Shared Server vs Dedicated Server: What’s the Difference?

difference between shared and dedicated server

When a business owner launches or upgrades an e-commerce website, they may have to choose between a Shared Server vs Dedicated Server. There are many important differences between the two Hosting options, and potential customers should do their own research before making a decision. In the guide below, readers can learn the most important differences between shared and dedicated servers.

Server-Hosted Sites

With a shared host, there are other sites on the same server as the customer’s website. When customers choose a plan with a Dedicated Server, their sites are alone on a server.

Disk Space and Bandwidth

In shared hosting packages, the customer is allotted a limited amount of bandwidth and disk space because others are on the server as well. Customers can face steep charges if they exceed their allotment. However, with a dedicated host, disk space and bandwidth are unlimited, with no sharing involved.


In shared hosting packages, resources are divided among multiple users, so operational costs are split as well. Users of dedicated servers can expect to pay higher costs because they’re not sharing resources with other website owners.


With a shared web hosting plan, the host company installs server security apps and firewalls. However, those on dedicated plans must take responsibility for their sites’ security. Shared hosting plans come with higher risk because other sites are hosted on the same server.

Desired Amount of Control

Dedicated servers offer users greater control as they have the ability to add their own scripts, applications, and programs. By comparison, shared servers give users no such ability. With a dedicated package, the user gets improved flexibility and security to go along with the higher level of control.

Potential Blacklisting

On shared servers, there’s a greater risk of search engine blacklisting. If another site owner engages in unethical practices, the entire IP range may be blacklisted. On dedicated servers, a site will not be blacklisted unless the owner does something dishonest.

Response Time and Performance

On a Shared Server, traffic may be high—which can deplete bandwidth and other resources and cause slow response and loading times. This is not an issue on dedicated servers because resources are not shared.

The hosting option a customer chooses will depend on their website and server needs as well as their budget and the amount of control needed. Regardless of which hosting type is chosen, it is vital that customers make informed decisions.