It’s fairly common knowledge that these days a business is only as good as its online presence. Most people utilize the internet to find a company – or to find out more about. It makes sense that a solid website and web presence are the backbones of any company hoping to succeed today.
A website is a must, and finding the right hosting service is important. But it can get confusing when you start looking into different options, with technical terms coming at you quickly. Shared hosting is the most common option, and one that most businesses will go with. If you’re not sure about just what shared hosting is. Take a closer look at its basics – including its pros and cons – is well worth doing.
In nearly all cases, shared hosting is exactly what people think of when they think of web hosting. All of the commonly known hosting services will offer shared hosting, and it’s the option that most businesses end up going with.
Our Top Rated Shared Hosting Companies
For those of you who are new to web hosting, you may have heard the term “shared web hosting”. In the complex world of hosting, there are different types meant for different purposes. Shared web hosting is the most common type and is used for a good majority of all websites on the internet. If you’re looking to get a website online for the first time, shared web hosting is the type you’re going to need. Shared web hosting is the least expensive and contains everything you will need to host and get your new website online.
What is Shared Website Hosting?
In a nutshell, shared web hosting is a type of web hosting service where many websites are stored on the same server. The company that sells this service (known as a web host) sets up and configures a server to hold as many customers as the server can possibly handle. Each customer has their website stored on the same server and is “sharing” the server resources with the other customers. See the diagram below:
Typically, a web host will assign as many users as they can to a server because it is more profitable. The more customers they can squeeze on to a server, the more they make from each server they own. Because the server is shared with many users, performance and reliability tend to degrade. On the other hand, the cost drops significantly and the web host can sell a shared host plan at a very affordable price. Some web hosts offer a variety of shared hosting plans. This usually means that higher cost plans get a higher percentage of the server’s resources. Thus your website will be able to handle more visitors and perform better.
How Much Does a Shared Hosting Plan Cost?
Prices can vary depending on the web host. A reasonable price is around $5 per month, yet we’ve seen shared hosting plans range anywhere from $1 to $15 per month.
Who Should Use a Shared Hosting Account?
Shared web hosting works fairly well for beginners and is ideal for most websites with minor levels of traffic. A shared host plan is usually the best choice for hosting a small business or personal website. It is both affordable and practical.
Finding the Best Shared Web Hosting
For those looking to purchase a shared web hosting account, it’s important to choose a good web host. A good web hosting company can really make a difference between the success and failure of your website. Not all web hosts are the same, and each one uses their own network of servers, hardware, & software. A reliable server with a strong CPU and lots of RAM can obviously outperform a less powerfully configured server. However, if more customers are crammed on to the first server, then the second one could be a better choice. It all depends on the web host. Listed above are a select few that we would recommend as the best shared web hosting companies.
Facts About Shared Hosting
Shared hosting gets its name from the fact that it involves multiple clients’ websites all being housed on a single web server. All of the server’s resources are shared among the different users. Each website is housed in a separate partition on the server. A good analogy is a shopping mall. The mall itself is like the server – a large structure that houses many smaller businesses inside it. Each business within the mall is similar to the websites hosted on a shared hosting server – it operates independently of the others under the same roof.
Advantages of Shared Hosting
First, the good side of shared hosting is worth looking at. There are numerous advantages that this type of hosting can offer to anyone.
Extremely user friendly. Clients can access their account through any web browser in most cases. Most shared hosting services have a browser based tool that can be used to build a fully featured website. It’s easy to purchase, easy to setup, and easy to update as needed.
Highly versatile. The users of a shared host service vary greatly and include bloggers, online stores, small businesses, web designers, and much more. Even authors and musicians use the service to set up their websites. The best services will offer numerous features ranging from blogs to online storefronts to video hosting.
Compatible with nearly anything. Since the data is stored remotely, shared server hosting allows users of all major operating systems to easily access and build a site, whether they use Mac, Linux, Windows, or some other OS.
Inexpensive. Shared hosting is the cheapest of all the various hosting options. It is easy to save money through their services. In many instances it’s possible to find totally free shared host services, though upgrading to a low pay model will usually unlock extra functionality and more features.
Easy to scale. As your business grows, it’s simple for you to add more features, increase bandwidth or storage capacity, and more.
Full support. Even with its low price, shared hosting generally comes with full support including access to tech support reps through phone, email, chat, and more. This means that when issues arise, a solution is still close by.
Reliable. While it may be a shared setup, hosting services still keep shared servers fully maintained, upgraded, and working. Users don’t have to worry about servers crashing or about security issues, and these are far more reliable servers than most on-site, in-house intranet servers will be.
Disadvantages of Shared Hosting
Of course, along with the good there is some level of bad. There are a few drawbacks that stand out that could make shared hosting a less than stellar choice for some. Here are some of the disadvantages.
Limited functionality. This is the big one. Some shared hosting servers will have limited disk space, limited bandwidth, limited email accounts, and more. In some instances they may limit sub domains, FTP accounts, and more. In short, they may not offer the full range of performance since the server’s load is split among multiple users.
Reduced performance. Companies that need large storage or high speeds may find that the fact that they are on a shared server will reduce their overall level of performance when compared to a private server. Not everyone will need this increase in performance, but it’s worth thinking about.
Pay walls. This isn’t just a bad – it’s also an ‘ugly’ side of shared hosting. Many companies will tease clients with a full range of services only to reveal that some of their main features cost extra. The better services won’t, but it’s not uncommon to find some services that charge extra for everything from an additional email address to SMTP access and beyond.
Less reliable than some options. In particular, cloud hosting offers a much more reliable option than shared hosting since the overall design of shared hosting is slightly less secure. Still, it’s very reliable for the money and many companies actually offer a 100% uptime guarantee.
Unless you’re operating a massive business that has some very high-end computing and online server needs, the chances are good that shared host will work for you. It offers a perfect way to get the kind of web presence you need. Without being expensive or having tremendous hassles associated with it. There are numerous hosting services available, and it’s important to take the time to look at each of them closely to determine which one offers the right service for your business.
Final Thoughts on Choosing the Best Shared Web Host
In conclusion, shared web hosting is an affordable and practical choice for hosting a website. Any of the above web hosts are great for shared website hosting and offers a good balance between features, performance, and pricing.