Web hosting is an essential service that’s required when launching a website. While you can develop a website offline, it won’t attract any visitors until it’s uploaded to a web hosting server.
Not all forms of web hosting are made equal, though. Dedicated is considered one of the best forms of web hosting because it offers complete control over a server and its virtual resources. How does dedicated web hosting work exactly, and is it worth the cost for your website?
Overview of Dedicated Web Hosting
Dedicated web hosting is characterized by the exclusive access of a server and its virtual resources. Like most other hosting services — shared and virtual private server (VPS) — it will provide you with a server. The server will host your website’s files so that it’s accessible on the internet.
Dedicated hosting is different from other forms of web hosting because it doesn’t require sharing the server with other customers. With shared web hosting, you’ll have to use the same server as hundreds of other customers. VPS web hosting uses a similar shared environment but with the allocation of virtual resources. In other words, VPS web hosting segments a specific amount of the server’s virtual resources for each customer. Dedicated is the only form of web hosting that provides you with complete access to a server and all its virtual resources.
How Dedicated Hosting Works
Dedicated web hosting works like most other forms of web hosting except it doesn’t require you to share a server or its virtual resources. Web hosting companies offer monthly or yearly subscription plans for dedicated web hosting. You don’t buy a dedicated server outright. Rather, you lease it from a web hosting company.
After subscribing to a dedicated web hosting service, you’ll be given access to a single server. Depending on the specific type of dedicated hosting service, you may be able to connect to the server via File Transport Protocol (FTP), Secure Shell (SSH), Web Host Manager (WHM) or cPanel. You can connect to the server to upload files, install software, create databases and perform other hosting-related tasks.
Advantages of Dedicated Hosting
Your website should load more quickly when hosted on a dedicated server than a shared or VPS server. Load times are affected by web hosting. After all, loading is essentially the process of sending a web page’s files to a visitor. The visitor’s web browser will automatically request the files from your website’s server. Your server will respond by sending the files to the visitor.
If your website is hosted on a dedicated server, it will quickly send the requested files to visitors. Your website won’t have to compete with other customers for virtual resources. It will have sole access to all of the server’s virtual resources, resulting in faster file transmissions and shorter loading times for visitors.
With its ability to speed up your website, dedicated web hosting is good for search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines know that internet users will only wait so long for websites to load before abandoning them. Therefore, their ranking algorithms factor in speed. The shorter your website’s load times, the better its chances of ranking high.
Another advantage of dedicated website hosting is protection from cyber threats. Cyber threats are more common in a shared hosting environment because the servers are accessed by multiple customers. If you use shared web hosting, another customer may unknowingly upload malware to the shared server. Since your website is hosted on this server as well, it too may be affected by the malware.
Hosting your website on a dedicated server won’t immunize it from all cyber threats, but it will offer increased protection when compared to a shared or VPS server. You won’t have to worry about the activities of other customers affecting your website. Your website will be hosted on a separate and independent server, making it less vulnerable to cyber threats. Dedicated hosting also allows you to install your own security software.
As your website generates more monthly traffic, it will consume a greater amount of virtual resources. Shared and VPS web hosting may prove insufficient at meeting this demand. Dedicated web hosting, on the other hand, can easily accommodate heavy traffic.
Disadvantages of Dedicated Hosting
Dedicated web hosting is more difficult to set up, as well as manage, than other forms of web hosting. The web hosting company typically won’t install software or perform updates on your behalf. With dedicated web hosting, you’ll be solely responsible for running the server. If you aren’t confident in your server administration abilities, you may have trouble getting your website up and running on a dedicated server.
The good news is that some web hosting companies (ahem, like Freshwater Agency) offer managed hosting. Managed means the web hosting company will maintain the server’s infrastructure. They’ll set up firewalls, install software, perform updates, monitor hardware and more. You’ll still have access to the server, but the web hosting company will perform all the technical tasks associated with maintaining it.
You can expect higher web hosting costs when using a dedicated server than a shared or VPS server. Shared is the cheapest form of web hosting. Some web hosting companies offer it for about $3 to $10 per month (but the old adage you get what you pay for applies here). Some companies, in fact, even offer free shared web hosting, but you’ll generally have to give up other features or have your bandwidth throttled.
Dedicated is the most expensive form of web hosting. While prices vary, most dedicated hosting plans cost around $100 to $200 per month. Although it’s more expensive than shared and VPS, dedicated hosting is typically worth the investment because it isolates your website on its own server.
Do You Need Dedicated Website Hosting?
If you’re ready for the benefits of dedicated website hosting combined with top-notch customer service then you’re in luck. Our no-hassle hosting plans offer a wide variety of managed-hosting services at great prices. Plus we’re happy to assist you with everything that goes along with hosting, like website development or business email services. Contact us today for a no-obligation quote or consultation!