If you have been thinking about investing in dedicated hosting, you may want to consider enterprise hosting instead. This more recent option provides all the advantages dedicated hosting does over shared hosting, but without the need to manage everything yourself.
What this means is that with enterprise hosting you don’t need to worry about:
- Installing, configuring, and optimising the operating system or server software such as IIS or Apache
- Keeping the server security patched
- Backing up your website to a secure offsite location
And the reason you don’t need to worry about those things is because they’re taken care of for you by the hosting service provider.
For businesses based in Ireland (or even elsewhere in the EU economic area), the main contenders for enterprise hosting are Hosting Ireland, LetsHost, and Blacknight.
We can rule out the third choice straight away, because it’s just so terribly expensive. Sure, they do offer huge amounts of RAM and storage space, but it’s way more than the average business is likely to need, and even a very large business would be unlikely to make full use of all the features. At more than double the cost of the other two services, while not providing more than twice as many features, it’s just not really good value for what you’re spending.
This leaves LetsHost and Hosting Ireland still in the running. Truly they both offer good service, but Hosting Ireland has an edge in terms of value, and here’s why:
- They have plans available for €39.95, €49.95, and €99.95 to suit different levels of businesses, while LetsHost only offers a €49.95 plan.
- Provides 2 months free when you pay annually.
- Provides unlimited bandwidth, while LetsHost does not.
- Allows up to 30 add on domains, where LetsHost only allows 5.
As is usually the case, both services really supply an overabundance of features that exceed what you’re likely to need unless you’re really at the high end of online service needs, and if you’re at that end, you already know it.
The questions to ask, however, are:
- Why would you want to pay the same amount to get less?, and
- Why pay more when you can pay less?
Hosting Ireland provided better value on the €49.95 plan, and offered a €39.95 plan, plus 2 free months for those who pay annually. For those reasons, it seems Hosting Ireland is the best choice for most businesses looking to get into enterprise hosting.
Why you shouldn’t choose shared hosting if you can afford enterprise hosting
The problem with shared hosting is that it’s shared. You most likely wouldn’t share your toothbrush with random strangers, so why would you share something way more important like a web server? It’s just not a smart move, and here’s why:
- Shared hosting is slower than enterprise hosting. This can affect your page loading times, which in turn can negatively affect your bounce rate and PageRank score.
- Shared hosting is inherently less secure. If one user on a shared server is singled out for a DDOS attack, every user of that server will be hit by it. You could also be more at risk from viruses and other such things.
- The reputation of all the users on a shared server is only ever as good as the least reputable user of that server. It just takes one user to send out serial spam emails or run a highly recursive application for all the users to be seriously affected.
When you choose shared hosting you are giving up control for the sake of saving a few euros per month. With the increased risks and reduced performance, you really have to ask yourself if it is worth it.
Why it’s usually better to choose enterprise hosting instead of dedicated hosting
Choosing dedicated hosting means you need to be an IT expert or you need to hire IT experts to help you install, configure, and optimise the server. With dedicated hosting all the responsibility is on you and your team.
It’s a high cost option that doesn’t provide any significant advantages over enterprise hosting, while potentially introducing some disadvantages. The most notable of these disadvantages is that you’ll have to spend more time on routine server maintenance tasks.
All things considered, enterprise hosting can be expected to provide you with better value than either dedicated hosting or shared hosting, which is the strongest reason to consider choosing it.