Dedicated Server Web Hosting
Unrivalled reliability, security, flexibility, customisation and resources - there is simply no better option than dedicated server hosting. We have gathered the list below to bring you the best value dedicated server plans available, based on expert editorial reviews, user reviews, features and performance statistics.
All listed plans include:
- Top performance
- 24/7/365 customer care
- High review scores
What is Dedicated Server Hosting?
The blue website is using a dedicated server, whereas
the white, red and yellow sites are sharing.
Most suited to websites that maintain a high flow of traffic such as eCommerce sites or large businesses, Dedicated Server Hosting is achieved by leasing a very powerful computer to be used exclusively as a network server for your website only. The server is stored in a data center owned by the web hosting company, and makes your website accessible to to the world wide web.
The increased server space and customization settings allow for more flexibility than most other types of web hosting, although fully managed plans are recommended if you don't have an in-house technical expert to handle the server.
Pros and cons of Dedicated Servers
- Secure and reliable - by not sharing server space with others, your website is not at the mercy of another website's vulnerabilities and unexpected traffic increases
- Customized web hosting that puts you in full control
- High capacity - the whole server is reserved by your website, giving it more room to grow and develop
- Can require some specialist knowledge
- You may pay for more than you need
What you get for your money
A Dedicated Server includes an operating system (usually Linux or Windows) with the necessary software installed (such as SQL server, Control Panel, etc) - this software requires someone with a strong understanding of server capabilities to administer.
Also included is the web server, which is there to make your website available to those who 'request' it (i.e. your visitors). The server itself is typically housed in data centers owned and operated by web hosting companies - you do not have (or need) physical access to it.
Data centers are well equipped against power outages and server contents are regularly backed up which contributes to low server downtime. Servers can be customized and operated remotely, and superfast Internet connectivity (often over 100mb/s) is provided at no additional cost.
What is a Managed Dedicated Server?
If you (or somebody you employ) have the necessary time, technical knowledge and resources to update, optimize and maintain it, your website can greatly benefit from the granular control of an unmanaged Dedicated Server. With these plans you are fully responsible for the configuration and remote operation of the server you are renting. Extra technical support may be available from the hosting provider, but usually this will incur an additional fee.
However, if you are somebody who just wants it to work so that you can concentrate fully on your website/business and its content without worrying about your server, then a Managed Dedicated Server plan is what you need. Managed plans include everything your website needs, including support and assistance, and it is the responsibility of the web hosting company to do all they can to ensure that your website remains available online.
Typically, web hosting companies that provide Managed plans offer 24/7/365 customer support, server administration and performance maintenance. Enhanced security functions, professional database management and comprehensive backup services are often also included.
It's an important decision, but don't worry; you are normally able to upgrade to a managed plan from an unmanaged one if you deem it appropriate to your needs. There are also Partially Managed plans that can provide routine server resets and service as well as support during business hours.
Benefits of a Managed Dedicated Server
+ Easy to administer - it just works
+ No specialist knowledge/staff required
+ Allows you to focus on other priorities
Drawbacks of a Managed Dedicated Server
- Higher cost
- Reliance on support to make changes
- Less control
Dedicated Servers in practice
Typical Dedicated Server Hosting solutions allow the choice between Linux and Windows Operating Systems (OS), and a number of hardware solutions depending on requirements. Once all of this is set up, specific software and scripts can be installed, configured and tested for compatibility.
Fortunately, the best dedicated hosting providers in our list provide superb technical support to help you every step of the way. Managed solutions usually have around-the-clock customer service and technical support available. They also provide sophisticated tools that allow you to manage and analyze bandwidth and security among other aspects of the hosting solution.
Most web hosting companies provide an uptime (% of time the website is accessible online) guarantee which they are compelled to comply with. Thanks to the solid monitoring and security software web hosting companies use, promises of 99.9% uptime are common.
Dedicated Server vs VPS (Virtual Private Server)
If you operate a website which has recently outgrown its Cheap Web Hosting plan on a shared server, you may be a little unsure which is the best way to proceed. You want to give your site space to flourish and grow, but you don't want to pay for more than you need.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) plans host your website on its own Virtual Machine (VM) within a shared server. Among other benefits, this gives your site heightened security as well as the ability to run different operating systems, languages and scripts than the other sites hosted on the server.
Some VPS offerings can actually match certain Dedicated Server plans in terms of features, power and management - which makes it worthy of consideration in this context.
As multiple customers are hosted on the same server with VPS plans, there is the possibility that Web Hosting companies will do more to ensure their efficient operation than they would for a server hosting only one customer.
However, the downside of VPS is that because you are sharing a server, the privacy, security and processing power (usually) pales in comparison with that of a Dedicated Server. Dedicated Server performance is also generally considered to be more consistent.
VPS is a good stepping stone, but if you want your site to continue growing without worrying about its hosting solution holding it back, Dedicated Server is still the way to go.
What to look for in a Dedicated Server Hosting plan
Particularly if you are leaning towards a cheap Dedicated Server plan, important aspects to consider before the price are:
Operating System (OS) - is it one you are comfortable with? Less relevant in the case of Managed Plans.
Bandwidth - how quickly can information travel in and out of your server? This will affect loading times experienced by your visitors.
Hardware - is the computer up to the task?
Storage - is there enough space for your website, both now and in the future?
Data backup - if the server breaks, will your data be promptly and fully restored?
Monitoring - how often and how thoroughly will your server be checked for problems?
Technical support - look for knowledge, availability and attitude.
The recommended Dedicated Server plans at the top of this page are known for providing reliable and flexible solutions. Ask the above questions to any web hosting companies you are considering trusting with your website and your money. Request some websites that they already host for references and read their reviews before you sign up.
Through researching your options on this site, you will find not only a cheap dedicated web hosting plan, but one that perfectly matches the requirements of your particular website. The list at the top of this page can guide you, and if you know your requirements you can conduct an advanced search of web hosting providers.
Is a Dedicated Server the right web hosting service for you?
If you have a large website (not necessarily the size of Amazon or BBC), that demands an enterprise-level, gold-standard web hosting service with bags of flexibility, customization and storage, then a Dedicated Server is most likely the way to go.
Managed solutions are available to those who would prefer not to be heavily involved in the server-side administration, but if you want total control or something in between you also have those options.
However, if you think that a Dedicated Server may be a little too much to take on at this stage, a Virtual Private Server (VPS) is the popular alternative as it offers greater reliability and control than Cheap Web Hosting (AKA shared web hosting) offerings. Modern virtualization software enables these to run and install custom scripts and software, giving you comparable flexibility at a fraction of the cost.