The advantages of a dedicated server can best be described by the following analogy:
Suppose you wanted an automobile. You could not afford to buy one for yourself, so you decided to go in with four friends and everyone would own a piece of the automobile. This meant that although it was cheaper for everyone, they all had to share the car. A schedule would be worked out and everyone would abide by the schedule of when they could use the car.
Now suppose, all of a sudden, you got a job where you needed the automobile a lot more often. But you only had access to the car on certain days at certain times and the job would not wait. Because the car is just as much of your friends car as yours, they are also entitled to use it. You end up losing the job opportunity because you cannot use the car all of the time.
The above is similar to the difference between a business using a dedicated server and a shared server. A dedicated server, just as the name implies, is « dedicated » to serving only your business. This means that you do not have to share space and bandwidth with other online business websites.
While a small business or personal website can do well with a shared server, a large or growing business would find a shared server just as much of a disaster as the car analogy illustrated earlier in this article. There is only a certain amount of bandwidth in a server. It can only allow a certain amount of traffic through at a certain time.
Bandwidth can be compared to a toll booth. The toll booth allows a certain amount of traffic through at a time on a scheduled basis. This works out fine, unless everyone decides to leave town at the same time and take the toll road. Then it becomes a disaster as people wait for hours to get through the toll booth.
While you may wait for hours to get through a toll booth if you have to leave town and have no other way to do so, your customers will not wait hours to get to your website if you do not have enough bandwidth. Chances are, that if they try your website once and cannot get on, they will move on never to return again.
You work so hard trying to attract traffic to your website, it is a shame to throw that hard work out the window by not having enough bandwidth to accommodate all of your customers. This is the advantage of having a dedicated server. No longer do you have to share space or bandwidth with other businesses on the server. The server is dedicated only to your business, enabling traffic to flow quickly and smoothly.
Although a dedicated server costs more in monthly fees than a shared server, it may end up saving you money if you are losing customers due to the fact that the cannot get access to your website because your server cannot accommodate the traffic. If you have a large or growing business, a dedicated server is the only way to go.