While finding hosting for your website is essential, there are two main approaches you can choose to meet this need. Firstly, there is the option of securing a dedicated server, responsible exclusively for hosting and running your own websites. For some, the cheaper option of shared hosting is more appealing, for its lower comparative costs. Depending on the type of website you intend to operate, it may be obvious which of the two would be most suited. For most purposes, shared hosting will be adequate initially. But for anyone operating a website on a serious scale, or hoping to drive more considerable traffic numbers, the need for a dedicated server can quickly become more pressing.
There are no hard and fast rules about when you need a dedicated server. However, when it comes to a stage where you need your website to be live and stable at all times, or where you are handling large volumes of use in the month, it might be wise to consider an upgrade.
Shared web hosting packages give website owners space on a larger server, alongside other account holders. This means that your individual website might be hosted in the same online “neighborhood” as potentially thousands of others. Other than choosing the hosting provider you work with, you have no control over which other websites are hosted alongside your own. This can, in some cases, lead to websites underperforming, simply because they are hosted in untrustworthy areas of the Internet.
This can have several practical implications. Emails might be more likely to trigger spam filters and blacklists. You may even notice your website being hampered in the search engines, as a result of the negative influence this can have on SEO efforts when you are hosted alongside spam. While shared hosting can give you a presence online, it is often a less than satisfactory solution for the more discerning website owner.
Some will no doubt persevere, because of the low-cost basis on which shared hosting is sold. But there comes a time in a website’s growth cycle where shared hosting can become obsolete in light of the functionality requirements of the website and its users.
More “serious” scale websites might want to think about this issue sooner rather than later. Anything that can achieve hundreds of concurrent visitors, for example, should ultimately look to have its own dedicated server. Similarly, where you need your website to be constantly available to the world, a dedicated setup might prevent the common downtime problems associated with shared providers.
Larger and more popular websites can quickly outgrow shared hosting packages. Where you find you are running out of space or bandwidth allowance in your shared package, you may be in a stronger position by switching to your own dedicated server. While this raises its own problems with maintenance, backups and caring for the server, these are worthwhile expenses for those seeking a more professional standard of hosting.