Does a Dedicated Server Help with Increasing Site Speed?

Dedicated Server

I know that the title sounds more like an FAQ but hey, I haven’t found out one specific resource here that approaches to answer this question in an SEO perspective. It’s a very interesting topic because not everyone could afford to maintain a dedicated server.

The Need for Speed

Let’s get one thing straight: Site speed is very important. Not just for SEO and rankings, but for people who are visiting your site. A slow loading site can mean a huge bounce rate and no real value added to your User Activity profile, social shares, links, etc.

It can be devastating.

In the long run, one or two seconds of delay can be a huge ranking factor.

The Big Question

I was one to wonder if there would be significant site speed increase when you switch on to a Dedicated server. When I looked into the prices of a managed dedicated server, I was taken aback. I didn’t have the money then.

So I went ahead and pooled some funds to be able to test out my website’s load speed if it ran on a dedicated server. After purchasing a dedicated server, I started migrating my sites there. And you know what I found?

It does have a significant increase.

In fact, I never went back.

How Does a Dedicated Server Increase Site speed?


Look at it this way, if you buy hosting space for just one website, you’re typically renting that specific space (usually 1 gigabyte worth) from a server that’s hosting perhaps hundreds or thousands of other websites.

All of these other websites eat up processing memory, bandwidth, disk space, etc. Of course, the owner of the server would need to make sure that all of the websites are running so he would allocate limits to each site in order for his business to be maximized and profitable.

What happens is, you get an unseen sanction from the server. You are given a limited disk space, processing memory and bandwidth. While this is completely fine when you are starting out, it is not at all okay as you grow.

There came a point when SEO Hacker needed to run more than a handful of plugins for performance, functionality, and a lot of other stuffs I wanted it to be able to do. We also added SEO School, SEO Services, Growth Hacks and a lot of other stuffs on top of it.

These other sites ran on their own separate instances of WordPress and plugins I wanted to integrate.

We needed more space, more bandwidth and more processing memory. It made a lot of sense for me to go and get a dedicated server to make sure my websites were running at optimum speed.

Speed Cheat

2 New questions entered my mind:

  1. What if I just didn’t have enough funds to buy a dedicated server ahead of my competitors?
  2. Why doesn’t Google just simply tell us that this is one great way of increasing site speed (hence, ranking)?

After digging through site speed and dedicated servers, here’s the nearest answers I can think about:

1) You don’t need a dedicated server for competition if you do well with other SEO factors such as off-site SEO. Yes, site speed is an SEO factor but it may not be enough of a factor to compete with a good, quality, juicy link (although it may have a bigger effect in the long-run).

2) Because you can increase your site speed in a lot of other cheaper ways than buying a dedicated server such as:

  1. Caching – Must-Have Site Speed Plugin for WordPress
  2. Using Asynchronous and Deferred Javascript
  3. Implementing a Self-Hosted CDN
  4. Lazy Loading your Images

However, all else being equal, the one with the dedicated server will always have an ace over the one without.

I won’t keep it from you, SEO Hacker and some of my most important websites are now hosted in a dedicated server somewhere out there. It was a big decision for me to get one just for testing. I want you to know that it pays – for me and for some of my clients who have decided to allow us to host their websites.

If you are obsessed with your SEO and want to completely maximize your site’s performance, get a dedicated server now.

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  • I looked into this, as well as even renting a blade in a server farm. I found I couldn’t get close to the response times that I could get with premium managed hosts – more specifically Web Synthesis and Flywheel. They were both very close to each other on response times, and head and shoulders above both what I could get with my own server, as well as what I was getting from other premium managed WordPress hosts.

    • ak singh

      can i know more about this

      • h3sean

        Ask away man!

  • Having a dedicated server is a good decision in a business. We can’t afford having our client’s websites go down. I agree that you need to shell out more money in a dedicated server but it’s worth a shot especially if you give importance in client’s retention.

    • h3sean

      Sometimes dedicated servers do go down though – if you’re not careful in capping processing memory and maintaining plugins that don’t eat more than your server can handle. There are such plugins and I needed to deal with them even when I shifted to dedicated server.

  • SUPers Greeece

    I ‘m so glad that the conclusion was that you don’t definitely need a dedicated server!!


    Dedicated system = faster website
    Faster website = better rankings in Google

  • Michael Bian

    Thank you for sharing this one…

  • great article..i must buy a dedicated server next time..

  • h3sean

    My pleasure Davin

  • Thank you for sharing this one…

  • h3sean

    Nope I don’t encourage you to do so anymore. Getting a dedicated server are for websites with serious traffic, processing memory needs, and space. There are tons of other reasons but if you’re performing really well on a shared, why get a dedicated? :)

  • Your site came first when i search for how to test dedicated webserver speed. Luckily i get info on SEO to thank you it helps right on

  • Hi Sean,

    I found your article after Googling “will my site’s speed increase with dedicated host?”
    I found your article really helpful, so I am thinking of migrating a site to dedicated hosting, but I also want to investigate to CDN route. Have you heard of Cloud Flare?

    • Yes of course. Cloudflare is pretty popular these days. I’d get them for their firewall but not for their so-called CDN. It’s not really a CDN anyway.

  • Thanks for the great article. As a matter of fact, I’m not using a dedicated server on my own site, but I needed that sort of info for one of my clients, because he wants to launch a huge Magento-based website. I guess in his case it would be a really safe bet to even start with a dedicated server? What do you say?

    • Yep. Definitely go with dedicated if it’s huge and Magento at the same time :)

      • Great post!
        How can I tell that my website is “huge” enough to start a dedicated server service? Could number of visitors give an indication for that?

        • Yup. As well as process memory consumption.

  • Great article! Dedicated servers are definitely the leading choice for the high-traffic responsive websites. Dedicated hosting provides the fastest page load times.

  • Not really, no. For example, if any 1 of your visitors will trigger a function that eats up a lot of process memory, then your server can only accommodate so few. But if your 5000+ visitors a day are just visitors and they don’t do anything else rather than view pages in your site, then you don’t really need to worry. Heavy visits have better and cheaper options than upgrading to a dedicated server. One way to go is get a CDN. We use MaxCDN for SEO Hacker and it works perfectly.

  • Habeeb

    Hey Sean. Great article but I’m a little confused and need your opinion. I am launching my ecommerce with Magento and shared cloud hosting from host gator. Unfortunately my site is so slow that it’s not a joke and that too when it’s totally empty and o haven’t started to upload my 40,000 product images. As an empty site it’s taking more than 20 seconds for any page to load on this stupid shared cloud hosting. If I take the more expensive option of a dedicated server, what are my chances of being at par with the industry best practice when it comes to speed?

    • Other people in your shared server are probably bogging the server down – you can’t do anything about it. IMHO just go with a dedicated server of your own or use Cloud if you know how to navigate with AWS or DO.

  • Great Article! Dedicated Server is everything you need for a successful online presence. It’s an ideal solution for larger businesses that provides total use of an entire server with full administrative access. With flexible billing and 24×7 technical supports you also get the chance to choose your own operating system and hardware as per your need. Dedicated servers may seem expensive but they are good value for money.