|To have a website, you have to have a host. The 2 principal
options available for web hosting are shared and dedicated
A website that uses dedicated hosting has the server all to
itself, while a shared host is split amongst multiple customers.
This article will help you choose the 1 that will work best for
Websites are stored on servers, which are simply computers that
been set up to respond to data requests from the internet. Each
server has an individual Internet Protocol (IP) address -- 4
numbers separated by dots such as 123.456.78.9.
With a dedicated server, all the resources of the server, as
well as the IP address, are unique to that website and are yours
to use as you want. It can be used to host just 1 site or many.
You have access to the entire bandwidth of the server, and you
can use as much disk space as needed.
Companies with large complex websites that receive a lot of
traffic really need a dedicated host. Sites with a dedicated
server are also able to run any kind of script they choose. This
is especially important for businesses that are developing new
scripts and need to test them without affecting other websites.
Websites sharing a single server are sharing all the resources
of that computer. Shared hosting places several websites on the
same server, all sharing the same disk space, bandwidth, and IP
address. The host will limit each site to a specified amount of
disk space and bandwidth to be used per month, in order to
provide sufficient service to all the shared sites. Sites that
exceed their limit may be charged a substantial penalty or even
temporarily closed down.
The number of sites being shared by a particular server is not
as important as the amount of traffic each is receiving. A
server hosting 200 low traffic sites will respond much faster
than 1 with 50 sites receiving lots of visitors.
Arriving requests are dealt with on a first-in-first-out
sequence. If there is a large queue, there will be a long wait
as each server has a limited amount of bandwidth. The amount of
traffic your neighbors receive can quickly impact how well your
web site is displayed.
Because the cost of operating the server is divided amongst many
customers, shared hosting is a lot cheaper than dedicated. It's
available for as little as $2 a month, while dedicated hosting
can run over $100 each month.
There are risks associated with shared hosting. If 1 of the
neighbors runs a programmed script that goes bad, the entire
server could be affected. In extreme situations this could shut
your site down for a while. If a neighbor is banned from search
engines for spamming tactics, that could also affect everyone
sharing that IP address. It's a good idea to check with hosting
companies first, to see what their policy is about third-party
scripts and inappropriate activities.
How To Decide Between The 2 Options
Large complicated websites that expect to receive 1,000 or more
visitors a day should opt for dedicated hosting. It's also a
good choice for developers who expect to research and test new
Small companies and individuals with small sites are probably
better off with shared hosting. The cost is certainly more
reasonable. Just be sure to choose a host with a good reputation
who will protect your site from others that could put your site
About the author:
Hosting Solutions to learn more. Ron King is a full-time
researcher, writer, and web developer, visit his website at Website
Copyright 2005 Ron King. This article may be reprinted if the
resource box is left intact and the links live.
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