Physical vs. Virtual Hosting Environments

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Two people discussing the difference between shared and dedicated hosting environment for their business's website.

Your site is incredibly important for your business. It might even be your entire business. So choosing between a physical or virtual hosting environment is one of the most important decisions you can make.

When it comes to choosing a hosting plan, there are two major options: hosting through a physical server, or cloud-based shared hosting. Physical hosting is a service where you lease portions, or in some cases full dedicated rack space on a server specifically for your site. But with virtual hosting, your website data is stored in a cloud space.  With either option, you may or may not “share” space between other clients of the hosting provider, your new “neighbors.”  However in a physical environment, you can lease a fully dedicated server space.

With either plan, you don’t need to invest nearly as much time and manpower in optimizing or upkeeping your physical servers. With shared hosting, however, the benefits pretty much stop there. If you are looking to expand your business, have control over your servers, or have some peace of mind when it comes to your site’s security and upkeep, a dedicated server is probably the better choice. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that dedicated hosting has over shared hosting.

Dedicated Hosting Is Scalable

You want your business to grow, but are you ready? Say one of your client’s sites takes off and is suddenly getting ten times more hits. With a shared server, you are only allotted a certain amount of bandwidth. The increased site traffic will slow connection speeds down, turning your customers away. These slower load times will also impact your SEO rankings, meaning customers won’t even be able to find you.

On a dedicated server, these traffic jams are much less likely. You don’t share resources with others, so bandwidth and disk space limitations are up to you.

Dedicated Hosting Is Secure

When you share a server with hundreds of other sites, your neighbor’s problems can easily become your problems. If just one neighbor forgets to update their security, a hacker can gain root access to the server, putting your and your customer’s data at risk.

A dedicated server is different. Depending on your provider, you can have complete control over your security procedures, or, with a managed hosting plan, your provider will provide expert support to make sure you and your site are safe.

Dedicated Hosting Means a Personal IP Address

A shared server means a shared IP address, so bad actions taken by your neighbors could impact you as well. IP addresses are used when sites are blacklisted or targeted by corporate filters, meaning your business won’t be able to reach a large portion of your market.

With a dedicated server and a dedicated IP, any fears that your site will be negatively affected by the actions of a neighbor are gone.

Dedicated Hosting Puts You in Control

A dedicated server is yours and yours alone. This means you can do whatever what you want with your server to optimize your site’s performance. Which plugins and security procedures you run are entirely up to you based on what’s best for your business.

But wait! What if you barely even know what a plugin is? Dedicated servers are easy to combine with fully managed hosting. This means that a team of experts will look after your site and your server to make sure everything is optimized for your needs. Most managed hosting providers will also make sure that your site is backed up and up-to-date.

A dedicated server might come with a bigger price tag than shared hosting, but depending on your business goals, it’s well worth the cost. If you are looking for a flexible server option with the freedom to customize every aspect of your site, a dedicated server is for you. At Pressable, we provide managed, shared and dedicated server hosting that could be the right fit for your business. Interested in learning more? Contact our team today to learn more about Pressable’s dedicated, managed WordPress hosting.

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