Imagine with me for a second

Potential customers have Google searched your services; you’ve done your SEO well and even used Google Ads, so your website is at the top. After they click your website, something is not right; it’s taking decades to load (anything over 2s is unacceptable). They also start getting loading error messages all because you’re using an inferior shared web hosting service package. And to make it worse, these are your big customers.

Now, let’s take it further – your traffic has spiked by 20x since it’s your high sales season. Your website periodically keeps going down and you’ve been losing sales for days.

What do you tell them?

Most of the customers have given up on your website as they have no time to wait around for you to restore your services. But at least you have some loyal visitors or shoppers, or big clients that heavily rely on your web services, who decide to soldier on. They’ve started calling you and are demanding explanations.

The best way to avoid such events is by switching to dedicated server hosting for your website(s). But what are dedicated servers? How does dedicated server hosting work? How much do they cost?

Well, stick with me as I explain the above questions, why you should get a dedicated server and the differences between managed and unmanaged dedicated servers.

Later in this guide, I enlighten you on their Pros and Cons so that you can have an easy time making your upgrade decision.

Keep on reading to find out more

What Is A Dedicated Server?

It is a top-end hosting solution where only your website(s) and other applications use the resources of a whole physical server. There is no resource sharing with any other external website, program or service. The server gets wholly configured to meet your website(s) or application’s specific needs, which ends up enhancing the performance and stability drastically.

dedicated servers illustration
In dedicated hosting, your website gets all the resources of the physical server unlike a VPS

Is a bare metal server the same as a dedicated server? Yes, it’s the same thing just branded differently. A bare-metal server is a dedicated server that gives developers closer access to the physical hardware.

How Does Dedicated Server Hosting Work?

Upon purchase of a dedicated server hosting plan, you get a blank slate server. You can build, optimize, and customize it to your requirements. You get to add only elements that benefit your website in terms of functionality and performance. Besides, you can run the operating system of your choice.

ECC RAM

Error Correcting Code RAM offers more reliability as it includes unique hardware that prevents data corruption and can recover from errors

CPUs

Server CPUs come with lots of cores, which can rise to 48 cores for Intel Xeons or 64 cores for AMD Epyc. If your application does not require that much resources you can always get a dedicated server with less resources.

SSDs (or HDDs)

SSD storage gives more storage performance than hard disks (better read and write speeds), but also cost more.

With such powerful specifications, you get generous bandwidth allowances that can handle lots of traffic.

How Much Does A Dedicated Server Cost?

If budget is no concern, you should go for dedicated server hosting. It is the best in terms of performance but usually comes at a premium

In a nutshell,

Web hosting providers sell dedicated server hosting at different rates between $45 and over $500.

The cost mainly depends on the following:

  • Size of the server
  • Features
  • Hardware included
  • Company reputation
  • Type of server; managed or unmanaged

Why A Dedicated Server? Reasons to Upgrade to Dedicate Server Hosting

  • You’ve experienced an increase in immediate traffic that overwhelms your VPS.
  • You’re anticipating growth soon. e.g., Festive season and holidays
  • Fast loading and server response times  are important for your websites e.g., live trading platforms
  • You’re hosting Database Servers. They mostly run business-critical operations
  • You’re looking to host multiple websites
  • You’re running hosting heavy web applications or resource-intensive software.
  • You’re looking for enhanced security features as you perform critical operations. e.g., financial services
  • Your website has become slow on a VPS, and you keep getting error messages

Different Types of Dedicated Servers: Managed vs. Unmanaged Dedicated Servers?

Usually when choosing the plan for you dedicated server, you are given an option for either managed or unmanaged dedicated server. Here are the differences between the two.

Managed Dedicated Servers

It is where a hosting services provider takes care of setting up, administrating, optimizing, managing, and supporting your server. They also handle server software and networks for you. If a problem arises, you get a dedicated team for support.

Managed server is more suitable for people who aren’t that comfortable with fixing software, networking and security issues themselves and prefer someone else to take care of them.

Unmanaged Dedicated Servers

Unmanaged dedicated server is a cheaper option where the hosting company only ensures the hardware infrastructure is functioning and running smoothly. You get a bare metal server to manage, optimize, update, and install software and scripts. You have root access and also take care of updates, manage server security as well as allocating resources to your needs.

Advantages of Dedicated Servers

Here are some of the advantages of getting yourself a dedicated server:

  • Your Website Gets Improved Performance. Irrespective of traffic, your website loads fast, and performance is very consistent because of the dedicated resources.
  • They Have Higher Reliability. Other websites don’t take up your resources, helping you enjoy stellar uptime.
  • They get allocated a unique IP address– With your unique IP address, the irresponsible actions by another website cannot blacklist your IP.
  • Admin Power and Control– some websites require bare metal servers with root access which dedicated servers provide
  • Freedom Of Customization – You can install custom software, host multiple websites, web apps, and use different operating systems. It’s not possible to do this in a shared server environment.
  • Have Flexibility for Optimization – You get more freedom to allocate your server’s resources to your unique needs, which allows for better and efficient use.
  • Fewer Overheads For Server Equipment – a dedicated server ensures you get to rent one at a low cost and don’t have to incur operational and maintenance costs.
  • It’s A Highly Scalable Solution. You can add your server’s resources as well as scale your website at any time.
  • They Are More Secure Than Other Plans. You get better onsite security and can install custom security solutions that enable you to guarantee visitors that their data remains private and protected.

Disadvantages of Dedicated Servers

Here are some of the disadvantages of getting a dedicated server:

  • You Pay Higher Monthly Cost – they are the most expensive hosting solutions, which might not be ideal for small to medium websites.
  • No free scripts, software, and other additional features offered in shared hosting. You have to purchase these services.
  • Unmanaged dedicated server hosting requires more time and experienced personnel to manage.
  • You Still Don’t Have Physical Access To The Server. For some websites, this is crucial to ensure they function correctly because of their unique operations.

The Take – Away

If your website has been sluggish on a VPS (Virtual Private Server) , and your traffic continues to increase, it’s time to switch to dedicated server hosting. The advantages heavily outweigh the cons of these servers, and they are better for your business in the long run. Anyone that can afford and is capable of managing a dedicated server, should do so.

Author

Hey, I am Brian. I have passion for creating websites and helping others to create websites. Feel free to contact me if you have any troubles, I am happy to help. Master of Computer Science at University of San Francisco.

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