If you’re not all that familiar with the many faces of web hosting, shared hosting is the most common form you will find. Companies like BlueHost, WebHostingPad, Fatcow – they all offer shared web hosting services. Shared hosting is the first choice for many individuals and small business owners. In fact, most of the sites you run across thrive off this type of platform. While there are many benefits to such a solution, there are disadvantages you need to be aware of as well.
Advantages of Shared Web Hosting
Cost-efficiency – The cost benefits of shared hosting are all in the name. Because you are literally sharing server space with other web hosting customers, the provider is able to save money and offer a cheaper service. Combine this with a highly competitive market, and you can easily find yourself a shared hosting plan for less than $10 a month. When considering all the features you can get nowadays, these affordable web hosting packages offer excellent value.
Simplicity – Shared web hosting actually describes the basic concept of managed hosting, which is generally refers to dedicated servers. What this means is that the host maintains the server and associated hardware in their data center. They provide you with connectivity and handle all the complex server administrative tasks. This is an ideal solution for anyone that doesn’t have the know-how or manpower to run a server or simply needs to focus on the vital aspects of their business. In addition to that, comprehensive tools such as control panel software and website builders also make the shared hosting environment much easier to grasp. Even the most technically challenged can succeed thanks to the rapid evolution of web hosting technology.
Disadvantages of Shared Web Hosting
System Crashes – I’m gonna give you the cold hard facts – although you can find yourself a respectable provider, the reliability of shared hosting will always be questionable. Even with proactive measures such as loading balancing, placing thousands of websites on a single server makes the machine susceptible to failure.
Performance Issues – Performance can also be an issue. Let’s say you’re experiencing moderate traffic while Joe Blow who is sharing the server with you gets a sudden burst of traffic. A neighborhood’s traffic can have a direct impact on your site, causing it to lag with pages that take forever to load. We’ve all experienced it so you know that slow web pages are a real drag.
Security – Security is another critical element that isn’t guaranteed in a shared hosting environment. Web hosting companies provide customers with a lot of power these days – way too much if you ask me. All it takes is one amateur webmaster to misuse .htaccess or another sensitive component and stir up all kinds of chaos on the server. If you’re not as proficient as once thought with development languages, your PHP-based web applications can be left insecure, providing intruders with a gateway to your data. Then there is always the threat of sharing server space with a hacker looking to compromising unknowing users like yourself. The worst part of all, you might not have a clue what’s going on until its too late.
This is not a knock on shared hosting, just a warning. The mere structure of this environment makes it vulnerable under a wide range of conditions. The good is that with a little research, you can find yourself a reliable company with the knowledge and technology to ensure as few issues as possible.