Alexandra Leslie’s interest in website administration was sparked in her teens, priming her for a fast-paced career in managing, building, and contributing to online brands, including HostingAdvice, Forbes, and the blogs of prominent hosting providers. She brings to the table firsthand experience in reviewing web hosts, perfecting website design, optimizing content, and walking site owners through the steps that add up to a successful online presence. Today, she combines her extensive writing experience with technical understanding to unpack some of the most complex topics that daunt novice website owners, as well as the subjects that excite veteran technologists within the HostingAdvice readership.
Building your website on a shared server means that your pages may be affected by a neighboring site that devours too many server resources. For example, if that site receives a huge spike in traffic, your pages might load slowly—or not at all. Investing in a dedicated server greatly reduces this potential problem, plus it gives system administrators greater control over the apps and scripts that they can install on the server, too. Shared hosting is far more limited when it comes to what you're allowed to do, because everything you do could potentially affect the other sites with which you share the server. When you've got the server all to yourself, your scripts and apps won't impinge on anyone else's bandwidth or RAM.
A cursory glance at the many web hosting services we've listed here reveals many similar-looking offerings, but the discerning eye will identify some subtle differences. You'll want a dedicated server with significant amounts of disk space—preferably 1TB or more—for storing files. You can typically choose either a traditional hard drive or a solid-state drive as your website's storage medium. There's a trade-off, however. Solid-state drives are often faster and more reliable than HDDs, but they cost more money and have smaller storage capacities. Traditional hard drives, on the other hand, have large capacities and lower prices but aren't quite as resilient as their SSD counterparts. Unless you truly need blazingly fast storage, a traditional hard drive will get the job done.
Other software applications available are specialized web hosting specific programs called control panels. Control panel software is an all inclusive set of software applications, server applications, and automation tools that can be installed on a dedicated server. Control panels include integration into web servers, database applications, programming languages, application deployment, server administration tasks, and include the ability to automate tasks via a web based front end.
A dedicated server, or computing server, is a server where all the physical resources of the machine are available. Unlike a virtual server, which uses a portion of the resources to run its virtualisation technology, a dedicated server allows you to benefit from all of the machine’s available RAM, storage, and computing power. With cloud computing, we can also define this type of solution as "bare metal", highlighting the physical availability of the machine’s resources, in contrast to standard solutions based on virtual instances.
Recognized for the excellent uptime and ability to handle large loads of traffic, you'll also no longer have to contend with noisy neighbors. Noisy neighbors can bog down the server, but with a Dedicated Server, your web application can perform at optimal speeds. Thus, favored by mission-critical businesses, E-Commerce sites and web pages with significant traffic.
Recently, we've added more formal uptime monitoring to our review process, and the results show that most Web hosts do an excellent job of keeping sites up and running. If they don't, they suffer for it in our scoring. Even if they get everything else right, sites with uptime problems aren't eligible for high scores. All services suffer ups and downs, sometimes for reasons beyond their control. Those sites that fail to address the problem are penalized accordingly.
There are many uses for a dedicated server: big data, machine learning, website and application hosting, backups and storage, infrastructure virtualisation, server clusters, business applications (CRM, ERP), and even online game hosting. This is why we offer several different dedicated server ranges, each of which are designed for a specific set of needs. Our sales and support teams will help you with your project, and can offer expert advice on which server to choose.
You can save a nice chunk of money if you sign up for a year or more of dedicated hosting at a time. For example, you can rent a GoDaddy dedicated server for $129 per month, but if you commit to a 12-month contract, the price drops to $79.99 per month. Chances are, if you're serious enough about your site that you think it needs a dedicated host, you're probably planning for it to be up for a year. Of course, that's where the money-back guarantees come in, and some sites definitely offer more than others in that regard, so do your research. All our web-hosting reviews cover these guarantees.
Most dedicated servers are packaged with a control panel. Control panels are often confused with management tools, but these control panels are actually web based automation tools created to help automate the process of web site creation and server management. Control panels should not be confused with a full server management solution by a dedicated hosting providers.