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Shared web hosting or Dedicated web hosting: Which should you choose?

One of the most important concerns that arise when looking for a web host is the issue of sharing the web space. Before looking out for a web host, one needs to ascertain whether the web hosting space offered is shared by others, or dedicated and reserved exclusive for your own use. Essentially, a shared web hosting account is the one that you must share with others within a single hosting server. On the other hand, a dedicated web hosting account is an exclusive account solely dedicated to one or just a few numbers of web sites. A dedicated web hosting is a total, one-in-all package for the use for bigger businesses and corporate portals.

Now, which one would you choose among the two? Each one of these two web hosting solutions has its own merits and disadvantages. You will need to consider these factors and parameters before settling for one of them.

Shared Web Hosting

The actual number of web hosting accounts in a shared web hosting package may differ widely; some service providers may even host thousands of web portals under one single server. Shared web hosting servers are just like a commercial bank that holds thousands of accounts within the same premises.

Tip: Shared web hosting solutions are worthwhile when your budgetary allocations are small and limited. As these accounts are cheaper than the dedicated web hosting servers, they form a workable solution for a small scale, SOHO type of business.

One of the negative aspects of the shared web hosting services is that it limits your accessibility to the core administrative and management functions of server. However, shared web hosting providers offer good technical support to offset this perceived limitation. Almost all well-known shared web hosting service providers include a comprehensive, 24x7 technical support desk to help you in case there are any problems.

In shared web hosting environment, you are bound to face certain disadvantages as like:

  • Sharing Similar IP addresses: Sharing similar IP address with other web site, seems to be the biggest problem with a shared web hosting service provider. If any of the other websites in your web server commits an illegal act like spamming or generating illegal scripts, then all websites within the shared web server will be affected directly. In case of a punitive action like blacklisting by the Internet service provider (ISP), then you will withstand the worst of the situation without your own fault. The best solution would be to purchase your own, dedicated IP address by paying an extra amount.

  • Slow Server Response Time: In a shared web hosting service, the servers are in general slower response compared to dedicated hosting due to excessive bandwidth consumed by many websites simultaneously. Most of the shared web servers process the URL requests in a prioritized queue.

  • Higher Possibilities of Server Crashes: An excessive bandwidth consumption, server overloading and a mixture of complex scripts/programs running on the server may result in a high chances of serious and frequent server crash that ultimately hinder your day-to-day website activities. You may wish to ascertain that the shared web hosting service provider that you choose must be proficient with technical issues of managing web servers in a better way.

Dedicated Web Hosting

On the other hand, a dedicated server hosting package offers you unlimited number of features and advantages though at a higher price. The positive point with a dedicated web hosting is that you have the complete access to every component of the web server management and administrative panel. However, if you feel that you are not technically equipped to handle the technically difficult, control panel management system, then you may need to hire a competent network administrator to manage the day-to-day activities of the dedicated server. If you are facing difficulties of finding trained management personnel, you can even opt for a "managed dedicated server" hosting plan that will help you manage your server in a better way.

With a dedicated web hosting server, you will have the following advantages and benefits:

  • You are on your own: With a dedicated web server, you can control anything and everything you want. You can install, remove or change any applications or scripts. You can even customize the whole server to make it suitable for your daily use.

  • Enhanced Security: With dedicated server hosting, you can ensure complete safety and security to your web server and web site. A built-in firewall assures you 100% safety and security both for your data and sensitive information. You can also find your own security solutions to prevent hackers and unscrupulous people from taking over your server.

  • Better Performance: As dedicated hosting means that you are the only one in that server, the response/reaction time of the server to requested files and folders, will be so much quicker and faster when compared with shared web hosting. Web visitors will be amazed to see that your web site is loading in a lightening way!

Under usual circumstances, choosing a particular type of web hosting solely depends on your needs and requirements. Thus, it becomes imperative on your part to conduct more advanced research and evaluation on the available hosting services, as well consult professionals on the issue. Taking a smart and thoughtful decision could save you a large amount of money as well as precious time lost when you have chosen a right web hosting service.

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