A lot of small business owners are not clear on whether or not they should be using shared hosting. There are a lot of advantages to having a dedicated server but these benefits come with a high price tag. Knowing when you need to use a dedicated server and when a shared server will be acceptable is important so that you can make sure that you get the right type of hosting for your site.
The most common reason that businesses have a dedicated server is that they have a large site and they need the disk space. In truth this applies to big companies more than to small businesses, there are not a lot of small companies that have a websites that require anywhere near enough disk space to need a dedicated server. However if you are running a business that makes the majority of its sales online it may be necessary.
The other common reason that big companies have their own server is that they need the bandwidth to handle all of the traffic that they are getting. Again this is rarely an issue with small businesses. You may however want to think about the growth prospects of your business and your website. If you believe that you will get a lot more traffic to your site in the not too distant future you may want to go with a dedicated server just to save you the trouble of having to move your site latter.
In the case of small businesses the most likely reason that you would need to have a dedicated server is site security. This is an area where you can run into problems with shared hosting, a threat to one site that is sharing the server can affect all of the other sites. This is particularly true if you are using your site to make online sales, in this case you will probably want a dedicated server so that you can be sure that your site is secure. On the other hand if your site is mainly about providing information this won't be an issue.
There are certainly some advantages to having your own server but you also have to keep in mind that there are also some disadvantages. The biggest is obviously cost but the another important disadvantage is that you have to maintain your own server. This is something that a lot of small business owners simply don't have the technical skills to do. In most cases small businesses will be fine with shared hosting, you really only want to deal with the costs and headaches of a dedicated server if you absolutely have to.
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