The range of hosting options has become bewilderingly complex during the past few years. The basics are simple: a computing device has software installed which can respond to a network event such as a request for a webpage. How that hardware and software is installed, configured, organised, packaged, promoted and sold is the primary difference between all hosting options.
A dedicated server is the easiest option to comprehend. Imagine you bought a PC from your local store, connected it to your home network, installed web server software and configured the DNS appropriately. That device would be able to run your website and serve requests from all over the world. But could it cope with system crashes, surges in traffic, unexpected power loss, theft or security breaches? Someone compromising that device could gain access to everything on your network.
Web hosts such as SiteGround provide dedicated servers which solve these issues. You effectively own (or lease) a server which sits in a rack at the host’s data center.
Levels of management vary but most hosts will provide a pre-installed operating system and the software you require. More demanding operations may require multiple devices with load balancers and separate back-end databases.
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