Dedicated servers aren’t for everyone. The’re more expensive than other hosting options, and — depending on your host — require a more technical know-how than a shared hosting solution. That said, for the right business, a dedicated server is the perfect choice.
How can you tell if your business is the “right” business?
Traffic Is Getting High
As a general rule, shared hosting solutions tend to favor websites that receive fewer than twenty or so visits per second. If your website is exceeding this number – and doing so regularly – then it’s time you start looking to upgrade your hosting option. The reason for this is quite simple: if you keep your current setup even as your visitor count starts to go through the roof, you’re probably going to end up severely degrading the performance of everyone else on the server (and irritating your host in the process). It’s probably best to avoid doing that.
You’re Regularly Exceeding Your Storage And/Or Bandwidth Limits
One surefire way to know it’s time for a change is that you’re regularly going over the limits imposed by your host. Maybe your bandwidth is going through the roof thanks to all the visitors you’re getting, or maybe you’ve got so much data that you’re simply running out of space every time you turn around.
Either way, there’s a good chance you’re paying a mint in overage fees. That’s money you could easily save by switching over to a dedicated hosting option. Even if it is more expensive on the surface, it’ll probably cost less in the long run.
You’ve Been Experiencing Noticeable Slowdown
As I’ve said before, the biggest weakness of shared hosting is that you’ve got to share resources with all the other clients on the server you’re using. The resources used by one client can have a marked (and wholly adverse) effect on those available to other clients. If you’ve noticed your hosting service is getting sluggish of late – and it’s having a pronounced impact on how you and your users access your site – then it’s probably time for a change.
After all, either you’re using too many resources, or someone else on the server is. Somebody’s gotta go, and it might as well be you.
Your Usage Case Simply Doesn’t Fit Anywhere Else
Up to this point, I’ve primarily been talking about web hosting. Let’s expand our focus a little bit. If your organization requires a unique, proprietary, or unusual software or platform installation in order to function effectively, a dedicated server might be your best option. With a shared hosting account, it’s ultimately the host who controls things – and that includes software installation and compatibility. Certain applications simply aren’t going to be available through shared hosting, while certain services – chat servers, game servers, or streaming audio – are either too implausible or too expensive to run through a shared host.
You’ve Got The Budget For It – And The Numbers To Support It
Business is good, and because of that, you’ve started wondering if it might be a good idea to pre-emptively upgrade. If you have the budget to upgrade to a dedicated server (and you know upgrading will be enough to support your future needs), then you’ve no reason not to. Don’t simply upgrade because you’ve got the money for it, though – unless you’re certain a dedicated server is the right choice, it might well be possible to meet your needs with another hosting solution.