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Dedicated Web Hosting refers to a web hosting plan in which a dedicated server functions exclusively for one account. It stands in contrast to a nondedicated server which is shared by holders of multiple accounts. This article reviews the benefits of dedicated web hosting and elements to watch for as you choose a dedicated web hosting plan.
Benefits of Dedicated Servers/Web Hosting
Use of a dedicated server in a dedicated web hosting plan frees you from the problems often found in shared hosting. One of these problems is sharing resources. A server has a set amount of resources, and depending on the use of those who share the server with you - an element over which you have no control - your service, and that of your customers, may be slowed or interfered with. A dedicated web hosting account avoids this problem.
Accounts that share a server often share the same IP address. This means that if your server-neighbor behaves in a way that leads some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block the IP address - like the use of spam or pornography - then you, too, will find yourself blocked. This "guilt-by-association" situation does not happen when you have a dedicated server. In this second case, you will have your own, unique IP address.
Dedicated servers are also valued for providing the large storage capacity and bandwidth capabilities that some operations demand. They also provide built-in extensibility for the development of your company. In addition, you can centralize your operations. If you have reliable, redundant backup of your server, even better.
Choosing Dedicated Servers/Web Hosting
One of the most important choices when considering dedicated web hosting is two over-arching types of hosting service. On the one hand, we find the very complete package referred to as managed hosting plans, which provide you with two things: not only a dedicated server, but also a dedicated manager to handle the administration of your system. On the other hand, there is the less involved dedicated hosting plans, which provide you with the lease of a server, for which you provide your own management and trouble-shooting.
The next choice is buying into an existing plan as opposed to designing your own package. Not every dedicated web hosting service may offer you this opportunity, but some, like Go Daddy, do. This allows you to fine-tune your choice of processor, the type of control panel, the amount of RAM, specific editions of server software, and more. You may also want to consider collocation and custom support options, if appropriate to your situation.
When considering managed hosting, look for details on the hosting company's responsibility for the initial setup of the server, for ongoing monitoring, for security and emergency service, and for as needed service for patching and for custom support needs.
Don't make the assumption that dedicated hosting automatically offers you more storage space than shared hosting, because that's not the case. Shared hosting sometimes offers unlimited storage space, while dedicated space can be limited to 60 GB. Also make sure that you will have sufficient bandwidth.
Dedicated web hosting of either type costs more than shared hosting. In most cases, managed hosting is more expensive than regular dedicated hosting, because more space, more control, and more services are being provided to you. To protect your investment, look for evidence of reliable and redundant hosting, uptime guarantees, and money-back service guarantees, as well as 24/7/365 support.
With services at this level, you may well find some freebies thrown in, such as SSL certificate, and advertising credit with sites such as Google AdWords, Microsoft asCenter, and Facebook. If they have value to them, be sure to include them in your cost-benefit analysis of which dedicated web hosting service you choose to sign up with.
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