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What is Shared Hosting?

Shared hosting is an affordable and user-friendly way to host a website, making it a great option for beginners. If you’ve been thinking about getting shared hosting for your website, we’ll discuss how it works and what factors to consider when choosing a web host. We’ll also explain other hosting types and answer some commonly asked questions about shared hosting.

What is Shared Hosting?

Shared hosting is a web hosting service model where a single web server rents space to multiple websites. Although shared hosting offers the least flexibility, security, and performance compared to other hosting plans, it’s a cost-effective option for small websites requiring little resources.

Renting a shared server is like taking the bus. You get your own seat (server space) and share specific resources (RAM, CPU, and bandwidth) with other passengers. You may experience a few stops along the way, causing possible delays, but you still get to reach your destination while paying less and enjoying a convenient mode of travel.

shared hosting

How does it work?

Shared servers are similar to computers in that they have hard drive space, a central processing unit (CPU), and RAM. These resources are shared with other users hosted by the server. This makes it possible to securely store all the saved files, data, and information making up your website.

When anyone requests access to your website from their computer, the stored data of your website is sent from the server to the internet user. Shared hosting takes advantage of a server’s optimal utility, since each individual website generates different amounts of traffic, at different times.

Benefits of Shared Hosting

Even though Shared Hosting is inexpensive, you still get plenty of well-maintained storage and fast site speeds.

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Shared hosting is typically the most budget-friendly web hosting option, making it an excellent choice for individuals and small businesses with limited financial resources.
  • Ease of Use: Shared hosting providers often offer user-friendly control panels, making it simple for individuals, even those with little technical expertise, to manage their websites, domains, and email accounts.
  • Resource Sharing: Multiple users share the same server, spreading out the cost of server maintenance and resources. This reduces the individual cost for each user.
  • Scalability: Many shared hosting plans allow you to easily upgrade your resources as your website grows, making it a flexible choice for websites at various stages of development.
  • Managed Services: Shared hosting providers often handle routine server maintenance and security tasks, relieving users of these responsibilities and ensuring a smoother hosting experience.
  • Quick Setup: Shared hosting plans can come with pre-installed software and website builders, enabling users to get their websites up and running quickly.
  • Technical Support: Shared hosting services often offer customer support to assist users with technical issues or questions about their hosting environment. These can include chat, ticket, and phone support.
  • Email Services: Shared hosting plans include email hosting, allowing users to create custom email addresses using their domain.
  • Good for Beginners: Shared hosting is ideal for those new to web hosting, as it provides an easy entry point into managing websites and online presence.
  • Sufficient Resources: For many small to medium-sized websites, the resources offered by shared hosting are more than adequate to handle their needs, making it a reliable choice.

Disadvantages of Shared Hosting

Shared hosting sounds pretty good: it’s affordable, has a solid uptime, and is easy to manage. But, it does come with certain drawbacks.

  • The load time can be a lot slower than dedicated servers.
  • The server can become overburdened by other sites that are sharing the server.
  • As your site begins to receive higher levels of traffic you’ll begin to notice that your site might begin to perform much worse.
  • You never quite know who your neighbors are. Although rare, other sites on the server can pose a risk to your own site.
  • There’s a lack of customization options to truly get the highest level of performance from your website.

shared hosting

What you should look for in Shared Hosting?

Now that we’ve gotten past what is shared hosting, let’s find out how to pick a good hosting services provider. The safety of your data, website performance, and traffic hugely depend on it. Some of the parameters to check out are:

  • Storage space – The actual physical disk space you get to store your databases, files, and media. It really depends on the size of your website.
  • Bandwidth – The amount of data your visitors can upload to/download from your website. If you exceed this limit, you may need to pay over and above your plan charges. While most hosting providers offer unlimited bandwidth, data transfer speeds can lag if appropriate hardware is lacking.
  • Uptime – Your website needs to be available to visitors constantly. Most service providers guarantee 99% uptime, but you should ideally aim for 99.9%+. You can use uptime monitoring to check it.
  • Customer support – Actually, this may be on top of the list, especially if you’re new to hosting and don’t possess great technical skills. Nowadays, most hosts offer 24/7 support
  • Security – Your data needs to be maintained securely. Cheap hosting plans tend to skimp on security features.
  • Easy to use dashboard – It’s convenient if the control panel allows you to execute most of the tasks from a friendly interface. Pre-installed apps and eCommerce features are attractive too. Check out the dashboard to see if it offers the apps relevant to your website
  • Database and programming language – The server needs to support many types of databases (MySQL) and programming languages (PHP). This helps you to upgrade to newer technology or change languages at a later date.
  • Domain name – Some hosting providers also offer domain name services as an add-on. This is convenient if you want to set up the website and have it running from one place.

It’s also important to look a little into the future, project your website’s growth, and see if your website hosting provider can live up to it.

Who should use Shared Hosting?

Shared hosting is a useful option for individuals and small businesses with low budgets, limited technical expertise, and minimal traffic expectations for the website they are building.

Shared hosting can also be useful for individuals who want to store data archives off-site or host small-scale web apps, like calculators, that require minimal network infrastructure support.

Conclusion

In a shared hosting environment, you share a server with multiple sites. This makes it an affordable option, great for those just starting their online journey.

Additionally, you don’t need technical knowledge to use this service – the hosting provider will take care of the server administration and maintenance.

When choosing a shared host, consider their uptime, bandwidth capacity, traffic limit, and key features. Also, ensure it can accommodate your site growth as it gains more traffic, whether upgrading your plan or migrating to cloud or VPS hosting for more resources and features.

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