What Is Semi Dedicated Hosting (And Why Semi Dedicated Is Better)?
What Is Semi Dedicated Hosting (And Why It Matters)
I got to be honest that I am never satisfied with my blog loading speed. While "never" sounds like "never", this is always the case. Regardless how good the server is, I am constantly searching for the best WordPress tweaks, using the best WordPress hosting (I'm hosted on a semi dedicated hosting by the way) and cache plugin to make my site loads faster.
And in many times, I broke my site countless times—like literally once a week or more!
Here's the thing. Google and your website visitors are no fan of slow website loading speed. But with the constant demand of visual-first website, we often load the website with tons of iframes, images and other forms of media to boost engagement. While these setups look awesome to the eyes, it is extremely bad for website loading speed.
In this post, I'm going to share with you why I decided to move from WPX hosting to a semi-dedicated hosting.
Looking for the fastest WordPress hosting?
The Web Hosting Challenges I Faced In WPX Hosting
WPX Hosting is the real deal in managed WordPress hosting. They are awesome and I highly recommend them either. I like their support team (a lot) because they resonate well with me. They took time to understand my problem and were often kind enough to 'chip in' when I needed help. I even published my personal WPX Hosting review (which I highly recommend you to read).
While I always felt that WPX Hosting is the best managed WordPress hosting, it struck my mind rather hard—I'm paying $49 per month to host 3 major websites and one website having over 150,000 visitors in a month.
Being a geeky web guy, I wanted to make my money worth. With WPX Hosting, my website is constantly loading around 1.62 seconds with 2.1 MB in size (homepage) and around 117 requests. For the record, my website is huge and chunky, and WPX hosting does an awesome job to minimize the website loading speed to slightly over a second.
But I wanted more.
In the past, I had 700+ ms loading speed and I wanted to do more. I ended up tweaking W3TC more than the recommended setting. Again, W3TC is known to be buggy, really complicated at times and I managed to shave off 0.1 seconds on average.
Having 1.5+ s loading speed isn't making the cut yet.
I went over to WPMU DEV and used Hummingbird Pro ... which lead to multiple crashes and tons of headache. I thought W3TC was hard but Hummingbird Pro was even worst. The plugin isn't bad—but the way it works doesn't fit my needs and my current website setup. Using Hummingbird Pro, my load time went from 1.5+ to over 2.1 seconds. That's 0.6 seconds additional even with the help of WPMU Dev CDN.
I ended up ditching Hummingbird Pro and went back to W3 Total Cache.
My hunt for a faster website speed doesn't end here. Instead, it opens up to a whole new environment.
I Decided To Move From WPX Hosting to A Semi-Dedicated Hosting
I have reseller hosting which I dedicated to serving my clients. For years, I had the highest tier in reseller hosting package (that the company can offer) and I was seriously under-using it.
The web host threw me a question—asking me if I want to move my money sites back to my reseller hosting. Bear in mind, I did host with them some years back and the speed was "just okay."
Mind you, I was reluctant but I kept my mind/options open.
I gave them my scenario: High traffic, massive database and all the stuff they could not imagine.
And they came back with a simple and smart solution.
They proposed I create a new cPanel account under my reseller hosting and allocate additional resources to the cPanel. Not only I could boost the performance of the server, but my website can also load way faster!
Long story short, I moved my entire money sites to a semi-dedicated hosting instead.
Here's how the website loading speed looks like right now.
These are pretty sweet stats, right?
What Is A Semi Dedicated Hosting?
A semi dedicated web hosting offers more performance over typical shared web hosting.
In a shared web hosting, you are hosting your site with hundreds or thousands of websites. You have no control on who your neighbors are and server customization because you are paying a rather cheap price (like $2.99 per month).
In a semi dedicated hosting environment, it is different—you have more allocation of server resources through lesser websites hosted on a specific server (or living in a nice cozy housing environment). Servers in semi dedicated hosting are also oftentimes much stronger and powerful, thus being able to provide a lot of firepower to your website.
Want to know more about semi-dedicated web hosting and how you should really consider using it?
Watch this short video to learn more!
Choosing A Semi Dedicated Hosting?
