What is dedicated hosting?

What is Dedicated Hosting?

Dedicated hosting is a term used to describe Dedicated hosting packages that provide a dedicated server with dedicated resources to a single client. This is in contrast to shared hosting, in which a server acts as a host to multiple clients. Dedicated hosting plans are ideal for Word Press websites with very large number of visitors. A dedicated hosting service is sometimes referred to as a dedicated server and can be set up in-house or externally as a service from within a data center.

Benefits

  • Dedicated hosting provides more freedom and control than the other hosting solutions – hence proving to be more customizable. The customer can select and pay only for the features he requires.
  • It provides high performance and smooth and convenient customer experience. Dedicated hosting results into almost 99.5% uptime, which improves speed and performance.
  • Despite increased traffic, server congestion is much less of an issue when it comes to dedicated hosting. Despite high usage levels of other websites or applications hosted on the same server, competing for bandwidth, disk space and CPU usage, congestion does not occur in case of dedicated hosting – which is why it is efficient.
  • Clients can deploy security measures like anti-virus and firewall configurations according to their own needs to avoid the security vulnerabilities prevailing on their server. Hence dedicated hosting proves to be of high security.
  • Custom technical support can be obtained on dedicated servers which ensures minimum site disruption.

Traits of a good dedicated hosting service provider

For efficient dedicated hosting of your website, one must choose a company or a service provider that:

  • Provides scalable infrastructure
  • Guaranteed high uptime
  • Services like domain name registration, email hosting services etc.
  • Issuing of unlimited domains and sub domains
  • Control panel that puts the client in command
  • Ensures 24x7 reliable customer support
  • Provides risk free trials and money-back guarantees

Know What Kind of Dedicated Host You Need

Understanding the needs of your business can help narrow your dedicated hosting options. If you plan to build a website that features video blogging, 24-hour live streaming and the ability for visitors to register and upload their own videos, your website would require more features than someone who just uses their website as a virtual resume. Websites that receive a lot of daily traffic will likely not function well on a shared server because these servers are designed to accommodate a lot of small websites that have limited demands.

Know Your Hosting Needs

You can never get the right dedicated host without knowing what you need. So before you go any further – put everything aside (including this guide you are reading) and think about what you really need.

  • What kind of website are you building?
  • Do you want something common (a WordPress blog, perhaps)?
  • Do you need Windows applications?
  • Do you need support for a specific script (e.g. PHP)?
  • Does your website need special software?
  • How big (or small) can your web traffic volume go?

These are some of the basic questions you need to answer for yourself.

Picture in your mind what you want your website to be now, and then build on that idea until you’re roughly 12 months ahead of that. Don’t just consider what you want to offer, but also what may want or need.

If you are totally new…

For newbies, the no-brainer rule is to always start small with a good shared hosting account.

A shared hosting account is cheap, easy to maintain, and sufficient for most new sites. It also lets you focus on building your site without having to worry about other server-side tasks such as database maintenance and server security.

Choose the Right Hosting Package

Many small businesses turn to shared hosting as a way to save money, but with the smaller price tag come a bigger risk of slow website response times. Slow websites turn customers away. An option like a Virtual Private Server (VPS) is slightly more expensive, but it provides a faster, higher quality web performance and delivers a better customer experience.

Read Dedicated Hosting Reviews

Refer to reputable websites when doing research on the reliability and reputation of dedicated hosts. Researching a Dedicated hosting company through third party reviews is very useful in discovering any consistent issues or persistent complaints from current or past users. Pay attention to how the company responds to complaints, if the company responds at all. This will give you an idea of how the company deals with unhappy customers.

Get the Right Amount of Bandwidth

While most new websites don’t use a lot of bandwidths, it is important to leave room for growth. Make sure the dedicated hosting company you choose doesn’t lock you into a certain amount bandwidth and then charge you additional fees if you need to revise your hosting plan later.

Don’t Get Stuck on Price

When you’re a new business owner with a limited budget, the dedicated hosting company offering the lowest price might be very tempting. As cliché as it sounds, remember: you get what you pay for. The cheapest price might just result in slow servers, poor customer service, constant downtime, and an association with thousands of unprofessional websites that you would be embarrassed to share with your grandmother.

Read the Terms of Service

No, really. Read the Terms of Service. Don’t just skim through them. Read them. Most people accept the Terms of Service without bothering to read exactly what they’re signing. I’ve done it. We’ve all done it. Stop doing it. The Terms of Service usually includes the refund policy, which might be good to know later.

Test Customer Support

When you are researching dedicated hosting companies, always look for a way to contact customer support. Can you find a quick and easy way to contact them via email, online chat, or 24/7 phone support? Yes? Great. Now test them. Be sure to test each feature before you purchase their services to see if they meet the needs of your company.

Know the Backup Plan

It doesn’t really matter why your website is down or why you have lost your website’s data. You need to know if the Dedicated hosting company you choose has a backup plan to help you recover just in case. Ask them, “What’s the plan, Stan?” If you’re not comfortable with the answer, you know what you need to do.

Ask About Security Features

Security breaches happen even to the mom-and-pop store in that small town in Idaho that has a population of 2,000. Make sure your dedicated hosting company can provide Secure Sockets Layer to safeguard your customer’s private information. This is an essential feature in providing customers with safe transactions and it should be a feature that’s provided by the dedicated hosting company.

