What Are the Key Differences Between Shared and Dedicated Servers?

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If you know a thing or two about web hosting, you probably already know that these companies own plenty of servers that are housed in a facility known as a data center.

That being said, servers are powerful computers that are able to run at indefinite times which is why websites are placed inside their storage spaces so that these sites can be visible online. Coupled with a domain, people can have access to these websites as they please.
That being said, there are many different hosting plans that are being offered by the top hosting companies today. But, the most prevalent are shared and dedicated hosting. The clue as to what they are is in their names.

In today’s article, I will go over the key differences that you need to know between shared and dedicated servers, particularly as it relates to web hosting.

Number of Websites

One of the major differences between a shared and a dedicated server is that the former houses a lot of websites on a single server while the latter only has one website in it.

What does this mean for the end-user? Well, shared hosting uses only one server which means that it is exponentially more affordable than a dedicated one. However, this presents the problem of performance, especially if we are talking about the phenomenon known as the ‘bad neighbor effect- wherein a couple of websites will try to hog all of the server’s resources gimping the other websites’ performance.

This is not a problem for dedicated servers simply because they only have one website in them at all times. This means excellent performance across the board and you can utilize all of the resources to your liking. The major problem with this, though, is that getting a dedicated server is quite expensive. So much so that only the wealthy and large corporations are able to get this sustainably.

IP Address and Domain

Most hosting companies nowadays would provide you with a domain as part of your chosen hosting plan. That being said, shared servers would normally assign IP addresses based on the ones that are still available. That is the same when it comes to the domain as well.

In dedicated servers, on the other hand, you can choose any IP address that you want because you are the sole proprietor of a server. The same thing goes for the domain.


The disparity in price between shared and dedicated hosting is pretty huge. Shared hosting is leaps and bounds much cheaper than dedicated hosting. In shared hosting, you can get a plan for just $5 a month or so, whereas, in dedicated hosting, you can pay thousands of dollars depending on the hosting company you are using.


Every hosting plan allows you to tweak some settings, but in shared servers, your control is limited. That is not the case for dedicated servers as you are given granular control, which means that you can install your own operating system, tweak certain parameters based on your needs, among others.