The benefits of a dedicated server may be worth the added cost, so you may not even need to read this section. If you’re on the fence and wondering whether it’s worth increasing your monthly cost tenfold, then you may want to keep reading to see what you’re getting with your own server.
Storage and Bandwidth
A dedicated server gives you 100% of the resources instead of just a slice. With more storage, you can add more products, if you’re running an e-commerce website, which also means more photos and videos. On a shared server, you’re much more limited, but some of the best e-commerce hosting providers make it doable.
You’ll also get more bandwidth, which means your site visitors shouldn’t see lag when your site pages load. It also means you can accept more visitors at once without any slowdowns or interruptions. Shared servers typically limit this resource so that all clients on the server aren’t affected by traffic spikes.
Server Uptime Guarantees
You’ve likely seen web hosts boast 99.9% server uptime. That’s nearly 100%, so it has to be good, right? No server is going to be up 24/7. Web hosts have to perform maintenance, and so occasionally servers will be down. Hosts will tell you when the server will be down, and that downtime doesn’t count toward the guarantee.
However, if your server is down at any time other than the scheduled maintenance, you’re likely entitled to a portion of your monthly fee back. It’s a good idea to keep an uptime monitor running to either claim the money-back guarantee, or see whether it’s worth moving to another host (if there’s too much downtime). After all, if your server isn’t up, no one can visit your site(s).
Another benefit to choosing dedicated hosting is that you can usually choose your server location. This is helpful if you study your site visitor data. If most of your site traffic originates in Australia, you may be able to choose a server in, say, Asia or any nearby location. Being able to choose your server location can help with site load speed for site visitors.
Alternatively, look for a web host that offers a content delivery network (CDN), which mirrors your site on multiple servers throughout the globe. This cuts down on the time it takes to load your website for visitors that originate in another part of the world.
Managed vs. Unmanaged Dedicated Hosting
Most web hosts offer two options for a dedicated server: unmanaged or managed dedicated server hosting. An unmanaged, or bare metal, server costs less because the host doesn’t maintain the server for you.
Choose an unmanaged server if you don’t mind doing the work. You’ll install a control panel, maintain security, apply patches and maintain updates yourself. Go with a managed server if you want the web host to handle security and maintenance for you—this is a better option if you’ve never performed server maintenance before.
You may also want to consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to enhance security when logging in to your server. It’s especially helpful to use a VPN when accessing the internet over Wi-Fi. The best VPNs are affordable and easy to use on your desktop or mobile device.
HDD vs. SSD Storage
A classic hard disk drive (HDD) is a mechanical hard drive on which you store files. It’s a far cheaper option for personal computers and servers alike. However, a solid-state drive (SSD) is faster, offers better overall performance and uses less energy and power. So, it comes down to your needs. If you aren’t concerned about speed and want an affordable, large storage option, go with HDD. If price isn’t a concern and you don’t need as much storage, SSD is a better choice.