When you first launch your ecommerce website, you’re probably looking to get up and running as quickly and inexpensively as possible. One area where it’s easy to trim costs is website hosting. For many business, saving money by purchasing shared hosting is a perfectly reasonable and cost effective option.
As your business grows, though, you might find that shared hosting isn’t meeting all of your needs. There’s even a good chance that some of the issues inherent in shared hosting — those aspects that keep the costs low — are actually hurting your business and potentially costing your business money.
If you are using shared hosting and considering making a change, or you’re getting ready to launch your site and trying to decide whether shared or dedicated hosting is the right option, consider these important reasons why dedicated hosting is likely to be the better option — even if you are using a free website builder.
Dedicated Hosting Advantage #1: Improved Reliability
Every website hosting service touts its reliability; maintaining uptime of 99.9 percent or more is vital to success in a crowded industry. However, uptime isn’t everything when it comes to rating reliability. You want to be sure that your site can handle spikes in traffic in addition to your regular rates. If you offer a killer sale, get a boost from some viral content, or score some major publicity that drives users to your site, you don’t want to overwhelm your host server and lose out on sales.
When you have a dedicated server for your ecommerce site, the chances of a traffic spike leading to poor performance are decreased because you aren’t sharing space with other sites that are also using bandwidth for their traffic. You might still experience a slowdown on unusually high traffic days (even major retailers like Target have seen performance issues during major shopping events) but the likelihood of that happening to you is almost nonexistent when your site is hosted on a private server.
Dedicated Hosting Advantage #2: More Control
One of the most oft-cited disadvantages to free shared hosting is the fact that most of those services earn revenue via advertising — and the sites hosted on those servers have little to no control over the ads that appear on their sites. When you pay for hosting on a shared server, those concerns disappear to a certain extent, but entrepreneurs still give up some control over their sites.
Often, when you host your site on a shared server, there are limitations on the programs you can install or the configuration options you have access to. Not to mention, without administrator access to the server, you have little to no insight into how resources on the server are being used, meaning that you can’t make the appropriate adjustments to improve performance when they need to be made. When you have a dedicated server, you regain that control and can operate your website in the way that works best for your business and goals.
Dedicated Hosting Advantage #3: Improved Security
Shared hosting providers make security a priority, but again, you may not have the same level of control and customization options that you would with a dedicated server. More specifically, you do not have control over the other businesses sharing the space on your server, which could present some issues if one of those other companies becomes the target of a hacker.
There have been cases, for example, of servers falling victim to denial of service attacks aimed at a particular business that also knock everyone else on the server offline. The company you keep on a server might also have an effect on your search rankings with Google; some experts suspect that business sharing space with known spam sites, for example, suffer as a result of their server mates’ less-than-stellar reputation.
By maintaining your own dedicated server, you eliminate the risk of other company’s problems becoming yours, and you can more effectively control the access and protection of your site. And if something does go wrong, you have more options for getting back up and running quickly.
Again, shared hosting options are completely viable for many businesses. However, as your business grows and you want to have more control over your site and improve its performance, dedicated hosting is a worthwhile investment. When you consider the benefits and increased earning potential, the cost of a private server doesn’t seem quite so high.