If you are new to web hosting or are just getting started with your website, the whole idea of a dedicated server may be foreign to you. At some point, however, you might find yourself in need of one or even several. In many situations, people use dedicated servers for multiple websites, but there are also plenty of examples of single websites that need a full server. So, how do you know when your site needs its own server?
The most obvious reason to get a dedicated server for a single website is high traffic. If your website is very popular and takes up more bandwidth, CPU, and memory than a shared hosting account or VPS can hold, a dedicated server is your only option.
Another possibility is that you are simply planning for scalability. If you are rather certain that you will eventually need a dedicated server, it may be easier to plan ahead and get one in the beginning. This is much easier than having to migrate your site to one later on, but it also gives you an additional expense.
Another scenario that warrants a dedicated server is a particular software requirement. For example, if you need to run a digital library web application that requires a dedicated java-based server, a shared hosting account will not suffice. You may, however, be able to use a VPS. It all depends on the system requirements.
Deciding when to get a dedicated server can be tricky, but it is important to start thinking about it so that you can plan for the future. Many web hosting users may never need one, but it is better to be prepared.