 

I hope that this guide has solved all your doubts regarding dedicated hosting. Now, concluding the article, I would say that shared hosting is best when you’re a beginner. As a beginner, you don’t have much technical knowledge of managing the server, and your website probably does not attract much traffic. 

 

But as your website starts getting higher traffic than before, you should switch to dedicated hosting. Although a dedicated server is costlier than shared hosting services, it is more secure and offers more benefits. Plus, it is suited to handle a busy website. 

 

Moreover, your budget and requirements must also be considered before choosing your server. If there are no-cost concerns, then you should go for dedicated hosting. Rent dedicated server