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There are billions of websites on the internet, each unique. With such diversity, it should come as no surprise there are also many options for the web hosting needed to run all the websites. Finding the best type of web hosting for your specific situation can be challenging. Learning about the different types of hosting will help you make the best decision for your business.

Key takeaways:

  • What dedicated hosting is, and when to choose it
  • How dedicated hosting is different from other types of hosting
  • The pros and cons of dedicated hosting
  • The costs of different types of hosting

What Is Dedicated Hosting?

Dedicated hosting is when a web hosting company uses one or more physical servers exclusively for one client. In most cases, one large website is housed on one physical server. For extremely popular sites or those that need higher levels of stability, it could mean that multiple physical servers are all used exclusively for one website. When multiple servers are used, they can be configured in many ways based on the desires of the website owner.

Popular options for dedicated servers include:

  • Spreading the site across servers: Having one copy of the website spread out over multiple servers creates one large virtual environment, giving the website a greater amount of system resources to serve the site to visitors.
  • Having the site fully on multiple servers in one location: Copying a website onto multiple physical servers is ideal for redundancy. The traffic to the site can either be load balanced on each server or go to one exclusively and use the other only as a backup if the primary server goes down.
  • Having the site fully on multiple servers in many locations: If you have site visitors from many geographic locations or want additional redundancy, having full copies of the site in multiple physical locations keeps your site operational at all times.

What Is the Difference Between Dedicated Hosting and Other Types of Hosting?

Understanding the difference between dedicated hosting and the other options is relatively simple. While dedicated servers have access to all of the system resources of the entire server ― or multiple servers ― that is not the case with other hosting options.

Other common hosting options include:

  • Shared hosting: This represents one physical server used for websites from many different people or businesses. All of the sites share the system resources of the entire server. One powerful server can host dozens, or even hundreds, of smaller sites. Shared hosting is ideal for smaller sites that don’t get a huge amount of traffic.
  • Virtual private servers (VPS): This is one physical server split up between multiple customer sites. Unlike shared hosting, each customer on the server is given exclusive access to a set amount of the system resources at all times. This helps to prevent a heavy load on one website from impacting the others on the server. VPS are typically for midsize websites.
  • Cloud hosting: This describes when multiple physical servers are logically combined to form one virtual environment, and multiple customer websites are added to that environment. Cloud hosting can either have all the sites share the resources (cloud shared hosting) ― or have exclusive access to a set amount (cloud VPS hosting).

When Should You Use Dedicated Hosting?

Dedicated hosting solutions are ideal in some cases, like if your website consistently gets thousands of visitors at a time. A strong server dedicated to your website helps ensure visitors to the page get a fast response every time. Also, when running many smaller sites, the dedicated server ensures they operate smoothly. It gives you full control over things like the operating system, database, and other server details, so the sites always run the way you want.

Beyond these situations, however, it is best to choose a less expensive hosting solution that is easier to use. In general, only those with plenty of experience managing websites should consider dedicated hosting. If you’re in a situation where you need this level of service, no other option will provide you with the resources, stability, and other benefits of a dedicated server.

InMotion Dedicated Hosting Features.
Source: InMotion Hosting

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Dedicated Web Hosting?

What are the advantages of dedicated web hosting?

  1. You have complete control of the server: Dedicated servers allow you to control everything about the device. You can choose any operating system, content management system, database type, and more. Also, you can decide if and when to perform upgrades or other changes, giving you better uptime control.
  2. The ability to customize your server: The hosting company typically lets you choose from several different server makes and models. This allows you to get the exact configuration you’re seeking. Some hosting companies even let you order a custom-built server that will be housed in their data center.
  3. It’s the most powerful option: As you would expect, when you can use all of a server’s system resources, your website(s) can handle vast amounts of traffic without a problem on a dedicated server.

What are the disadvantages of dedicated server hosting?

  1. It’s expensive: You’ll pay more for dedicated server hosting than most other types of hosting.
  2. It requires responsibility: Unless you also pay for management services, you’re responsible for updates and configuration settings. You need a good understanding of how web hosting hardware and software work to avoid problems.
  3. You’ll have to commit: Some web hosting companies require you to commit to a set amount of time you have on the server. Since the hosting company has to buy the server upfront, they often don’t allow you to cancel ― without a penalty ― within your contract term.

What Is the Cost of Dedicated Hosting Compared to Other Types of Hosting?

The price of dedicated hosting largely depends on the system specs of the server you need. Dedicated servers start around $80 per month and go up to $500 or more. The price can change dramatically based on many factors related to the server and any other services you need from the hosting company.

When you compare this to shared hosting, which typically starts at less than $10 per month, it’s easy to see that dedicated hosting is expensive. In most cases, you can get VPS hosting solutions for between $20 and $100, although higher-end options can be more costly. The bottom line with dedicated hosting is that it’s easily the most expensive option and should only be chosen if your site(s) need it.

A2 Dedicated Hosting Features.
Source: A2 Hosting

How Do You Choose a Dedicated Hosting Provider?

If you decide on dedicated hosting, choose the best hosting provider possible. At WhoIsHostingThis.com, we regularly analyze all the hosting providers to see which ones provide customers with top services at the best prices. Our list of the best dedicated web hosting companies recommends those currently providing the best service levels.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dedicated Hosting Providers

What are the most popular dedicated hosting providers?

See WhoIsHostingThis.com’s picks for the top dedicated hosting providers of 2024.

Who should use dedicated hosting?

Dedicated hosting is generally a good fit for midsize to large companies with websites that receive a lot of traffic, such as an e-commerce site.

What are the extra costs associated with dedicated hosting?

Aside from a higher monthly cost than other types of hosting, dedicated hosting may come with extra costs for solid-state drive (SSD) storage, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates, spam mail filtering, domain privacy, and more.