Shared hosting was designed to make life better for business owners and IT managers. The idea is to make the separate terminals respond more quickly by keeping the most often-used data in a centrally located serving system. In theory, shared website hosting platforms are ideal for business professionals who are constantly monitoring, updating, and linking various websites, especially customer contact information.
However, the drawbacks must be considered because this type of shared host design can actually cause more lost time due to overloads at the central server location. A business may initially save money by going the shared host route, but the long-term loss of revenue can eventually catch up. In addition, customized software used by a company may not be compatible with the host server. Another problem is the security issue. A business may want to install in-house security software that is not recognized by the host, meaning sites and data transfer may become blocked to the end user. Here are the top 3 issues with shared website hosting.
1. Uptime And Downtime
When hundreds of clients share the same server, downtime is nearly always the result. The reliability factor is something that all business owners need to consider. Depending on how intricate the central serving system is, a single client experiencing a technical issue can slow things down for everyone else.
Central serving systems experience overload because of one particular client. All it takes is for one client to send an inordinate amount of data through the serving system for a drop in connectivity for all other users. Many host services separate their stored data by simple partitioning rather than client type. Choosing the wrong host can mean unexpected downtime and slow speeds.
Connection resets are common when shared hosting is used. Timing out is usually caused by a single client jamming up the system with an overload of data transfer. When the CPU resources are being gobbled up by a client, there simply isn’t enough speed left in the system Even a relatively short script can become a major problem for other clients.
Shared hosting of websites is generally overseen by a team of IT professionals who often reroute clients using an overload patch. Unfortunately, this comes too late for businesses who cannot connect with a customer ready to make a major purchase. Also, these patches can cause more harm than good because they may not recognize a certain type of script. In other words, the fixes at the serving end are good for the traffic jam but not good for the individual client’s own website.
2. The Incompatibility Issue
One of the most common problems with shared hosting involves incompatible software. Scripts that run these software programs may cause a real problem at the host serving system location. The loss of control over which software the client installs is extremely frustrating.
Host sites promise software updates, but these may not be what the client needs. As a business continues to grow and develop, it may wish to change its online page layouts. The manner in which visitors to the site link with other pages can also be upgraded. Sometimes this becomes impossible because any upgraded software being introduced by the host may not allow for this.
Shared website host administrators tend to implement a cookie cutter program. If the client wants to install customized programs that allow for instant backup of files, this software itself may not be allowed on the host’s servers. The client is out of luck.
All of this means downtime for the client. Although money was saved by sharing storage and server hardware with other businesses, the downtime resulting from upgrade and software incompatibility issues can mean a significant drop in business, especially repeat business.
3. Safety And Security
This is the most advertised component of shared website hosting. Theoretically, the client needs to do nothing at all but sit back and let the central host server network take care of all the nasty little bugs, malware, and spyware bots that float through virtual space. In reality, this is not really a secure means of keeping data safe.
Host servers are no more secure than a home computer. The advertising can sound convincing, but in reality the system is vulnerable to malware transfer from a single client. If a client does not update its own security program regularly, there’s no telling what might make its way to the host server.
Hackers love to prey on shared hosting systems. This is because they might get easy access to a number of the individual websites and the software that is running them. Copy-cat pages and illicit advertising – often porn or gambling – is not what the business wants its customers to see. Read and write permissions are affected, meaning that an individual client will have to make the changes. The host server is having its own security issues at this point and will likely be of no assistance.
In short, security levels vary no matter where the data is being stored. The problem with trying to enhance security by installing custom software is that the host servers may not allow it. Once again, saving a few dollars per month on subscription costs may not actually add up in the long run.
Here’s What To Do
If money is the priority, investigate a number of shared website hosting entities and find out how many clients they actually serve. More importantly, check to see if they place a limit on the number of clients per server. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions concerning security issues and software compatibility. It is certainly worth the time to check the customer reviews for these companies, and these reviews should be independent of any information on the host’s own web pages.
Consider VPS hosting as an alternative. Virtual private servers and dedicated hosting may cost a bit more per month, but they are more reliable and the client experiences far less downtime. There is also more flexibility when it comes time to totally redesign the website(s) hosted by the serving system.