Shared Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting: Differences and Recommendations

In Web Hosting by Fathi ArfaouiLeave a Comment

Web hosting is simply where your website sits on the internet. Hence, it is an internet hosting server. The web hosting allows you to make your website accessible via the World Wide Web. In simple words, web hosting is sending you ‘files’ to a whole lot of people. In this case, your website is the ‘file’ and you put up on the internet for people to see. Those on that network will simply type your website URL and view it all there.

Web Hosting: Shared and dedicated servers

Web hosting has a lot of advantages. Some of them include;

  • It allows you to put content up on the internet.
  • It also allows people to view what content you upload on the internet. This could be a blog, pictures or a professional website.
  • It makes sharing content very easy.

Having discussed the various advantages of web hosting, we can now highlight the main hosting services available. They include Shared Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, VPS Hosting and Cloud Hosting.

We can discuss more on Shared and Dedicated Hosting. These are the two primary hosting services which make it difficult to choose one between the two.

Shared web Hosting

It is the cheapest hosting option available. It is also the most popular hosting plan due to its perfect nature. Its prices vary from $2 to $25 per month. In Shared web hosting, the websites are hosted on one server connected to the internet. One of the reasons that people like shared hosting is that it serves them comfortably, that is they do not need more than what they are receiving.

shared hosting explained

You can compare shared hosting to living with your friends in one house where you share kitchen facilities and use one internet provider. Therefore with shared hosting, you’ll share your resources with each other. Such as disk space and CPU time.

For this plan, a system administrator is required since many users are involved. The administrator helps users who do not want to deal with the system. Shared hosting offers basic web statistics support, webmail, and email services, update PHP, and a basic after-sale technical support. Although it is less expensive, it is not sufficient for websites with high traffic.

Shared hosting also uses web-based control panel system. These may include H-sphere, cPanel, and Plesk among others. However, companies who offer hosting services use custom developed control panels due to a lot of controversies caused by web interfaces and control panels.

The provider of the shared hosting is usually responsible for managing servers, security updates and installing server software. Due to its low cost, there are many shared hosting providers. Most of the shared web hosting market is mainly through pay per click (PPC) advertising or in some in cases through affiliate programs.

Shared Hosting can be implemented in some ways:

  • Name based

In this virtual hosting, a single machine which has multiple hostnames and a single IP address served by the virtual host.

  • IP based

In this virtual hosting, each virtual host has a different IP address. Multiple network interfaces are used to configure the web server. This means that the IP address the client connects to is utilized by the server to help determine the site shown to the user.

Sometimes both the Name based and IP based can be implemented together; This depends on the control panel used.

InMotion Hosting is a great example of a trusted and secure shared web hosting service. They offer SSD servers at low cost and lots of features, Furthermore, they have a US-based customer support. The company offers free domain name, SSD servers and lots of options.

Shared Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting

Pros of Shared Hosting

  1. It is easy to start since there no complications in setting up. The administration of the server is taken care of by the hosting provider.
  2. It is very affordable, hence is an entry-level option for people who want to start hosting. This means even websites for small business and personal blogs can afford to pay for shared hosting. One needs just to upload their website and configure it to work.
  3. Compared to other forms of hosting, it requires the least financial investment as well as technical know-how.
  4. In shared hosting, you will get you get the option of having more than one database as well as multiple email accounts on your domain.
  5. You get provided with the user-friendly application and a c-panel that helps make website management easy for you.
  6. Most shared hosting providers support MySQL and PHP.

Cons of Shared web Hosting

  1. This hosting requires a system admin. Hence, other users don’t have control. You neither have control of the server nor its performance.
  2. In shared hosting, user installed services do not have root access hence can’t listen on well-known ports below 1024.
  3. Due to the ability to easily share the service, in cases of heavily loaded systems, the performance will be significantly affected.
  4. Shared servers are prone to hacking attacks hence make the system insecure.

Dedicated server hosting

In dedicated hosting, you do not share resources like CPU Time or memory with the users. The users’ accounts are not on your hosting unless you allow them to. In this hosting, all the resources belong to you. Therefore, the client leases an entire server.

