What Is Shared Hosting? Explained for Beginners
If you’ve been on the internet for a minute or two and have researched what it takes to set up a website, you may have found yourself somewhat confused or overwhelmed by what is web hosting or by all the different types of web hosting that are available. The web hosting industry has evolved a lot, especially since its early years, and presently there are a lot of hosting types out there, Shared, Reseller, Dedicated, VPS Server, and Cloud Servers, just to name a few.
If you’re launching a website for the first time, Shared Hosting is a great place to start. With all the different types of hosting out there, you may want to know why Shared Hosting is the right place to begin instead of a VPS or Cloud Server, so let’s talk about what Shared Hosting is and why it’s a great choice.
What is shared hosting and how does it work?
Shared Hosting is a type of web hosting wherein 2 or more websites are sharing the same physical server and the hardware making it work, such as hard drive space, RAM (memory), CPU, and more. The sharing of these physical resources is made possible through different software technology, such as cPanel, LiteSpeed Server, and more.
Shared hosting is a lot like staying in a hotel with thin walls. You get your own room and bathroom, but sometimes you’ll hear your neighbors, and sometimes you’ll have to wait for an elevator.
What are the advantages of shared hosting?
There are a lot of advantages to Shared Hosting. Let’s cover some of the key advantages to Shared Hosting compared to other types of hosting.
Shared Hosting is affordable
The most glaringly obvious advantage to Shared Hosting is the price. Since the server on which your website is hosted is shared by other users, the web hosting company offering hosting can offer a fair, more affordable price for new customers. This means the web host can have a lot of different customers on the same server and offer great pricing for new and existing customers.
Shared hosting is easy to use
Another advantage to Shared Hosting is the ease of use. Since Shared Hosting is what most people who are starting their first website choose, Web Hosting companies often go out of their way to give their customers tools and software to make it super easy to start their website. At ChemiCloud, we use the well-established cPanel control panel, which features over 50 tools to help get you started with your website, including a 1 click WordPress installer.
Shared Hosting is managed hosting
If you did some deep research into hosting, you may have stumbled on the terms managed and unmanaged. Most hosts offer managed services, especially when it comes to Shared Hosting. This means the web host is responsible for tasks such as patching the server for security and maintenance updates, monitoring the server for attacks by malicious parties, and ensuring the server remains online overall. With Unmanaged services, the opposite is true. You, the user, are responsible for these tasks, which can be daunting and complicated if you are not a Linux expert.
You can host multiple websites
Web hosts who offer Shared Hosting typically let you host multiple websites on the same account. This means you can have a blog for your thoughts, a portfolio to showcase your art, photo galleries to highlight your photography, and more without incurring extra costs from your host.
Shared Hosting is flexible
Most hosts offer different tiers of shared hosting which each have different features, such as the amount of disk space you receive. Because of this flexibility, you can typically upgrade and downgrade your website plan as needed without having to migrate platforms or do anything to your website.
What are the disadvantages of shared hosting?
However, just as there are some advantages to using Shared Hosting, there are some disadvantages to Shared Hosting, as well.
Thin walls can make for noisy neighbors
Even with modern technologies such as CloudLinux, wherein accounts have fixed resource limits that cannot be exceeded, thereby eliminating the problem of one website using up all the server resources, things like DDoS attacks exist. A website on the same server as yours could be the target of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, which could bring the server to its knees, resulting in your site being offline. If you’re a business, this impacts sales and looks unprofessional.
Limited Resources can prevent the growth
Hosting companies offering Shared Hosting have to think about the mathematics involved in doing so. The server can only hold so many clients. This means the server’s resources have to be divided amongst all these accounts. If your website suddenly becomes popular or something you post goes viral, you may find your website is hitting your account limits, which could result in your website becoming suspended, or even taken offline until you upgrade to another tier of hosting with more resources.
Is shared hosting right for me? (Things to consider)
Before you settle on a web host, contact their support and ask them some technical questions, even if you already know the answers. Evaluate how they respond. First and foremost, are the answers they gave you even correct? If not, you may want to take your money elsewhere. Second, are they friendly? You should choose a web host with the same kind of customer service and support you’d expect if you were staying at a 5-star hotel resort.
