Shared Web Hosting – Some Must Know Facts

September 30, 2010

You are quite likely to hear the words “shared hosting” while looking for web hosting services. Shared hosting is the most popular and inexpensive way to host your web site. In this blog post I will discuss what a shared hosting is and some must know facts before choosing it.

Shared Hosting – Explained

When you browse a website on the internet, the pages of that website and all its related applications must reside on web server. This is the server that fulfills the user’s request by allowing the web pages to be displayed. This server can be hosted privately by you in your company premises or utilize the facility of another (popularly known as co-location) or you can rent it from a hosting service provider. While renting a server, the server can be exclusive for your website or can be shared with multiple websites. An exclusive hosting is also called dedicated hosting and the shared server option is called shared hosting.

Why Shared Hosting?

Shared hosting is popular among small and medium businesses, private individuals earning income from websites and blogs, and sites with a medium level traffic. The reason for the popularity is due to the low cost associated with it. The hosting industry has grown tremendously and is highly competitive. This is a customer driven industry and hence there are many providers who offer hosting services at cheap rates but with rich features.

The two major advantages of web hosting are:

  • Cost – The fee charged every month is affordable for small businesses. Some providers offer a good discount if the fee is paid in advance.
  • Highly Scalable – There are different packages of hosting available. A new business can start with the smallest of the packages and scale up based on the growth of business and traffic to the website.

Drawbacks of Shared Hosting

Though the most popular and affordable hosting solution, a shared type need not work for all. Large enterprises and websites that attract huge traffic are some examples. Let us look at some reasons why shared hosting may not work for some businesses:

  • Performance – Any sudden spike in traffic will bring down the performance. Since it is a shared hosting, the traffic increase on the other websites will also affect your website in terms of performance.
  • File and Resource Restrictions – Multiple websites hosted on the same server needs a greater security. Due to this access restriction certain functions or features may not work as expected. Similarly the web server’s resources are shared by multiple websites and web applications in turn. In case your website is found to be utilizing more of the server resources or bandwidth, your website maybe removed by the hosting service provider.

Understand Responsibilities

In a shared hosting environment it is imperative to understand the responsibilities of both your web host and you. The provider should take entire responsibility of all maintenances activities of the server, hardware and software upgrades.

You will own the complete responsibility of your site. You should have good control of your web site by efficiently using the control panel to create email accounts, files and folder access, monitor the traffic and more.

Recommended hosting companies: Bluehost, WebHostingHub

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