When Should You Spend Money On A Dedicated Web Server?

Posted on July 17, 2012 by Nikhil P Naik

In the present era, basic web-development skills are no longer just for programmers. Instead, they are also now considered an essential skill set for anyone who runs a company or works in a marketing capacity. Thankfully, the tools and technology required to play around with websites and web development are cheap and easily accessible. And the documentation required to create and run complex web sites are abundant, free and easy to read.

If you want to start a web site today, you can purchase a monthly hosting plan for as little as $5 per month. (That’s on the upper-end of the price scale) And you know what? These dirt-cheap web hosting accounts work great and have all the features you could ever ask for:

  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Unlimited Domains
  • Unlimited Databases
  • More Storage Than You’ll Ever Need
  • Free Templates
  • 99.9% Uptime Guarantees
  • 24/7 Live Support

And all for less than 16 cents per day! How can anyone go wrong?

Dedicated Web Server   So if high-quality web hosting is so cheap, why would anyone want to pay anywhere from $150 to $500 for dedicated hosting?
There’s one primary difference between dedicated web servers and traditional low-cost web hosting. Low-cost web hosting accounts are like crowded apartment complexes with many tenants crammed into a single machine. However, dedicated web servers are like a luxurious mansion where you are the only client hosted on that machine.

Dedicated servers are serious solutions, for serious customers. And for the people who prefer the dedicated server option, it all comes down to one of 3 things: Service, Power and Control.

Also Read:

Understanding The Different Types of Web Hosting

A Comparison of Shared, VPS and Dedicated Hosting

Service

For small business owners, saving money is a major priority. But for larger organizations, time is money.
When you have a multi-million dollar marketing budget, there is very little difference between a $5/month service and a $500/month service. These executives don’t mind spending a bit extra money for a higher level on VIP service if it can save them wasted effort and inconvenience.

For larger companies, marketing is also a high-stakes game. And in this context, it’s a good investment to spend extra on the best tools. (If Amazon.com goes down for just 1 hour, it could cost them millions of dollars)

Power

Although most web hosting companies promise 99.9% uptime, you must understand that “uptime” is not the same as “availability”. Your web site could become unavailable, even if the server is still on. This is a common occurrence due to the “bad neighbour effect”.
The “bad neighbour effect” happens when you have many web sites hosted on the same server, and one of those web sites experiences high load. (Usually due to spikes in traffic, malicious attacks, or high RAM usage)

Unlimited traffic is only “unlimited” if it doesn’t cause your server to become overloaded. And if your web host decides that your site is too much of a burden, your account could be shut down. (I’ve personally been banned from a shared web hosting service for running a heavy database script which only ran queries once every 2 minutes)

With dedicated web hosting, you control all of the RAM and you get full access to the best bandwidth connections. You don’t have to worry about your site going down as the result of another web site’s bad luck.

Control

Due to security concerns, web hosts place strict limitations on the functionality of multi-tenant hosted accounts. If these controls were not in place, one of the web site owners could potentially write a script which could attack the other web sites hosted on that same machine. (Spam distribution used to be a major problem for web hosts. That’s why email functionality is now locked down tight.)

Developers, SaaS providers and ecommerce companies require powerful functionality which simply wouldn’t be possible on a typical web hosting account. Dedicated web hosting services provide a “bare metal box” with “full root” access.  So you are truly free to do whatever you want with your web server, without having to answer to anyone else.

If you want the VIP treatment, high availability and traffic capacity, or total control, then a dedicated web hosting server may be right for you.

Also Read:

Web Hosting: VPS or Shared Hosting?

What type of Hosting Do You Require [Infographic]


About The Author: Paul Rudo is an expert technology writer who discusses dedicated servers, managed web hosting, and other business-related IT topics.

About Nikhil P Naik

Nikhil Naik has finished his graduation in the field of IT and is currently mastering in Business Analytics and Information Systems. He also loves watching cricket, listening to music and aspires to be a Data Scientist. Twitter Handle - @buzz_nikhil.

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