Entrepreneurs often face the decision between shared and dedicated hosting. Of course, VPS hosting also plays a factor, but that’s for a different post. Both shared and dedicated hosting serve purposes, but which one is right for you?
There are some specific guidelines you should follow when choosing the right type of hosting for your needs. It starts with the nature of your business and goes further into what you expect out of your website. Here are some things to consider before making the decision between shared and dedicated hosting.
Are you an Ecommerce Business?
If you sell online, dedicated hosting is your only real choice. You have an obligation to protect the data of your customers including names, emails, addresses and credit card numbers. With shared hosting, you don’t gain the same security as dedicated hosting.
Along with the security aspect, if you’re an ecommerce business, you probably want to make sure your website performs at its’ best. This is only going to happen with dedicated hosting, especially if you see large amounts of traffic, even if it’s only for part of the year. Shared hosting simply cannot handle the type of traffic dedicated hosting can handle.
Is your Website Just a Company Profile?
If you don’t have plans to sell anything online and your website will just provide a profile for your company, you may be just fine with shared hosting. Since shared hosting is much less expensive and you won’t need to process any payments or create a large number of product pages, it will work very well for a multi-page company website.
However, if your website starts to receive a large influx of traffic, shared hosting won’t do the trick anymore. As long as you see less than 500 visitors per day, you’ll be fine with shared hosting for a company profile website.
Will SEO be one of your Marketing Strategies?
SEO or search engine optimization is a great way to drive traffic to your website and business. If this will be one of your marketing strategies, you may need dedicated hosting. One of the major SEO factors is the speed of your website and it will load fastest with dedicated hosting.
Shared hosting will work fine for okay SEO, but if you want to take over the top rankings on Google and you want to really gain traffic, you need dedicated hosting to support it.
Those only focusing on a smaller, local market (population of 200K or less) will probably do just fine with shared hosting. However, if your local market is all of New York City or you focus on a national or global market, dedicated hosting is probably the best choice.
Do you Plan to Add Blog Posts, Videos and Images?
If you plan to blog and your blog posts will include images and/or video, you may need to upgrade to dedicated hosting at some point. Images and video take up a ton of room and even though many shared hosting accounts claim to give you unlimited space; you will slow down the load times of your website and other websites.
Often, when this happens, your hosting company will tell you to upgrade your account to VPS or dedicated hosting, depending on what they offer. If you plan to put up a large number of images or videos, you probably want to start off with dedicated hosting.
Are you Just Getting Started?
Maybe you just started your business and you really don’t know what to do. If you’ll be managing your hosting and your website on your own, start with shared hosting. Even if you have to upgrade in a few months, using shared hosting will help you get your feet wet.
There are several reasons to use shared hosting and several reasons to use dedicated hosting. They both serve a different market. It’s important to understand which type of hosting works best for you before you just jump in and start spending money.