Medium sized businesses that are experiencing a sharp growth curve have to deal with number of perplexing issues. Choosing between share or dedicated hosting is one of the most vital and challenging tasks. The decision has to be taken by determining current and future hosting needs of the organization.

The issue is further complicated by the large number of dedicated server hosting providers claiming unlimited hosting plans. It would be easy to arrive at the right choice by comparing these hosting options on the basis of various differentiating parameters.

Bandwidth resources

Bandwidth is the volume of traffic handled by a website during a specific period. It is usually estimated by understanding the monthly movement of data being transferred in an out of the network for a given server.

Shared hosting

Although many shared hosting providers make tall claims of offering unlimited bandwidth as well as disk space, one must understand that this cannot be practically possible. Every hosting plan is definitely going to have restrictions in terms of bandwidth or disk space and one cannot consume unlimited bandwidth in any situation.

In a shared hosting environment, it is up to the host to decide about how much bandwidth is to be allocated to you. In an ideal situation, websites consume a particular bandwidth in initial phase and would subsequently go on adding to the same. Hence it would be better to know current level of outgoing traffic and match the same with soft limit of bandwidth offered by shared hosting service provider in order to arrive at conclusion.

Dedicated hosting

Dedicated hosting is the perfect alternative for websites receiving huge volumes of traffic as well as frequent traffic spikes. There are some established hosts who could provide required bandwidth for handling such massive traffic.

Website performance

Shared hosting

Performance is the vital parameter to determine level of browsing satisfaction experienced by your visitors.

Since performance of a website is directly proportional to availability of resources, it could be a matter of concern in shared hosting. There may not be any issue during normal circumstances.

However, your website’s resource availability can be severely impacted due to sudden consumption of large chunks of resources by neighboring websites in shared hosting. Such events will result in slow page loading and below average performance of your website.

Websites are also penalized for sudden increase in resource consumption in a shared environment. This can happen during phase of traffic surge due to unexpected hike in number of concurrent visitors on account of seasonal demands or in response to promotional campaigns.

Dedicated hosting

In dedicated hosting, there are no neighbors and all server resources are exclusively reserved to be used by your website. Therefore dedicated server hosting immunizes your site from the resource starvation during an increase in number of visitors or a traffic surge.

Hence the website will continue to perform well in spite of the level of traffic due to assured availability resources. This will also lead to an enhanced browsing experience and greater rate of conversions. If you are expecting a moderately heavy traffic, then you should ideally choose dedicated hosting for assured performance of website.

Security factors

Shared hosting

The very constitution of shared hosting exposes you to perils of insecure hosting. This is mainly due to presence of hundreds of other websites operating in the same server environment and sharing resources of a single physical server among all of them. If there is an unpalatable event due to a shady action or running of a faulty script by one of the hundreds of other websites, your website could experience downtime for no fault of yours.

Dedicated hosting

Your website will enjoy far greater security if it is running in a dedicated environment. This mainly due to the fact that there are no other websites to cause security issues due to their bad behavior. Web hosting providers ensure greater monitoring of server performance in dedicated hosting to prevent any untoward event or a security breach. You are also allowed to have your own security arrangement in a dedicated hosting such as firewall protection to prevent unauthorized access of intruders.

This leads to conclude that a dedicated hosting is much more secured than shared hosting. If your website is handling sensitive information or it is an ecommerce website, then a dedicated hosting plan should be preferred over shared hosting solution.

Control on hosting environment

Shared hosting

Users of shared hosting are not required to have in depth technical expertise and there are multiple limitations in terms of using advanced software applications in shared hosting environment. You cannot use desired software scripts in a shared hosting environment because your control on server resources are drastically limited.

Dedicated hosting

The most striking advantage of dedicated hosting is availability of root access to server resources. You need to have a decent technical knowledge to explore wide range of controls available in dedicated hosting. You can add special software applications and enhance overall performance of your website in dedicated hosting. It also supports all types of scripting languages and offers freedom of total customization.

Cost considerations

Shared hosting

Cost effectiveness is the most important reason for choosing shared hosting. The economy of shared hosting plans is essentially due to sharing of resources among number of accounts. However, one must ensure reliability of shared hosting provider by understanding overall reputation of services to rule out poor performance at the cost of economy.

Dedicated hosting

Dedicated hosting is a costly proposition due to presence of premium features and it should be chosen by fully understanding the implications of costs. Dedicated hosting is ideal for large organizations who can easily afford the hosting expenses.

Therefore, the decision to choose right type of hosting largely depends upon the factors discussed above. You must understand your website needs, budgets, and other parameters before taking the final call.