There are three choices when it comes to web hosting. You can have your website hosted on a shared server, you can opt to pursue dedicated server technology, or you can have your site on a virtual private server, which is somewhere in between. There are benefits and disadvantages to each of these, and before you opt for dedicated server technology, you should understand what these pros and cons are. The time to figure out which is the right type of web hosting for you is now, before you put up your site.
Shared Server Option
A shared server is used for what is often called cheap web hosting, and it’s for people with websites that really don’t require a dedicated server. A dedicated server provides massive amounts of disk space and bandwidth, and requires you have the ability to manage a server, or to pay someone who can. If you’re just trying to put up a blog, or a single page that tells people your hours of operation and primary services, this is not what you need. Why not get it anyway? Because dedicated server technology costs money. If a web host gives you access to a dedicated server, no one else can use it, meaning they have to derive all their profit from you. A shared server can provide you all the bandwidth and disk space you need for your small business website, for only a few dollars a month, and none of the maintenance hassles that often come with a dedicated server.
Virtual Private Server Option
The VPS virtual private server option is a good choice for those who don’t want or need to lay out big bucks for dedicated server technology quite yet, but have grown beyond the capacity that a shared server offers. With a VPS, a dedicated server is partitioned so that each section behaves like its own dedicated server, with its own IP address and control panel, but without the big expense that an actual dedicated server would bring.
The Dedicated Server Option
When you pay a web host for dedicated server technology, you’re in the big leagues. You’ve got a server all to yourself, and it’s just a matter of what you’re going to do with it. You set the programming languages, tool sets and file structures. You have your own control panel, and it’s up to you to administer the site. You can have multiple websites and thousands of pages and it’s all under your control. It also costs a pretty penny every month, so you need to be sure you’re making big money from these sites and that you know how to maintain the server, or you can afford to pay someone who can. The web host will still be responsible for something like a power outage, but some security or technical issues you may have to handle on your own, and without a trained administrator to turn to, things could get ugly (unless you are one). The flip side, though, is that you have complete freedom. You control every aspect of your websites, and if you do it right, you could build an Internet empire that could make you millions.
The bottom line is that it should now be very clear to you which type of hosting is right for you. Don’t gamble and choose a cheap host if you know you have heavy bandwidth and disk space needs, or go for a dedicated server in the hopes that you’ll “grow into it.” Do things right now, and you’ll have a much better chance of seeing success down the road.