The decision to move to a dedicated server should not be taken lightly, there are many factors to consider and your choice to move should be well planned in advance. In this article we do not look at the moving process or the factors which will influence your decision to move as these are covered in separate articles.
We shall first examine how moving your site to a dedicated server can have a positive impact on your site:
Bandwidth – most people move when their shared hosting package starts to run too slowly due to bandwidth issues, this can be due to high traffic on your site but it should be remembered that another cause could be high traffic on another site. Some shared web hosting customers are lucky in that the other accounts on the server are either dormant or attract so little traffic that their site performance remains unaffected. Most are affected however so the first major benefit of moving has to be exclusive use of your server’s bandwidth.
Data Transfer – The recent trend of ‘unlimited’ data-transfer on budget shared hosting plans should be taken with a pinch of salt, all that means is that customers are not charged for excessive data traffic. Instead they have their bandwidth ‘throttled’ back for a time to rebalance the allocation to the other sites on the server. If you really want unlimited then the only way to go is dedicated.
Exclusive use of your own IP address – An often overlooked benefit, having your own IP address can work wonders for the way search engines view your site and moving to dedicated server web hosting can only affect your search engine ranking in a positive way. If your share a server with a site which Google views as suspect your ranking can be way lower than it should be because Google has an increased level of mistrust for all sites at that IP. The increase in traffic your site receives and the corresponding income generated often more that pays for the extra money a dedicated server costs.
Control – With a shared host you have no choice of Operating System or installed software, with an unmanaged dedicated server your have complete control over the software and configuration of your server, with managed dedicated server web hosting your have control over the configuration and can choose your OS at the outset. Managed dedicated server web hosting has the added advantage that all updates and security is managed by the web host.
Security – Having your own IP and SSL greatly increases your credibility if you are involved in ecommerce or handle sensitive data.
Cost – The only serious down side to dedicated servers is the cost, dedicated servers are unavoidably more expensive and you should only move if the benefits outweigh this extra cost – that said, as discussed before the positive impact on your serps as a result of hosting on a dedicated IP can more than makeup for this.
The switching process – This can be tricky and should only be attempted after the correct preparation has been conducted the switching process is covered in another article in this series.