Choosing the right hosting solution is very important for your online business endeavors. If you make the wrong choice (for example, go with a bad hosting company), you may find yourself in situations where you’re losing traffic, money and reputation (which can easily happen if said bad hosting provider leaves your server down with a broken hard drive for 5 days straight).
Even if you go with a reputable hosting company, you may still encounter problems with server software administration, as even a seemingly small mistake can leave your server inoperable, and you’ll have to pay a system administrator for repairs.
If you are serious about your online business and success, you’ll have to go with a pretty expensive dedicated server solution. And as anything else in a small business, the maintenance and care of the server will be left up to you (you’ll basically just rent the server from the hosting company). Since dedicated server maintenance is pretty complex, especially if you own multiple sites or online apps, you’ll either have to learn how to do it yourself (if you don’t already know) or hire someone to do it for you.
Types of Dedicated Servers
Dedicated servers are the most expensive hosting solutions, but they are worth it considering you get full access to a powerful machine and do not share it with anyone. Your data will be most secure only on dedicated servers, as shared, VPS and cloud servers are more of a security hole and can be attacked by hackers. Dedicated servers can also handle everything you thrown at them (if you choose a sufficiently powerful machine), and handle traffic even if overloaded (unlike shared or VPS hosting, which is shut down the moment you go over the maximum allocated limits).
If you own a small business or are engaged in a startup, you’ll pretty much have to go with a dedicated server. But you will have to choose one of the main sub groups of this type of hosting: managed or unmanaged dedicated servers. Your choice depends on whether you want ease of management and use or you need a very flexible and highly customizable solution.
Managed Dedicated Hosting
If you are not tech savvy and do not want to pay someone to maintain your server (either for financial or security reasons), you’ll most definitely want to choose this type of hosting. A managed dedicated server costs a bit more per month, but software management services are included in the package. This means that the hosting company will not only maintain the hardware part (replacing broken hardware and making sure the network switched work, for example), but will also take care of the software.
By that I mean they will install and configure all the services and software for the best reliability, stability and speed and update all the programs to the latest versions when they’re available, which will ensure your server is secure and problem-free. The exact services that are included with managed dedicated hosting vary from company to company, so you’ll have to read their ToS carefully and see if you like their offer.
Unmanaged Dedicated Hosting
Unmanaged dedicated servers are the same as managed ones, with the notable exception being of course, the lack of software maintenance and configuration by the hosting company. You are given full access to the server and the ability to do anything you want with it. If you know your way around server maintenance or can/want to learn how to do it, this solution may be perfect for you.
Alternatively, you can always pay someone else to do all the software updating, maintenance and configuration, and most of the times it will cost the same or just a bit more than what you would pay the hosting company for the same services in managed hosting packages.
Unmanaged dedicated hosting may prove to be the best solution in the long run, as you will not be limited in any way, and when you’ll become profitable, you can easily hire an experienced administrator of your choice to do all the maintenance for you.