What is the difference between Shared hosting and Dedicated server

Shared hosting allows multiple users/websites/accounts to be hosted on a single web server. Dedicated hosting, in its turn, is a single server solely devoted to one user.
In a nutshell, the difference between a Shared and a Dedicated hosting server is like an apartment in a block of flats and a cottage house. Both are good for living in. Still, there are some advantages and disadvantages of choosing one or the other. Let’s have a deeper look at each of the server type taking into consideration management, performance, resources, security and cost.

  • Management

A Shared server is a good choice for those website owners who don’t have much technical skills to manage and control everything, but wish to build the online presence. With Shared hosting you have limited administrative access and can't customize software configuration. Still, you have access to a cPanel, with which you can manage files, databases, email accounts, error logs, and some server analytics. If the server goes down, you can always be sure that the technicians will take care of it in the shortest time possible.

A Dedicated server is a good choice for those who have technical background and can manage/configure the server on their own. Yet, the lack of technical skills should not be an obstacle, since we offer different types of Dedicated server management: User-Responsible, Basic, Complete. You may find more information on each type here. Root access, provided with a Dedicated server, is a huge benefit if you need to make some server modifications.

  • Performance

Website performance plays an important role in attracting new visitors and traffic conversion. We have 100% uptime guarantee on our Shared and Dedicated hosting servers. However, some force majeure circumstances that are usually caused by upstream entities and other service providers the hosting company depends on can cause unexpected downtime. The examples of these are intensive DDoS attacks, power outages or hardware issues. So, the uptime ratio cannot be calculated with conventional precision and should be perceived taking into account all the factors.
The lion’s share of the website performance is captured to the website optimization. A very efficiently coded website that uses few resources per visitor would allow a large number of visitors and will not cause any downtime on the website, while a poorly or inefficiently coded website may only sustain a few simultaneous visitors and cause the Resource limit reached error.

Generally, if we compare the performance of Shared and Dedicated servers, the later will be faster and more reliable as it offers more resources like CPU, RAM, etc and those resources are used only by your websites. While with the Shared server, you can never be sure who is your neighbor and if their activity have a negative influence on the server. As an example, you may receive a spike in traffic due to some campaign. A Dedicated server may be able to handle the increased traffic while a shared account will most probably go over the resource limits and might be even suspended to protect other users on the server.

  • Resources

With a Shared server you’ll share resources, such as data, CPU time, memory and disk space. You can find more details in Acceptable Use Policy and Terms Of Service. All our Shared servers have CloudLinux OS installed. It helps to limit the amount of resources each client can use. CloudLinux keeps each client in an isolated, secure environment called a Lightweight Virtual Environment (LVE). You may find more information on LVE here.

If you have a website that receives massive volume of traffic, Dedicated server is the best choice. If you have a Shared hosting account and you reach the resource limits, the upgrade to the next available plan is required, as this is the only method to add more resources to your account. If you have a Dedicated server, you may order more bandwidth and port speed for an additional price.

  • Security

We value the hard work our clients put in to their projects and care for the security of our servers. We have an effective firewall system along with a set of other server security applications and programs installed on our Shared servers. Still, a lot of security issues may come from within your own website code, control panel settings, malicious files uploaded etc. You may find some tips on how to keep your account secured here. A Dedicated server allows running almost all types of scripts and software, and you may always install any security software to add the additional layer of reliability to your own server. As an example, you may have the IP blocked/blacklisted on both Shared and a Dedicated server, while the whitelist of an IP address is possible only on a Dedicated one.

  • Cost

Sure, everybody would like to have the fastest and most secure server with all the privileges for the cheapest price. But, every service needs to have a reasonable price. With Shared hosting, server resources are shared among several users, so the cost of such account is less. A Dedicated server is dedicated solely to one user, and that is the main reason why it costs more. The basic Namecheap Shared hosting account costs $30.88 per year, while the basic Dedicated server’s cost would be $82.88 per month. So, before making a final decision, ask yourself these questions:

  • What kind of control over the hosting account is required?
  • What’s the daily and monthly traffic you expect on your website?
  • What are your security requirements?
  • What’s your monthly budget?

Remember that your online success is much determined by a good and smart decision of a hosting server. You may always contact our Live Support to do the more research before making a choice.

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