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WEB HOSTING ARTICLES

Virtual Hosting versus Dedicated Hosting: Which is Right for You
By: Jennifer Sullivan Cassidy
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    2005-12-28

    Table of Contents:
  • Virtual Hosting versus Dedicated Hosting: Which is Right for You
  • Virtual Hosting IP Risks
  • Dedicated Hosting Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Do You Really Need Dedicated Hosting?

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    Virtual Hosting versus Dedicated Hosting: Which is Right for You - Virtual Hosting IP Risks


    (Page 2 of 4 )

    Finding out the IP address of a shared server ahead of time can allow you to use tools to find out the server response time of the virtual host.  It doesnít do you any good to have a great website if your site visitors canít access it due to slow server response time.  Theyíll either get frustrated or go elsewhere.  You may also find that you are getting quite a bit of downtime based on server load.  NetMechanics.com has a good tool you can use to test this out, as long as you donít try to use it during peak hours.

    Another drawback to virtual hosting is having to share your IP address with bad neighbors.  A web host is not going to tell you what other sites share your IP address; you take the risk of sharing your address with an adult site, a spam site, or other site you wouldnít want to otherwise associate with.  Some search engines see red flags with some spam or adult sites, and other search engines have been known to ban IP addresses altogether, like AltaVista and it is rumored that even Google crawls by IP for efficiency, skipping those that it doesnít like.  Make sure you know what kind of sites your web host allows in order for you to make an informed decision before you sign up.  You can usually find this information in their terms of service.

    Another risk you run with sharing an IP address with other sites on a virtual server is the likelihood of more server crashes.  Most web hosts donít allow certain kinds of scripts that may crash the servers, while others donít monitor this type of behavior.  Scripts that are written poorly, with built-in loops, for example, can overload a serverís resources.  This can slow the server as well as it could cause the server to crash. Some web hosts allow unfettered shell access, whereas other require you to have some kind of identification on file in their office, and monitor all shell access behaviors.  You want to make sure that your web host at least has some sort of shell access guidelines in place, and that it is well protected.

    I know it seems that these disadvantages far outweigh the advantages of virtual hosting; however, while I wanted you to be aware of the issues, for most sites out there though, virtual hosting does just fine.  Millions of websites use shared hosting options and most donít have problems.

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