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A Beginner’s Guide to Dedicated Hosting

It’s always great news when your website begins to really take off. However, you’ll want to make sure your hosting plan can keep up with that growth. If your site is getting more than a few hundred visitors a day, it may be time to consider upgrading to a dedicated hosting plan.

Dedicated hosting provides your site with far more resources to keep up with its expansion. Of course, there are other benefits involved in upgrading to a dedicated hosting plan as well. These include improved stability and security, as well as the chance to configure every element of your server.

In this article, we’ll explain the basics of dedicated hosting, discuss its pros and cons, and help you decide when it’s time to upgrade your site. Let’s jump right in!

An Introduction to Dedicated Hosting

A2 Hosting dedicated hosting plans.

There are many types of hosting plans, and you may be wondering how dedicated servers differ from the rest. In a nutshell, dedicated hosting means you are renting an entire physical server for your website. This server can be completely configured to meet your specifications. You’ll also have more memory dedicated to your site, which results in better loading times.

This is a stark contrast to shared hosting, which is the cheapest and most common type of plan. With shared hosting, you are renting limited space on a physical server. The memory on that server will be shared between all the websites it hosts. This means that if one website is having a particularly busy day, it may draw resources away from your site.

Another popular hosting option is a Virtual Private Server (VPS). On a VPS plan, you are still sharing a server with other websites, but your hosting space is virtually isolated. This gives you many of the security and stability benefits of dedicated hosting, without the cost involved in renting an entire server. However, it doesn’t offer the same level of resources and potential for scalability.

The Pros and Cons of Dedicated Hosting

As you may be starting to see, dedicated hosting has some clear advantages and disadvantages when compared to other types of hosting. Understanding these will make your own choice of plan much clearer.

First, let’s summarize the main pros of opting for a dedicated hosting plan:

  • You’ll benefit from increased security, as well as improved speed and stability.
  • You have complete control over how your server is configured.
  • Other people’s sites can’t negatively affect yours.
  • Your site will be provided with plenty of resources, so it can continue to grow over time.

However, there are also a few cons worth noting:

  • This type of hosting plan will cost you more than any other variety.
  • Dedicated servers require more maintenance and technical knowledge to run properly. (However, this downside can be mitigated by choosing managed dedicated hosting, which we’ll discuss later on.)

At this point, you may have an idea about whether dedicated hosting is right for you. In the next section, we’ll make that decision as easy as possible.

3 Ways to Tell If You Need Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is a powerful option, but it isn’t right for every website. However, there are three simple ways to decide if you need this kind of plan. Simply ask yourself if you fall into one or more of the following three categories.

1. You’re Looking for Increased Security

Website hacking is on the rise. The security on a shared hosting plan is typically fine for smaller and more personal sites. However, if your company handles particularly sensitive data (such as credit card numbers), you might need the added security that dedicated hosting provides.

Dedicated hosting offers top-notch security because you can configure the entire server to meet your needs. This includes creating a tighter firewall to keep out hackers. It also means you don’t have to worry about another website on your shared server exposing your own site to malware.

A2 Hosting offers around-the-clock support in the event of an attack for all our plans. Still, dedicated hosting is the best way to make sure your site is completely safe, and to prevent security breaches before they happen.

2. Your Site Requires Improved Server Stability

As we’ve mentioned, another advantage of dedicated servers is improved performance. On a shared server, the memory you are paying for is split among several sites. A usage spike on one site can pull resources away from yours. This means that if one site you are sharing with has a busy day, your site may lag. Too many visitors at once can even make your site crash!

However, on a dedicated server, all its resources are reserved for your site alone. If your site is growing, dedicated hosting is a perfect way to keep loading times down. This is particularly important if your site is already experiencing delays due to high traffic. Visitors can quickly become impatient and leave your site if pages take too long to load.

If your site isn’t quite big enough to justify a dedicated server, but has grown beyond your current shared plan, VPS hosting may be a better option. Like a dedicated plan, all of the memory you are paying for is reserved for your site. This offers a huge improvement over shared hosting, at a lower cost than dedicated hosting. Plus, you can always upgrade later if you need the additional resources.

3. You Want Total Control Over Your Server’s Configuration

With dedicated hosting, you’re getting your own physical server. This means you can configure it however you like. If you’re an advanced user, or you just have very specific requirements for how you want your server to be set up, dedicated hosting fits the bill. For example, you could configure a firewall that meets your exact security specifications.

Even if you don’t have the technical know-how to do those things yourself, you can get a managed dedicated plan. This means your provider will handle most of the necessary setup and maintenance for you. While this type of plan does come at a higher cost, you’ll get the full benefits of dedicated hosting without having to do much work yourself.

When you purchase a managed dedicated server from A2 Hosting, your plan includes 24/7/365 tech support from our Guru Crew. We will work with you to configure your server just the way you want, even if you don’t know all the terminology involved. What’s more, our team works around the clock to guarantee that your site stays up at all times.

Conclusion

If you have the budget for it, dedicated hosting can offer huge improvements over other types of plans. You’ll benefit from increased stability, reduced loading times, and complete customization of how your server is set up.

To recap, here are the three questions you’ll want to ask when you’re deciding whether a dedicated hosting plan is right for you:

  1. Does your website process sensitive information that would benefit from added security, such as credit card numbers, addresses, or medical data?
  2. Is your site currently experiencing lags due to high traffic volume, or is it growing quickly?
  3. Do you want the option to customize every aspect of your server?

Do you need more help deciding what type of hosting plan to purchase? Let us help in the comments section below!

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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