Overloaded Shared Servers And Why You Should Consider A Dedicated Server

Shared hosting is easily the most common form of hosting available. It offers affordability to Webmasters while providing hosts with the opportunity to sell multiple accounts on one server. The principle is that the server is split into tens or hundreds of separate accounts with each account gaining access to their share of disk space and bandwidth as well as other features. A web control panel is added also giving a uniform, standard way for hosting clients to establish and maintain their website presence.

The Affordability Of Shared Hosting

Shared hosting offers affordability in many ways. It is generally made as simplistic as possible by hosts in order to attract even the least experienced of Webmsaters. Software applications, webmail, statistics, and even a site builder and editor are all fairly common place with hosting accounts that cost less than $10 per month each. The simplicity means that just about anybody can do a little research, pay a subscription, and set up a website. This means that small businesses don’t necessarily have to pay anyone specific to maintain their site. All of this adds up to cost effectiveness.

The Dangers Of Using A Shared Server

However, that doesn’t mean that using a shared account is without its perils; dangers potentially lurk at every corner for the shared hosting customer. One of the primary problems is the overloading of a server. Some hosts over allot the number of websites assigned to a single server because they know that the majority will either fail to reach anywhere close to their allotted amount or they will simply fall by the wayside. However, problems can occur when this happens. If many of the websites on an over allotted or overloaded server suddenly begin to reach the capacity of their account then all the sites on the server suffer as a result. This is particularly common with the really cheap accounts.

Exceeding Your Account Limitations

Even when hosts do not overload the server intentionally in this way, it can still happen. Usually the limitations that are imposed on your account mean that you are still able to exceed these limitations but you will be charged a premium rate for doing so. If a single site or several sites on a server suddenly demand a lot of traffic or take up a lot of disk space then the server once again suffers causing all websites it hosts to slow down, struggle loading, and possibly eventually crash.

Looking For The Right Shared Hosting Account

While it may seem counterintuitive, when looking for a shared host it is important to look at these factors. It would be impossible to know which server you will be hosted on and even more difficult to ascertain how many websites are on that server, although if you have details of any site using a particular server then you can use the whois.sc website. This site shows the name of the server that a website uses and how many sites are currently hosted on that machine. Some fairly simple math should tell you how much total disk space has been offered for that single server. You can, though, determine the penalties applied if you exceed your limitations. If it is a financial penalty then there is no guarantee that your server will not become overloaded.

Checking Your Current Server For Potential Overload

If you currently use a shared hosting service and are suffering from a poor performing website then you should consider looking into it. If you are using nowhere near your allowed capacity then take a look at whois.sc and enter your own domain name. Look at how many sites are hosted on that server and work out roughly the total amount of diskspace that your host has offered. Find out the specifications of the machine you are hosted on and compare the two figures.

The Introduction Of The Dedicated Server

In order to completely prevent suffering at the hands of a server overload one option is to go for a dedicated server. While these can prove potentially costly they offer a number of advantages over shared hosting that might make it worth your while. In most cases it will be down to budget and whether you have the money to pay for the use of an entire server. If your website demands it though then you should listen.

What Are Dedicated Servers?

Dedicated servers are still owned by a host company and are stored in the data center that they use. Generally speaking this data center will be perfect for its role by offering multiple power inputs and numerous outputs. It will be secured, maintained in optimal conditions, and should have technical support on hand or nearby all the time in case of a problem. This is precisely the same set up as most hosts offer with their shared plans. The difference, however, is that the one single server is dedicated to your website. You do not need to share the resources of the one machine and you are not limited by the demands and requirements of other sites.

Saving System Resources On A Dedicated Server

A dedicated server does not necessitate the installation of the same software as with a shared server. A shared server needs to have all the software installed for use by all hosted websites. This is not only a drain on the system resources to begin with but the running of some scripts and the use of some software can potentially cause a huge drain on the speed of the server. The end result is that your website, along with every other website on that machine, will run slowly. A dedicated server is yours to do with, as you will. You can install anything you need, and don’t have to install anything you won’t use.

Looking Out For Your Own Security

Security with shared hosting can be a concern. With potentially hundreds of websites, thousands of web pages, and millions of visitors every single day some sites include high risk scripts on their site. On occasion these scripts can be hacked and reverse engineered to give access to the server files and all sites on that server. This is an extreme case but it is possible and it has happened before. Even ignoring the risk of hacking, many scripts can run slowly when combined with the extensive use associated with that many sites. With a dedicated server you have much more resource to hand over to the running of vital scripts. You can also have two or more hard drives giving you an almost endless limit of resources.

The Limits And Confines Of Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is all about limitations. Limits are placed on the size of your website, the amount of traffic you can receive. Limits may also be placed on the number of email accounts you can have and certainly on the size of your mailbox. Program support is also quite limited in some cases, and FTP and MySQL also suffer this same fate. The only limitations placed on a dedicated server are those that you wish to impose and the total limitation of your dedicated server.

The Benefits Of Leasing A Dedicated Server

Because you lease the server from the host company this means you also gain the general advantages associated with leasing any equipment. An annual lease enables you to upgrade the machine on an annual basis at no or very little extra cost. General maintenance is also usually included in the price and many minor repairs will also be covered. Having a server that never goes out of date and is instantly repaired and updated as required offers a huge benefit.

The Price Of Freedom, Security, And Performance

Dedicated server plans can cost ten times, twenty times, or even more times the amount of a shared hosting plan. It does offer huge benefit for the organization that believes their website will receive a lot of traffic or will be running a lot of scripts and software on their site. They offer remote control meaning that the organization itself can control the day-to-day management of the server while leaving the maintenance to the appropriate technical staff within the data center.

Hardware Installation

The only real exception to remote management is the installation of any new hardware that is required. Some dedicated server plans may require that you purchase any additional hardware through the host. This can prove costly but it ensures that the host still retains a level of control over what is basically their machine.

Shared Hosting And Dedicated Server Conclusion

Using a dedicated server is not going to prove to be a viable option for many websites. Organizations can benefit, if they can afford the higher outlay, if they believe they will receive a large amount of traffic or require a sizable web presence. Dedicated servers are also more robust, more secure, and much more flexible than any shared hosting plan.

Server overloading is a problem with shared hosting plans. Some hosts find it necessary to offer more accounts than they reasonably should while other servers that are already stretched to the limit can suffer when one or a small number of websites suddenly start to receive a lot of traffic. Upgrading to a new host or a bigger shared account could be the solution, but if the site or your customer base keep growing then you will eventually end up looking at the possibility of a dedicated server.