What are dedicated hosting servers?
Dedicated hosting servers, as the name implies, are servers leased to a single client and not shared with any others. In other words, if you were to sign up to a dedicated hosting plan, the server would be devoted and committed entirely to hosting your websites.
Why should I use dedicated hosting?
Dedicated hosting has a variety of advantages over shared hosting, particularly if you plan to run an ecommerce website or if you prefer a high level of control over resources.
The key advantages can be briefly summarised as follows:
- CONTROL: over operating system and software applications
- RELIABILITY: Reliability: quicker server response time and better performance as the server is not taxed by sharers
- SECURITY: extremely high security is provided and you can implement your own security measures
- RESOURCES: greater bandwidth available, ideal for high traffic and resource-intensive websites
What do I need to use dedicated hosting?
Although dedicated web hosting gives you the opportunity to fully manage your server, web hosts will provide varying levels of management for you, depending on your host and plan. In these cases, you will not need a high level of management skills.
Expect to pay more for dedicated web hosting that for shared.
What should I look for in a dedicated server?
It is crucial to have enough RAM. You should aim for at least 2 GB of RAM and the more the better. The number of concurrent users able to visit your site will be greatly affected by the amount of RAM you have. If you do not have enough RAM, under a significant load from a number of simultaneous users accessing your site, your site will crash (i.e. the Slashdot effect). This can particularly be a problem if you have database driven applications.
Choosing the best processor for your needs is also important. Intel Xeons and AMD Opterons are the current standard in server CPU architecture. Other CPUs are most likely outdated or are standard desktop CPUs and may not perform as well as the former under a significant network load.
Choose a plan with the amount you will need. Unless you will be serving up file and data archives and/or audio and video content (i.e. streaming media, mp3 downloads, etc) then disk space should not be a concern as all plans provide more than adequate amounts of disk space (e.g. 250 GB+). If you anticipate expansion, look into the flexibility of upgrade options.
BANDWIDTH (Monthly Transfer)
Look for 1000-2000 GB+, depending on your needs.
DATA CONNECTION SPEED
Look for 1000 Mbps, particularly if you are streaming video or have a large number of concurrent users. Otherwise 100 Mbps might suffice.
Look for which are offered and what costs are involved. Many Linux distributions and BSD systems are available for free from the open source community, while Microsoft Windows Server involves a cost. Expect operating system updates to be provided.
MANAGEMENT / EASE OF USE
Look for how much management is included in the plan price. For ease of use, look for free inclusion of cPanel (web based administration). Look for hosts supporting server configuration, software, application, security and anti-virus updates, firewall services and monitoring. Be wary of the term “fully managed” as this means different things to different hosts. Investigate thoroughly.
What options do you have? What is included? Microsoft products? Look for control panel software.
Look for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year phone / email technical support.
BACKUP AND RESTORATION
Look for what backup and restoration options are provided. Some plans come with two hard drives, allowing an easy back up solution.
Look for more than one, particularly if you plan to do ecommerce.
Look for hosts guaranteeing 99.9 to 100% uptime and find out their compensation if it is not reached.
WEB HOSTING PRICE
Find out if there is a setup fee. Expect to pay $200+ per month for hosting.
Who provides top rated web hosting?
No doubt you will read different opinions in different places, but based on the criteria outlined above, I have identified a few stand-out dedicated web hosts with excellent reputations for quality and reliability. You will find details of these hosts at Web Host Choice [http://webhostchoice.info]