Absolutely! Many large-scale sites even utilize multiple servers to distribute the load of users they receive among multiple systems.
Think first though about what you need and what your motivations are for upgrading to the dedicated level. There's a substantial increase in price for a benefit that will likely only be noticeable to larger websites or hostees requiring custom daemons to be run on the server.
Can you, yes, but before you go and buy one(ie start spending money for it) try to at least get an apache book along with dns and what not. If you have an extra hard drive install your os that the server would be running and get familure with it. I suggest this mainly because you dont want to be paying at least 100 a month for a server and spend the first month learning it, see what you can do before hand, mabey you will find out this is just a bad idea, or mabey you will like it.
I agree with David, spend some time learning first. And make sure you have made up the mind to spend time working with the server whiling learning. I pay $99 per month, but for two straight months, I did no even logged in the server, so there goes my $200.
Moreso, make sure you go with somewhere with friendily support, and don't go with rackshack's unmanaged support; you will get killed.
When I got my dedi server, I spent the first month doing nothing but getting familiar with it. I usually find my way round a computer but I still find myself regularly running into issues I'm not quite sure about, but that's what the tech section is for
I'm learing and having fun on the way
Originally posted by Nadav I would recommend starting with a low-end server. That's what I did. One of the $35/month servers from www.sprocketdata.com will be great to start with. The service is great, same goes for support.
What can you do with 1 GB of traffic/month? Maybe login a few times via telnet, lol, jk.
Going dedicated is a good way to ensure that your site has the resources it needs all of the time.
Whether you should go to a host that has good support or bare bones support depends on how you use the server. If you have a single, high-traffic or resource intensive site (maybe a bunch of dynamic content or something) but pretty standard site, what do you need support for? But if you need some fancy server capabilities like a streaming media server or something, support will be more important.
I started with a $50/mo server from www.ixpres.com (still have it!) to cut my teeth, then went to a more serious machine from RS.
Techy stuff like linuxdocs.org can be invaluable, but so can linux for dummies!
One option would be to go to the host, give the your URL and ask them what they would charge you to set up the server in such a way that they gaurantee your site will work properly when uploaded. They are likely to hammer you on this if you need custom work, but once it is done it is done and you have the server to yourself!