If you’re in the market for a new host you’re going to have a lot of decisions to make. Beyond finding the best type of hosting for your needs you’ll also need to think about which hosting provider you’ll want to use as well.
When choosing a hosting provider you’ll want to ensure it’s a host that you can grow with. Meaning they offer a multitude of different types of hosting that can support your site as you scale.
Chances are, you probably started your online journey with a shared hosting plan. But, what about when your site grows beyond these initial stages? What kind of hosting will support you when you’re getting hundreds of thousands of site visitors?
One of the main forms of hosting that’ll support large and growing sites is dedicated hosting. But, you don’t want to jump into the first dedicated host you stumble across.
Below we’ll explore what dedicated hosting is, the benefits of dedicated IP hosting it can bring your site, what to look for in a dedicated host, along with some tips on finding the best cheap and reliable dedicated hosting for your new site.
What is Dedicated Hosting?
Dedicated hosting is a form of website hosting that gives you access to an entire physical server. Compare dedicated hosting and shared hosting and you’ll see a big difference in hosting plans. When it comes to shared hosting, you’re sharing the resources of a physical server with hundreds or even thousands of other websites. In shared hosting, you have access to a partitioned amount of server resources, but you might run into the limits of what this style of hosting can provide.
When defining dedicated hosting, you have complete access to the server’s RAM, bandwidth, storage, software configuration, and more. With greater server resources at your disposal you’ll be able to have a very high performing website, with higher levels of security and reliability, no matter how large your site is, or the volume of traffic you receive.
However, with a dedicated IP server, you’re also responsible for ongoing server maintenance, optimization, and the initial server setup. If you don’t have the necessary technical skills you may need to bring on another team member or opt for a managed dedicated host. With a managed dedicated server the hosting provider you choose will provide additional support, along with assistance with server setup and maintenance.
Dedicated Hosting Benefits
There are a ton of dedicated hosting benefits for the right kind of website owner. Here are some of the biggest advantages to using a dedicated server to host your site:
1. High Levels of Uptime
If you have a profitable website on the web, then every moment your site is offline it’s costing you money. Depending on the volume of transactions you process this number can be very high. As a result, you’ll want a host that offers a very high level of uptime.
Dedicated server hosting can provide you with nearly perfect website uptime. Your site will never be brought offline due to a traffic surge, or a post of yours going viral. Plus, dedicated servers have built-in server redundancy, so if there are any issues with your server hardware or software, this won’t take your site offline.
There still might be moments where server maintenance is required, but these can be scheduled during slow times, or you can have your site run from another server while maintenance on your main server is being done.
2. Improved Website Security
With reliable dedicated hosting solutions, you can customize the security protocols that are supporting your site. These include custom firewalls, security software, and more. In fact, some web hosting providers require that you have a dedicated IP for SSL.
The customization options offered by a dedicated server allow you to secure your server, along with your website, with custom protocols.
You also have the advantage of not sharing server space with any other sites. With a shared server there’s the chance of another site on the server becoming infected with malware or using poor security practices. There’s a chance this could end up affecting your site. But, with a dedicated server, this will never be an issue.
3. Custom Server Setup
With a dedicated server on the web, you have complete control over your server’s software and hardware. With other forms of hosting you have to fit your site into the existing parameters of the server.
On a dedicated server, you’ll be able to choose your operating system of choice, add specific hardware components, and choose which software you’ll want to run on your server. This can help you get the most performance out of your site as you’ll be able to customize the server to your unique requirements.
It’ll also be much easier to manage your site and customize your server with root server that’s provided with most dedicated servers.
4. Improved Website Performance
Dedicated servers will help you get the most out of your website. First, you won’t be competing for server resources with any other websites. On a shared host, if a site is experiencing a surge in traffic there’s a chance this could negatively impact the performance of your website.
With a dedicated server, you’ll be the only website on the server that’s using its resources. This means you’ll have full access to the memory and bandwidth of the server—which, since it’s a dedicated server, will be quite large.
Plus, you have the ability to optimize your server’s configuration to cater to your website. Helping you achieve a high level of performance right out of the gate.
5. Ability to Scale Your Site
A dedicated server can help to maintain performance during any fluctuations in traffic your site might receive. With other forms of hosting a spike in traffic might actually bring your site offline. But, with a dedicated host, a traffic spike will won’t cause any noticeable drop in performance.
If your site grows and you’re hitting the limits of your existing dedicated server you can always add additional server resources. Dedicated servers aren’t as instantly scalable as a cloud or VPS server, but it’s still quite easy to add more resources to your plan.
Who Can Benefit from Cheap Dedicated Server Hosting?
Most website owners probably won’t get a lot out of upgrading to dedicated hosting. However, this is due to most sites never receiving a high enough volume of traffic to take advantage of dedicated hosting, to begin with.
Here are a few of the biggest reasons you should consider upgrading to dedicated hosting:
You Receive a High-Volume of Traffic
Once you outgrow your basic shared hosting package you’ll have a variety of different hosting options to choose from. When you’re receiving a high volume of traffic, ensuring fast loading speeds and high site performance should be your main priority.
A dedicated server will provide you with a high level of uptime, incredible performance, along with additional features like server customization and enhanced security.
With a dedicated host, you can ensure your site can easily support a high volume of monthly visitors.
