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Difference between Shared and Dedicated Servers

If you have a medium sized business, choosing between a shared and dedicated web hosting plan can be a big challenge. Things can become confusing because you will have to decide between your current and future need. In an age where every web hosting provider claims “unlimited everything”, it can become even more perplexing to make the right choice.

In this guide, we will touch upon each aspect of shared and dedicated web hosting plans so that it will become easier for you to make the right decision. We will distinguish between the two types of hosting plans according to their features.


Bandwidth & Disk Space

network connection speed
In the hosting industry the word “bandwidth”means the traffic used by services such as cloud hosting and dedicated server over the course of a month. To calculate a client’s bandwidth needs, most providers estimate the amount of data that a company moves in and out of the network per month for a specific server.

Shared Hosting:

As already mentioned in the beginning, most web hosting companies will advertise their shared plans with “unlimited” bandwidth and disk space. But the fact is that this web hosting plan will always have a limit. In other words, you can’t use the “unlimited” space in one go. You can use an unspecified amount at first, and then add more. But only web host gets to decide how much you can use each time. Ask your host about the “soft limit” and make your decision based on the volume of traffic you are receiving.

Dedicated Hosting:

If you have a website that receives massive volume of traffic, dedicated hosting is the right choice. Some web hosts can provide you actual “unlimited” bandwidth and disk space.

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Performance

Spacious planning of data center will allow efficient operations and proper cooling.

Shared Hosting:

The better the performance of your website, the better will be your visitors’ user experience. Because a shared hosting plan will always have limited resources, you could never be certain about your site’s performance. Imagine a situation where you website receives average traffic. Another user on the shared server runs a SEO campaign and experiences a massive surge in traffic. The shared server will utilize more of its resources to support that user’s traffic, thus affecting your website’s performance.

The result will be that your web pages take longer time to load, thus causing annoyance to your thousands of visitors. If it is your website that has experienced an unprecedented surge in traffic, some shared hosting providers may even penalize you or charge you more for consuming additional bandwidth.

Dedicated Hosting:

If you have a dedicated web hosting plan, you will never have to worry about another user’s traffic. The server will be entirely dedicated to your site and you could experience any amount of traffic without having to worry about downtime. So if you have a decent amount of traffic and you want to give a great experience to your visitors, dedicating hosting is the ideal choice for you.


Security

website-security-log-file

Shared Hosting:

The basic “mechanism” of shared hosting makes it less secure than a dedicated hosting plan. It is because your website will be on a server which is shared by many other websites. A single erroneous script running on the server could cause the server to crash. You could never know what kind of other websites are hosted on your shared server.

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Dedicated Hosting:

There is more security and reliability of having your website running on a dedicated server. A typical dedicated hosting allows running almost all types of scripts and software. Besides, the web host will always be monitoring your dedicated server to ensure that your site is running smoothly. It is one of the reasons why you will be paying more to them.


Control

cpanel reseller hosting

Shared Hosting:

Shared hosting is for those website owners who don’t have the knowledge to manage and control everything. But this lack of sufficient control comes with its own drawbacks. There are limitations on the kind of scripting language and types of files that can be used. But if you don’t want advanced applications and features to run on your site, shared web hosting could be an economical option.

Dedicated Hosting:

If you want to have total control over the server resources, you should choose dedicated hosting. On the other hand, if you need more resources for a large website, you will be choosing dedicated web hosting. But you should have some technical knowledge and experience to manage such an account. It allows you to run almost any type of software and supports various types of scripting languages. In other words, you could customize the environment based on your specific needs. In special cases, the webmaster may also get the root access code to their dedicated server.

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Managing a dedicated hosting plan will require advanced knowledge. If you can’t do it yourself, you will have to maintain a team that can or you can choose “managed dedicated” hosting. In this case the web host will manage your dedicated hosting plan for an additional fee.


Cost

price

Shared Hosting:

Affordability is one of the biggest reasons why so many professionals and small businesses choose shared web hosting plans. Many web hosts offer “dirt cheap” prices for shared hosting plans, but they will typically come at a cost – poor performance. Still, many web hosts will be able to offer you reliable shared hosting plans at reasonable prices.

Dedicated Hosting:

There are all sorts of advantages of using dedicated web hosting. But it comes at a very high cost. Usually, minor technical issues are resolved for free, but if the server has any major problems, you may be required to pay the web host on an hourly basis. In simple terms, dedicated web hosting is for premium users, who have a large website backed by a large organization.


The hosting type that you choose will depend solely on your needs, budget, server and website needs, and the amount control that you desire. So, to make a wise decision, do more researches, consult those highly technical savvy people. Remember that a good and smart decision will determine your online success.

Don’t forget to tell us in the comments what decision you’ve made and why! Cheers!

24 comments
  1. Shared Hosting
    Shared Hosting
    January 4, 2020 at 11:58 am

    Its very nice article that is very informative for those who wish to buy hosting and did not decided which type of hosting can buy.

  2. Layerservers
    Layerservers
    December 17, 2018 at 12:21 am

    Yes, Great stuff
    Well explained the differences. But missing out VPS means this article is due for an update.