Avoid the New Guy Who Can’t Handle Growth

Many times new companies offer low prices hoping they’ll make up for it with a large influx of clients. However, most new hosting companies are not equipped to successfully manage that many clients at once. It’s best to stick with a more established company that can deal with growth without compromising their clients’ experience.

Server Upgrading Options

Shared Dedicated hosts are pretty powerful these days.

Through rough guesstimation, a shared hosting account should be sufficient to support a properly optimized Word Press blog with 30,000 to 40,000 monthly unique visitors. Database connections usually work your server harder and the more people you have connecting to your website at the same time, the more it will suffer performance-wise.

On a shared hosting account, things should be fine as long as you manage to limit your concurrent database connections below 20 (this is why I said it’s always best to start with a shared hosting if you are new).

Multiple Add-on Domains

 Domain names are cheap– so cheap in fact that it is often hard to resist not owning more than one.

I personally own more than 50 domain names in my GoDaddy and NameCheap accounts – and I’m not alone. According to  this dedicated hosting talk’s survey.– 80% of the voters own more than 5 domains and more than 20% of the voters own more than 50!

To accommodate these extra domains, we need extra hosting space. This is why it is important to have a dedicated hosting account that allows adding multiple domains.

Look for Dedicated host with more than 50 add-on domain

Generally speaking, most budget-friendly shared hosting companies allow at least 25 add-on domains* in one account nowadays but you can never be sure. Some years ago I was careless and signed up on a dedicated host that allows only one domain. Unfortunately, I was holding more than 10 parked domains at that time. Do not repeat my mistake – check the domain capacity before you make a purchase.

Signup vs. Renewal Price

Hosting deals, especially for shared hosting, are usually cheapest during signup.  Be aware though that these often come with a much higher renewal price, so be careful before clicking ‘buy’ on that plan that is offering you a sign up price at 80% discount!

This is an industry norm.

Unless you are willing to hop between two or three dedicated hosts every two years, there is no way to avoid pricey renewal costs.

In our host review, we deduct point for hosts that jack up their price more than 50% on renewal. But generally I am okay with companies that renew at below 100% price jump – meaning, if you signup a host at $5/mo, the renewal fees shouldn’t go beyond $10/mo.

Refund Policy & Free Trial Period

  • Should you choose to cancel your hosting plan within the trial period, does the company provide a full money-back guarantee?
  • What is the hosting company’s refund policy after the trial period has ended?
  • Are there any cancellation charges or extra fees?

These are some basic questions you should get the answers to before signing up.It’s important to know how your hosting provider handles customer refunds so that you don’t lose too much money if things go wrong.

There are some hosting companies that charge absurdly high cancellation fees when users cancel their accounts during trial periods. Our advice? Avoid these hosting providers at all cost! On the other hand, some hosting companies provide anytime money-back guarantees where you can ask for a pro-rated refund after your trial period is over (good eh?).

E-Commerce Features

  • Are you running an e-commerce website?
  • Are you using any specific shopping cart software?
  • Do you need to process business transactions on your website?
  • Do you need special technical support (i.e. PrestaShop guide, or so on)?

E-Commerce Features

If yes, then it is important for you to pick a dedicated host with sufficient e-commerce features support. SSL  certification, dedicated IP, and one-click shopping cart software installation are some of the essential features/supports you will need.

An Easy-to-use Hosting Control Panel

A user-friendly control panel with extensive functionality is very important, since it’s the brain of your hosting account.

It doesn’t matter if it’s cPanel or Plesk or even a third-party control panel (like what GoDaddy offers), as long as it is user-friendly and comes with all the necessary functions. Without an adequate control panel, you will be left at the mercy of the hosting tech support staff – even if all you need is some basic service.

I once had an account with IX Dedicated Hosting, and although it’s not a bad host – multiple dedicated IPs at a very reasonable price, plus great tech support – I had to cancel my account because its custom control panel was very user-unfriendly.

Site Backup

Computers crash, equipment fails, these are the facts of life even as death and taxes are. Your site will also be vulnerable to these factors, or perhaps a hacker got into your WordPress blog and replaced your index.php file. Maybe your entire database got nuked.

If your dedicated host does site backups regularly then there is nothing to worry about when these incidents happen. Your hosting provider should be able to restore your full site in no time at all (or at least, a big chunk of it).

On backups, here are a few key questions to ask your dedicated host:

  • Does your Dedicated host provide full backups regularly?
  • Can site backup be done manually via the control panel?
  • Can you create auto backups of your site easily via cron jobs or other programs?
  • Can you restore your backup files by yourself easily so you don’t have to wait for support staff to do it for you during a period of disaster recovery?

Server Responsiveness

We don’t mean if your hosting company responds to you quickly or not! Responsiveness is a measure of the time it takes from when someone hits enter on your domain name until the server acknowledges that request.

Often known as Time To First Byte (TTFB), your server response speed is more than for self-gratification at having the fastest loading website. It’s been documented that the longer a user waits for a website to load, the more likely they will leave the site before it even finishes loading.

Your website speed also affects how Google and other search engines rank you in search results.

This is seldom something that a web hosting company will tell you. One common guideline is often price. Top-of-the-line equipment and infrastructure does not come cheap. If your host can afford to charge you $2 per month for hosting, things are getting a little fishy.