Dedicated hosting is more flexible compared to Shared Hosting in that the customer has full control over the server. In dedicated hosting, the hosting company may provide server administration as an add-on service. In other instances, the dedicated host server can offer a larger return and less overhead on investments. Data centers are used to house dedicated servers. These centers help provide HVAC systems a well as redundant power sources.

Dedicated hosting services bring with it, a higher performance, email stability, security, and control. It is also suitable for websites with large traffic volume.

Dedicated hosting can be divided into various section:

  • Operating System Support

In this hosting, dedicated hosting servers offer different operating systems, depending on price and availability of the Operating System. Some are included at no charge e.g. Linux while others are commercial such as Microsoft Windows Server. The dedicated server is relieved of the burden of server management by updates to the operating systems.

  • Bandwidth and connectivity.

In dedicated hosting, the amount of data transferred is usually high. The data transfer rate is measured in bit/sec. The bandwidth is measured using the 95th percentile method and the unmetered method. In the unmetered method, if you purchased 20 Mbit/s unmetered bandwidth, then your top line speed would be 20 Mbit/s. The provider controls the speed transfer. However, the pricing of bandwidth by most providers is bundled with the monthly charges for the server.

  • Server Management

The dedicated hosting is suitable for professionals with technical knowledge on web developments, as well as system administration. In this hosting server management includes:

  1. Application Updates.
  2. Server Monitoring.
  3. Technical Support.
  4. Antivirus Updates.
  5. Back-ups and Restoration.
  6. Software Installation and Configuration, among others.

The level of management by dedicated hosting providers is based on the services that they provide. Some of the types of server managed support provided includes;

  1. Fully managed– In this kind of server, the customers are entirely hands-off the server. It includes reboots, monitoring, software updates and operating system upgrades.
  2. Self-managed– In this type of server, the customers are involved in most of the operations on the server. They may include regular monitoring and maintenance.
  3. Managed– The customers can do specific tasks. They include some form of monitoring in a medium level as well as management.
  4. Unmanaged– In this type of server, the customers provide all upgrades, maintenance, and security.

Dedicated hosting server providers always take extreme security measures. This ensures that the data stored in their network is safe and secure from hackers and spammers.

In our experience and test, LiquidWeb is the number one dedicated hosting provider. They have the freshest dedicated server, with SSD drives, amazing customer support and the most advanced security and scanning system.

Dedicated Hosting

Pros of Dedicated Hosting

  1. Dedicated hosting gives the client full control. This means that you control everything that goes on.
  2. The server provides exceptional performance and security hence more stability and reliability than in shared hosting.
  3. It is the most popular among most entrepreneurs who are serious about website use.
  4. It is very flexible compared to Shared Hosting as it allows the client to customize the server to his or her unique needs for CPU time, disk space and RAM. In shared hosting, the customer is usually limited to the applications and software that is already loaded on the server.
  5. In dedicated hosting, there is no overhead for maintaining equipment nor purchasing them. Therefore, it is a less costly way to access full server resources.
  6. It has faster speed and uploads time.

Cons on Dedicated Hosting

  1. It is very expensive compared to Shared Hosting.
  2. You need to have administrative and technical skills to perform maintenance on the server while running programs.
  3. Problem diagnosis and resolution is more difficult in this form of hosting compared to Shared Hosting.

From the above explanations, in shared hosting your website runs on one server with other websites that are signed in on shared contracts with the same service provider as you. However, in dedicated web hosting the server you use is not shared with others. Both the shared and dedicated web hosting plans have their pros and cons. Therefore, in selecting the best for your company or personal blog, it is advisable to consider your budget limit as well as your skill set.

I recommend InMotion Hosting as the best shared hosting and Liquid Web as the best Dedicated hosting.  We use them for other sites and we know that they’re the fastest, the most secure and the companies with the best customer support and uptime.

Fathi Arfaoui: A Physicist, Blogger, and the founder and owner of He shares Business, Blogging, WordPress, Web Safety, and Blogging tips to build better websites and blogs. Also, he shares online marketing strategies and recommendations.

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