One of the most significant choices you’ll make when establishing your ecommerce store is whether to go with shared or dedicated hosting. While there are advantages and disadvantages to both, some people prefer dedicated hosting, as they feel it gives them more control over their site. However, along with that control comes more responsibility. Here are some of the pros and cons of dedicated ecommerce hosting.

Pro: More Elbow Room

One of the primary benefits of a dedicated server for business sites with a lot of traffic is more space within which to function. A dedicated server gives you virtually unlimited bandwidth and all of the disk space you’ll ever need. You simply acquire a server capable of hosting your site now and into the foreseeable future. Since it’s all yours, you don’t have to worry about the actions of others affecting its operation, nor will your response time be throttled by the traffic of other sites residing on your server. This means your pages will load faster,which is a definite plus when it comes to keeping customers engaged.

Pro: You Call The Shots

You can choose your own software and utilities, as well as enjoy a wider variety of storage and data options with a dedicated server. Security is more robust as well because yours is the only traffic going in and out of your server. You’ll also enjoy more privacy, as well as a unique IP Address. These factors offer good protection against malware and adware, which in turn means your site is more difficult to hack. This is an important consideration since youwill be asking customers for sensitive financial information,including credit card numbers.

Ultimately though, like so many of the decisions you’ll make when you’re establishing your ecommerce business, when you’re trying to decide between going with a shared server or a dedicated server, the best answer is — it depends.

For example, if you’re making a cloud ecommerce platform comparison, you’ll find the hosting services provided by companies like Shopify offer the benefits of a dedicated server along with daily backups, instant software updates, your own domain and a content delivery network to ensure fast loading of your site wherever your customers happen to be located.

In other words, you can get the pros, without the cons, which include…

Con: Maintenance Requirements

A dedicated server means you’ll typically need your own IT personnel to keep your machine singing along at peak proficiency. Setting the server up, maintaining it and repairing it can be can be a significant undertaking, one considerably more involved than the average person can handle. 

Con: Higher Costs

You’ll pay someone to watch over the server, keep its software updated and maintain its security. So, in addition to paying to get it, you’ll pay to keep it operating properly as well. Additionally, you’ll be dead in the water if your dedicated server goes down—until you can get it back online. This means you’ll need some sort of backup strategyto make restoring the site easier. All of these factors add expense, which detracts from your profitability.

Essentially, with a dedicated server, you’ll trade capital for control. Depending upon your business model — and the amount of traffic you’re seeing — this might pencil outin terms of costs. But if you’re just starting out and need to do as much as you can with as few resources as possible, a shared server might make more sense.