Shared hosting is a rather cheap and easy way to get started building a new website, but it has its drawbacks, such as overselling due to a saturated but competitive market. VPS provides additional control of one’s environment, but it’s also shared, meaning that other customers can affect service.
What is Shared Hosting?
Shared Web hosting refers to a setup where the provider allocates the resources of a single physical server. Users can host their websites on the server, but it’s shared with several other users. In fact, each user has a set limit on each of the services, such as monthly traffic, FTP accounts, disk space, email accounts, databases and so on.
On the other hand, each performance resource is also shared, such as the one Apache server, the one MySQL server, the one mail server, the RAM and the CPU. These are shared among all users.
Top 2 Benefits of Shared Web Hosting
Shared hosting offers several benefits to its users. The top two:
1. It’s cheap. Compared to most other types of hosting, shared hosting is among the cheapest, save for free and cloud services. The reason it’s cheap is because all the resources are shared among each of the users. With several websites to a server instead of a 1:1 ratio, it affords a cheaper service. Smaller businesses that don’t need hefty resources or a busy website might be interested.
2. It’s convenient. Not only is shared hosting cheap, but it’s convenient. You don’t need to worry about the hardware or having any technical know-how to run a website on the server. You also don’t bear the burden of recruiting an IT professional to ensure the site is always running. All of that is the provider’s concern, as well as monitoring security concerns.
Some other points of convenience for shared hosting:
- Cheaper: As mentioned, it’s among the cheapest of all hosting options, which is a big deciding factor for buyers.
- Fast setup: Many hosting plans offer one-click software setups, allowing you to go live within 24 hours of making the purchase.
- Efficient: You don’t need to perform maintenance. All you have to worry about is uploading a website and making the database while someone else handles server maintenance.
As can be seen, the other advantages that shared hosting have to offer are based on these two benefits. While it’s an excellent choice for a small business who simply wants to gain some Web presence, there are a couple of negatives that you’ll need to consider. The right provider will offer plenty of resources while attempting to minimize any negatives of shared hosting.
Top 2 Problems with Shared Web Hosting
There are two primary issues with shared hosting. Most problems that come with shared hosting are due to these two problems:
1. Finite resources. The resources of the individual server are divided among all users hosting websites on it. Yours is just one of at least hundreds, meaning you’re in a competitive race to use up your resources. It’s not hard to guess that many websites will experience some spikes in traffic or have problems. When that happens, they use more resources that have to come from somewhere; your website can be adversely affected.
If another user starts taking up too many resources, your website can start to load slowly. This isn’t quite as likely to happen when you sign up with a reliable company that can properly mitigate these bottlenecks and manage their servers. After reading through several reviews of shared hosting companies and gauging the overall experience of the customers, you’ll get a better understanding of whether it’s efficient to work with that hosting provider.
It’s a good idea to avoid signing up with brand new hosting companies, even if they offer the cheapest prices you’ve seen so far. This is because they have no history to review, and you don’t want to be the guinea pig who finds out they don’t know what they’re doing. Sometimes, a cheap price tag has its own additional cost, especially in the form of lost customers.
2. Security problems. Shared servers aren’t just limited in resources; they also restrict numerous features. It’s impossible to put in your own software to improve website security. If any of the other users on the server run scripts — they may or may not be malicious or vulnerable, and the user may or may not be aware of this — your website is threatened. It’s not unheard of that a hacker could access sensitive information for another website just by gaining access to the server.
There is a stronger risk of being exposed to security problems due to the sheer number of other users you can’t control on your server. Sharing a common place with a hacked website poses a dangerous threat to your company website. As such, it’s not smart for a large corporation to rely on shared hosting where dedicated or cloud hosting would make more sense.
Despite the great convenience and cheap costs, it might seem silly to get shared hosting with these disadvantages in mind. However, it’s important to consider that they are merely hypothetical threats that can be dealt with by a reputable hosting provider; it is not the common case with every shared host. The key is to ensure your provider is a trustworthy one that uses solid security systems.
Shopping for Shared Hosting
As shared hosting options have grown over time, various providers have looked to upgrade their own services for the competitive market. Reputable providers have introduced several new features that help lessen the effects of the negatives. Reputable hosts:
- Don’t claim to offer unlimited resources
- Offer a flexible control panel
- Multiple FTP and email accounts
- Free submission to search engine
- Free marketing package
- Round the clock monitoring