What is Shared Hosting?
Also known as virtual hosting, it occurs when you dish out a monthly fee to a third-party service provider in order to use his equipment for your web server. The service provider handles everything ranging from backup and security to setting up the server and managing the bandwidth. The sole task of your company in this scenario will be to develop the content for your website.
In this type, you end up sharing the server where your website is placed, with many other websites. This has various pros and cons, but the biggest disadvantage is the fact that you end up sharing many resources. It is also possible that the traffic on your website would be affected by the traffic on other websites, hosted on the same server.
Sharing the IP Address: Since you are sharing the server with other websites, you will obviously have the same IP address. If these websites happen to be blacklisted for spamming or some other illegal activity, you would also suffer the consequences for the same. To avoid such a scenario, you should choose your web host responsibly.
Greater Response Time : If there are two or more websites on the same server, it goes without saying that the response time for each individual website would be longer. This will make the visitors wait longer and they might not wish to visit your website again.
Server Crashes Often: In many cases, if the server host does not monitor the activities properly, the server will get overloaded and crash. This occurs more frequently in shared hosting vis-a-vis dedicated hosting. Choosing a web host that is reliable and well-known will help you avoid such a situation.
Cost-effective: The most important benefit is the cost factor. Since you are sharing the server with other websites, it is pretty economical. Also the maintenance and monitoring of the server is not your responsibility, so you do not have to divert resources towards it.
Hardware and Security: As with any web based activity, good security is essential. This is handled by the service provider and you need not worry about it. The web host also provides the required hardware, so you do not have to invest any resources there.
What is Dedicated Hosting?
As opposed to shared server hosting, dedicated hosting carries greater efficiency, provides more security, and entails lesser problems. Dedicated web hosting service is mostly used by big corporations and businesses that see a large amount of traffic. It simply means that your web server sits on its own box which is partly managed by the service provider. It is completely opposite to shared hosting, and means that the server is entirely dedicated to your needs and web traffic alone.
Faster Response: Since the server is solely dedicated to your website alone, the response time will be much lesser as there are smaller lines that the visitors have to wait in. This helps to maintain the level of traffic on your website.
No Bandwidth Restrictions: On shared server hosting, each website has a limit of bandwidth and it cannot be crossed. This is not applicable as far as dedicated server hosting is concerned. The entire bandwidth available on the server lies at your disposal.
Greater Control: In this case, you are the boss. Nobody’s activities can harm the functioning of your website. You are free to install any application and you can also carry out script testing as regularly as you want. You’re given much more freedom, as running your website smoothly is entirely your own responsibility in this case.
Higher Cost: Since you are monitoring and regulating the server yourself, the costs incurred by you will be greater. You will have to invest more on hardware and security, and regularly carry out maintenance checks. As a result of all this, the price will go up and due to this very fact, dedicated server hosting is chosen only by big web-based companies, social networking sites, or large corporations.
Greater Security: As compared to shared hosting, you can achieve greater levels of security in dedicated hosting. Again, this stems from the fact that you are in control of the security measures and you can adopt whatever means you find appropriate and necessary. The web host will also provide you with backups in this case.
Now that the difference between shared and dedicated hosting is clear, the question is which is better. The truth of the matter is that you cannot say that one of these methods is better than the other. You can only decide which method is more suitable for your business needs. The size of your company will also help you determine if you should opt for either.