What is shared hosting? Who should use shared hosting? We answer the most important questions you need to know about shared hosting. We review the advantages and disadvantages of shared hosting. We also compare shared hosting vs dedicated hosting, so it’s easier to understand the differences. Let’s get started.
What is Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting is a type of web hosting where multiple websites are hosted on a single physical server and all the server resources are shared with other customers.
This is one of the most popular and cheapest options for web hosting because the cost of server maintenance is shared among multiple customers.
To understand how shared hosting works, let’s pretend that your website is the red laptop or website shown in the middle of these 2 websites in the image below.
As you can see, there’s one physical server, connected to you and two other websites, one to the left and one to the right of you. You are all on the same network, using the same IP address, and sharing the same server resources.
Advantages of Shared Hosting
Cheapest and Most Affordable Type of Web Hosting – Since the CPU, bandwidth, disk space, and other resources are being shared among multiple customers, web hosting and server maintenance costs are discounted and the savings are passed on to all customers.
Fast and Easy to Set Up – Shared hosting is simple, straightforward and easy to set up. Many hosting accounts come with a free drag-and-drop website builder or one-click WordPress installation, so you can easily build a website and have it up and running in no time.
Easy Management – Most shared hosting plans come with the industry-standard control panel called Cpanel which makes managing your hosting account super easy.
Low Maintenance – Server maintenance, administrative tasks, and security are usually handled by your hosting provider so you don’t have to worry about managing servers, installing server software, security updates or other aspects of hosting.
Host Multiple Domains – Many shared hosting plans allow you to host more than one domain or website in a single hosting account.
Flexible and Scalable – You can choose a shared hosting plan that fits the needs of your website, and if those needs change you can either scale up or down. For example, as your personal website, blog or small business grows, you can upgrade to a better hosting plan that offers better security, flexibility, and scalability for growth.
Disadvantages of Shared Hosting
Limited Server Resources – Many shared hosting providers claim that they offer unlimited web hosting with unlimited disk space and bandwidth and everything else, but that’s simply not true. Unlimited plans have limitations to the number of server resources you can use.
Each website has its own resource allotment or limit. The truth is, that most hosting companies do give you plenty of resources, but it’s based on what they think the average website will normally use on a shared server. So, they assume that most likely, you’ll never really exceed, or go over your resource limit – but as your website traffic grows, you could go over your limit and your website could experience slow loading pages or even downtime. If this happens, you’ll most likely need to upgrade to a better plan with more resources.
Limited Security (Shared IP Address) – With shared hosting, you’re also sharing an IP address with multiple websites, which is usually more prone to hacking or possible spam issues. If one of the websites that share your IP address gets blacklisted or If there’s any malicious activity, then it can affect all websites users on that server.
Limited Control – With shared hosting you have limited control over the configuration of your server. You’ll be able to install your Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress but you’ll only be allowed to use the default configuration. You won’t be able to configure or customize the system or server to meet specific needs.
Limited Customer Support – Most shared hosting plans come with great customer support, however, there are some shared hosting providers that offer a limited level of support compared to someone using a VPS or dedicated hosting, so it’s important to do your research before selecting any shared hosting provider.
What is the Difference Between Shared and Dedicated Hosting?
Shared hosting means all the server’s resources are shared with other customers, including the same IP address.
Dedicated hosting is where one website is hosted on a single server with its own IP address. All resources are dedicated to that website only and not shared with others.
Shared Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting, Which is Better?
Shared hosting vs Dedicated Hosting, which is better? Well, that depends on your website’s needs and budget. If you’re hosting a website that doesn’t require advanced configurations or high bandwidth then shared hosting may be a good option for you.
On the other hand, if you have an eCommerce store or high traffic website, then you should look into dedicated hosting.
Who Should Use Shared Hosting?
You should consider shared hosting if you are:
Personal websites, blogs, and small business – Shared hosting is ideal for personal websites, blogs, and small businesses or any other websites that don’t require advanced configurations or high bandwidth. On the other hand, if you have an eCommerce store or high traffic website, then a VPS or dedicated hosting may be a better option for you.
Cheap and affordable web hosting – If you’re on a tight budget or just want to save on cost’s then shared hosting is a great way to launch a website while keeping your expenses low.
Below we compiled a list of the best shared hosting providers. Shared hosting is a great way for a new website or small business to get online quickly. No matter which hosting provider you choose, make sure they offer the flexibility, security and scalability you need.
Best Shared Hosting