Dedicated hosting is a powerful form of business web hosting. It is mainly used by companies to publish high traffic, custom-built websites, or to run key business applications - like customer relationship managemnet (CRM) systems. However, dedicated hosting is not for everyone
Dedicated hosting: how it works
Dedicated hosting gives you access to a whole server, which isn't shared with anyone else. It's the most flexible form of web hosting, because you get complete control over everything, and the performance of your website won't be governed by others on the same server.
Dedicated hosting is not for all businesses. It's very powerful, but this means you need some technical knowledge to set up and use it. You can change every setting on the server, you can even wipe it clean and start again - so you need to know what you're doing.
You can think of dedicated hosting as being the same as having a network server in your office. The only real difference is that your server is located in a large data centre, run by your web hosting company. And instead of buying your server outright, you rent and pay for it monthly.
However, just because you can't see your server doesn't mean you can't use it for the kind of tasks normally reserved for an in-house server. You simply log in to it over the internet and manage the applications and services it provides your business. Dedicated hosting is a versatile, powerful tool, which can become an integral part of your company IT system.
Dedicated hosting: what's it good for?
Dedicated hosting is very flexible. It's certainly not just for websites - you can use it for all kinds of business tasks. For instance:
- Hosting busy, complex websites. A single dedicated hosting package has enormous capacity. If you run a really popular online shop, a blog that gets heavy traffic or a custom-built website that uses a big database, dedicated hosting may be the only reliable way to get the capacity you need.
- Running hosted applications. Dedicated hosting can do everything a server in your business can. So you can use it to run your business email, host your intranet, run your accounting system, handle your customer relationship management system - whatever you like!
- Web and application development. If your business develops software or websites, a dedicated server gives you an environment where your software developers can work and test their projects securely. They'll know best what they need - it may be that virtual server hosting is good enough.
Dedicated hosting has become a much more viable option for smaller businesses with costs as low as £50 a month. Web hosting companies are also often willing to create custom dedicated hosting packages to fit your needs, building servers on request.
If you're unsure whether dedicated hosting is right for your business, consult your own IT supplier before making any purchase.
They can walk you through the options, recommend dedicated hosting which fits your requirements - and even help you get up and running.
Dedicated hosting: what are the limitations?
The main downside to dedicated hosting is the complexity. Compared to other types of hosting, dedicated hosting can be hard to set up without technical knowledge, although managed hosting services can help with this to some extent.
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