Your website promotes you 24/7 which is not something any employee will be willing to do for you. So if you are thinking of creating your own website, you must know that the beginning is one of the most crucial pillars of your website’s success.
You can use any website builder you want to create your website, but two things that remain consistently necessary are your domain name and your web hosting account.
Assuming you have your domain name ready, your dilemma will magnify when looking at all the variety of different web hosting options. That is why today our article is focused on two of the most popular types of web hosting — shared hosting and dedicated hosting.
Perhaps the most common and surely cheapest form of web hosting is shared hosting.
Shared web hosting is such a hosting service where a single server can host multiple domains. The name of this hosting solution already tells a good story about its nature — it is indeed shared! You share everything starting from your resources to your memory and scripts on your server.
Pros And Cons Of Shared Hosting
Like two sides of a coin, all web hosting options come with upper hands and drawbacks. We cannot validate our discussion today without speaking off such pros and cons.
So without further ado, let us start by looking at the shared hosting advantages:
- Economically effective: Shared hosting is by far the cheapest web hosting solution you can get out there. The low cost comes at the expense of having a shared server.
- Beginner and user friendly: Although the shared server isn’t much of a problem since this hosting service is mainly used by beginners or small businesses who recently created their websites and do not expect heavy web traffic anytime soon. Also, the easy to understand customized c-panel makes shared hosting beginner and user friendly.
- Supports multiple domains on a single server: Since shared hosting supports hosting multiple domains on a single server, you are not limited to a single website, you can get two or more domains if you are running multiple websites. This makes handling your websites and resources much easier and at a lower price.
- Easy setup: Shared web hosting also makes your life easier with its easy setup. All you have to do is buy a shared hosting plan from a good provider and make an account and customize it to your liking after which you are good to go.
- No maintenance issues: There’s no worry about maintenance as well since your web host handles all of that. You do not have to take time out of your schedule to get through the tiresome maintenance process.
But what disadvantages of shared hosting do you have to be worried about? Let’s take a look below.
- Security risks: When you are in a shared system, no matter how careful you are, the risk factor remains. In shared hosting, sharing resources also means sharing the same security system and so if one of the domains gets hacked or attacked by malware, your website is also going to be at high risk of getting hacked.
- Performance issues: Another thing that happens with a shared server is that when one of the domains starts gaining heavy traffic, others on the server may face performance issues. Your websites will slow down as most of the bandwidth will go to the domain that’s getting more traffic.
- Downtime due to traffic load: According to a recent Kissmetrics survey, it was found that an average person waits only 3 seconds before getting frustrated at a slow loading website and ultimately leaving. Meaning that the performance issues directly affect your churn of audiences. In addition, on particularly busy days, your website may be down fully for quite a while due to the traffic load.
- Scalability, flexibility and resource limitations: As your server is being shared and under the responsibility of your host, you are not allowed to scale your website according to your needs. You have resource limitations and you cannot have admin access to the server to change any configuration or script installation. But luckily, these problems can be overlooked by beginners and small businesses who usually use shared hosting.
At first glance, one may think that shared and dedicated hosting are similar and though it is correct to some extent, the differences are many too.
A dedicated web hosting is a hosting service where the server is dedicated to a single web domain. Unlike shared hosting, you will not need to share resources or bandwidth with any other user. You can keep your server in the hands of your provider or you can keep it to yourself.
Pros And Cons Of Dedicated Hosting
We have covered the benefits and problems with shared hosting but our article will be incomplete if we do not mull over the pros and cons of dedicated hosting.
So, to begin with, let’s start by going over the advantages of dedicated hosting.
- Dedicated to a single domain
- Good security
- No resource, scalability or flexibility limitations
- Speedy performance
- Less downtime
The biggest benefit of using dedicated hosting is that your server will be dedicated to a single web domain. You will have privacy and can do anything you want with your website even if there is heavy traffic.
As your server belongs to you only, the risks of security breaches by hackers and getting attacked by malware will be significantly reduced. Your SSL belongs to you only. So, if you are careful enough in handling your security, dedicated hosting is just for you.
There is no resource limitation and you can scale your website as much as you desire. Your bandwidth is yours only. Also, you will be given complete admin access and will have the flexibility to temper the file configurations and script installation to any extent.
With all the bandwidth exclusively yours, your website’s speed will seem like the Bugatti Veyron of the virtual world. Your churn will be reduced by this and you can happily focus on improving your web content instead.
Also, since the web traffic does not affect your website’s performance, you will have less downtime. Your website wouldn’t be crashing often and you will have fewer things to worry about fixing.
