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Dedicated Hosting – A Brief Introduction and Overview

As a website naturally progresses and becomes more popular, it’s not uncommon for a web developer to want to move onto dedicated hosting platforms.  This can come from a variety of reasons such as lack of bandwidth from shared hosting, to the lack of customizability that comes naturally with shared hosting.  Generally speaking, most people make the move to dedicated hosting when the site has out grown shared hosting in one way or another. But what is dedicated hosting and what do you get with it?

Customize the Server

One of the best things about dedicated hosting is it’s customizability. Your website is no longer made to fit in a cookie cutter mold that most shared hosting plans offer. Dedicated hosting allows you to, first and foremost, choose the operating system for the server.  Generally speaking Windows and Linux are the most common operating systems used but really any server based OS can be used by most dedicated hosting providers.

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Another option is the software running on the server.   A webmaster can simply install anything that they want on the system to run whatever widget or section of their site they desire.  This makes adding new features to a site as technology changes a breeze. It does put some of the burden to keep up in your hands though, as most dedicated plans are a do it yourself type environment.

Also with dedicated hosting, the user gets to choose the control panel they prefer. Some people prefer a panel like CPanel or Plesk and with a dedicated hosting plan you get to choose this. Of course you can also self-manage in the operating system without a control panel if you prefer.

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Better Backups

A lot of shared hosting plans come with back up utilities that just are rather basic, leaving many webmasters frustrated. With a dedicated hosting plan you can install a more robust back up system, making this process much better in the long run.

Cons

The one major con of dedicated hosting is the price.  Typically a plan can range from $80 to $300 dollars a month depending on the server hardware and operating system.  Because of this, most webmasters find it’s too much money for their budget and they stick with shared hosting.  Dedicated hosting is more expensive because you are the only one who has access to the resources of the server. Unlike shared hosting, when multiple users have access to the same server, with dedicated hosting you are the only user on your machine. This is the main reason it’s so expensive. But it can also be the biggest selling point.

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When it’s time to make the move to dedicated hosting just be sure you have moderate experience in managing a server.  While you will get some help from your provider, it will be mostly up to you to manage and maintain your new server.

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