Paid Hosting: Shared vs. dedicated servers

A majority of the people who go in for setting up their own hosting accounts go in for shared hosting, where there are a large number of people sharing the same server (typically on a Linux machine). Shared / virtual hosting packages are the default web hosting accounts for beginners and intermediate web site owners and make the most sense as well. Shared hosting means that the server on which the web hosting account resides is shared by many (typically hundreds) customers. Such a hosting method is the most popular and most economical.
What are the advantages of a shared web hosting experience vs. getting a dedicated server? You get a trouble free administration of the hosting experience (the server) since the web hoster takes care of the administration (including keeping it up, checking for software patches, etc); the profile of most users who go in for shared web hosting is such that they would not prefer to get into any kind of detail about these administration duties. Power users however often require greater control over the system, such as “shell access” which allows them to perform command line operations or to install specific software (besides ordinary – php, perl, etc. – “scripts”, which usually shared customers can install, too).
Power users will often prefer setting up a Software Virtual Server or even a Dedicated (physically real) Server, in both cases with root access to configure, remove and install whatever they want.
How do shared hosting users get to install different applications, and so on ? Well, almost all shared web hosting plans come with a specific web hosting control panel. The type of control panel offered by the hosting provider is often an important feature for intermediate web site owners since they are often used to “their” control panel (i.e. CPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin…); and they provide a convenient interface to install a variety of blogging apps, forums, shopping carts, Content Management Systems, Statistics and Reports, etc.

Types of web sites suited for shared / virtual web hosting:

Almost all web sites are suited to be run on shared web hosting accounts, with a few exceptions:

– Chat server applications: These usually consume too much server resources and require a dedicated server unless the chat is barely active.
– Wildly popular forums: These also usually require too much server resources at a certain size (i.e. hundreds of users online simultaneously).
– Other very active web sites if they are very dynamic. Dynamic sites are sites that are served live from a database on each request, opposed to “static” web sites which can serve much more visitors on the same server resources (CPU time and RAM memory) than a dynamic web site.

Some top rated web hosting providers:

IX Web Hosting

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