Shared Versus Dedicated Hosting-What You Need to Know
The easiest way to understand shared hosting is to think of a big apartment building. You have an apartment in there along with many other tenants. One day, a tenant decides to do something illegal in their apartment. He gets caught. The police proceed to shut down the ENTIRE building. You can't get access to your room for an indefinite amount of time. That's what shared hosting is like.
You are all on one server, and if that server gets blacklisted, you can't get to your email, complete transactions and do your daily business operations. If you are on a shared hosting plan, you will always run that risk.
Dedicated hosting is a better option as your website URL won't get grouped into other blacklisted sites and servers. Dedicated hosting from Thoughtwire means protecting your website on the code level, not just the server side.
Here's a closer comparison of the two options:
Shared hosting accounts are typically setup with a panel like cPanel or Plesk, where users have access only to the "user level." Aside from FTP, the control panel will be the user's only method of server administration, and server functions will be limited, in large extent, by those available in the control panel.
Dedicated servers give you more control and flexibility. You don't have to be limited when it comes to setup and tweaking functionality.
Shared hosting environments always have to be concerned with security. Since every user on a Shared hosting server will be running applications within the same file system and same operating system, there is relatively great opportunity for a single user to exploit the system and negatively affect all other users hosted on the same server.
A dedicated server will remain almost completely isolated. You don't have to worry about other users ruining your hosting. In certain instances, dedicated users can even customize their own firewalls and security settings.
Options and Extensibility
Shared hosting providers have complete control over what will be available to you in your Shared hosting environment, and the options are usually very limited. A setup that is compatible with one host may be completely unusable with another host, because of limits on the ability of users to customize software like mail servers, webservers and MySQL. You will also be out of luck if you require an operating system (OS) or software that your Shared host does not support.
With dedicated hosting, you will have way more control over your individual server's environment.
In a Shared hosting environment, all hardware resources are shared among all users, with virtual limits set for the amount of bandwidth, disk space and other resources available to each user. The individual users' resources are not in any way separated, nor can server performance be effectively monitored on a per-user basis, hence the notorious overselling, "unlimited" resource allocations and poor performance too-often associated with Shared hosting.
The other side is actually having dedicated resources, combined with advanced per-user monitoring tools, to make dedicated server hosting far more reliable than shared hosting.
Although Shared hosting offers the convenience of a straightforward and easy-to-use control panel for server management (which can also be installed on a dedicated server), dedicated hosting offers an even greater convenience: the ability to customize the system with the ability to upgrade or downgrade at any time.