Is your mission-critical site being hosted on a shared host? Shared hosting is the more generic type of hosting that you see through companies like Godaddy.com and 1and1.com. While there are some benefits to running a website on a shared server (cost and support), this method of hosting is usually reserved for small personal websites. When you purchase shared hosting packages, your website sits behind the same IP address as various other websites. You can kind of think of this as sharing a neighborhood. If one of the websites on your shared server (neighborhood) does something bad, the entire neighborhood gets a bad reputation. Let’s say that a website on your shared server started sending spam to thousands of email addresses and intern was reported to Google or Bing. Because you share the same IP address, this puts your site in just as bad of a position as that of your neighbor. Server resources are another factor that comes into play when dealing with a shared hosting. Let’s say that one of your neighbors has a website that uses more than their fair share of resources. Perhaps they wrote a blog post that attracts an instant spike in traffic or maybe they have a poorly written database. Because your website is on the same server, this affects the load time of all the websites sharing that IP address. This slowing down of your website can earn you negative rankings in the search engines, ultimately affecting your websites visibility online. When hosting a site where uptime and availability is critical, it’s recommended that you use a dedicated server. Hosting your website with a dedicated hosting provider can be equated to owning the neighborhood. You don’t have to worry about neighbors giving you a bad reputation because unless you add a new website to your host, you’re the only house on the block. Though dedicated hosting used to be very expensive, the emergence of virtual private servers has brought down the price of dedicated hosting solutions.