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Shared vs. Dedicated Hosting: Choosing the Best Option

written by: Summer Banks•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 12/11/2010

Hosting is the heart of your personal or business website. The type of hosting you choose will be dependent upon your budget for the website and the neighbors your website has around it.

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    Just as your home has an address, so does your website. When you website is hosted on a server, there are two types of hosting you can choose from depending on the website budget and the purpose of the website. Shared hosting and dedicated hosting offer the personal and business website two different types of addresses. One address, shared hosting, is a common address. Dedicated hosting, however, is more like housing your website in Beverly Hills.

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    Shared Hosting

    Shared hosting is the term used for server access that is spilt up between several websites. The cost of a server can range from $3000 to $5000 or more. Many hosting companies will pay for the cost of the server and upkeep expenses by "renting" out the server space to more than one website.

    When hosting is shared, the addresses of other websites hosted on one server is searchable by the general public. If a business chooses shared hosting there is little control over the other websites finding their home on the same server. For instance, a website selling adult materials could be hosted on the same server as a business selling children's toys. This could pose both a physical and moral problem for the owners of the children's website.

    Shared hosting is the least expensive type of website hosting due to the large number of websites on the same server.

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    Dedicated Hosting

    Dedicated hosting is the term used to describe the presence of one website on an entire server. The cost of the server and the upkeep of that server will be paid by the singular website finding a home on that server. While the cost is much higher than that of a shared hosting server, there is no competition between website urls on a dedicated server.

    Dedicated servers are also perfect for large businesses and major corporations. Shared hosting may pose limits on the amount of data that can be saved on a website. For major corporations, this limit can cause delays in processing website functions and time out messages when the space limit is neared.

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    Shared Hosting Versus Dedicated Hosting

    For the common website, shared hosting is optimal. The cost can be as low as a few dollars every month. Dedicated hosting is an expensive option for those who need a lot of space or those who are concerned about sharing their server space with companies or websites that are not in the same genre as their own.