Dedicated Web Hosting: Managed vs. Unmanaged

If you have a website which is rather large and complex and which gets lots of traffic, you might come to the conclusion that shared hosting is limiting your expansion and as well as the aptitude to better assist your customers. Now might therefore be the right time to move on towards dedicated hosting. Shared hosting entails placing many websites onto a single server. Then, all sites share the resources of that server for things such as disk space and bandwidth. Dedicated hosting signifies that instead of renting space on a server, you will rent an entire server for your only use.

Unfortunately, dedicated web hosting is a lot more costly than shared hosting due to the fact that the cost of operating the server is not divided between several different accounts. The advantages of dedicated hosting comprise the freedom to use the resources of the server entirely as you like. You can also choose from many different dedicated hosting packages. The prices depend mostly on the physical setup of the server computer. The same as with your home computer, faster processors and bigger hard drives will cost more.

Another element that will influence the price is whether the server is managed or not. It can take a lot of time to keep a server running in the best condition. A managed hosting service will provide you with the support and know-how to uphold your server and to carry out routine repairs such as software upgrades. This kind of service can be a practical alternative to hiring your own staff to take care of your servers. Managed hosting, however, can be a lot more costly than unmanaged hosting. Whether the price is warranted will depend on the complexity of your website and whether or not you already have people in your staff who can take care of the daily operations of a server.

Despite its name, unmanaged hosting doesn’t really leave you entirely to your own devices. The majority of hosting companies will offer a certain level of support for all their dedicated hosting packages. This support will of course include hardware maintenance for things such as hard drive failure and extra technical support, which may be available if you need some help with configuration or with the installation of software. This extra support might cost you but hiring a tech per hour from time to time could be a cheaper alternative to choosing a full managed package.

If you think unmanaged hosting is for you, first check to see how much control you can have over the server hardware. If your server becomes hopelessly locked you should be able to restart your computer or to expect someone to do it for you in the least time possible.

Just like with any hosting package, the value of a dedicated hosting service will depend on the reliability and integrity of the hosting company. If your website is big to the point where you need dedicated hosting, you will need a hosting provider that you can rely on to keep your site online for as long as possible.

Whether you choose for your hosting to be managed or unmanaged will depend on your site’s technical requirements as well as the ability for you or your staff to manage a server so that it runs at peak efficiency. If you prefer to have the re-assurance of having highly trained professionals taking care of the server, choose managed hosting. If you or your staff feel able to handle most of the upkeep chores, you would be better off choosing a server which is unmanaged.

James Reid is contributing editor at This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.

Dedicated vs. Shared Web Hosting

Two basic types of web hosting packages exist– shared and dedicated. This article will explain to you what these terms actually mean and how you can choose an appropriate type of hosting for your web site.

Websites are kept on servers – which are special network computers that respond to data requests via the Internet. Each server has its own Internet Protocol (IP) address. An IP address consists of four numbers separated by dots – 123.456.78.9 for example.

A web site that uses dedicated hosting will have the server all to itself. This implies that all the resources of the server as well as the IP address will be unique to that web site. Shared hosting, however, will place several websites on the same server, all of them sharing resources as well as the same IP address.

It is also good to know that shared hosting is a lot cheaper than dedicated hosting due to the cost of operating the server being split between many different customers. Shared hosting is available for a minimum of $2 a month but dedicated hosting could cost you up to $100 a month or sometimes even more.

Shared Hosting

As mentioned above, websites that share a single server will be sharing all the resources of that computer. This comprises disk space and bandwidth as well as the IP address. In order for your host to provide adequate service to all sites on a server, your host will have to limit each site to a certain amount of disk space and bandwidth used per month. All sites that exceed these limits might have to pay a heavy fine.

Due to the fact that each server has a limited amount of bandwidth, the amount of traffic your neighbours receives can affect how quickly your web site shows up. Each request coming in to the server is handled in the order it was received, so if there is a large queue, the waiting will be quite long.

The amount of sites that share a particular server won’t be as important as the amount of traffic each site receives. For instance, a server hosting 200 low traffic sites will respond much more quickly than a server which has 50 sites that are receiving a lot of visitors.

A few risks are inevitably linked with shared hosting. For example, the entire server could be affected if one of your neighbours runs a badly programmed script that runs amok. In extreme cases this could cause your site to be unattainable for a while. Another risk is that if one of your neighbours is banned from search engines (for spamming tactics, for instance) it could affect everyone sharing that same IP address. Make sure that you check with your hosting company and verify their policy about third-party scripts and inappropriate activities.

Dedicated Hosting

If you choose a dedicated server all the resources will be yours to use as you like. You can use it to host a single site or many sites, you can have access to the full bandwidth of the server, and you can use as much disk space as required. Companies with large and complicated websites that get a lot of traffic will definitely need to get dedicated hosting. Sites that make use of a dedicated server will also be free to run any kind of script they would like. This could be the best solution for those who are developing new scripts and need to test them without it harming other websites.

What Choice To Make?

In general, small websites are often better off with shared hosting. The cost is also more reasonable – especially for small companies and individuals. A reputable host will be cautious not to allow activities that could jeopardize your site. Large complicated sites that get more than 1000 visitors every day will be better off choosing dedicated hosting. Dedicated hosting is also a favourable option for developers who would like to experiment with new Internet technologies.

J.M. Stevens is contributing editor at This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.