What is a Dedicated Server?

If you are considering starting a website, particularly one that is meant to for a business, choosing a server is an important aspect of preparing for the greatest level of success possible. One option is shared hosting, in which your site is supported and managed on the same server as that of many other users. This is good for very small businesses or those that are just starting and are unsure of how their sites will operate or to what capacity. The other option is a dedicated server, which provides more flexibility and customization.

What is a Dedicated Server?

A dedicated server is an actual, physical machine that provides the internet support and operation for your site. By definition, a server is the machine that interprets user requests and provides the resulting information to other computers. This means that the server is what actually makes your site visible and usable to your visitors. Choosing a dedicated server means that you will have a computer completely devoted to maintaining and operating your website. Most service providers offer different levels (and of course prices) for customers to fit the needs they have. Some small businesses will use more than simple promotional pages, and larger business will use even more still.

What is the Difference?

Dedicated servers have a wide range of pros over shared hosting for small and large businesses alike. The amount of bandwidth (the average amount of successful data transfer per second) purchased can be used to allow more traffic, to house data or to help the website run more efficiently. With shared hosting there is a smaller amount of bandwidth available (thus limiting traffic, amount of data that can be stored) whereas on a server such as this the customer is safe in the knowledge that so long as they do not exceed the bandwidth cap, that the website will not go down. In most cases, the server will allow websites to run over their bandwidth cap at an additional charge, which is even more security that should your website get a sudden tremendous amount of unexpected traffic that the website will usually not go down.

Who Use a Dedicated Server?

For most people who just want to build a website to house pictures or video or even for some micro-businesses, a shared hosting solution is likely the cheapest and most appropriate. However, for those who have the capital to put into making the website make money, it’s almost a necessity. With its wide range of customization options, and larger bandwidth options, dedicated servers tower over shared hosting sites in options and reliability. Most hosting companies also offer technical support that can help a more novice webmaster maintain their site more effectively.

This may be the best hosting option for those who are serious about maintaining online businesses with high levels of traffic and want more customizable options for their web needs. While shared hosting may be cheaper, dedicated servers are the standard for businesses looking to grow beyond what shared hosting sites may allow.

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