Looking for the best dedicated server hosting? Stepping up to a dedicated server means that you’ve probably built up a fair amount of website owning experience.
However, the leap can still be daunting - you’ll be paying more, and you probably need to think about transferring a site you’ve worked hard on.
While you know your unique needs better than anyone, our lowdown on the top rated and cheapest dedicated server hosts will give you an excellent starting point for choosing which provider to trust your business to.
Best Dedicated Server Hosting in 2018
Let’s get right into the good stuff and uncover the top dedicated server hosts this year, which are based on our testing process.
1. InMotion: Free SSD's with unbelievable speeds
2. Bluehost: RUNNER UP. Outstanding dedicated servers
3. Liquid Web: Smart choice for serious businesses
4. HostGator: Some of the best load times around
5. Beyond Hosting: Incredible support and unreal speed
Why are these the Best Dedicated Server Hosting Providers?
All the companies featured in our dedicated server hosting comparison, offer, at the very least:
It won’t be a surprise to hear that all our chosen hosting companies have Uptime that is above the industry standard of 99.99%. Unless you choose a host that's really bad, you won't run into many hosts that have an uptime guarantee less than that.
Most providers offer support 24/7 but what sets our favourites apart is support that will REALLY help you out. They are quick to pick up, knowledgeable and effective.
Managed hosting? Potential for more disk space? Linux or Windows? The best dedicated server providers offer flexibility to suit a range of users.
Our top picks all have the dependability you need to forget about hosting problems and concentrate on growing your business. There's nothing worse than having to rely on terrible support or pathetic technology to fuel your business or blog.
Money Back Guarantees
All the companies on our list offer money-back guarantees (some better than others) so you can try their services risk-free. This means you can test drive, see how you feel and if you don't like it, simply get your money back... and yes, it really is that easy.
What is Dedicated Server Hosting and How Does it Work?
Dedicated server hosting means that the money you pay rents out an entire physical server just for your websites. A server is a computer whose only job is to process requests and transfer data to other computers on the internet, or a private network.
This type of hosting is more expensive than shared hosting because a shared server will usually be used by 100's of accounts at once.
This can cause services to slow down during busy times and will limit the amount of memory space each website can be allocated. Dedicated server hosting can also give websites the flexibility for growth and customisation beyond a shared setup.
The technology used for dedicated servers may also be more up-to-date.
Example Most shared hosting will use the cheaper and more old-fashioned HDD (Hard Disk Drive) technology. While you can still choose a HDD for your dedicated server, you can also spend a little more and go for an SSD (Solid State Drive), which is newer, faster and more reliable.
If you’ve had a website for a while and are ready to start adding functions like discussion forums, or complex surveying, a dedicated server will allow you to add custom scripts to manage these.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of dedicated server hosting.
Speed - with no neighbours to use up bandwidth and processing power, all the capabilities of the server go towards giving your visitors faster page loading speeds. Speed means conversions, so this is obviously a huge plus.
Customisation Potential - When you need to build a discussion forum, or implement a new checkout system, custom scripts are the answer. Because what you do on your dedicated server won’t affect others, you usually have much more freedom to make changes.
Scalability - Providers know that uptime is critical for their customers. With shared hosting there could be disruptions to service if you decide you need to scale things up. A dedicated server hosting package can have scalability built in right from the start, making things quicker and simpler when your business needs to grow.
More Technical Know-How Needed - Being able to add custom scripts is one of the great things about having your very own server, but you will need a bit more technical knowledge to take advantage. Don’t panic if you’re not the most nerdy - there are options for managed hosting that will put a technical wizard at your beck and call.
Higher Cost - Having a dedicated server costs more. Obviously, you get what you pay for, and there are lots of advantages, but if cost is a deal-breaker, shared hosting may be better for you.
Low Bandwidth Users Beware - If you find a deal for unmetered, all-you-can-eat bandwidth that’s great! Or is it? Providers know that for all the sites that use massive amounts of bandwidth, there are many others using low, or below average amounts. BUT they’ll all be paying the same rate. If you don’t mind a changing bill, it may be worth checking if you really need unmetered bandwidth, as you could cut costs in the long term.
Who Should use the Best Dedicated Server Hosts?
Don't be too hasty, you might not even need a dedicated server for your site. If you can run your business, store or blog on a cloud host, or even a VPS hosted server, then you'll be saving hundreds per month. So do your research first.
Here are some reasons you might need to go dedicated:
Websites experiencing high traffic - If you are consistently getting high visitor numbers (100+ visitors per day) then it may be time for the increased reliability and control of a dedicated server.
If you have a photo or video heavy site - you will probably need more disk space and bandwidth to handle the increased data.
A slow-loading website - sometimes shared hosting servers just can’t handle the amount of requests for access. If your stats show slow loading times, it could be time to upgrade.
PRO TIP The biggest reason anyone would want to choose a dedicated setup over shared or VPS is simply speed and resources. Sure the other stuff is good like security, management, support etc. But we all want a super fast and reliable server right?
Dedicated Server Hosting vs Shared Hosting
The best dedicated server hosting is used for websites that are ready for the next level. Because of the higher cost and increased technical knowledge needed, dedicated server hosting tends to be used by people who know that their site is going to be around for a while and has traffic statistics that justify the extra fees.
On a cheaper, shared server there may be 100's of accounts and 1000's of websites all taking up disk space and using up communal bandwidth to interact with visitors.
Quick Note If you choose a Solid State Drive for your dedicated server, there are no moving parts, so reliability is increased.
A dedicated server, on the other hand, has just one account - yours - allowing your site to use all the available bandwidth, disk space and processing power.
This means that your site won’t be slowed down by traffic spikes going to other sites, and you are often able to customise things to a much higher level than on shared hosting.
Dedicated Server Hosting FAQ’s
We've done our best to answer the most frequently asked questions. If you can't see your question below, get in touch and we will get back to you with an answer.
Do I need much more technical knowledge to use dedicated server hosting?
Webmaster skills are needed to run a website on this level, but with all the best dedicated server hosts you can pay for managed hosting if you don’t have the necessary knowledge.
Things like security software and custom software will need to be handled either by you or the host, although there is much more control over a dedicated server.
Do I need a Linux or a Windows based server?
Just like your home computer, servers have an OS (Operating System). The top dedicated server hosting providers offer a choice between Linux and Windows based servers. Linux is the most popular and has more features used by web designers.
Unless you plan to use Windows specific applications, such as ASP Classic, Microsoft Exchange or MSSQL, go for Linux. You’ll be able to use custom scripts to add features that will make your website stand out AND work like a dream.
What is Managed Hosting?
Is managed hosting worth the extra cash each month? If you don’t have a lot of technical know-how, then the answer may well be YES. It all depends on how much you want to learn about running your server.
With a managed hosting package, the hosting provider is only a phone call or email away and will typically deal with problems related to the operating system, pre-installed apps, server setup and Control Panel issues.
Their agreement may not stretch as far as fixing any custom software you add, so check the small print if this is important to you.
Top Dedicated Server Hosting: The Bottom Line
Dedicated server hosting is often the next step in growing your business. Offering increased control and customisation, and better Uptime and reliability, your own server can take things to the next level.
You can use a managed package to help with the technical details, and custom scripts to really make your website functional and great to visit. If you know you’ve outgrown shared hosting - what are you waiting for? Choose a dedicated server hosting package today, and get growing.
Don't need dedicated? Take a look at our rundown of the best web hosts to see which other services you could use.