Web hosting options explained: Part 2 Dedicated Hosting In dedicated hosting, you have a server that is all your own. Only your website runs on it so you aren’t impacted by what others do. But while price is really the only good aspect of shared hosting, it is really one of the few downfalls of dedicated hosting. The costs for dedicated hosting can be much higher than shared because now you are carrying the burden of paying for the hardware, software and maintenance (all included in the pricing plan you agree to). But the upside is that you are free to use as much bandwidth as you pay for. Also the performance of your website is entirely up to you and how well you design it. If you have a high traffic site, or mission critical web applications for your business, then dedicated hosting may be worth the additional costs. There is one other downside to dedicated hosting: location. When your website resides on a dedicated server, visitors must access it at that single location. So if your website is hosted on a server in London and you have a visitor from Hong Kong, they will have a much slower load time than someone in Cambridge. This is just the nature of the Internet and the time it takes to travel along the network from one location to another. So if you need to make sure your website and content are accessible from anywhere in the world in a reasonable amount of time, you might want to consider CDN, or Content Delivery Hosting
Content Delivery Content delivery is crucial to your user’s experience. If slick, fast, uninterrupted it will present your content in the best possible quality. Achieving this will reflect well upon you, your business and your services and products. A poor quality delivery that stops and starts, falls over from time to time and fails to do you justice will quickly turn your viewers and listeners against you.
So an efficient, fast and reliable Content Delivery Network, aka CDN, is essential if you wish to present rich content on the web. Whether this is video, sound or complex graphics or animation, the same requirements exist. Whereas in the past individual web servers were used to host this kind of content, the modern way is to use a global Content Delivery Network. Whereas a dedicated server is vulnerable to breakdown and is only likely to provide a fast service in its own location a CDN is made up many servers linked together as a cloud across all continents. This brings two great benefits. Firstly one or more pieces of hardware can fail but other parts of the network can take up the slack meaning that 100% uptime can be guaranteed. Secondly because the CDN is spread across the world each viewer will access your content from the nearest point to them. So someone in the Far East might access a node of the network located in Singapore, whereas a European viewer might access London or Amsterdam. The most common use of a Content Delivery Network is to serve up video content but it can also bring advantages to busy websites and ecommerce stores. Imagine a busy online store with high quality images of the products for sale. Whilst the basic pages might be served to the visitor from a conventional web server the images might be served from a CDN, maintaining high speed page loading even for heavy duty images.