The next concern for you after designing and developing web pages is to get your web site hosted on the Internet. But with so many web hosting companies offering various types of web hosting packages – shared web hosting, dedicated web hosting, managed web hosting, which type of hosting should you choose?
As a general rule, it is a good idea to go for shared web hosting if you are a small business owner and cost is your major concern. But before you make your hosting decision, let us first understand what is shared web hosting service and what are the advantages and disadvantages of shared web hosting.
What is shared web hosting?
Shared web hosting service is a convenient and economic way of hosting web sites if you do not require extremely high performance and high bandwidth. As its name suggests, in shared web hosting service, the web server that hosting the web pages are shared by many other websites. The number of websites on a shared hosting server can go up to thousands at times. Due to one large and high performance web server is shared by hosting many different websites on it, web hosting companies providing shared web hosting service could offer them at an economic rates.
Even with so many websites hosted on a web server, you can be rest assured that the web hosting providers will not compromise on any kind of security and performance issues on the shared hosting servers. Moreover, shared hosting web servers are operated, monitored and maintained around the clock by IT professionals to ensure minimum server downtimes.
Technically speaking, shared hosting servers are run on Unix or other multi-user operating system and each website hosted on the web server is given a separate account in the operating system. Typically, websites hosted on shared servers are given a shared IP addresses and allocated a fix amount of web resources.
Let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of shared web hosting before you consider shared web hosting service:
Advantages of Shared Web Hosting Service
Economical: As many websites are hosted on a single web server, web hosting providers are able to offer low cost shared web hosting services. In general, you can expect to pay $5-10 per month for shared web hosting services. Today, due to stiff competition in the web hosting industry, you can even discover many web hosting companies offering huge web space and bandwidth (as high as 1000 MB disk space and 40 GB bandwidth).
Convenience: Shared hosting web servers are managed and maintained by professionals who are highly skilled with specialized knowledge of the field. As a result, you can concentrate on your web business and let these professionals worry about the maintenance and uptimes of the web server.
Customization: Even though web resources are shared, web masters can manage their website using control panel or similar tools provided by the web hosting company. They are free to upload files, remove web pages, add database, check web statistic and etc. Also they are allowed to create domain name specific e-mails accounts.
Efficiency: Today, shared web hosting service comes with web space and bandwidth that are more than sufficient for small business websites. However, you can always add more resources should you overrun the web space or bandwidth usage.
Disadvantages of Shared Web Hosting Service
Slower Responses: Given that a physical web server is shared, websites in the shared web hosting have to accept slower server response time if compare to dedicate server hosting.
Reliability Issues: In most cases, web hosting providers may take care of the security and performance of the shared server. However, it may happen that some of websites hosted on the shared server run a malicious program or script or over-utilize the resources, can bring down the web server. Your website would have to suffer downtimes and inaccessibility as a result.
Sharing Issues: Moreover, you just need one “bad” website in your shared web server to get your website banned altogether by ISP or search engine due to shared IP address (Note: you can always pay extra to get a dedicated IP address to avoid this problem).
Security Issues: Shared web hosting is more risky and opens up potential security issues as other web masters having an account on the same web server could hacked to your sensitive data.
Before you decide to ink a deal on shared web hosting, be sure to consider all the pros and cons of shared web hosting services above. After all, selecting a right web hosting services may be one of the most critical business decisions for your online business.