Do you know that there are over 5 steps you need to do before you are able to choose the best semi dedicated hosting for your business?
These are the exact steps I took (and I recommend you to follow them as much as possible).
1. Server resources
I believe the most important part of this is to understand 'under the hood'. What are you getting is critical because you are going for semi dedicated hosting for power a.k.a. server performance.
Here are some of the important server performance you should take a look at:
- Number of dedicated cores
- Number of shared cores
- Disk space
- Memory space
Most semi-dedicated hosting services allow you to choose your datacenters. The easiest way to define this is by understanding where your website traffic is coming from.
If you are serving a wide range of web visitors from the US, then it is logical to have your datacenter located in the US for faster delivery. However, if you are serving web visitors from around the world, I recommend you to have it served through datacenters in the US or Europe for more global reach.
3. Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Semi dedicated hosting often comes with more firepower ... and having a CDN could lead to an improved website loading speed (faster than fast).
A content delivery network or content distribution network is a geographically distributed network of proxy servers and their data centers. The goal is to provide high availability and high performance by distributing the service spatially relative to end-users. Wikipedia.
The usage of CDN allows static files to be pushed through faster and more effectively—thus, your website visitors will enjoy much faster website loading speed.
4. Semi Dedicated Hosting Price
Last but not least, pricing matters. Semi dedicated hosting is always more expensive compared to a shared hosting service.
Knowing how much you can spend in web hosting, along with the performance, would allow you gauge the semi dedicated hosting service fee (on average).
There is no point too much or too less for semi dedicated hosting services that you don't require.
Best Semi Dedicated Hosting Services
There are many semi dedicated hosting services that you can choose from. Scroll below to discover the top ones that fit your needs.
HostWithLove. This is still my number one option—simply because this website is hosted with HostWithLove and I'm super happy using them. The most basic semi dedicated hosting package starts at $14.93 per month and comes with 2 dedicated cores and 2GB RAM. Take a look here.
BlueHost. While BlueHost is not my top favorite, this is an excellent option for website owners who require tons of server performance. Dedicate hosting starts at $79.99 per month and it comes with 4 cores and 4 GB RAM for all your website processing needs. Take a look here.
SiteGround. A good alternative to BlueHost is SiteGround. Currently, it offers datacenters not only in the US but also around the world. The most basic semi dedicated hosting package is called as GoGeek plan and its hosting plan starts at $11.95 per month. Take a look here.
NameCheap. If you are looking for powerful semi dedicated/dedicated servers, NameCheap offers affordable dedicated hosting services that starts at $36.88 per month. The lowest hosting package comes with 4 dedicated cores and 8 GB DDR3. Take a look here.
Exabytes. If you are looking for dedicated servers in Malaysia, Exabytes is an excellent choices to go with! Priced at RM499 per month, these servers are excellent choices for startups and heavy traffic websites. Take a look here.
Serverfreak. Last but not least, Serverfreak is an alternative to Exabytes ... especially when you don't require much server performance and the heavy price tag. Semi dedicated server plans start at RM180 per month that comes with 20G SSD space, 2 dedicated cores and 2 GB burstable RAM for sustainable performance. Take a look here.
Which Semi Dedicated Hosting Services Do I Recommend?
This is an excellent question ... one in which it depends highly on your requirements and needs.
If budget is not a concern for you, I recommend you to go with BlueHost. This web hosting company offers reliable performance and multiple packages to ensure that you get the best dedicated servers for your website.
If you are in a tight budget (like I do), I recommend you to go with HostWithLove as this is by far, the most affordable semi dedicated hosting service that comes with massive performance.
Of course, if you rather go for the big names with affordability in mind, SiteGround GoGeek hosting offers an unbeatable pricing!
Summary: Semi Dedicated Hosting
Semi dedicated hosting is not for everyone. It is best for websites with high traffic and best when you require dedicated resources for your website.
On average, semi dedicated hosting is priced higher than most basic web hosting services and in return, it comes with superior performance.
If you are serious in blogging, I recommend you to get a semi dedicated hosting for better server performance, uptime and increased in user experience.
Young at heart and a deep passion for entrepreneurial success, Reginald is devoted to share everything he had learned about online marketing with the public. Follow him for more awesome postings.
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