There are two main services that are offered by web hosting companies; dedicated and shared hosting. There is a large number of learners and internet users who are keen to find out the real difference between these types of hosting. In this post, I will break down the topic so that you can understand what is shared hosting. We will also touch on its advantages and disadvantages as compared to dedicated web hosting.
Shared hosting is a form of web hosting where different websites and web applications are placed on the same web server. These websites share the server disk space and all the other computing resources; hence the name ‘shared hosting’. However, every website has its own space so that the owners can only access their disc partition.
The fact that more than one user share the server means that they also share the total cost of maintaining the particular server. This is different from dedicated web hosting where only one website and all its applications are placed on the server. The user is given full control of the server. This is the reason why shared web hosting is cheaper than dedicated web hosting as the client has to pay for all the costs of the server.
Advantages of Shared Hosting:
Cost is the main advantage of shared hosting. This is due to the fact that customers share the cost of running the server.
Users of shared hosting are also shielded from the complex functionalities of the server, most of which they do not need. This means that one does not need to have great technical knowledge to manage their space on the server and the provider carries out most of the operations. Hosting companies offer a simple control panel to carry out certain operations on the server such as uploading and managing files.
Cons of Shared Hosting:
Security is a major issue in shared web hosting plans as all the websites on one server share the same digital certificate.
Successful intrusion on the server gives the intruder system-wide access. This compromises all the websites that are hosted on server.
Have you ever wondered why the Google website has never gone down? I also doubt whether you can find a single day in the past ten years where the Google website has experienced downtime. The reason why Google has ensured such reliability despite the huge amounts of traffic that the site gets in a single day simply lies in the magic that is Cloud hosting!
Cloud Hosting is simply the use of several clustered servers for internet hosting services. In Cloud hosting each of the several servers performs a specific task and in case one or more servers fail, the other remaining servers will kick in and perform the dysfunctional server’s task temporarily. Cloud hosting is a very reliable alternative to the use of dedicated/shared servers because of:
1. Access to Additional Resources
In cloud hosting you can get additional bandwidth very efficiently without having to deal with customer service to help you get assistance in increasing your allocation. You can easily increase the resources at your disposal immediately; this will help you avoid getting your site suspended when it experiences a sudden increase in traffic.
Almost all websites tend to have periods where the number of users tends to be at its highest. This might be only for a short of period of time such as when a new product is being downloaded. During this period the resources available to the user tend to be strained. In cloud computing such a user can increase the resources available albeit temporarily. After the number of users decrease the owner can return back to the previously allocated resources quite easily.
With cloud hosting the need for a dedicated server is eliminated as was the case earlier when your needs overwhelmed your shared hosting environment. Cloud hosting could assist in such instances as most of the time the resources provided for a dedicated server might be too much and tend to be misused.
Cloud Hosting is relatively new and tends to be slightly more expensive as opposed to shared/dedicated servers and few web hosts offer this service but with all its advantages it might turn out to be worth the extra dollars.
Dedicated hosting service is the type of internet hosting service where a client leases a given server that is not shared with anybody else. It is also known as managed hosting service or a dedicated server. It is more flexible when compared to shared hosting. The site owner has total control over the servers and makes individual choices regarding the hardware and operating system. Sometimes the administration of the server can be conducted by the hosting company where the client does not have the expertise or resources to do so on his or her own.
Using dedicated hosting comes with a myriad of advantages. Though it is more expensive than shared hosting, it offers better performance, more security, stability, email and control. It is highly recommended for websites with heavy traffic due to its high cost. In some cases, dedicated servers can incur low overheads and yield high return on investment, especially when the website is well run and is highly profitable.
Security is important in websites but it is difficult to be maintained over a shared platform. With dedicated hosting security is maximized. Your data and that of your customers is secured and can never be compromised. Important information is only accessible to you and can never get into the wrong hands.
Speed is an important factor in determining the quality of a website. A shared server divides its processing functions among all the websites it hosts thus greatly slowing some of the websites especially when the traffic is huge. In bad instances, the server can even crash. Dedicated hosting ensures the website is fast and that its uptime is high. It ensures there is a high memory capacity and operation site to ensure the website can support large traffic without experiencing problems. Choosing a dedicated server over a shared server is therefore advantageous though it is more costly. In the long run, however, it could mean the difference between success and failure for an online business.