Dedicated Hosting vs. Shared Hosting: Which Way to Go for a Startup or SME?

If you intend to start an online business, choosing between a dedicated and a shared web hosting plan is one of the key decisions you are going to make. It is not an easy choice because you first have to compare each plan against your current and future business needs before arriving at the right choice. A dedicated hosting plan is where you only have your website hosted on a server. On the other hand with a shared hosting plan, you are sharing a single server with others.

Choosing the right web hosting plan for your website is a call to mull over a number of important factors that will determine the cost, security, and performance of your website. Once you have made your choice, it is time to look for a good web hosting company online. Many offer the opportunity to pay for web hosting with PayPal.

Below are the key differences between the two that should serve as a guide in your selection process.

Number of websites on the server

The main difference between dedicated hosting and shared hosting is in the number of websites hosted on the server. If you buy dedicated server only one website is hosted on it, yours. While several websites are hosted on a shared server, among them yours. Therefore, if you do not intend to share server resources with other websites, your choice is limited to a dedicated hosting plan.

Operating Cost

Because server resources are shared amongst all websites hosted on a shared server, the operating cost is split accordingly. This makes shared web hosting a far cheaper option than a dedicated web hosting where the operating cost is borne by the single user. If you have a budget to work with, go for the plan that fits into it.

Disk Space

What dedicated web hosting incurs in cost is compensated with unlimited disk space and bandwidth. Many web hosting companies promote their shared plans as ‘unlimited’ but the reality is that they set limit which, if exceeded, will attract an extra charge.Your choice should be guided by the projected volume of traffic to your website.


In a shared plan, server security is the responsibility of the web hosting company. In a dedicated plan, you get to determine the security programs that you will use to secure the server. In general, dedicated servers are more secure than shared servers for the reason that the more the number of websites on a server, the greater the chance of that server being attacked. For instance, a single malicious code sent through one of the websites is enough to crash the server.

Server Performance

Server performance is important to your business because it determines the user experience of people visiting your website. With a shared hosting, it is difficult to guarantee optimal performance due to the limited server resources. Furthermore, a massive surge in traffic in one of the websites hosted on the server can cause your website pages to load slowly and frustrate your customers. A dedicated web hosting plan guarantees optimal performance and a great user experience for your visitors.

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