If you’ve been shopping around for web hosting, there is a high chance that you’ve already come across the term “shared hosting” This will mostly apply if you’re on a budget and want a hosting solution. It is the most popular and perhaps the cheapest of all hosting solutions that are available. While “cheap” is subjective, you can still expect to get decent hosting services.
What is Shared Hosting?
For your website to be accessible on the internet, the files will need to be stored somewhere. There will also be software applications needed to keep it running. This will require a server so that the different parts involved in having a website being online are functioning together. It is through the server that people are able to access your website on the internet. There are a couple of options when it comes to servers. There is nothing stopping you from hosting the servers on your own but that will come with a myriad of challenges. With shared hosting, you’ll be sharing the server with other users. There are limits on resource usage which will vary from one provider to another.
The hosting provider will be responsible for all the server maintenance work. The host is one to take care of the software and hardware components on the server. On a website level, you’re the one responsible for your own site. Most web hosting companies will provide a web panel that can be used to access the different features needed to take care of your website. There are limitations to the bandwidth and disk space you can use with shared hosting.
Reasons To Go For Shared Hosting
Even with the limitations with bandwidth, shared hosting is often seen as the way to go for people that are just starting out. You might not have a lot of files that need hosting. It is affordable and will suit most individuals and websites. There are web hosting companies that offer competitive pricing for shared hosting solutions if you’re looking for value for money.
Most hosting companies offer monthly payment plans but you’re likely to get even bigger discounts when you choose the annual plans. You can still get scalable solutions even for shared hosting, especially when you research the hosting providers that you’ll be working with.
When Shared Hosting is Not Right For You
Even though sharing servers will suit the majority of requirements, there are circumstances where shared hosting might not be right for you. If you have a high traffic website or run an enterprise business, shared hosting will not meet your expectations. Here are some of the reasons why shared hosting is not right for you:
Performance: You might have a site with different functionalities that eat up server resources. With a shared environment, you’ll find that you’re always hitting the bandwidth limit, and spikes in traffic will not make things any better. Under such a situation, going for dedicated hosting might be the only solution to take care of the performance issues.
File restrictions: The majority of shared hosting providers will claim to offer unmetered resources but the devil will be in the details. That is why it is important that you’re going through the fine print to determine if the server allocation meets your requirements. You’re better off with a dedicated server if you’d more freedom on what you can do.
Choosing the Right Shared Hosting
Choosing the right web hosting company can be challenging as there are thousands of them. You also don’t necessarily have to go for the big brands as some of them have a terrible reputation for service and customer care. Before you can start looking for a hosting company, it is imperative to size your needs.
Do you intend on updating content on the website? Will there be special functionality? What about server maintenance? Asking such questions will give you a clear picture of what is to be expected from the hosting company. You also get to figure out if shared hosting is enough for your needs.
You should be wary of unlimited offers when looking for shared hosting. Rarely will you get what is advertised because the hosting company knows too well that you’ll not go through the terms and conditions. Make sure that the web host provides scalable solutions with an easy to use interface so that you’re not having issues managing the server. You also don’t need to go for the cheapest option available since the service is already reasonably priced.