You may have seen the term “shared hosting” while evaluating different hosting solutions, specially if you are looking for budget hosting solutions. Shared Hosting is the most popular and least expensive option.
Before jumping to conclusion, lets evaluate it.
In order for your website to appear on the Internet your files, pages and software applications need to reside on a server. That server then connects to the Internet and allows people to access your site.
There are several options of how to get your site on the Internet. You can host your own server in your facility, use another facility (co- location), choose to have your files on one server provided by your host (dedicated hosting) or you can choose to share server space with others at your provider.
Shared hosting means you share the server resources with others. You have complete access to your account and only your account and a set amount of resources and features.
With shared web hosting the provider is responsible for all server maintenance. General maintenance and upgrades to both server hardware and software are the sole responsibility of the host. The host may, for example, replace drivers or upgrade their operating system software.
You are responsible for your own site. You will use a control panel to have access to your site where you can monitor your traffic, upload files, set up your email and install applications. Most web hosts will not help you maintain your site as part of your hosting package. You will share the server with several other clients. Each of you will be allotted a certain amount of bandwidth, disc space and features that you control via your control panel.
While you may not necessarily fit well within a shared hosting environment there is a reason shared hosting is the most popular. It is the most affordable option available for paid hosting solutions. Most individuals, small businesses, medium sized businesses and moderately trafficked web sites will thrive in a shared hosting environment.
Web hosting is a highly competitive industry, thus it is common to find hosts that provide affordable packages rich in features. Some advantages include:
While sharing suits the vast majority of purposes, there are those who are not suited to a shared environment. Enterprise businesses and high traffic sites are among those. The reasons you may not want to consider a shared solution include:
With dedicated hosting you have a lot more freedom to do what you wish and you have a greater amount of resources. However, you will also pay a lot more for those benefits. The fact is, most sites do not need the resources afforded dedicated servers and can instead use shared hosting. But, before making that decision, make sure you know exactly what shared hosting entails and whether or not you will likely fit into that model.