If you are choosing website hosting and looking for advice on dedicated servers then you are in the right place, as this page provides a definition, plus a guide to the advantages.
If you own a website, you are probably paying a hosting provider to host your website on their servers. Most cheap hosting packages are on shared servers. What this means is that the machine that your site is physically stored on also hosts other people’s websites.
Depending on your hosting plan, you will get a certain amount of storage, bandwidth, email accounts, etc allocated to you on this shared server.
The advantage of shared hosting is that it is much cheaper than paying to have your own dedicated server. The main disadvantage is that with shared hosting, all the resources of the physical server (processor, memory) are shared. If other users are straining the resources of the shared server, it is likely that the performance of your website will suffer.
So what are dedicated servers?
A dedicated server is a machine that is assigned for use by a single client.
This client pays for the rental of the entire physical server.
Advantages of dedicated servers
Renting a dedicated server is much more expensive than shared hosting, but it has a number of advantages.
With a dedicated server, you won’t need to worry about other server users impacting your site’s performance.
A dedicated server also allows more flexibility because you can customise the software configuration of the server much more than on a shared server. In most cases this also means, however, that you need more technical knowledge in order to setup your dedicated server so your website works and performs as it should.
Should you get a dedicated server?
Whether a dedicated server is worth the extra money very much depends on your use case. If you are running a simple blog with a low amount of visitors, shared hosting will probably be fine.
If your website gets 1000s of visitors per day or you are a building web app that needs some serious server power and specific software configuration, a VPS or dedicated server would likely be worth the investment.