Dedicated Hosting: Is It Right for Your Small Business?
Last Updated on September 13, 2019
Shared and virtual private server (VPS) hosting options have their place. But those looking for the fastest, most powerful, secure and customizable web hosting option need to seek out a dedicated server.
With a dedicated server, all of the resources available are devoted to hosting a single website. The downside to this, however, is the cost — dedicated hosting is one of the most expensive hosting options available on the market.
Read on to find out about the best dedicated server hosts and how to pick the right one for your particular needs.
Choosing a Dedicated Hosting Plan
If you are in the market for a dedicated server, there are several things that you will want to consider when evaluating options:
- Resource allocation (e.g., how many CPUs and how much storage, RAM, and bandwidth is included)
- Whether the hosting plan is managed (e.g., comes with professional services like system administration) or not
- The hosting provider’s quality of customer service
- Plan bonuses, such as security suites, GUI control panels, domain names — many are premium options and the cost can add up quickly
Popular Dedicated Hosting Options
There are many hosting companies offering dedicated servers, but not all options are created equal. To help you get started with identifying the company and the server that is best for you, we have compiled brief reviews of eight popular and well-regarded web hosts.
|Providers||Uptime (measured)||Performance||Starting Price|
|InMotion||99.865%||8 GB RAM|
500 GB SSD or 1TB HDD
|LiquidWeb||100%||16 GB RAM|
2 × 240 GB SSD
|Bluehost||99.970%||4 GB RAM|
500 GB HDD
|HostGator||99.962%||8 GB RAM|
1 TB HDD
|A2 Hosting||99.995%||8 GB RAM|
2 × 500 GB HDD
|SiteGround||100%||16 GM RAM|
480 GB SSD
|GreenGeeks||99.995%||2 GB RAM|
500 GB SATA
|GoDaddy||99.995%||4 GB RAM|
1 TB RAID
InMotion Hosting offers semi-managed dedicated hosting options that feature SSD storage. There are six customizable stock dedicated server options. All come with SSD storage by default, include a cPanel and WHM for easier server management, and boast a 99.999% uptime guarantee.
You get basic server management free of charge. That includes the likes of operating system and cPanel patches and updates, and hardware updates in the event of failure. Other bonus features include up to 15 free IP addresses, security suite, and free assistance with launching your website (this includes help with website transfer and migration).
InMotion offers managed hosting options, though even unmanaged plans get up to $300 worth of one-on-one system administration time. The servers are Linux-only options, however, so if you are looking for a Windows hosting option, you will need to look elsewhere. If you are unsatisfied with your server, InMotion offers a 30-day, 100% money-back guarantee.
InMotion offers their customers their choice of a datacenter, with one located just outside of Los Angeles, CA, and the other located in Washington, DC.
- Six customizable dedicated server plans
- Free standard server management
- 100% money-back guarantee
- No datacenters outside the United States
- Linux options only
Liquid Web is a web hosting company offering fully managed solutions that are backed by 100% uptime guarantees and 24/7 support with responses guaranteed within 59 seconds.
Liquid Web’s managed dedicated servers are fully customizable, and there are options featuring a choice between Linux and Windows operating systems. Standard features and functionality include:
- Protection against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks
- Integration with Cloudflare for content delivery networks (CDNs)
- Backup drives
- ServerSecure Advanced Security
- Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) and root access
- Dedicated IP addresses
- SSD storage
If you want cPanel/WHM (Linux servers) or Plesk Onyx (Windows), you’ll need to purchase these as add-ons. Control panels, however, are standard on the more expensive servers.
When purchasing, you will have six different servers from which you can choose. Depending on the option you choose, you can make customizations for things like the number of CPU cores or the operating system used. Further add-ons come at a 40% discount.
You can choose the datacenter that hosts your server. Current choices include Michigan, Arizona, and Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Regardless of what your dedicated hosting options are, all come with real-time monitoring and 100% power and network uptime guarantees.
- 100% uptime guarantee
- 24/7 customer support
- DDoS protection
- Prices higher than their competitors
- cPanel and Plesk come as add-ons
Bluehost is known for their WordPress plans, but the company also offers feature-rich dedicated hosting plans that are worth looking into. These plans are not as customizable as the options offered by their peers, but those facing decision fatigue would welcome the simplicity.
Bluehost offers three different dedicated servers from which you can choose. All come with a free domain name (for the first year), a free SSL certificate, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. These servers are unmanaged options, but they do include a customized cPanel to make server administration and account management easier.
Optional features for dedicated servers include domain privacy, the SiteLock security suite, and spam protection. Bluehost operates a technical support telephone line that is for use exclusively by dedicated hosting customers.
- Full-featured, unmanaged options that make it simple to choose and get started with dedicated hosting
- Exclusive phone support
- Free domain name and SSL certificate
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Fewer server options
- Less customizability
HostGator offers three customizable (semi-managed or managed) dedicated servers. Each comes with a standard number of CPU cores and allocation of RAM, storage space, and bandwidth. All plans offer the choice of Linux or Windows operating systems, while the mid-range and high-end options offer the choice of traditional hard disk storage or solid-state storage.
