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What is Dedicated Website Hosting?

Aug 17, 2007
Dedicated website hosting exists when a company hosts only your website on a single computer (server). Most web hosting is shared, with hundreds of websites residing on a single computer.

The advantage of a dedicated server is obvious. If only your site is hosted, you will have all of the computer's resources dedicated to running your site. It will run faster and will likely be running in a more secure environment. With dedicated hosting you will have:

* A massive amount of storage space for your website
* High bandwidth for millions of hits per day
* A high level of technical support
* The ability to install your own proprietary or specialized software
* Complete control over the server configuration
* A high level of security necessary for large ecommerce sites

The total storage space needed must also include the size of your database(s), email boxes, statistics logs and anything else that you have on the server. For example, an article directory created using php, may need its own server if it has more than 50,000 articles. If your site will host high quality images or photos, this will also quickly accumulate storage space. Plan for at least a year in advance before you decide on a hosting solution.

If your site is small, but extremely popular, it may receive thousands of visitors a day. If they are each downloading 500KB or more, the total bandwidth quickly adds up.

For instance, a celebrity fan site with desktop wallpapers and short mp3 sound bites could have 5,000 visitors a day. If each visitor downloads 2 (100KB) wallpapers and one (200KB) sound clip, that totals 400KB. Then you must add all the pages and thumbnails that the viewer sees but doesn't download (another 200KB). If you multiply this average (600KB) x 5,000 visitors, you get 3,000,000KB or 3GB. That adds up to 90GB of traffic a month!

Another thing to consider is the complexity of the site. If it interacts with several databases and contains several scripting languages, you may require more technical support than the average site owner. It is much easier to have special scripts and security features installed on a dedicated server, than it is on a shared one. Needless to say, you will have complete control over what programs reside on your server, and what extra security features you have in place.

However, dedicated website hosting is much more expensive than basic hosting and you may have to spend a lot of money for technicians to install and configure your software. If you think you may require a dedicated solution, it is imperative that you research your hosting provider thoroughly before committing. The number of customers, experience in the industry, quality of their data center and quality of their computer hardware and software are just some of the things to consider.
About the Author
The author is the developer and operator of numerous sites on the web. To learn more about web hosting visit The Web Hosting Directory. To receive free content for your website or blog, or to publish your own articles, visit Free Article Publishing.
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