The 4 questions to ask when deciding between dedicated and shared hosting

It is always a tough decision to make between dedicated and shared hosting. Dedicated hosting has obvious performance advantages but shared hosting costs much lower. Companies don’t want to waste money by spending too much on dedicated hosting while at the same time they don’t want to lose performance by spending too little on shared hosting. If you’re stuck in the same decision process then here are 4 questions that will help you make a clear decision.

1) What type of a website are you building?

Whether you need dedicated or shared hosting depends highly on what the purpose of your website is. If the website is simply being made so that your company has a presence on the web then you can easily go with shared hosting. If, on the other hand, you are aiming to provide a service through the website then you will need dedicated hosting for it.

2) How much media is there on your website?

If you are building a normal company portfolio website then shared hosting will be good enough for you. You can even use YouTube or some other video hosting website for your media needs and save on your bandwidth. However if you are running a website where the users will be able to upload and stream media as well you will need dedicated hosting that can provide the processing-heavy media needs of your company. Shared hosting is good only for websites that have static media in some places. Media ends up taking a lot more bandwidth than anything else and can be a real burden when it comes to shared hosting.

3) How much traffic are you expecting

The amount of load that will be on your server depends on how much traffic you will generate. A normal corporate website usually doesn’t have a lot of traffic so shared hosting is good enough. On the other hand if you are launching an app or a service then you can expect lots of traffic due to your marketing efforts. You need to have a realistic estimate of how much traffic you will get. Check services like Alexa to determine the traffic of your competitors to get a realistic idea of customer traffic.

4) Can you afford to have your website be down?

If you get shared hosting and get too much traffic your website will go down for users. The real question is how much damage this will do for your company. If you are creating a website for a small business then people are forgiving and won’t think ill of your company if it goes down for a while. On the other hand if you represent an internet company, a financial services company, or something prestigious you will begin losing customers if your website goes down. If you absolutely cannot afford to be down then you need to get dedicated hosting. Sure, it will cost you extra, but it will be worth it.