When creating a website for your business it is important to know the differences between various types of web hosting that are available. Fortunately, it isn’t as complicated as you might think.
In this post, we will focus on shared hosting, which is often the first choice for new website owners.
What is shared hosting?
Before we get into shared hosting, it’s important to know how servers and hosting works. In short, every website on the Internet is hosted on a server. When you type in an URL into your browser, the browser will find the server where the website is stored. The server will then provide all the necessary data for you to see the website and interact with it.
Shared hosting is as the name suggests shared. This means that your website will share one physical web server with other websites. You will, for example, share the storage, network, computing power, and other resources that are important for your website’s performance.
Shared hosting is one of the most common and most used forms of web hosting. It’s provided by web hosting providers, who usually manage multiple web servers. When you sign up for a shared hosting plan, space on the server is allocated to your website.
Shared hosting is often recommended for websites that are smaller, don’t get a lot of traffic, and have low-security concerns.
Is shared hosting right for your business?
Now you know what shared hosting is, we should check if it’s the right choice for your business. We’ve outlined a few considerations you should think about when deciding which type of hosting is right for your business.
1. How large is your website?
You can compare shared hosting to a shared family phone plan. Whilst it is cheaper than having each family member buy their own plan, it’s often quite limited – if one family member uses up all the available data, the rest will be left with very little or even nothing. Above that, upgrading or downgrading to different plans isn’t always easy.
The same goes for shared hosting – other websites can have a significant impact on the performance of your website. The reason for this is that other websites can grow, take up storage space and make your website unavailable. On the other side, if you’re the one that has a website that is too large for a shared server, you may be the one that overloads the server.
If you have a large website or a website that is expected to grow quickly, shared hosting may not be right for you. If this is the case, VPS hosting might be a better option.
2. What is your budget?
Shared hosting is often cheaper than VPS hosting and renting a dedicated server. The reason for this is that websites share space with other websites. This means that websites hosted on a shared server can only use part of a server’s resources. Alongside, websites that use shared hosting often don’t take up a lot of resources.
It’s important to note that shared hosting plans are limited and that it’s not always possible to upgrade. Therefore, if you have a bigger budget and a website that needs more resources, it might be worth it to upgrade from shared hosting to VPS hosting or even a dedicated server from the beginning.
3. What are your technical skills?
VPS hosting and renting a dedicated server often requires some technical knowledge (unless you’re going for a managed plan). If you don’t have technical skills, then getting a shared hosting plan (or a managed VPS/dedicated server) is often a better option. With shared hosting, the responsibility for managing the server is handled by your hosting provider. This way, you can focus on your business and don’t have to worry about the technical side of your website.
4. What do you need?
In order to prevent websites from impacting other websites, shared hosting providers often add usage restrictions to a server. A hosting provider can for example add:
- File restrictions – there is often a limitation for the number of files.
- Storage limits – web hosting providers want you to use their shared hosting plans for data that is directly related to your website only.
- Activity restrictions – web hosting providers often add anti-spam and hacking tracking to shared hosting plans.
Besides, you may not get root access to the server. If this is important to you and you want to be able to customize your server, you might want to upgrade to VPS hosting or a dedicated server.
Who should get shared hosting?
If you’re just starting a small website, blog, portfolio, or any other website with minimal traffic, shared hosting may be the perfect solution for your business. Shared hosting usually comes with a built-in Control Panel, which will make it a lot easier for you to manage your website and you don’t need a lot of technical skills, as the maintenance is done for you. Alongside, it’s often the cheapest option for your needs, which makes it a great place to start.