Shared web hosting – what is it?

A shared web hosting is a type of web hosting plan where you share hosting space with others who host their websites. For a user of such shared hosting, it appears as a separate hosting space, but indeed it is a shared hosting space where the common resources of the hosted server are shared among the users of shared hosting. This is the most popular type of hosting due to the benefits it offers which offsets the disadvantages in it.

The section below provides a detail view of shared hosting, the benefits, challenges, and users for whom this shared hosting suits the best. The cost of shared hosting depends on the hosting plan which varies as the nature, type, services, and quantity of resources being shared in each plan.

How Shared Web Hosting Works.

When you take the shared hosting plan, common resources like storage capacity, Processor, RAM, software, OS are shared among the users of the shared plan. When the resources are shared, there is a drop in the speed to access as it is shared among a group of users. For websites with low traffic and does not involve in high data transfers, this shared hosting is most suitable.

Characteristics of Shared Web Hosting.

The level of services on shared hosting vary from one hosting provider to another. When you take up a shared hosting plan, you need to be aware of certain factors and their performance to understand the levels of service a shared hosting plan provides.

i. Up time.

Up time is the measurement of how long the hosting server is up and running without going down. Its normally expressed as a percentage of up-time over a period few months.

ii. Traffic.

Traffic is the number of users expected to visit your website when its hosted. When one of the shared users hijacks all the shared users with his high traffic others get affected. Ensure your hosting plan supports the minimum traffic on your website.

iii. Disk Space.

Disk Space is the total storage space allocated out from the common storage of a hosted server. If your website is small with few static pages you may not need high storage. Websites that have heavy data processing or works with images, the video need heave storage spaces in the hosted server. Your hosting plans support your needs minimum storage requirements.

iv. Support.

Ensure your shared hosting plan has support from the hosting team. This is a must when you are hosting for the first time or new to hosting. There are a lot of subtle differences in hosting methods from provider to provider which needs support to get the hosting done effectively.

v. Installed Apps.

All web hosting plans include options to used common apps like cPanel, Database, email, SMTP, WordPress, Admin login, File servers. Some providers have software from a different vendor and may not support the version or type you need. Today, most common apps are always made available in host plans, but it may miss one critical app you may be looking for.

vi. Free offers.

Depending on the plan you chose, sometimes you get offers in terms of discount in prices, or extended support, or free domain registrations. Read out the offers applicable to your plans so that you utilize it properly rather miss them out for not knowing about it.

Benefits of Shared Hosting.

Shared hosting is most suitable for its low cost, quick access to high-end processing with other benefits. Companies out there like Hostgator, Bluehost & Siteground amongst others have very different levels of hardware and options available in there packages. It would be a wise choice to review them individually at places like Hostingpill, Techtage & Web Hosting Media.

i. Low Cost.

Since many users share the resources, the cost of shared hosting is usually low in the range of $1 to $20 per month. This enables new startups and beginners to utilize the hosting plans without the huge overhead cost.

ii. Flexible and Scalable.

Shared web hosting servers usually has new and updated hardware like high-speed processors, large RAM, huge storage capacity, latest installed apps. A shared hosting plan allows you to quickly gain access to these latest resources by adding up to your hosting plan. This is a highly flexible and scaleable server. As your requirements change as your site grows you can easily get added resources within minutes by moving to a higher plan.

iii. Secure

The server admin takes the responsibility of protecting and securing the server from hackers and virus attack. As a user of the shared host, you still enjoy uninterrupted hosting services from the provider. The server admin incorporates required anti-virus features, shared security layer, encryption algorithms.

iv. No High Tech Skills required.

Shared hosting is usually planned for users who can easily set up hosting without any huge technical knowledge. Hence it is easy for most of the new users for whom the hosting server setup is through helpful wizards, steps, and guidelines.

v. Easy Maintenance.

All the server maintenance activities of the hosted server are carried out by the admins from the hosting provider. Hence a user who opts a shared hosting plan never has to worry about maintaining the shared host server.


i. Non-exclusive

Even though the shared hosting gives you a space to host your website that is separate from other hosting users, you still have to share common resources. It is shared server resources which do not give you all the speed, exclusive access and comforts of dedicated and exclusive servers.

ii. Risks.

Since the resources are shared, your data coexists with data from other users as well. Though the host servers restrict access to data of other users. your data has a potential risk from any breaches of access violations

Shared hosting is most suitable for you if you have limited knowledge on web hosting or low on budgets or wanted a hassle-free website without worrying about maintenance. You wanted to start your hosting on small websites and have plans to quickly upgrade as your business progresses, shared hosting supports this flexibility and scaling.