You Have High Website Revenue
When your site is profitable you’re losing money for every second it’s offline. When your site is offline you’re not only losing money, but you’re delivering a poor user experience. This is doubly true for eCommerce stores.
When you’re running an online store your user experience is very important. Imagine your site going offline just as a user is about to complete their order.
With a dedicated server, you’ll have near zero downtime. This means that your site will be able to handle traffic surges when you’re running promotions, and your users will always be able to complete their orders.
You Require a Unique Server Configuration
Does your site require a unique software configuration in order to function properly?
Maybe you’re running a piece of software that draws on server resources in a unique way, or you’ve found a way to optimize your website’s performance with a unique hardware and software setup. Or, you may want to use a dedicated server for games.
Whatever the reason if you require a unique server configuration, then you’re going to want to use a dedicated server. However, keep in mind that customizing your dedicated server will require a higher level of technical skills to both setup and maintain your server environment.
What to Look for in Cheap Dedicated Hosting
When you’re looking for the best cheap dedicated hosting there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. Generally, the dedicated hosting cost will be the most expensive form of web hosting. After all, you’re renting an entire physical server and you’re not sharing these costs with any other users.
Still, cheaper forms of dedicated hosting do exist. However, when you’re looking for a cheap dedicated host, you’ll want to make your decision based on more than cost alone.
Here are a few key features to look for when choosing a dedicated hosting provider:
1. High-Quality Support
A rock-solid support team isn’t something you’ll want to overlook. When you run into issues with your hosting account you’ll want a knowledgeable support team that can help you quickly work through issues.
Even if you have the necessary technical skills or a solid team of engineers, there are certain tasks that you might need your hosting company to provide. If their support team is slow or unhelpful, then small site issues might morph into large scale issues.
Having a quality support team is even more important if you don’t have the skills to manage, or troubleshoot your own web server. The quality of the support team isn’t something you’ll want to overlook.
2. High Level of Guaranteed Uptime
If you have the need to upgrade to a dedicated server, then chances are your site is generating significant revenue. For this reason, having a high level of uptime is incredibly important.
Any time that your site spends offline will actually cost your site revenue. Plus, you’ll be delivering a poor user experience whenever your site is offline. Imagine what will happen if your site goes offline the moment a user is about to complete a purchase.
Look for a dedicated host that offers incredibly high uptime. Also, make sure the hosting provider stands behind this claim with data, a refund policy, or a guarantee of some sort.
3. Required Server Features
There’s no point in paying for a dedicated server if it doesn’t support the features required by your site. Even if the price of hosting fits perfectly within your budget, you’ll still want a dedicated server that offers your website what it needs to perform.
For example, does it offer a choice of operating system, like Windows or Linux. Is there support for your required amount of bandwidth, storage, and memory? Does the web hosting have dedicated IP addresses?
Think about which server features are non-negotiable before you begin making price comparisons.
What’s the Best Cheap Dedicated Hosting?
Every website will have unique needs. For this reason, there is no “best” cheap dedicated hosting for every style of website owner.
You’ll need to take your unique server requirements into account, and which features are going to be non-negotiable. Only at this point should you start searching for a dedicated hosting provider.
The range of price for dedicated servers is quite large. Things like the additional features you require, the type of dedicated hosting you choose, and the length of your contract will all influence how cheap your service actually is.
Typically, the lowest monthly price you’ll be able to find for a dedicated server is around $75 per month. The higher the level of hosting the more this price will increase. At HostGator, you can find dedicated hosting for as low as $119 per month.
If you’re looking for the cheapest dedicated hosting possible, then you’ll probably have to make some sacrifices. Web hosting providers can afford to offer cheap dedicated hosting plans by cutting certain features. Just make sure these features don’t affect the performance of your site.
The other difference you’ll have to choose between is whether or not you need a managed or semi-managed server. With a managed server you’ll get access to a very helpful and knowledgeable support team. They’ll assist you with server setup, maintenance, optimization, updates, and a lot more. You’ll also get access to a user-friendly control panel, automated backups and more.
A semi-managed dedicated server will require a greater level of technical expertise to set up and manage your server. Instead of being able to rely on a dedicated support team you’ll be responsible for most of the server maintenance and configuration tasks. This level of dedicated hosting will be cheaper, but you’ll be responsible for most of the technical tasks surrounding your server.
When finding the best and cheapest dedicated hosting solutions for you, think about what kind of features you can live without, while still having a high performing website.
Hopefully, you have a better understanding of what dedicated server hosting actually is, how it can benefit your site, and what to look for in a cheap dedicated host.
Remember that when it comes to hosting, you’ll often get what you pay for. Choosing a dedicated server based on price alone can often leave you with a lackluster web server environment that doesn’t give your site what it needs.
If price is your biggest concern, then you might be better off waiting until your revenue numbers are higher, so you can afford a better dedicated hosting plan.
Before you upgrade to dedicated server hosting you’ll want to spend a lot of time in the research phase. In the short-term, you might be able to sacrifice a few features for a cheaper hosting plan. In time, as your site grows you can always scale up your dedicated hosting package, as long as you’ve chosen a host that can provide a scalable solution. To learn more about our dedicated server plans and web hosting services in general, please call our customer support experts at Hostgator today.