The most expensive out of all the web hosting options is Dedicated Server Hosting. That’s because it offers the best performance and total control of the server. However, is this the right choice for your website? Let’s review the pros and cons.

What Is Dedicated Server Hosting?

Here’s a quick overview about this type of hosting from Wikipedia:

A dedicated hosting service, dedicated server, or managed hosting service is a type of Internet hosting in which the client leases an entire server not shared with anyone else. This is more flexible than shared hosting, as organizations have full control over the server(s), including choice of operating system, hardware, etc.

Dedicated Server Hosting Is The Right Choice If You Have A High-Traffic Website

If you’re website has hundreds of thousands of visitors per day, or sends and receives high amounts of bandwidth (like video streaming), then this hosting would be the right choice for you. Because you will have the entire server available for your website, then it can utilize all the CPU, memory/RAM, and disk space. With Managed Hosting and Shared Hosting you would share those resources with others on the same server. Hence, those options aren’t great for busy websites.

If you try to use one of those plans with your website you would see your site’s performance drop. It would load slowly or may even suffer timeouts. That because it would hit the limits provided by the hosting package. I’ve seen this happen with website owners who didn’t want to spend more money to upgrade their plans. Yet, these owners had profitable websites and could well afford the upgrade.

That’s why you should always discuss your needs with a knowledgeable Web Developer or even your hosting company. Either one can tell you which plan you should choose so your site performs well.

Dedicated Server Hosting Is The Right Choice If You Need Total Control

Another reason dedicated server hosting is the right choice for you site if you need total control over the hardware and software running the server and the site.

With Managed Hosting and Shared Hosting you don’t have control over much of the software, and none of the hardware. Thus, if you need to tweak a setting in the server’s operating system, or want a faster hard drive then you can’t. At most you can change some settings in the control panel so you can use a specific version of PHP or install a Ruby on Rails app.

If you need total control over the hardware running the server then you should choose this plan. With most companies you can lease one of their pre-configured options, or change out certain components for higher-end parts. The latter comes with an added fee, however. As for the software, with Dedicated Server hosting you can usually choose which operating system to install. And you can choose what software to install, including custom-developed applications.

This Is Not The Right Choice For You If Don’t Understand Server Management

If you don’t understand server management or how to secure your server, then Dedicated Server Hosting isn’t the right choice for you.

I worked at a web hosting company providing Linux technical support. And one of our most popular products is VPS and Dedicated Server Hosting. However, I see more and more customer purchases this and they don’t have any server management skills.

Because you have full access to the server’s operating system you are in charge of applying all server updates. And unfortunately those updates aren’t exactly like applying updates to your computer. These updates usually require downtime. In addition, these updates can break other software on your server, including your website.

On top of applying those updates, you will be responsible of updating the control panel on your server, like cPanel or Plesk, if you installed one. These updates are usually automatic, however, but they can still break your website if the updates have bugs. And that happens.

So if you don’t have server management or system administration skills but still want this plan you could pay for support from the hosting company or a third-party. However, this support can be expensive, and you have to work within the company’s or tech’s Service Level Agreement (SLA). That means you will have to wait for assistance, even if you’re website is currently down and you’re losing money.

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