Shared web hosting plans are really cheap nowadays. For instance, the ‘Hatching Plan’ from Hostgator is for only $4 per month and it comes with unlimited disk space and bandwidth. The prices for dedicated servers, on the other hand, are still pretty steep. I pay a little less than $200 monthly. So what are the advantages of a dedicated server and why should you even look into that option?
The following advice is based on my personal experience. I moved my web site from shared hosting space to a dedicated server about 6 months back. And the results have been very positive. There are some definite benefits in having a dedicated server… faster web pages load time is just one!
For years, my site had been running on a shared hosting plan from LunarPages. I was happy and so were the site visitors… at least no one complained. Anyway, one fine day in August 2010 the site received a massive surge in traffic – a couple of hundred thousand visitors in just a few hours.
I had an inkling that this was about to happen so I didn’t go ‘WOW’. However, what I wasn’t prepared for was the action LunarPages would take. They simply pulled the plug on my web site. Needless to say I was annoyed but after reading about this on the web and talking to the company support staff, I realized that the ‘unlimited bandwidth’ and ‘unlimited disk storage‘ are actually myths.
Since my site, which was on a shared server and started to consume huge amounts of server resources because of the sudden increase in visitors, the other sites suffered. When such a situation arises on a shared hosting machine, the problematic web site is taken down. That’s the normal practice so I don’t blame LunarPages for what they did. I understand!
Anyway, the site was put on a dedicated server very soon and support staff helped in moving all files. The downtime was minimal and I thank LunarPages for helping me out in the time of crisis. So my shifting to a dedicated server was not out of choice but out of need!
Now, as far as I know, there are two types of dedicated server plans. The more common option (probably) is to take a barebones machines and install the software you need. This definitely wasn’t my cup of tea. I just don’t have the expertise or the time to handle a dedicated server. The alternate option, managed dedicated server from LunarPages was a better bet.
I could thus be spared of all the administrative tasks and can concentrate on what I do best. The day to day running of the server as well as software installation is all looked after by LunarPages. Yes, there is a small monthly charge for maintenance but the convenience is worth it.
After running my web site for 6 months, I found that a dedicated server has many benefits.
From $20 shared hosting to about $200 monthly dedicated hosting. Is it worth the money? Absolutely!
The domain hack, itun.es, is owned by Apple and uses the ccTLD of Spain. [more...]