The exclusive use of a computer…
Dedicated hosting is defined by TechTarget as “the rental and exclusive use of a computer that includes a web server, related software and connection to the Internet, housed in the web hosting company’s premises.” In layman’s terms, with this type of plan, your website will be the only one hosted on its server.
One of the most common reasons webmasters opt for dedicated hosting is the performance and control it offers. If you expect you’ll have a high volume of traffic, for example, a dedicated server may be your best option for handling it.
Remember that, as Kissmetrics reports, 47 percent of consumers expect a page to load within two seconds. Performance is definitely something to give careful consideration to, as compromising your site’s speed does more than frustrate your visitors. It may impact your search performance as well.
You may also reduce some security risks with dedicated hosting, as your site will be the only one using your server. In terms of preventative control, you’re in a position to implement stronger security measures to meet your unique specifications. This reduces the potential of an attack and makes your site less susceptible.
In general, you have an overall higher level of control with dedicated hosting. This gives you the ability to add new applications and programs that are to your liking – rather than being stuck with your host’s default options. If you need flexibility on the back end, consider dedicated hosting, as this option will let you customize settings in a way that you simply can’t with shared hosting.
Hands down, the biggest drawback of dedicated hosting is the increased cost. There’s just no way around it. Since there’s a single server devoted totally to your website, your operating costs are inevitably higher. Bluehost plans, for example, run between $80 and $120 per month, compared to as little as $2.75 per month for a shared plan.
While this isn’t necessarily a factor for larger companies with deep pockets, it can be problematic for smaller businesses or individuals who are working with a finite budget.
Think about your tech skills as well. If you have a considerable amount of technical expertise, you can put it to full use with dedicated hosting. However, if you’re lacking skill in this department, you can quickly run into trouble.
For instance, with dedicated hosting, you’ll need to know how to manage the server, as well as perform routine administrative tasks to ensure optimal functioning. In some cases, this can negate the entire purpose of dedicated hosting if you’re constantly dealing with technical issues you don’t feel qualified to handle.
Although heightened security is obviously an asset, it’s a double-edged sword in the sense that you’re responsible for maintaining the security of your dedicated server. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to install and update the necessary security programs. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can potentially compromise the safety of your website.
Cyber attackers could capitalize on these vulnerabilities, with some of the more common threats including denial of service (DoS) attacks, unauthorized access and cross-site scripting (XSS), through which an attacker could infiltrate your users’ computers.
If security isn’t your strong suit, you’ll be better off leaving it in the hands of the experts – either through shared hosting or by outsourcing it to a professional.