All dedicated hosting plans come with full root access, protection against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, IP-based firewalls, and 24/7 server monitoring. Managed servers running Linux come with cPanel/WHM for server management (Windows customers get Plesk and WebMatrix).
Customers can opt for a managed solution (which comes with assistance for almost any technical or configuration request) or a semi-managed solution (which comes with assistance for hardware, operating system, and basic configuration issues).
HostGator offers 24/7 support, along with a robust knowledgebase featuring over 500 video tutorials and almost 700 articles.
- 24/7 round-the-clock support and robust help documentation
- DDoS protection
- Both Windows and Linux operating systems available
- Plan costs are higher than many competitors
- Fewer options for customers looking to tweak their plans
A2 Hosting, who bill themselves as a developer-friendly option, offers one of the most varied portfolios of dedicated hosting solutions around, including:
- Unmanaged Flex Dedicated Servers for those who are fully comfortable managing the server and web hosting environment from the command line
- Managed Flex Dedicated Servers for those who want A2 Hosting to handle 100% of the system administration tasks and a cPanel to handle configuration tasks
- Core Dedicated Servers for those who want a managed server, but also root access in case they want to handle in-depth tasks themselves
A2 Hosting offers three different plans for each type of dedicated hosting solution available. They can be hosted a 4 datacenters around the world (two in the US, one in Europe, and one in Asia).
Regardless of which type of dedicated server and plan you choose, you’ll get a 99.9% uptime guarantee, an anytime money-back guarantee, and 24/7 access to the Guru Crew for customer service and technical support.
- Developer friendly hosting with a variety of server management options
- Anytime money-back guarantee (within reason)
- Singapore datacenter available
- Fewer bonuses and freebies than competitors
- Less newbie-friendly
SiteGround is known for their top-notch customer support, but their hosting options are robust as well.
SiteGround’s dedicated hosting offers you the choice of a datacenter (current locations include the United States, Europe, and Asia-Pacific), as well as three different pre-configured plans from which you can choose. In addition, all plans come with:
- CentOS operating system with WHM and cPanel for server management
- 5 free dedicated IP addresses
- Free Cloudflare CDN
- SSH access
- Softaculous Auto-Installer
- Support for MySQL and PostgreSQL databases
- Exim Mail Server for email communication
- Private DNS server
- IP-based firewall
Those who are looking for hosting for their WordPress, Joomla, or Magento websites will find platform-specific functionality such as installation tools and Git-integration for backup and version control.
SiteGround’s prices are higher than their competitors, but the hardware allocations are good, and all plans are fully-managed and include 24/7 monitoring. You will also get 24/7 VIP support for any questions or concerns that you might have.
- Customizable dedicated hosting options backed by a company known for their customer service
- VIP support
- Fully-managed servers
- Free Cloudflare CDN and Softaculous installer
- Worldwide datacenters
- Expensive hosting plans
GreenGeeks, as the name implies, offers eco-friendly web hosting options. The California-based company is powered by renewable sources of energy and purchases enough wind energy credits to offset the energy consumed by the company three times over.
GreenGeeks offers four different dedicated server options from which you can choose. Unlike their competitors, however, GreenGeeks does not allow you to purchase dedicated hosting online — they ask that you contact their Sales team for further details if you are interested.
The website lists the resource allocation of the servers, but there is no information on any additional features and functionality, like server management.
- Simple, full-featured dedicated hosting plans
- Eco-friendly hosting powered by renewable energy
- 5 free IP addresses
- Can only purchase with the assistance of the GreenGeeks sales team
- Limited server information available online
Internet giant GoDaddy offers their customers dedicated servers that can run either Linux and Windows and include the customer’s choice of server management scheme. GoDaddy offers four different plans for each type of operating system, though the Windows options are more expensive.
GoDaddy offers three different management schemes for their dedicated servers:
- Self-Managed: GoDaddy handles proactive network and host monitoring, offers disaster recovery services, and assigns one dedicated IP address to your account. You are responsible for the rest
- Managed: GoDaddy offers full-service monitoring, one-click root access, a control panel, assistance with app installs and updates, disaster recovery on-demand, and up to 3 dedicated IP addresses
- Fully-Managed: Fully-managed plans come with everything managed plans do, plus migration assistance and expert services
The Linux-based options come with cPanel, easy upgrades in terms of resources, root access, and support for MySQL databases. GoDaddy also provisions dedicated servers immediately, so you can get started with setting up your website minutes after your purchase. If you need backups, you can purchase Site Backup in 50-GB increments.
The Windows-based servers, on the other hand, are nearly-identical feature-wise, but they come with the Plesk control panel and support Microsoft’s SQL Server instead. GoDaddy provides their customers with 24/7 support and server monitoring.
- Variety of hosting plan choices
- Instant set-up option
- Multiple levels of server management available
- Many add-ons come at an extra cost
- Backups not included
Dedicated servers offer the best performance, fastest speeds, and most secure hosting environment. However, not all plans match in value. With the information in this article, you should be able to make the best choice for your own needs.
Still uncertain? Check out all of our hosting reviews now!