Shared hosting is the most common type of web hosting. Millions of websites worldwide are hosted on shared hosting servers. If you are starting a new website or blog then shared hosting is for you because it is low cost, easy to use and it has everything you need and nothing you don’t. When your website will grow and starts consuming lots of resources then you can always upgrade to a higher level of hosting like VPS or dedicated server. Shared hosting mostly remains a great option for small to medium sized websites and blogs. It has become most popular type of hosting over recent years. What is shared hosting? and what are its advantages and disadvantages and who should use it? and who should not? Let’s take a comprehensive look at it.
What Is Shared Hosting?
In shared hosting, a server is shared between many websites, hence the term ‘shared’. Each website on server shares resources like CPU, RAM, hard drives and software. Number of websites hosted on a server can be from hundreds to thousands. Each websites/hosting account is usually located on a separate partition/section to keep it separate from others. Each account has a set limit of resource usage like CPU, RAM and disk space usage.
Shared hosting is low cost as costs of servers are shared between all users and no one has to bear all costs alone. Shared hosting is easy to use. Servers are fully maintained by hosting providers. Users do not have to worry about complex procedures of maintaining and running servers. Many providers give cPanel in all their shared hosting accounts. With cPanel users can easily install different databases and scripts in just few clicks. Users do not have to pay separately for cPanel as they have to do in other hosting environments.
Sometime servers can be slow in shared hosting if some accounts are eating too many resources like RAM and CPU. Or if there are too much websites hosted on a single server. However, good hosting providers took care of these issues. They use some tools, like CloudLinux, to prevent users exceeding their set usage limits and consuming all resources. Good hosting providers also do not make their servers over crowded by putting thousands of accounts on them.
Advantages Of Shared Hosting:
- It is cheaper and affordable. Users with very low budgets can also afford it. Price may vary from $3- $9 per month to $20-$30 per month.
- It is easy for use. You do not need to have complex knowledge of web hosting.
- A good level of support is available. Make sure to choose a web host with good support level.
- Hosting provider is responsible for maintenance of servers. They are responsible for managing servers, installing software, server security and technical support.
- Most shared hosting providers offer a variety of hosting plans so you can choose the best plan that fits your needs.
- Most hosting providers offer a free control panel like cPanel with all of their shared hosting plans. With these control panels, especially cPanel, DirectAdmin, Plesk etc you can do lots of stuff like installing scripts in just few clicks. In other hosting environments, you typically have to pay separately for control panels but in shared hosting control panel is already included in their plans.
Disadvantages Of Shared Hosting:
- There can be some security issues as many websites are hosted on same server.
- Users do not have root access to server.
- Mostly server share a single IP so if spammers on that server get IP blacklisted, other users can have trouble sending emails to some people.
- Some abusive users can affect all websites on server. They can try to consume all resources.
- There can be lots of websites hosted on same account resulting in slowing it down.
- Restricted software support.
- Restricted database support.
Who Should Use Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting is a great option for,
- New websites and blogs.
- Small to medium sized web sites and blogs.
- Personal websites and blogs.
- Low budgets.
- Users who have no or a little knowledge of web hosting stuff like maintaining servers or installing complex databases and software.
Who Should Not Use Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting is not good for,
- Large websites with lots of content.
- Websites with heavy traffic.
- Users who need root access to servers and want more control of server.
- Users who need to install custom software and scripts.
- Users who want to customize hardware options like CPU and RAM.
Shared hosting is a great option for starters, small to medium sized websites and blogs and for low budgets. If you are starting a new websites then choose shared hosting as you will not have to pay high amounts and it will have all stuff you need. When you websites will grow to a big one or start receiving heavy traffic then you can upgrade to VPS hosting or Dedicated servers. However, if you are starting a content heavy website or you expect heavy traffic from start then you should go for VPS or Dedicated servers.
Make sure to choose a good web hosting provider who does not compromise over quality. A good hosting provider does not put lots of websites on a single server. They will take some good measure to keep servers fast and secure.