Our Picks for the Best Dedicated Web Hosting
GoDaddy’s homepage for dedicated servers promises “Extreme power, flexibility, and control,” and the product itself delivers impressively on all three fronts. Godaddy’s Ultimate dedicated plan comes with 2TB of storage and 32GB of RAM, a full 16GB more than other top-rated hosts like HostGator and Bluehost. It also has an industry-leading third-party verified average uptime of 99.98 percent, which is only matched by our runner-up top pick, Arvixe.
With four dedicated hosting plans available on servers running both Linux- and Windows-based operating systems, GoDaddy is also one of the most flexible web hosts out there. New customers can start with the Economy plan (4G RAM, 1TB storage) that starts at $170 per month, and scale up through the other three plans as their traffic increases. (The Ultimate plan costs $350 per month.) Another hugely flexible aspect of GoDaddy’s service is its pricing model, which offers discounts of up to 40 percent on 12-, 24-, and 36-month plan packages. Annual plans also come with an industry standard 30-day money-back guarantee, so you don’t have to stick with the service if you don’t love it.
What does “Unlimited” data transfers really mean?
There’s only so much disk storage and bandwidth in existence. That’s why there’s always going to be a cap on data transfers somewhere in the fine print of your “unlimited” web hosting plan. These limits are generally extremely high, and nearly impossible to exceed, but it’s still a good idea to read your hosting agreement to be aware of them.
As for control, every dedicated hosting plan comes with a Web Host Manager (WHM) tool that lets you create and customize your own account, as well as manage pretty much every aspect of your server. You’ll also have the choice of a self-managed, managed, or fully managed server. We recommend paying the extra $10 per month for a managed server if you’re unfamiliar with running a website, as it includes essential services like patching, security monitoring, malware removal, and backups (which you’ll have to do yourself if you choose a self-managed plan). You could always opt for a fully managed server that comes with a dedicated team of experts at your beck and call, but that adds on $110 per month, and is only for those who really want the extra comfort of a white-glove treatment. Considering what you get with the managed option, that’s going to be the best option for most people.
GoDaddy’s one potential weakness is its lack of email offerings, as customers will have to purchase email separately from the dedicated plan. Options start as low as $3.49 per month, though, and we don’t see this as a huge deterrent because GoDaddy’s prices remain competitive, even with this fee factored in. One important service that does come included with the managed and fully managed plan is SiteLock, which provides a site-verification certificate, app scanning, and spam and malware monitoring. Throw in that impressive 99.98% uptime and disaster recovery with on-demand backup, and you’re left with an impressively agile web host.
99.98% uptime with flexible plans, but so-so customer service.
Arvixe didn’t quite make it to the final round of our Best Overall Web Host review on account of an inconsistent customer service experience that doesn’t stack up to the superb 24/7 live chat and phone support offered by companies like InMotion, HostGator, and GoDaddy. As the note dated October 16 on its’ support center page says, “[its] support wait times have been extremely long lately.” It took days to get our questions answered. Regardless, while we consider customer service an important factor in choosing a dedicated web host, Arvixe impressed us in enough all of the other test categories to earn it solid runner-up status – just don’t expect to get your questions answered quickly with Arvixe.
It all starts with Arvixe’s excellent 99.98 percent uptime, which beat every other contender we tested outside of GoDaddy. But what really makes Arvixe’s dedicated hosting stand apart is its commitment to flexibility. Customers who don’t want to pay for a traditional server right away can opt for an effective cloud-based dedicated server option that starts at just $108 per month – almost as low as some VPS plans. These servers are a great value for lower-traffic websites right on the cusp between VPS and dedicated servers, and they serve as a great entry point to the dedicated hosting world. Once your business needs to scale up to the next level, traditional servers range from $129 to $358 per month and come loaded with as much as 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage.