Advantages of dedicated server
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!
Why did I shift to a dedicated server?
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!
Image source: Lunarpages
Were there any benefits with a dedicated server?
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.
- You no longer need to worry about the site being put offline because of a sudden increase in the number of visitors. You can always pay more if the limit is crossed. Learn to live with unexpected traffic surges if you create good content and have social widgets on your site. A first page listing on a social networking web site or StumbleUpon can bring in hordes of visitors in a very short span on time. Be prepared.
- You can choose to have good hardware on the dedicated server. This generally mean faster web page load times. Google gives brownie points to pages that load quickly which translates into higher rankings in the search engine and probably faster indexing too. A dedicated server is bound to help in your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts.
- But did a dedicated server lead to an increase in traffic? A resounding YES!
There has been a 67% increase in traffic from July 2010. What more can a developer want?
The astute amongst you may attribute this swell to additional content put up during this period. Hmmm, I checked that up and, no, I didn’t create a whole lot of pages in these months. In fact, I had added more content in the same period last year which shows just 58% increase. Check image below.
From $20 shared hosting to about $200 monthly dedicated hosting. Is it worth the money? Absolutely!
5 responses to “Advantages of dedicated server”