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What Is Shared Hosting?

Thursday, December 15, 2016 by

What is shared hosting

When the time comes to choose where to host your website you’re going to have a ton of options at your disposal. Beyond deciding which company to host with, you’ll also have to decide what kind of hosting package suits you best.

Shared hosting is one of the most popular hosting options for those who are building out their first websites. But, what is shared hosting, and does it make sense for your website?

Below we dive into what shared hosting actually is, and what kind of person could benefit from a shared hosting package.

Let’s jump in!

 

What is Shared Hosting?

Shared hosting allows multiple websites to utilize a single server. Usually, you’ll have no idea who or what websites you’re sharing the resources of a server with. Each customer will usually have a limit on the total amount of server resources they can use, but this will be defined by your hosting package.

Shared hosting is easily the cheapest and most economical option for your needs. However, the cheap price comes with limitations, which we’ll get to below. Since most hosting companies will offer the same amount of space and storage it’s important to choose a company you can trust.

Recommended WordPress Hosting

 

Advantages of Shared Hosting

  • It’s by far the cheapest hosting option you’re going to have available. The usual price for this style of hosting will range from $2.99-$9.99.
  • Most hosting companies have multiple levels of hosting available, so you can upgrade your hosting package with time. This makes shared hosting a great place to start.
  • Shared hosting usually comes equipped with a built-in cPanel, which makes it easy to manage your site.
  • No technical maintenance needs to be done on your end to the server, as this is usually included in part of your hosting package.

Put simply, shared hosting can be a great option for website owners with a small budget, or those just getting started online. You can always upgrade to another hosting package with time, as your budget allows, so you’re not stuck with this level of hosting forever.

 

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, it is possible for other sites on the server to 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.

For most people just getting started online the advantages of shared hosting will greatly outweigh the disadvantages, especially if you’re trying to get a site up and running as quickly as possible and have little tech skills. It’s also important to note that a responsible web host will let you know when your traffic hits a level that it’s time to upgrade, and will monitor and shut down any sites that pose a risk to the others on the server.

 

Alternatives to Shared Hosting

There aren’t any specific alternatives to a shared hosting plan. There are upgrades, but no alternatives that are as cheap as shared hosting.

The alternatives to shared hosting include WordPress dedicated hosting, running a VPS, and other semi-dedicated hosting options. All of these will end up costing more than a basic shared hosting plan, but they will provide you with greater levels of customization and performance.

Shared hosting is a great choice for beginning website users whose sites don’t receive a lot of traffic. Remember, you can always upgrade or change hosting environments with time.

Click to learn more about HostGator’s shared hosting plans.

Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.
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