Shared Hosting, and What It Means for You :
How Does it Work?
The reason shared hosting works is that it plays on the idea that most websites will not generate enough incoming traffic or tie up enough server resources to become an issue for other sites on the same shared server. In reality, the hosting service providers almost always provide more than enough resources to run all of the features on all of the sites sharing that server. Since they only have to pay for a single server, service providers make a sweet profit off of partitioning the server up for sale in pieces.
So sure, maybe it’s a bit cheaper if you choose to go for a shared hosting plan — but is it worth it, compared against the more extensive capabilities of a full, private server for your site to get all the space, power, and throttling it needs? Believe it or not, the answer is almost always yes! Shared hosting is incredibly economical, and unless you expect thousands of visitors a month using intensive widgets on your site, shared hosting will cover your needs.
For the sake of education, though, let’s go over the pros and cons of utilizing hosting on a shared server versus personal private servers so that you, or your business, can make the most qualified decision on the matter.
Resources Are Not Infinite
Contrary to what seems to be popular belief among amateur and even experienced website owners trying to host their website on shared servers, you do not have infinite resources with which to run your site. Your bandwidth, for one, is most definitely throttled at a certain point to save bandwidth for the other sites on your collective server. This means high-traffic, high-data pages and sites will feel an even steeper effect if a bandwidth cap kicks in — though unless your site is particularly large, you should not see any issues here.
Unfortunately, you are not the only one who can cause a ruckus in the collective resource. Anyone involved could easily overstep their bounds and take up too much of the disk space and bandwidth for their own personal site, leaving the well dry for any visitors who may find your site. This is an issue that does not occur often, or even for very long, but it is important to remember that such a possibility is always lurking.
If your site is the one that is hogging all the resources, though, you might be required to upgrade your hosting service to a more expensive plan so as to compensate for your site’s usage. In such a case, it would probably be better for you to consider the possibility of renting your own private, personal server, which will impose little-to-no restrictions on the growth of your site.
Wide Selection Range
The number of shared hosting providers in the U.S. by itself reaches into the thousands, and they encompass small family enterprises looking to sell off partitions on their rented servers all the way up to corporate web hosters with giant, professional server farms. This is good news for the customer, opening up a wide selection of available choices to fit your website and shared server needs.
Your first option should be a cursory search on Google or Bing to see if you can find a big name in the shared hosting game. Some popular companies that offer quality service at an affordable price include HostGator, Dreamhost, and site5, but that is certainly not all you will find.
This step is all that will be needed for 99% of people and businesses looking for shared server hosting, but what if you want specialized service? What if you need a personalized plan that matches the sort of company or style you want your brand to convey? First, figure out what features you will require from your hosting services.
Then, there are a few options you can stay on the look out for in your search: online control panel, many OS options, support for several programming languages, MySQL and more for databases, and even customer support, all of which can make or break a shared host provider’s level of quality.
Also, be sure to consider the disadvantages in general to renting space on a shared server. There will always be limited storage space, and especially limited space to expand if necessary. Even if the site selling the services claims unlimited disk space and / or bandwidth, remember that there is always an upper limit.
If you consider yourself a “power user” (i.e., you need more control over your server), you may find this particular method of hosting can often be a nuisance. Those who are less technical, which is most of us, will find this option the be the most practical. Keep all these tips in mind and you should have no problems in choosing the best shared hosting services for your needs without spending too much at all!