Most websites are hosted on a shared server which means that many websites, from a handful to hundreds, all use the same server and occupy the same space. For a small to mid-sized website with a reliable web host this is not usually a problem. However, for a large website with thousands of visitors and large bandwidth requirements, using a shared server can cause many problems.
If you have a website that is very popular; it has and has high traffic, large amounts of file uploads, or other large amounts of bandwidth usage, using a shared server can become an issue. Even if your web host offers what seems like a generous amount of bandwidth and storage space, and has good advertised speeds, if your website uses more than its allotted share you may be charged overage fees or even worse your host may limit the number of visitors you can have or even disable your site to protect other customers on the same server. If your website faces any of these problems by exceeding or routinely meeting your bandwidth allocation, you should consider a dedicated server.
Deciding when to make the switch can be hard because of cost differences between shared and dedicated servers. However, if your hosting needs are exceeding the limit of your shared server it is important to switch to a dedicated server to avoid paying overages or having your traffic impacted. Having a dedicated server, either a virtual dedicated server or a truly dedicated server will give your visitors a more reliable experience when visiting your site and will ensure that your site continues to run smoothly.
Virtual dedicated servers are not truly dedicated, but they do give a website their own IP address, root access, and full control over the server and what applications you can run. There will be other websites using the same server, but it will usually be partitioned so that you have more space, privacy, and a much larger bandwidth allowance.
You will also be able to offer file downloads and accept file uploads without the problems that are commonly encountered with shared hosting. A virtual dedicated server is more costly than a shared server but not as expensive as s truly dedicated server.
A truly dedicated server that you do not have to share in any way with other websites is the most expensive type of server but it is worth it if you have a large website that has high bandwidth requirements, such as a social network site, gaming site, or your website has large amounts of data and downloads.