It’s your first business venture, and you are geared up with your website. Web hosting companies come into existence at this junction. Your website’s demand and vitality become prominent only when you collaborate with a hosting provider. Else, you could compare it to a library without any books! The library isn’t of any use if you can’t read or rent some books! Likewise, your website isn’t useful if you don’t share it and let the world know your presence.
Hosting companies provide different hosting plans wherein shared hosting is the most popular plan availed by customers, especially business startups and individual bloggers, worldwide.
What Do We Mean By Shared Hosting?
What makes the shared hosting plan unique and the most sought-after? Before we go into any further details, let me brief you on what exactly is shared hosting.
You get a clue from the name itself—when multiple websites share a single larger server; we call it shared hosting. It would be easier to understand when I give you a day-day comparison.
Choosing this hosting plan is like traveling by metro. When given the option to use our car to commute daily, many of us choose to use the metro due to a couple of important reasons—it is cheaper and saves you from the strain of driving. But, you have to live with packed trains, stoppages between stations, and time delays sometimes. In the end, the metro is still reliable and inexpensive comparatively. That’s shared hosting for you.
Though many users will be using the same server, each of them has no idea about which other websites or users are using their specific server. Each user gets a certain amount of server resources designed by the hosting plan and hosting company selected. There could be hundreds or even thousands of users sharing the server space (based on the server capability) and hence, without a doubt, shared hosting is the cheapest and best option if you are starting a new venture or have a website that doesn’t require higher bandwidth.
The hosting is through a server machine with its RAM, CPU, hard drive space, and resources used by all of the websites that share this specific server. Just like how your computer space is partitioned into drives, the server space is partitioned individually to hold various users’ files and applications along with their file directory tree.
But, none of the users can access the root file or other files except their own. So, when any visitor tries to access your website, the information stored on the server is directed towards the user. Every website incurs different traffic levels, and shared hosting offers optimal utilization of the server to every website associated with it.
Advantages of Shared Hosting
- The first thing that comes to anyone’s mind while looking at shared hosting is its cost-effectiveness. As many users share the same server, the hosting cost is evenly distributed among them all, making the plan affordable by all means
- Flexibility is another asset of this hosting plan. You can always start with this plan and upgrade anytime when you feel that you require more storage or FTP users
- You get the advantage of hosting numerous domains, one for your blog, one for your company blog, and so on, using the shared hosting plan
- Ability to host dynamic websites (such websites change the look and feel of their site based on the browser)
- Shared hosting is easy to manage and reliable. You could be a techie or unaware of technical stuff; still, you could access the control panel and manage the site by yourself
- The simple setup helps you get your website up and running in no time
- Minimal maintenance is required as the headache of upgrades, uptime, protection from malware, bugs, and network issues are handled by the hosting company’s customer service team
Disadvantages of Shared Hosting
There are many things beyond cost that play an important role when we decide to choose a hosting plan. Keep the following things in mind before you single out your hosting plan.
- The website load time might be slower as there are multiple websites shared on the same server. Hence, if there is unusual traffic on your website, it is wise to expect that you could experience a few slowdowns. But, such lags are often not noticed practically
- Though every user is unaware of the other users who share the server, there are slight risks that some other site might pose some danger to your own. It is better to enhance security features such as ensuring SSL certificates and more
- There aren’t pretty much customization features available and if you require something specific, this might not be the plan for you
Is Shared Hosting the Best Plan to Meet Your Needs?
Don’t be awestruck by the hosting fee of a shared hosting plan and decide to go with it immediately. Think wisely and make a choice. The shared hosting plan is a good choice if you are a simple website that’s operated for small business ventures or personal use, is genuinely interested in saving as much expenditure as possible, is a newbie to web hosting and is zero tech-savvy, loves to explore WordPress or web designing, and doesn’t need rocket speed load time as your website doesn’t attract too much traffic.
Even if you choose this hosting plan, it is better to look at different companies and the features provided in their shared hosting plan. To be specific, never miss out on getting to know about the plan’s uptime, traffic, speed, customization possibilities, disk space provided, one-click installation options, support facilities, and control panel options.
Shared Hosting Alternatives
You might rule out shared hosting due to some reasons or even try to upgrade your shared hosting plan as your company is growing considerably. In that case, it is better to look out for alternative options such as VPS hosting or dedicated hosting.
The most-popular alternative offered by hosting companies is the VPS hosting plan. Here, one powerful server is divided into multiple virtual servers, and hence, you feel like there is a server dedicated solely to your website. Hence, if other sites have any traffic spikes, this will not affect your website’s performance.
The other possibility is to go for a dedicated hosting plan where a server dedicatedly hosts your website exclusively. Though you reap many benefits of increased bandwidth, speed, and security, the increased cost might/might not be suitable depending on your company growth.
My Final Thoughts on Shared Hosting
If you are a novice startup, individual blogger, or a small venture, shared hosting should be your go-to choice as its advantages eclipse the limitations surrounding this plan. Also, there is zero need for technical knowledge on website building, and it requires minimal maintenance making it a hot-selling cake among novice users.
The shared hosting plan might be branded as an entry-level service in the hosting world, but if it is sufficient for your needs, don’t hesitate to choose this hosting plan to launch your website and attract traffic from day one of your venture. You can always upgrade to VPS or dedicated hosting once your traffic scales up and you are ready to invest more.