Shared hosting is a popular option for many people who are looking to start an online presence with the creation of their first website. Shared hosting involves placing your website and its data onto one network server that has other websites stored on it as well. This network server will power your website and make sure that it is accessible on the Internet.
But does shared hosting provide you everything that you will need for your particular website?
Ultimately, that’s going to depend on what you need it to do. But let’s take an objective look at the pros and cons of a shared hosting server so you can make an informed decision.
Although many people have nothing but bad things to say about shared hosting, there are several things going for it. These include:
- The cost—Shared hosting is most known for being the cheapest option that is available online. Usually, shared hosting runs less than $10 a month and can be a great way to create an online presence without committing to something much more expensive.
- Server levels—Not all shared servers are created the same. Even within companies, you can have tiers of shared servers as the computers that the data is served on may be larger than other shared servers. There’s a great deal of room for movement even within the shared server tier.
- Flexibility—Many of these servers do act as a kind of “starter level” with the understanding that people may want to upgrade at some point. Because of this, many of them are designed to be easily transferrable when you get ready to move to a different level.
- Control—A shared server will provide you with a control panel so that you can make basic tweaks and changes to your website as it continues to grow and evolve. However, your hosting contract should provide you with regular maintenance so that you don’t have to do a lot of heavy upkeep on the website.
There are some significant disadvantages to running a website on a shared server as opposed to a dedicated server or even a VPS (virtual private server). These include:
- Speed—The most significant problem with shared hosting is that it is slower than the other types of hosting options. This load time problem becomes even larger if one of the other websites on your server experiences a traffic spike. Your server will then shift its resources to accommodate this spike, meaning your website could become even slower. This is worrisome since many customers today do not trust a company with their business if the website is slow in loading, thinking the website isn’t “big enough” or professional enough if their website is substandard.
- Personalization—As we mentioned, you will get access to a control panel for your site. However, this will be a bare-bones set-up that is not going to give you a lot of customization for your website. If you want a site that doesn’t look like all the others on the Internet, then you are probably going to need something else.
- Security—It is a rarity, but it is possible that a hacker could compromise one of your “neighbors” on the server. If this occurs, then your website could also be open to attack. Also, your IP address may become noted by anti-virus software if one of those neighbors gets flagged for being a virus-infected site.
Shared Hosting Options
InMotion Hosting offers a variety of hosting options including shared hosting. You need to assess exactly how much customization you need as well as how much traffic you are anticipating before you make a final decision about which type of hosting server to choose.