At ChemiCloud, a single website cannot use more resources than another website, which means your website neighbor cannot make your website slower. Can you say the same for the other hosts you’ve been looking at? Be sure your host runs CloudLinux and is using LiteSpeed Web Server for the fastest results.
For instance, at ChemiCloud We use cutting-edge technology like LiteSpeed Caching, HTTP/2, PHP 8, and to make your site faster than ever. On top of that, we offer 100% SSD storage to boost your website’s performance.
The web host you choose should have the highest uptime humanly possible. And when there is downtime, they should communicate it to the users in an effective and timely manner. None of this “oh we had to take the server hosting your website down just because”. Things like maintenance should be scheduled well in advance to give you time to plan around it. And when there is extended downtime, the host should communicate why this happened in something called a post mortem. That’s why you’ll never have to worry about your website going down again with our 99.99% uptime guarantee.
The amount of resources your website is allocated will depend on from host to host. Additionally, some hosts may publish this information, and others may only provide this information upon request. Be sure when contacting your host you ask about things like how many inodes your account can have, how much memory (RAM) and CPU Cycles your account can use, as well as other questions such as the amount of disk & email storage you can use, the number of databases you can have. Any limitation you can imagine can conceivably be in place by your web host. Make sure you take note of these limitations so you can stay afoul of them.
When you run out of resources, what happens? What is the next step for your website? If your website has suddenly become viral and the traffic you receive has exponentially grown, you’ve probably outgrown Shared Hosting. When researching web hosts, at least consider a future where this could happen to your website and keep in mind a plan for an upgrade, if in fact, it does happen. Ensure your host offers a higher tier of service you can migrate to and that they can help with the migration, if needed, in a way that has little to no downtime for your website.
Alternatives to Shared Hosting
We just talked about hosting upgrade paths in case your website exceeds the resources allocated by your host, or you found yourself going viral on Reddit overnight. These upgrade paths can take many forms, but most commonly come in the form of a VPS or Virtual Private Server. If Shared Hosting is like staying in a hotel with Shared Walls, a VPS is like staying in a fancy hotel with great insulation. With a VPS, your account still lives on a server where other accounts are hosted, except you and your neighbors are given dedicated resources from which to run your website and you can’t bother each other. At ChemiCloud, we offer an excellent cloud VPS Hosting platform for our customers which features enhanced privacy, speed, and of course, those sweet dedicated resources. Your server is also managed by ChemiCloud which makes it worry-free and gives you more time to focus on your website, rather than managing a server.
As a beginner, sifting through the cacophony of web hosting companies out there can be daunting. Learning more about the types of hosting, such as Shared Hosting, and what you should consider when choosing a web host is essential if you want to make an informed decision when purchasing your first hosting plan.
For most people, the advantages of Shared Hosting will by far exceed and outweigh the disadvantages. Hands down, the most compelling advantage for Shared Hosting is the price tag, which is a decisive factor for almost everyone. You must also take into consideration the managed nature of the service, as well as the ease of use, which is super handy if you don’t have a lot of experience getting online and building a website.
We cannot deny, for most users Shared Hosting is going to be more than sufficient. The affordable nature of the service itself, plus the fact that you don’t need to be a Linux genius to make the service work extremely appealing to most users. Since Shared Hosting is so low maintenance, it’s no wonder it’s the option du jour for individuals and small businesses.
When it comes to a Shared Hosting provider who ticks all the boxes, especially when it comes to resource allocation and Customer Support, look no further than ChemiCloud. Our Shared Hosting plans include free domain registration for life, a free Website Builder tool with over 350 templates you can use to build your dream website, and 24×365 5-star award-winning Customer Support. We’re so convinced our services are the best in the business, we’ll even move your website to ChemiCloud from your existing host, at no cost, and with no downtime.
With easy, affordable Shared Hosting beyond expectations, take a look at ChemiCloud’s Shared Hosting today.
Still, have any questions about what shared hosting is? Chat with us today! We’re always happy to help.