While on the topic of fixing, it would be the perfect timing to move on to the disadvantages of dedicated hosting right away.
- Expensive: The advantages may seem alluring but many users are deterred from proceeding with dedicated hosting because of the expensive bill that comes with it. But this may not be much of an issue to the financially privileged people.
- Not beginner-friendly: That said, most beginners also get turned off by the learning curve of dedicated hosting even if they initially pushed past the high budget. This hosting service is in no way beginner-friendly because it requires prior knowledge of handling such web servers.
- Maintenance is solely up to you: Maintenance is also solely up to you because your provider is only responsible for housing your web server — taking care of it is on your shoulders. Any bug fixes or updates and all other necessary maintenance issues are your responsibility which is a hassle if not done correctly.
- Limited to a single domain: Also, while having a whole domain dedicated to you may please you, if you wish to expand in your expertise, later on, you will see that dedicated hosting is limited to a single website only. To create another website, you will be needing a different hosting account — meaning most expenses tediousness than what is necessary.
Shared Hosting Vs Dedicated Hosting — How Do They Compare?
Now you might be wondering which is better — shared hosting or dedicated hosting? Unfortunately, the decision is yours to make. But we will be helping you out by comparing the two hosting solutions in a variety of important factors.
First off we must compare how the budget of the two services differ. Without a doubt shared hosting is cheaper than dedicated hosting but to what extent? Recent statistics show that shared hosting is approximately about 20 times cheaper than dedicated web hosting.
But web hosting cannot simply be chosen by the pricing. You have to see other factors such as security and resources. Regarding both of these, dedicated hosting surely tops shared hosting by quite a lot.
Still, for beginners, shared hosting remains undoubtedly the best. You can surely shift to dedicated hosting once you start getting more traffic and some experience in handling servers on your own but till then shared hosting is the right choice for you.
Being able to scale your website may not seem like a problem when you are just starting off but after some time when your audience starts to grow, you will see the need of having a website with good scalability as well as the flexibility to change your configurations and scripts. Dedicated hosting is better than shared hosting in regards to scalability and flexibility.
When you are already running a website, you might wish to solely focus on growing the website instead of maintaining it. This is possible for shared hosting where all of your maintenance responsibility is dependent on your providers.
Dedicated hosting comes with more of a DIY approach and hence it may cost you your valuable time unless you run a large organization and hire or already have people just to do the work for you.
Although shared hosting is mostly used for low-traffic websites and the slow performance and downtime may be acceptable to such users, it does not beat the performance level of dedicated web hosting. So with dedicated hosting, you can forget having any churn due to the low performance of your website.
Which To Use For What Purpose?
Since we are done with comparing the two, to add more clarity, we will be diving into the uses for the two hosting solutions.
Let us take a look at the uses of shared hosting below.
Beginners — shared hosting is hands down the best for beginner usage. You do not have to worry about anything other than growing your website and will also have an affordable monthly subscription. Sure you’ll have less freedom and limited resources, but those aren’t much of an issue when you are just starting out, in fact, it takes the burden off of your shoulders since everything else is expertly managed.
Small businesses — such businesses use shared hosting because firstly they are unwilling to invest too much into an expensive hosting plan. In addition, the web traffic they receive may not be worth the time to handle other hosting options. They do not require much scaling or flexibility since their main focus is on growing their business. This is also beneficial when you think of the lack of maintenance.
Now let’s look at the uses of dedicated hosting.
Heavy traffic websites — dedicated hosting is a favorite for those who run websites that have already kicked off into the realm of the internet. The high performance and top-notch security along with the flexibility to change resources according to your needs and receive a good bandwidth are totally worth the extra bill.
Large businesses — large businesses need larger bandwidth and the freedom to configure and scale their websites. The maintenance may not be a problem because they may already have a skilled tech team dedicated to such tasks. Considering everything else, surely such businesses do not have a problem paying the hefty bills that come with dedicated hosting.
Providers And Plans
We have discussed most of the important aspects of both shared and dedicated web hosting and we hope that by now you have made up your mind. So, to wrap things up, we will recommend some of the best providers and plans for both hosting options.
Bluehost, Hostinger, and A2 Hosting are the recent toppers when it comes to shared hosting providers. Normally, a shared hosting plan may start from $0.99 and can pile up to $7 approximately per month.
Bluehost, Hostgator, and Dreamhost are some of the high-ranking dedicated hosting providers starting at an average of $100 cost range and can easily become as steep as $500 overall in different monthly subscription plans.