Hosting and maintaining your website successfully and maintaining a constant user base requires significant expertise and technical skills. The number of visitors on your website and the number of page requests per day help you determine the type of hosting you should select to run your website smoothly. Along with that you should also consider the type of data that will be hosted on your servers. For example if you want to host a video website then it requires significant web space and bandwidth but if you want to host a small social network among your friends or in your company then it requires much less space and bandwidth. A small business website or a small social network that has a maximum of 300-400 users per day and serves mostly text content could easily be hosted on a shared web hosting solution. But on the other hand if you have thousands of visitors every day and/or serve video and music files over the web, you would require a dedicated server for proper functioning.
Shared Web Hosting vs Dedicated Web Hosting – The primary differences between shared and dedicated hosting are:
Resources: The allowed bandwidth in a shared hosting is at max 500MB – 1000 MB per month. But in a dedicated server the bandwidth allowed would be at least 1TB. Likewise the disk space allowed for a shared hosting plan would not be more than a 100-500MB but in case of a dedicated hosting plan the disk space can range from 10GB to 1tb depending on your requirements. Thus the independence of resource usage can be fully enjoyed in a dedicated hosting while a shared hosting plan is meant for the beginners who just want a basic 10-20 page website or a small blog.
Problems: You should expect a lot to go wrong when your website is running on a shared hosting plan. Because in a shared hosting plan the resources of a single system are divided among hundreds and in worse cases among thousands of users. Thus the availability of resources for you depends on the usage statistics of the other users. If they use all the space on the system then your website runs slow. If they use more bandwidth your website goes offline and if they use heavy server software’s on their plan then the whole system may crash. But if you are using a dedicated server then all the available resources are for your usage. You can run a thousand websites on the same server if you want and you can also run one large resource consuming website if you want. It is all yours and you may use it as and how you want.
Thus with these basic differences between the two plans it becomes imperative to know when a person should change from shared hosting to dedicated hosting and vice versa. The answer to this is simple. If you are a beginner then you would probably have a very small website with a maximum of a thousand visitors per month. This is the maximum limit for any person within which they can safely rely on the shared hosting plan. If your number of visitors are increasing and your server is having more than at least 3000-4000 page request everyday then it is time for you to move to a dedicated plan.