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Benefits of a Dedicated Server Versus Shared

It was a blessing in disguise. The week of November 11th, 2013, started out being a complete disaster.

I launched and emailed my entire list. Other large affiliates got on board. Major traffic and sales being made.

All of a sudden, in one broad swooping stroke, everything crashed. The Hostgator shared server where 95% of my websites were hosted basically blew up before my eyes, and I could not do a thing about it. What made matters worse was Hostgator’s lack of response for about a week.

Side Note: If you are with Hostgator – run. Hostgator has had so many issues.  Even their Facebook page was full of anxiety stricken customers. They have had change of ownership, database problems with their shared accounts, major Data Centers in Utah going down, and customer service problems that basically puts you on a 30 minute waiting list, only to find out there is no one on the other end when you have waited 30 minutes.

I had to take action…

Quickly, I looked at my options. I already owned a VPS (Virtual Private Server) but at the end of the day, I decided to buy my own Dedicated Server and use my own private linux administrator to set it up and monitor.

In my mind, there are some huge advantages of a dedicated server over VPS or Shared hosting:

  • My websites are now faster. A lot faster.
  • Stability – because you are not sharing your server with anyone else, a dedicated server is much more reliable and stable, and all the resources of that server are for your websites, and no one else.
  • Privacy and Protection – a dedicated server is much more secure. You will not get a virus from some else, as you may do with a shared hosting account, etc…. Also, you are in complete control of its privacy.
  • Customization and Enhancements – because you are in control of the server, you can add and delete any modules you want to customize, protect, and enhance. With a shared or VPS, you are limited by the hosting company of what you can do.
  • Awesome Support – with a shared or vps, support can be slow and minimal. With a dedicated server, I have support via skype and is within a minute.

There are a number of things to consider when configuring and monitoring your dedicated server.

Say goodbye to your shared hoster and never again be at their mercy.

Here is my exact steps:

A. Buy a Dedicated Server at SINGLEHOP

SingleHop Hosting
New CPUS. More RAM. Bigger Drives.
See Dedicated Servers >>

They have the best secure and value from my research. I tried OVH but my hard disks kept failing. Singlehop dedicated servers are top notch and my sites are never down. If some of the packages are sold out, keep checking this constantly changes. I even called them with lots of questions. I purchased the Server Model: Xeon 5520 4×2.26GHz HT TB 8MB Cache. When you click on Order Now…pick the Chicago server location as best. Scroll down to the bottom and choose RAID 10 for an extra $55. This is worth it. If one hard disk fails, you are protected by the others. Your sites will not be down.

So, what do you do next?

There are three steps:

  1. Migration – you need to backup all of your domains at the host you are leaving, and then set up and configure at your dedicated server to import, with all of your scripts and databases intact.
  2. Configuration of your Dedicated Server and Cpanel – It is important that you know what you are doing here (I don’t so I hired someone). You will want to update your server with the best anti virus softwares, security modules, etc…
  3. Monitoring – there are a number of free monitoring services to choose from. But once again, how do you monitor and how to you do a little fix or tweak?

Let us look at these more closely….

1. Migration:

During this process you want to create a full site backup on your hoster server and then transfer to your new server. Once you transfer, you extract he files with proper configuration. Next, you want to configure.

2. Configuring:

Before you configure your new server, you want to check the current server configutarion and install all necessary modules so that your new server and sites will work fine.

I recommend doing the following:

  • install control panel on the server
  • install all necessary modules on your server (PHP, Zend Guard, ionCube PHP Loader, mbstring, xml, json and etc)
  • install Mod Security to protect your site from hackers
  • install CSF firewall cPHulk protection top secure your server.
  • install MySQL Percona instead of a similar MySQL server because MySQL Percona works 5 times faster
  • optimize MySQL Percona for your server
  • install Nginx Web Server as fronted on the server to increase the site speed load
  • optimize Nginx for your server
  • increase and secure /tmp partition so that your scripts can work without issues and hackers cannot upload any suspiciouse files
  • increase HDD performance
  • install Maldet antivirus
  • configure Mail server, install DKIM and SPF

Next, you want to Monitor.

