When it comes to hosting your website with a web hosting company, there are various options. Yes, you can choose between shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting. While both shared and dedicated hosting can host all your files on a single server, there are several differences in how these services are handled, their performance, etc. It is always good to go through some hosting reviews of companies like SiteGround, Bluehost, HostGator, etc., before taking a final decision.
This article will look at two types of hosting and the major differences in choosing between them.
What is Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting is something similar to renting a house in an apartment building. Even though you have separate home, there are many houses located inside the apartment building. Water connection, electricity, and other services are common for the whole building. In the same way, shared hosting is about hosting your website on a server that hosts more than 2-3 websites. As the name suggests, the hosting server is shared by many clients. One of the main reasons people opt for shared hosting is that they are less expensive than dedicated hosting. But it has its own advantages and disadvantages.
What is Dedicated Hosting?
If you are looking for a trouble-free hosting experience, then you need to go for dedicated hosting. In simple words, dedicated hosting means you will be dedicated to a web server only for the sole purpose of hosting your website files. Hence, you could gain premium performance as the resources are not shared with other clients.
Differences Between Shared Hosting and Dedicated Hosting
If you think of shared hosting as public transportation, dedicated hosting is like traveling in a rented car all by yourself. With public transportation, you don’t have control over the number of stops, speed, music it plays, etc. But with a rented car, you have complete control of where to stop, what music is played, and travel at your own speed. Let’s take a look at how both these types of hosting stack up against each other concerning certain factors as explained below and help you find a perfect hosting solution for your business.
Customization & Flexibility
When it comes to customizing the server, it is often not possible with shared hosting. Since the server is shared with multiple clients/websites, any changes done will also impact others. While some allow for having extended storage or additional FTP users, beyond that, customization with shared hosting is a big question.
With dedicated hosting, you are in complete control of the server. Since it is not shared with anyone, you are free to install the required software, tools, and utilities and configure the environment to your liking.
One of the major drawbacks of shared hosting is frequent slowdowns and downtimes. There could be many reasons behind the slowdown, as other websites could have huge traffic and use up the server’s processing power more. Faulty coding and server crashing down due to other issues can create a slowdown on the server. Large enterprises with high traffic volumes generally prefer dedicated hosting as it is reliable and withstand extreme traffic. If you need more processing power, you can increase it as well.
When it comes to security, hosting your website with shared hosting servers will increase cyberattacks’ chances. Since the server is common for hundreds of other clients, there is every possibility of a security breach. If you are concerned about security, then you should definitely go for dedicated hosting. With dedicated hosting, you can install all the needed security and software to protect your server against cyberattacks.
Another major drawback of shared hosting is that they are not scalable. Even though some shared hosting providers offer scalable bandwidth, it is not the case with everyone. Hence, if you see increased traffic to your website and scale it up, it could be a problem with this type of hosting. You need to either move your files to another server with more resources and bandwidth or opt for dedicated hosting.
On the other hand, dedicated hosting is highly scalable as you have complete control over the server. Hence, you can install or increase any resources you need to scale your website.
When it comes to the hosting cost factor, shared hosting could be the clear winner. If you are just a startup company or hosting your personal portfolio, you can always go for this hosting. Generally, shared hosting costs will vary anywhere between $5-$25 a month. But with dedicated hosting, the costs could be very high in the range between $300-$350 a month. If you need additional resources, then you need to pay extra for dedicated hosting. But if you are a large enterprise or have a website with huge traffic, shared hosting is not an option.
Even though you need to know how to copy/move files around, everything is configured with shared hosting. All you need to do is move your files to the server, and you are done with the hosting. It is the hosting company that takes care of installing the OS, software, etc. Hence, you don’t need to have much technical knowledge when it comes to shared hosting.
With dedicated hosting, you will be allotted a separate server, and you will have complete control over the server. If there are any issues with the server, you will need to check and resolve them. Hence, technical knowledge of handling and maintaining a server is required if you opt for dedicated hosting.
Shared Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting – Final Thoughts
Choosing a web hosting service is an important decision you take for a hassle-free website experience. The right hosting service will give you good performance and speed to your website. While shared hosting is a cheaper option than dedicated hosting, it has its own advantages and disadvantages. Dedicated hosting is the best choice if you don’t care about the budget. Read hosting reviews to understand the various hosting services before you come to an informed decision. It all depends on the requirements of your website and the budget allotted for hosting etc. Please share your comments and suggestions in the feedback section below. Stay Safe!