In the world of web hosting, it seems like there are constantly new inventions—that are identical to what already exists! Many techies know what a dedicated server is because it’s pretty self-explanatory: A server that you buy, so it’s “dedicated” just to you. You might pay to have somebody else store it, manage it and maintain it, but it’s still totally “your” server. A virtual private server (VPS) is a singles server that’s sectioned off into numerous virtual servers. You get one of those virtual servers for yourself, but the single, physical server is still shared amongst other clients. Basically, you get the perks of dedicated hosting without the cost. So what’s up with semi-dedicated hosting?
Semi-dedicated is a shared server, but that server is very powerful. There’s also a smaller cap on how many clients can share this server compared to, for example, basic shared hosting plans. Unlike a totally dedicated server, you don’t get full access (or “root access”) to this server. You don’t have dedicated resources. Perhaps it should have been named Super Shared Hosting instead, because it’s really just taking basic shared hosting to the extreme.
VPS is Still Your Best Bet
Putting “dedicated” in a hosting package’s title can be very misleading. Dedicated hosting is known to be the best, most powerful—and of course most expensive. However, there’s not much overlay between dedicated and semi-dedicated hosting. The resources on a semi-dedicated server are available to every single client, but on an “as-need” basis. That’s the same as a basic shared plan, with the only difference being there are fewer clients. But how many fewer?
Not all basic shared plans are created equally. Depending on the web host, you might be sharing with 100 other people or 1,000 other. When shopping around, if basic shared hosting strikes your fancy, ask what the cap is. It might be the same as a semi-dedicated hosting plan—but since “dedicated” is in the title, the web host might be able to charge a higher fee. However, if you’re really tech savvy, you’ll just go after a VPS option.
Give Up the Goods
Yes, when comparing semi-dedicated hosting to most basic shared hosting plans, semi-dedicated is a little better. Since the resources aren’t given away like door prizes, you’ll likely enjoy better speeds. The server can stability quicker, too, which leads to a more stable website. However, you’ll get the same deal with VPS, but probably for a lower price. You’ll get a lot of other extras, too.
VPS can be managed or unmanaged, but either way you’ll get root access. Your virtual server will also be exclusively yours, so you don’t have to share with anybody. For example, if you pay for a 512MP RAM VPS, that’s what you’re getting and nobody is getting a piece of it. It’s like ordering a slice of cake from a massive cake at your favorite bakery. You don’t need that whole cake, nor do you want it, but you certainly don’t want a stranger grabbing a fork and taking “just a little taste” of the slice you paid for.