3. Monitoring:

You need to monitor your server. The Nagios monitoring system is awesome. It is allow you in 1 minute to see the issue on the server and fix it as soon as it is possible.

Using this monitor system we are checking the following services:

  • Apache and Nginx web servers
  • MySQL server
  • Current Server Load
  • Server response (Ping)
  • SSH service
  • Disk size (HDD, SWAP and TMP partitions)
  • How much users are on the server
  • RAM
  • RAID (if it is installed)

If you are looking for a qualified linux administrator to help you set up with a Dedicated Server, do the migration for you, configuring and monitoring, feel free to contact me with subject line: Dedicated Server.

Rates are reasonable and negotiable.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write a comment below. I read them all. Thanks, Mark

About Mark Dulisse

Software Developer, Blogger, SEO Consultant, Internet Marketer

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  1. Good Post, Mark

    I’ve been thinking about doing something like this for awhile now.

    Did you move all of your sites?

  2. had the same issue with hostgator. moved to site 5 and it’s been worse. upgraded to dedicated server there (before I saw your post here) if it doesn’t get better I’m checking out what you have here

  3. Hi Mark,

    Do you use your server for email or still use a 3rd party service?

    Just wondered if you use your server how do you get on with deliverability?

    I’m still on a shared server but with dedicated IP address on one and just shared on another.

    • Hi Chris, I use server and 3rd party. I have membership sites, etc, that I use server. I have a large autoresponder list as well.

      I guess I can explore using my dedicated and set up my own autoresponder, but I have a very large list, so I would rather use a 3rd party.
      Mark Dulisse recently posted…Benefits of a Dedicated Server Versus SharedMy Profile

  4. Hi Mark, great advice. I am in that Hostgator meltdown right now. I have a VPS there and face quite severe issues on an increasingly regular basis. The support which used to be excellent is now becoming fragmented and I must admit that much of my more critical work is performed on another VPS away from Hostgator.
    I will look into this option as my other VPS is Windows based so I still do need to find a home for my linux based sites.
    Thanks for sharing this with us, appreciated…

    Tony Grant

  5. I gave upon Hostgator several years ago. Every time I tried to log in it refused saying my password was incorrect and had to be reset. It took up to an hour to arrive. I was on the verge of sending a bill for my time. Instead I walked away.

  6. Hey Mark,
    I appreciate your transparency, your quick attention to support (just got the Tube Fool email about coming fixes) and that you are willing to share solutions you’ve found to your own problems.

    I too found OVH (awesome value). I bought their smallest package, twice (on 2 different occasions). But, like you, I am not a linux admin & I did not have a linux resource I could tap at a moments notice, so I ended up letting it lapse & migrated to a vps plan @ Not the same value, but, way better then hostgator in all areas. is also very interesting… (Straight up links, NOT affiliated… just sharing like you have done :))

  7. omg..thats way over my head:( but I’m interested in what someone like me can do as for plan B? should I get a VPS plan somewhere? do you recommend someone?

  8. Nice Mark,
    I have avoided HostGator for years (several others as well). This is a fantastic post and should be bookmarked whether you plan to take action on this now or in the near or distant future.

    Wish I caught the Member Player launch.

    Thanks again for being real and passing it along!

  9. Read with interest the problems with HG, I’ve used their dedicated servers and I’ve been with three other hosts too, but left HG (finally) after I had to change my password more than 25 times in order to gain access to the WHM.

    Not one person seemed interested in finding out WHY I was being constantly locked out, they just changed the password – and off I went again – I told them the problem had only began after an upgrade to a new WHM, but despite my best endeavours, I couldn’t find a single person who seemed to give a damn.

    Guess I could have ranted and raved down the phone, but never have been a great advocate of using that method, as I think at that point you’ve stopped communicating and you’re just angry!

    I have a simple philosophy with hosting companies, or any other business for that matter, I’ll make plain my discontent and displeasure at what’s happening and if they push their luck too far, then I vote the best way I can – I take my hard earned cash and spend it with someone else.

