What is Shared Hosting? What can you expect from it?
When looking to find a good hosting company for your website, the first thing people tend to ask is; what is shared hosting? It is a very practical question, and here we have tried to answer it using simple terms.
Basically, shared hosting is like an inexpensive web hosting option, where numerous websites are allotted to one server. This shared web server is designed to securely host your website on a web hosting company’s server.
To really help you understand we are going to break the concept down, so you can easily understand what exactly is shared hosting.
There are numerous best shared hosting providers out there, and each of them offer a different plan. While a few basics might be the same, each of them have tailored their services to help clients with different requirements. There are three basic types of hosting available:
- Shared hosting
- Virtual private hosting
- Dedicated hosting
If we focus on shared hosting, we can see it is the least expensive option of them all, which is a great opportunity for small businesses and blogs. Which is why, shared hosting is the first choice of every business website and blogs. It gives you an opportunity to get your feet wet, before you jump in.
Why is shared hosting inexpensive?
When you look at it from even the best hosting provider’s point of view, shared hosting is basically trading off high process for high volume. Which means companies are able to fit in numerous number of accounts on the same server, which automatically brings down the maintenance costs; as it is now divided between numerous web page owners.
Where the price of shared hosting services is lower, the limitations imposed on web sites are on the higher end. This is because the hosting company is offering shared CPU power, bandwidth, and memory space. Which would not have been a problem under normal circumstances, but when one of the websites on that shared server spikes in activity, it will slow down or completely freeze the others sharing the server with it.
Another downside of choosing a cheap web hosting, is that it offers a low level of support; as if you have browsed around you would have seen that higher level of support is being offered when you purchase a higher level of web hosting server.
A shared server does not mean others using the same server will be able to access other people's websites. The only thing you will be sharing is the server, and each website owner will only be able to manage their own websites. Even with the shared email server, only the person the email was intended for will be able to access it.
Security & Server
Now, we all know security is a high concern for everyone, and with a shared server you are all stored in the same machine. Which means it will be more difficult to lock down on a specific website. This is not a huge risk factor, but it is a potential risk factor. Because numerous parties are sharing the same server, security concerns lead to limited access to the back end of the server you are set on. The hosting provider feels that by locking down the back end of the server; they can take care of the maintenance themselves. So you can be left free from all the maintenance, and can focus on your business. Unfortunately, this means you will have very little control over the server you are using. Every installation has to be provided by the hosting company, and where that is fine for small websites; it will chafe when your business grows and you wish to add more design and functionality to your website.
When you think about the inexpensive price tag, and no maintenance requirements; shared hosting is the ideal option for small businesses. Its security issue is something you need to keep an eye on, but it does not mean it will happen. When your business starts to grow, you can switch from cheap web hosting, towards other best hosting providers. Because as your business grows, its demands will grow with it. So when you start pulling in more traffic, you can upgrade from a shared server to the next step. Once you have upgraded your server to the next tier, you will have more control over the server and your website. But a shared hosting plan is the ideal option for small businesses who are just beginning to mark themselves on the internet.