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Picking the right host for your WooCommerce store isn’t a walk in the park.
A quick trip around the web and you’ll soon see just how many providers are out there — all of them vying for your attention and eager to lure you in, regardless of their suitability (business is business, after all).
Not only are you tasked with decrypting the industry jargon, wading through reviews, and quizzing colleagues on their opinions, but you’re also faced with deciding between what type of host to search for in the first place.
Take it from us — dedicated hosting may just be the way to go. Below, we’ll delve into why this is the case.
- What is dedicated hosting?
Benefits of dedicated hosting
- You have complete control over your server
- Your site will load faster
- Stronger security
- Much lower risk of crashing
- Excellent availability and reliability
- You can choose from a wide range of apps and tools
- It comes with unlimited storage and bandwidth
- You can expect a higher level of customer support
What is dedicated hosting?
First things first — let’s define what we mean when we talk about dedicated hosting.
If you want to host a website, there are plenty of options available. One of the most popular choices is shared hosting. This is where multiple websites are housed on a single server. Economical, for sure, but not ideal. With shared hosting, you’re sharing resources with every other user on the server — this can lead to a sub-optimal experience (as spikes in traffic elsewhere can impact the performance and availability of your site), but this is reflected in the relatively low entry fee.
Then, there’s the middle-ground: cloud hosting. While in many ways similar to shared hosting, the danger of resource-hogging is negated. With classic shared hosting, a sudden rise in demand across the board can choke a server, leaving everyone on it struggling. With cloud hosting, the resource scope is so massive (on a scale viable for machine learning and even supercomputing) that it’s relatively unlikely that any regular user’s website would ever cause such issues. Cloud hosting solutions are growing in popularity (you can read more on the sort of benefits Cloudways’ WooCommerce hosting service offers here: Fast WooCommerce Hosting Optimized for Best Experience).
However, if you want a more high-powered, premium service, you may want to consider using a dedicated hosting service for your WooCommerce store. Here, an entire physical server is reserved solely for your WooCommerce store. Forget about sharing storage space and resources — dedicated hosting means full privacy and maximum resource allocation.
Of course, the service you’ll receive depends entirely on the choice of your provider, but as a general rule, you can expect a higher price tag for a dedicated server setup. In this case, you do get what you pay for.
Benefits of dedicated hosting
You have complete control over your server
Dedicated hosting gives you complete control over your server. You get to choose the server type and location, the operating system, and the server admin tools. This means you can set the server up exactly as you please and make any configuration changes you deem necessary.
You can also select the type of internet connection and bandwidth that your server uses. This will help you reduce your costs while ensuring that your site performance is top-notch. When you use shared hosting, you have very limited control over the server environment. This can cause you issues when it comes to installing certain software and making configuration changes.
Your site will load faster
Dedicated hosting gives you a lot more bandwidth than shared hosting does. This means that your site will benefit from faster load times, and visitors will be able to access your site much more quickly. Your site will also be able to handle much more traffic, so if it starts to get more visitors, you’ll be able to keep up with demand much more easily. With dedicated hosting, you can scale the server up as your site gets more visitors. This means that you can increase the server’s resources and storage as your traffic grows, which will help to ensure that your site stays online even when it has a deluge of visitors.
With shared hosting, your resources are shared with other websites and applications. This means that your site will generally experience slower load times and be at greater risk of crashing — especially if there’s a sudden influx in traffic. However, this isn’t the case with a cloud hosting solution, as resources are pooled from a vast network of high-powered servers, meaning you’ll have plenty of grunts to handle anything the web throws at you. If you’re finding the cost of a dedicated server setup to be a little out of your budget, it could be worth considering a cloud-based provider instead.
A lot of people are now looking for secure websites, especially when they’re purchasing items online. You can install an SSL certificate on your website so that it runs on a secure connection and shows visitors your site is safe to visit. Shared and reseller hosting providers may not allow you to obtain an SSL certificate for your site, but if you use dedicated hosting, you should be able to get one relatively easily.
Having a secure website can help to boost your business and protect sensitive customer data. You must keep your website fast and reassure users that their information is safe. With shared hosting, it can be difficult to add an SSL certificate as you have to use another server to act as a proxy. With dedicated hosting, you can install the certificate directly onto your server. This means that your site will load much faster, as the SSL will decrease bandwidth usage and page loading times.
Much lower risk of crashing
With shared hosting, there is always a risk that a particular server will suffer from a hardware failure or a software crash, causing the site on that server to go offline. This can result in a lot of downtimes for you as a website owner and can be very frustrating. By using dedicated hosting, you can reduce this risk as you have complete control over your server and can make sure that your hardware and software are well maintained.
If a server crashes on a shared hosting plan, there is very little that you can do about it. Being able to quickly resolve any issues with your server and get your site back online as quickly as possible is essential. With shared hosting, it can take a while for you to get help, especially if the server is down due to a hardware issue. You might opt for a cloud hosting solution since this doesn’t rely on a single server but a network of many (and therefore, there’s no single point of failure), but a dedicated server provides complete control over ensuring maximum uptime.
Excellent availability and reliability
Having your website hosted on one dedicated server will provide you with much more reliability since that service is dedicated solely to your site and not shared among multiple others, as with shared hosting. With a dedicated server, you can select a top-of-the-line option to ensure that your website is always online. You can also select the location of your server to make sure that it’s in a data center that’s close to your target audience. Doing this will help to reduce the latency in page loading times (as server proximity has an impact on delivery speed) and make sure that your site stays online even during times of high traffic.
You can choose from a wide range of apps and tools
Dedicated hosting gives you the flexibility to do pretty much whatever you want with your server. This means that you can install a wide range of applications and tools onto your server, including your own CMS and other custom software. You can also install and run different operating system environments on your servers, such as Linux or Windows.
With a shared hosting solution, you’ll need to use the platform that the host company provides. This can be limiting and can make it difficult to run certain applications and software. This is less of an issue with cloud hosting (as this solution provides more flexibility than shared hosting), but you still don’t have the level of flexibility and control that you do with a dedicated server.
It comes with unlimited storage and bandwidth
Dedicated hosting plans usually come with unlimited storage and bandwidth. This means that you can use as much storage and bandwidth as you need for your website, and there are no usage caps. With shared hosting, there are often caps on how much bandwidth you can use, so you have to be careful not to go over your allotted amount, as this can result in your website being suspended or even being completely removed.
Unlimited storage and bandwidth are especially useful if you run an eCommerce site and need a lot of storage space for high-resolution images or videos.
You can expect a higher level of customer support
Due to the high fees demanded by dedicated hosts, a superb level of customer support should be expected as part of the host’s offerings. Dedicated hosting services will usually provide customer support 24/7, every day of the year, and through every channel conceivable. Telephone, email, live chat — if you have an issue with your website, they’ll be on hand to help.
Dedicated hosting gives you complete control over your server and website, but it does come at a cost — you’ll need to make sure you’re capable of configuring and maintaining a server if your website is to be a success. Want to find out more? Head over to our post on the 4 best WooCommerce hosting providers.
Thanks for reading!