As you browse around from web host to web host, are you thinking about what type of hosting you need? Some people see dedicated hosting as a "top tier" service. While it is in many ways, it is not the right hosting plan for every website out there. You should consider management issues, the costs of the server itself and other hosting alternatives too.
Having the right skills to manage a dedicated server is essential. If you do not know how to, then you should make sure you hire somebody who can do the day to day work of managing it. It is far more complex than a shared hosting account and even if your web host offers you "managed" dedicated hosting - you should find out what exactly "managed" covers and does not cover. Most web hosts up-front with you about this because they do not want you to come back unhappy and wanting to switch to another hosting plan.
On average, a dedicated server is going to cost you $100-300 monthly. That is a ballpark price, and there are tons of great offers out there (as you can see on SiteGeek). However, if you are running your website with a budget in mind, this is something you need to consider.
There are obvious alternatives to a dedicated server. You could see how you fair on a shared hosting plan. You could also split your website up over several shared hosting plans too. However, I feel that the best real alternative to dedicated server hosting is VPS hosting. With a virtual private server, you get all the perks of shared hosting and the performance of dedicated hosting. Few companies could not use a VPS as an alternative to a dedicated server out there today.
You could find yourself needing a dedicated server or maybe not. Before you lay down the cold hard cash, you need to figure out if a dedicated server hosting platform is right for you and your hosted content.
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