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Deciding between Shared or Dedicated Web Hosting

January 6th, 2012 by Joel in Web Hosting

If you’re on the lookout for hosting, it won’t be long before you realise there is more than just one sort of website hosting. It is important to know what the differences are and how this can impact your web site and so make sure you choose the right type of hosting from the outset.

Dedicated hosting

Dedicated hosting is where your website is sat on a dedicated web server. The benefits of this are that all the resources of the server such as processor and memory are utilised just your website alone, maximising the performance to help it respond quickly and effectively to your visitors. Dedicated hosting is commonly the best choice for larger businesses that rely heavily on their online presence. Naturally, the downside is increased cost as a dedicated servers will invariably cost more than a shared hosting package.

Shared web hosting

Shared hosting, as its title implies, is where your web site shares a web server with other web sites which are additionally hosted there. To the visitor, they will probably never notice any difference as each website is treated seperately by the server.  The variety of web sites on a single server will be dependent on the web hosting firm which might choose to host many smaller web sites on a single server or a more limited number of larger websites. It might of course choose a combination of both.

The downside of shared website hosting is that if a number of websites on the server use more resources than others, it could actually reduce the efficiency for all of the web sites making other websites respond more slowly. This will obviously be heavily dependant on the web hosting company making sure websites on shared servers are managed properly to ensure resources are shared fairly for its customers.

The good thing about shared hosting is of course the cost. The price of shared hosting has dropped considerably in recent times and this makes it a great option for a lot of smaller companies or private users who might for instance want wordpress web hosting for a personal blog. There are now many affordable web hosting companies who offer shared website hosting for a very affordable cost; even as little as a few pounds per month.

Which to decide on?

Choosing the right type of web hosting will be largely dependant on the size  of your web site, the number of anticipated website visitors and whether your website operation is critical such as you depend on it to earn income. If you have a simple blog website with a few hundred guests per day, then a shared web hosting package will be price effective and very likely to perform adequetly to your needs. If, however, you could have a large ecommerce web site with thousands of visitors per day and the web site provides a key income stream for your business, a dedicated web hosting package will most likely be a necessary expense when measured against lost revenue should for instance your visitors leave because then find your website is slow to use.

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