    I’m with for 4 months (and so far, so good) I’m using one of their Canadian fully managed dedicated servers at $149, because frankly, I can’t be bothered with the ‘faff on’ of transferring sites, getting them up and running and sorting out any teething problems – I have enough of the latter creating WordPress sites – I just want someone to take hosting problems away from me as I’ve got more than enough to do running my various business ventures, I’ve no desire whatsoever to metamorhosis into a glorified hosting engineer.

    I can definitely sympathise and empathise with issues concerning hosting companies as I’ve certainly had my fair share.

    As for OVH, I have to say I’d never heard of them before I read the post, that said, that’s hardly surprising seeing as there’s so many hosting companies around – but I concede that their site and organisation appear very professional.

    One thing’s for sure, I wouldn’t ever go back to shared or VPS hosting again – for me it must be a dedicated server – not only for the reliability, speed and increased security, but as intimated, I don’t want to get involved in the technical side either, however I do want root access too – plus the freedom that this provides.

  10. I think you need to click on your link. The message on that page is this:

    “520 Website not authorized on CDN

    This website does not seem to be activated on OVH CDN.

    If you are the owner of this website, please refer to CDN Website

    If the problems persists, please contact us, we will do our best to fix it.

    Help your site go faster with the OVH CDN !”

    Not a very good testament to OHV

  11. A server as described for under $100 – that’s a really good deal – I’ll keep an eye on OVH if things go pear shaped with my present host.

  12. I´ve also been planning to move from HG (to

    Has anyone been with site5 ?

    They seem really pro…. but many do and they suck.. :-/

  13. Great info, thank you Mark. Definitely bookmarked for when I can afford to move away from shared hosting.

    I also second the comments about Hostgator, I moved away from there after they got sold earlier this year and things really went to the dogs.

  14. Hi Mark,

    Great post here and will definitely ‘borrow’ it to spread the word.
    I’ve been with Hostgator for years with a Reseller account and things are not getting easier year after year so am definitely looking to relocate somewhere else.
    Few questions for you:
    – What’s the advantage of CPANEL with license without a licence, beside the $20+.
    – Can we get more than 4 IPs? For those of us that do CPA or Affiliate sites we need more than 4 IPs.
    – Any other recommendation to look for when picking up a Dedicated Server?


    • Hi Patrick, good questions.

      CPanel without a license option means you will get Cpanel license from another distributor.

      Sure, you can always buy more IPs.

      Things you want to look for when Picking a dedicated server are obviously the Hard Drive, Ram and bandwidth abilities, number of disks, etc….but also having a Remote Reboot ability giving you the ability to restart your server from remote locations, without the need to call the company. In other words, you can reboot it yourself. 24/7 Customer support is important. And a Tier 4 Data Center facility, meaning annual downtime is approximately 0.5 hours.
      Mark Dulisse recently posted…Benefits of a Dedicated Server Versus SharedMy Profile

  15. I’ve been using a dedicated Rackspace hosting… my sits have never felt better I tell ya!! 😀

  16. Aren’t you leaving a huge bulls eye for Google to come and potentially penalize all your websites (on this server) should they take issue with one of your sites and slap you with a penalty or some future algo update?

  17. How many sites and traffic can a set up like this support before you have to add resources?

  18. Hi Mark,

    I’m sorry to write to you on the blog for a technical problem, but I can not open an account on your help desk. Can you help me, asap ?

  19. Why couldn’t you just list the details about a qualified linux administrator here? I’m interested in the cost of such.


  20. This is a great solution! I have 2 separate hosting plans with HG right now. I’m fed up with them at this point, and looking to combine both into 1 account. I’ll be hitting your support up on this as well. Thanks again for sharing this…

  21. I Needed some help with my vPS Mark was a awesome guy to work with, quick response and straight to the point would recommend his services, (even His Video Products are Pro grade)

    Thanks again Mark

  22. Hi Mark,

    Thanks for providing this overview of how to switch from shared hosting to your own servers. There are a lot of people also switching to VPSes/cloud servers instead of dedicated servers. That gets them most of those same benefits without the cost of dedicated servers. They also get some benefits like easy server snapshots that many cloud providers offer.


  23. Dedicated server sounds like a good idea, I am gonna try them soon.
    Thanks for sharing.

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