What You Should Know about Shared Web Hosting Before You Buy?

The name says it all – shared! When you opt for a shared hosting, it means you host your website on a server being shared with many other websites or users. In other words, you will split the server, and just like sharing your flat with your mates, you can divide the rent. Really, the biggest reason why people opt for a shared hosting is that it is the cheapest hosting option, but aren’t there any other reasons to go this route?

How Does It Work?

Essentially, a server is partitioned to several accounts with each customer managing their own emails, websites, and databases. The server cost and resources are equally divided among the customers though. It also means you do not have to worry about server maintenance because your host will be responsible for it. They will take care of upgrades and maintenance of server software and hardware – they may change and upgrade their drivers or operating system software whenever they feel necessary.

On the other hand, you will be responsible for keeping your website in shape through a control panel. It will be possible to upload new files, monitor your traffic, and install new applications, though there will be limitations of how far you can go in this regard. That is mainly because the bandwidth is limited and the host is not going to help at all with site management.

These facts imply that you may want to buy a shared hosting if:

  • You are on a tight budget. If you have a new blog or just publishing your website for the first time, you’re on a stiff budget quite naturally. There is no hosting plan cheaper than a shared hosting package. Pay for the entire year and you may qualify for a big discount as well.
  • You don’t want to worry about upgrades. The scalability is another big benefit of using shared hosting because you can choose from many packages where the host is responsible for making all the upgrades while offering different amount of bandwidth and disc space.
  • You don’t have serious site management skills or experience. Since the host handles the technical aspect, you needn’t worry about learning the technicalities. In most cases, you can install popular scripts in a single click. Chat, blogs, forums, calendars, etc., are some examples of popular scripts usually included in your package.

As you can see the affordability and scalability are the main benefits of shared web hosting, but there are situations when the service may not suit you well. It may not suit you if:

  • You notice a significant rise in traffic. Even though performance is not a big issue for shared hosts these days, a spike in traffic may render your hosting service unsuitable. You may need a lot higher bandwidth to accommodate new traffic and that’s when a shared host may fail to help.
  • You need to upload several files consistently. In order to maintain security and high uptime percentages, a shared host may impose limits when using certain functions and limitations.

The fact of the matter is that shared web hosts are quite powerful these days, with a correctly optimized WordPress blog able to manage 30,000 monthly visitors. But the fact remains that the higher the number of visitors and customers on a server, the lower the performance of your website. If your concurrent database connects go beyond 20, you may be better off switching to a dedicated hosting service.

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