What is the Best Dedicated Hosting for your Website?

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Best web hostingIn the hosting world, there’s three main levels of hosting:

Shared – shared hosting has many users on one server – ie. you are sharing server resources (space and bandwidth) with other users. The cost per user is inexpensive, but generally the performance and reliability of the server suffer as a result. You may also be more vulnerable to hacker attacks and spam.

VPS – a VPS, or Virtual Private Server, is a dedicated chunk of a server. You are allocated your own set of resources. VPS hosting is much more reliable than shared hosting, but is also more expensive.

Dedicated – With a dedicated hosting solution, you are given your own server. These are by far the most reliable hosting solutions, but it also requires some experience on the side of the user – as you will literally be managing your own server. It’s for this reason that many dedicated server users look for a managed solution – where the hosting company actually manages and monitors the server for you. Dedicated hosting solutions are typically for large traffic sites, or for web developers who host a large number of websites and want to be in full control of hosting resources.

Who is the Best Dedicated Hosting Provider?

These days, just about everyone offers a dedicated hosting solution. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best. Far from it. You could yourself buy a server and hook it up in your garage. That doesn’t mean you’re a) going to know how to operate it, b) know how to effectively manage it, or c) be able to provide the necessary backup solutions in event that your server goes down.

Selecting a Dedicated Host

The key to finding a good dedicated hosting provider is to use someone that:

  • Specializes in dedicated hosting. Don’t pick a domain registration or website company that offers dedicated servers on the side, or as part of their overall offering. There’s a reason domain name companies are successful selling domains – that’s where they allocate their resources, and that’s how their company is structured. If you choose a hosting provider that is not specialized or focused on hosting as a service, you’ll typically pay for it in lack of customer service as well as poor server performance.
  • Offers live, 24/7, U.S. based support – you want someone on the continent that speaks your own language and has a dedicated support staff on hand 24/7 to assist you with your needs. The last thing you want is to buy a dedicated server from a company that doesn’t work on weekends, or outsources all their phone support to another country.
  • Offers a managed solution – running your own server is as difficult as it sounds. Unless you’re an experienced Linux or Windows user with server experience, you’ll most likely want your dedicated hosting provider to manage and monitor your server for you.

Alright, so you’re probably thinking – we must have someone in mind that fits the bill, correct? After so many years in web development, we have hosted with many companies. But there’s only a few that stand above the rest in terms of reliability and performance, and only one really that outshines the pack in terms of dedicated customer service and support. We are both happy clients of theirs, and now, because we’re such fans of their service, proud partners.

WRYW Editor’s Pick for Dedicated Hosting

Our award for best dedicated hosting provider goes to Rackspace. Visit them and request your free consultation today. You’ll get a one on one phone conversation with a real human being that will work with you or your organization to get you setup with a hosting solution that meets your needs. They are known for their fanatical support – as you’ll see written all over their website and in many customer reviews across the internet. If you’re looking for a solid dedicated hosting solution, look no further than Rackspace.

What Does Rackspace Offer?

  • The Fanatical Support Promise™ – our commitment to you. And it’s not an empty promise with nothing behind it. It’s actually part of our Master Service Agreement.
  • Hosting With No Worries – unlike colocation hosting and other low-end hosting providers, Rackspace immediately reduces the strain on your IT people by taking on the day-to-day burdens of constantly and fully managing a web environment.
  • Very Live, 24x7x365 Support – we don’t mean one person manning the desks at 2:00AM. It’s teams of experts working at any time on any day.
  • Your Very Own Dedicated Team – you will know your dedicated Rackspace Support Team and, they’ll know you. More importantly, the team is built around your needs, not ours.
  • Experts by Any Definition – hundreds of certified experts, consistent industry awards and recognition and strong technology partnerships.
  • 100% Network Uptime Guarantee – our Zero-Downtime Network™ guarantees you get nothing less than 100% Network Uptime. We’re so confident in our guarantee that we didn’t have to fill it with loopholes.
  • 1-Hour Hardware Replacement Guarantee – sooner or later hardware will break. When it breaks at Rackspace, it’s usually fixed before you even know something is wrong.

Share Your Dedicated Hosting Experience

If you’re already a dedicated hosting customer, feel free to post below with your experience and share it with our community members.

Alex bring a series of in-depth articles on search marketing and content management systems as well as troubleshooting tips to We Rock Your Web's collection. He is an avid tennis player, nature enthusiast, and hiker, and enjoys spending time with his wife, friends, and dogs, Bella and Lily.

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Anonymous
This article provides a fairly general, but good overview of exactly what dedicated hosting is, and a few words about who might be interested in using such a service. There is a lot of good information here which could help someone who is either just starting to look for web hosting services, or who has only been using a basic level hosting set up in the past and realizes they may need a more powerful and secure solution.

