Differences Between Dedicated and Shared Server Hosting

How you’ll host your organization’s web presence is a crucial decision.

This blog post will help you understand the two most common types of hosting for small-to-medium organizations: dedicated web hosting and shared server hosting.

There are many options to choose from, but it comes down to what your organization requires. We’ll lay out the pros and cons of each type of hosting to clarify this vital choice in establishing and maintaining your business.

What is dedicated web hosting?

As the name suggests, dedicated web hosting involves owning and controlling your own dedicated server – meaning that the physical server is solely dedicated to your websites and services. No other organizations use your server, bandwidth or memory.

Why choose dedicated hosting?

The primary benefit to this kind of hosting is that your server’s computing resources are dedicated entirely to your organization. Your business doesn’t ever share its server with other organization or users, allowing you to capitalize on the entirety of your server’s performance and features.

The reason this is a benefit can be summarized with an old adage: “Good fences make good neighbors.” Your organization’s data and operations are kept entirely contained from outsiders, maximizing uptime and ensuring someone else’s mistakes don’t cost you dearly.

Having your own dedicated server offers an additional layer of security and certainty against common and unfortunate issues that bad server neighbors can create.

Benefits of dedicated hosting:

  1. Your organization can meet its specific needs by installing software to match its operational procedures.
  2. You can maintain multiple domains and websites easily, allowing granular control over your organization’s presence.
  3. Your response times and speeds can be much more stable and reliable for customers and employees alike.
  4. You can opt for colocation hosting, where your IT team has complete control over all aspects of the server’s setup, installation, maintenance and software.
  5. Or if you don’t have an IT team (or they’re already very busy), your organization can choose managed hosting services to leveragethe expertise of a veteran web hosting company while offloading the costs and risks associated with keeping a server on-site.

Dedicated web hosting is a powerful tool for emergent organizations that need a stable, secure and reliable server infrastructure to meet their needs. We’ve found that even a modest dedicated server can offer significant improvements in speed, uptime and operational stability.

However, dedicated hosting isn’t always the right choice. There’s another option: shared web hosting.

What is shared hosting?

Shared server hosting is a hosting service where multiple users and organizations coexist on a single server. Shared hosting can be a clear choice for smaller organizations, startups with limited needs, personal projects or businesses just starting to establish their online presence.

Benefits of shared hosting

Shared server hosting offers significant simplicity compared to dedicated hosting. Shared servers situate users in a managed environment.

Security and administrative tasks are overseen by the web hosting provider. Organizations still have control panel access (via cPanel and other management options), but the majority of challenging technical aspects are handled by the hosting company.

The downside of that simplicity is that there’s a real reduction in flexibility, since the hosting provider oversees the majority of administrative tasks like software installation and resource management.

Shared hosting also offers a vital difference in terms of cost – it’s affordable. Organizations don’t need to invest in their own server or administrators. The low up-front costs are appealing for fledgling organizations that need to focus their energy and resources on internal operations.

Problems with shared hosting that dedicated hosting does not have:

  1. Misconfigurations that drain server resources and slow your services
  2. Security flaws that expose your server to malware, viruses and exploits
  3. Unexpected large volumes of traffic slowing the server and hogging bandwidth
  4. Unintentional mismanagement jeopardizing server memory availability
  5. IP blacklisting because of unethical behavior by server neighbors

With your own dedicated server, you thwart these common issues with shared hosting entirely. In addition, you introduce a variety of benefits.

How to choose between dedicated hosting and shared hosting

Evaluating your organization before you choose a path is vital.

Do you have powerful infrastructure requirements, an in-house IT team, a clear vision of the resources required for your internet operations and a high need for flexibility? We recommend GigeNET Dedicated Servers and colocation.

Do you have powerful infrastructure requires, but a busy or nonexistent IT team? Perhaps you’re busy dedicating your operation’s resources to a new project? We recommend GigeNET Managed Server Hosting, so you can leave the technical details to our team of experts.

Are you a smaller organization looking to establish your initial online presence and “just get it out there”? Shared web hosting is a great way to start – once you’ve reached critical mass, you can upgrade from there.

Ready to hit the ground running?

At GigeNET, we’ve spent more than 20 years developing solutions to the complicated problems that internet infrastructure presents. We’re dedicated to building a better internet for all through building partnerships for life with each and every client – whether big, medium or small.

Contact one of our solutions experts and find the right-size fit for your organization. We’ve helped hundreds of businesses find a home online. Receive a free consultation.