Known as the most popular type of hosting by far, shared website hosting is used by about 95% of website owners. Even though this type of hosting is very popular, most people don’t really understand it.
Rarely will you hear the truth behind the phrases used with this type of hosting, such as “unlimited” and “affordable”. Before you make your hosting decision, it’s important to really understand what you are getting. Here’s the truth you need to know about shared website hosting.
What is Shared Web Hosting?
Shared hosting is a type of website hosting that places multiple websites on a very large server. They share the resources of this server in a “first come, first serve” way. With multiple websites on the same serve, hosting companies are able to offer very affordable rates, which makes shared hosting very economical.
Hosting servers can cost anywhere from around $150 per month all the way up to thousands of dollars a month. However, when you get shared hosting, you will pay between $5 and $11 per month with a good hosting company.
So, What’s the Catch?
We all know, when something sounds too good to be true, there’s usually a catch. The catch with most shared hosting companies comes with the marketing. They will claim to offer unlimited resources, such as bandwidth, disk space and domain hosting. However, there’s really no such thing as unlimited hosting since the limits are whatever the server can possibly provide.
Since shared website hosting was created for smaller sits, such as small businesses, new bloggers and personal sites, the companies advertise unlimited resources knowing these types of sites won’t use up much space or bandwidth. If your site does become very popular and starts to put a strain on the resources of the server, your hosting company will ask you to upgrade to VPS or dedicated hosting. Sometimes, they are not very polite about this and may even suspend your account.
Finding a hosting company that doesn’t advertise unlimited everything may seem like a good idea, but they are few and far between. It’s better to find a company that won’t advertise unlimited disk space, as this still puts a limit on your account. When you use up the disk space, you will need to upgrade and you will know this ahead of time as you will get a warning as you get closer to your limit.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Shared Hosting
There are several advantages of shared website hosting including:
- A much lower cost than renting or buying your own server with prices ranging from about $5 to $11
- Huge improvements in the technology over the past few years due to heavy competition
- User-friendly with an easy-to-use admin panel, such as cPanel or vDeck.
- Top companies employ industry experts to provide technical support
- Most companies offer upgradable accounts with services, such as VPS or dedicated hosting
- Of course, with anything coming at a lower price, there are some disadvantages. The main disadvantages of shared hosting include:
- Slower than VPS and dedicated hosting
- Cannot customize the server or the security of the server
- Super low prices ($1 to $3) can lead to overselling and overcrowding of the servers. This can cause regular downtimes and lagging.
The disadvantages of shared website hosting can easily be avoided by choosing a company with a great reputation. If the package you choose is one of the cheapest website hosting options and lower than $3 per month, you are probably going to end up on a crowded server. Instead, choose packages ranging from $5 to $11 and you will be in better hands.
The truth about shared website hosting is simply that it’s the most affordable hosting option you will find. There are some things to be aware of, but overall, if you choose a good hosting company, shared hosting may be all you ever need.