  3. Anirudh Diwan
    Anirudh Diwan
    August 24, 2018 at 5:51 am

    Thank you so much for sharing great information with us. your article is must need who are looking to buy a shared or dedicated server.

  4. Swara jose
    Swara jose
    January 4, 2018 at 7:38 am

    Great stuff! Yes, will go for a dedicated server when it comes to security, data storage, and performace etc.

  5. Roshan Bane
    Roshan Bane
    January 4, 2018 at 7:35 am

    Nice article, Manifestly explained the difference between Shared hosting and Dedicated server hosting. Thanks for sharing this article!!

  6. Shwetha
    Shwetha
    November 23, 2017 at 7:16 am

    No doubt when it comes for security aspects Dedicated Servers are excellent. Very informative sharing.

  7. Dedicated Hosting4u
    Dedicated Hosting4u
    November 20, 2017 at 1:50 am

    I like really this article beautifully explained each and every point in detailed.
    which will really useful for the new users who’s having confusions in their mind about server hosting issues.

    Finally good job

    Thank you
    Dedicatedhosting4u.coom

  8. Deepika
    Deepika
    July 3, 2017 at 5:49 am

    I really like your writing style, great information. Thanks for this elaborate and well-explained article. Thanks for your sharing these valuable tips.

  9. Alexander Doak
    Alexander Doak
    February 10, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Yes, good information, stated directly. But leaving out VPS considerations… means this article is due for an update. Good information, just not complete.

  10. UK VPS
    UK VPS
    January 13, 2017 at 2:21 am

    Great Post. Explained the difference between dedicated and shared hosting in a detailed manner. Thanks for sharing.

  11. herry
    herry
    December 31, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    The main and most important difference in both of them that a dedicated server can give you more comfort interm of performance whereas in shared hosting you are limited to some ceiling on your performance or usage.

  12. Atta
    Atta
    August 19, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    One of the awesome blog I came across. Explain everything in detailed. I would love to see if you will include number of hosting websites as well in performance.

  13. gauti
    gauti
    August 2, 2016 at 8:29 am

    this is really an awesome blog. I liked it a lot. Kindly keep on posting such a wonderful content. I get to know about the dedicated server hosting.

  14. Jamie
    Jamie
    July 3, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    This is a great rundown of the options available. I agree that if you’re looking to host a large scale site that’s going to receive a lot of traffic and needs to have almost 100% reliability then dedicated is definitely the way to go. More pricey yet, but so worth it.

  15. craigbic
    craigbic
    July 1, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Good article explaining the difference between shared and dedicated hosting. There is a stop-gap level of hosting that you didn’t mention – VPS hosting. VPS or Virtual Private Server is like having a dedicated server without the heavy price. The benefit is that a VPS runs its own copy of an operating system (Linux or Windows), and you get root access to that operating system instance, so you have the ability to install and configure almost any software that runs on that OS such as PHP, MySQL, Nginx, Apache, WordPress, etc… Very much like you have you’re own dedicated machine but the price is much lower. I pay $5 right now for a VPS. Some VPS hosts offer push-button standard configurations (WordPress on a standard LAMP installation) for people who don’t know too much while others offer completely managed VPS packages so all you have to do is run your site. These cost more, of course but still cheaper than a dedicated server.

  16. Kendra
    Kendra
    June 30, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    This was so helpful. I just learned that I have a shared hosting plan. I definitely want to switch to a dedicated server in the future when I have the proper traffic and resources to back it up. I thought I knew everything I needed to know about websites and web hosting until I came across this site. This information is priceless. Thank you!

  17. Jim Liston
    Jim Liston
    June 28, 2016 at 7:51 am

    I really didn’t understand the difference between shared and dedicated hosting when I signed up my website and mostly went by the cost. Now I’m regretting my decision to go with the shared plan. My site is starting to experience slow load times and I’m wondering if it’s because one of the users on the server is “experiencing a massive surge in traffic” like you explained.
    I plan to explore your website to find out more about finding a new host but this time I’ll go with the dedicated server. Thanks!

  18. heena
    heena
    June 4, 2016 at 7:11 am

    I was confused with shared and dedicated server hosting but you make it clear with your post.

  19. BMI
    BMI
    June 1, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Good blog! This post rightly differentiates the major differences between shared & dedicated servers! When you need a simple website just for fun or educational purposes, shared hosting works fine & a dedicated server should be relied on while operating a large eCommerce website!

  20. KhurshidZolute
    KhurshidZolute
    May 4, 2016 at 6:08 am

    Really, Managing a dedicated hosting plan will require advanced knowledge but this article is really useful for beginners.

  21. Neha
    Neha
    October 29, 2015 at 6:26 am

    Very nice article that is very informative.

  22. Bob
    Bob
    February 8, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Terrible writing skills – half of what has been written doesn’t even make sense!

    Spammy blog post!

  23. Sergey Susanin
    Sergey Susanin
    January 23, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Hi, guys!
    Most likely my question is not related to your post, but I want to get your advice.
    I have been searching for a long time the good and reliable cloud server. I stopped at swisshosters (google it). It is a good choose? How i can check them?

    Thanks!

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