Dedicated hosting is exactly what it sounds like: a server that you get all to yourself and that only hosts your sites and your files. The most typical (and inexpensive) type of hosting that people and businesses use is shared hosting, where your site and files reside on a server with lots and lots of other sites. So what are some of the advantages of having your own server?
- Full control over the server This means you can use whatever kind of operating system and hardware that you want, provided that your hosting provider supports it. If you are a more advanced user you may want to use specific software that you are familiar with, if not your hosting provider will be able to set you up with something that will suit your particular needs.
- Performance A dedicated server is going to outperform shared hosting because it only has your sites and files to deal with, you don’t have to worry about somebody else’s heavy website taking up all the bandwidth. It can also be customized to run your software as efficiently as possible.
- Security One of the problems with being on shared hosting is that it makes you more susceptible to security risks like XSS attacks, particularly if you don’t keep on top of your software updates. A dedicated server is much more secure (but you should still make sure to keep your software up to date!) since you will be the only user on it and you are in charge of your security settings.
- Managed hosting If you’re not experienced with server management but you think you will need a dedicated server for your needs most hosting providers offer a managed hosting service. They will take care of the software and hardware and server administration work for you. It does cost more, but is well worth it as these can be pretty complex tasks.
So when do you need a dedicated server as opposed to regular shared hosting or a virtual private server? If you think you might be using a lot of bandwidth (serving video, audio, or a lot of hi-resolution images), getting a lot of traffic and need your website to perform at a high level, or if security is a concern (if you are storing sensitive information on the server, for example). If you think a dedicated server is the way that you want to go, you can save yourself some money with coupons.