What is hosting in the first place? This is the term used for the server (or computer or system) that actually stores all of the files for your web site. This includes everything from the image files to the databases, to the product catalog, etc… Essentially, a web site is just a collection of files. These files must be stored somewhere. Additionally, when these files are stored, it must be done so in a way that allows other internet users to access them. For example, if you build a site and then keep all of these pages on your computer, how would I (or anyone else) ever be able to see it? A host server is a computer which is always running and allows other users to access these web site files.

Of course, the server is a complicated piece of equipment. It needs to also provide security. Obviously, you want to make sure that your files are safe from hackers and those with malicious intent. This makes it even more important for every website owner to choose their hosting solution provider with great care. One also needs to consider how strong a server the system is running on. There should probably be some kind of uptime guarantee (the percentage of time that your site will be running and accessible to internet browsers and users).

The author describes the three basic types of hosting solution providers. These descriptions were very brief, but accurate. Shared hosting is an option where there are a number of website files on a single server. In other words, your site will be sharing space with many other different sites. This is a very basic solution, and is probably the most inexpensive option of all. The author also mentions that the performance and reliability suffer with this option, as well as exposing the sites to hacker attacks. I guess this is an issue, but I am not sure.

Anonymous
Are they splittin hairs just a little?

Personally, I think that worrying about reliability and performance issues on shared servers is taking things just a bit too far. While it is technically true, that the reliability may not be quite as good as some other options, I will ask the question another way. Is it vitally important to you that your website has an access speed of .00005 nanoseconds? Or, would you be ok with a speed of maybe .005 nanoseconds? Or, does it make a tremendous difference if your site has an uptime guarantee of 99.999999 percent versus 99.9 percent? These are essentially the differences in reliability and speed when comparing a shared hosting solution versus another option.

On the other hand, the idea of being more readily exposed to hackers does have some merit. Although in my experience as a website owner, builder and internet marketer I think the problem of spam is much more insidious than being hacked. For example, if an internet services provider, or an email provider receive some spam complaints about a business that has their sites hosted on a shared server, this could potentially affect many of the other sites hosted on this server. Oftentimes, when an internet or email provider effectively black balls a business, they record the domain from which the emails are sent. However, in some cases (where the complaints are serious and numerous), they may take action against everything which comes from that server. If this happens, it could mean that you will have a difficult time getting any of your email messages delivered. Or worse.

While the above scenario is a possibility, I think it is much rarer than most people talk about. Personally, I have used shared servers for years, and this has never once happened to me, my clients, or anyone that I know of personally. Nevertheless, if you are a more paranoid personality type, then you may want to consider a more secure hosting option.

The next level up, in terms of reliability and security, is called VPS. This stands for virtual private server. In this scenario, you will be dedicated a certain section of a server. Basically, what the web hosting company does here is virtually segment or partitions their server into sections. Each web owner is renting a section (or more than one if they pay for a higher amount of storage space). This service is a bit more secure. The hosting company tends to be a little more selective about these clients and is able to group the clients in a fashion which makes more sense to help avoid spam complaints. Additionally, these solutions seem to provide a higher level of security.

Anonymous
This article goes through many different changes before it finally discusses dedicated hosting. Though the rest of the article discusses other forms of hosting, I think it is important to understand all of the hosting platforms, in order to appreciate dedicated hosting. The final basic hosting option is called dedicated hosting. With this option, your files will be stored on your own server. There is no other client using this server. The cost for something like this can be expensive. One way to potentially lower this cost is by choosing to simply rent the server. This entails that you figure out how to manage and maintain it on your own, or with whatever technical resources you and you team has available. On the other hand, you could possible choose to have the hosting company manage the server for you as well. This is usually the easiest solution, but it will cost more money. That is called managed dedicated hosting.

Such a high powered solution is generally best for those companies that have either huge sites or lots of traffic. Someone who is a developer and has a large number of clients may consider a dedicated solution as well. It is actually an excellent way to be in full control of your hosting resources, and provides strong protection against spam and hacking issues.

The second half of the article discusses how to find a good dedicated hosting provider. The author correctly points out that this will take some research to find your best option. Also, the fact is noted that anyone could put a computer in their garage and offer dedicated hosting! This does not mean that just anyone is capable of effectively operating, managing and repairing the server.

Next, the author offers three criteria for picking a solid dedicated hosting company. First, make sure this is what they specialize in (i.e. dedicated hosting), not just something they offer on the side. Next, they must offer live, 24/7 US based support. There is not a worse feeling in the world when you cannot log onto your site and are not able to reach anyone live for hours! Finally, make sure they actually manage the server for you.

Then, the author talks about the company which they have made their top choice for dedicated hosting. This is Rackspace. I have actually known about this company for a while now and do agree that they seem to have an excellent service and system established. Additionally, I have heard a lot of good things about them from friends in the business, as well as some of their other customers.