InMotion Hosting is your go-to Shared Hosting provider. We started out as a small business ourselves, so we understand the struggle: you’re on a budget, you don’t want to spend money on products or services you don’t need, and it seems like everyone out there is just trying to sell you something.
We’re not about that game. When you talk to our service reps, they’ll help you assess your business needs and determine the product that’s actually best suited for you – not the one that costs the most money.
Today we’re going to talk about Shared Hosting. We put together a guide because we know not everyone understands what hosting even is – and when you’re done, you should have a very good idea of what to look for in a hosting provider (even if you don’t go with us).
Let’s start with the basics:
What is Web Hosting?
Without web hosting, your website can’t be accessed via the Internet. Your web hosting provider gives you space on a server and provides all the tools necessary for the public to be able to log on and view your site.
There are four main types of web hosting (shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud), but today we’re going to concentrate on shared hosting, as it’s by far the most popular option.
At InMotion Hosting, we get a lot of calls from business owners looking for Shared Hosting plans. Many people love the idea of Shared Hosting simply because it’s the cheapest option. But what is it exactly?
Shared Hosting means that you’re sharing one physical server with other customers of the hosting provider. In other words, lots and lots of different websites are all on the same machine, sharing resources.
The hosting provider manages the server and there aren’t a lot of customization options, but it’s a great choice for those just starting out or with small audiences.
Managed vs. Unmanaged Hosting
One of the choices you’ll have to make is whether you want managed hosting services or unmanaged. A managed hosting plan is essentially one that comes with extra services such as automated backups, performance monitoring, automatic software updates, 24/7 customer service, and more.
Unmanaged hosting plans come with very few to no extra services, so you may just get a server with an OS installed. Unless you want to handle all of those extras yourself, it is always best to go with a managed plan.
What Features Should You Look For In a Hosting Service?
When choosing a Shared Hosting service, it’s important that you go with a reputable, quality hosting company. Some important features to look for include:
- Performance: Imagine if your visitors arrived on your website to find graphics and images that never load. Or, worse, just a blank, black page. It should go without saying that poor performance affects your website’s ability to attract and keep an audience. Check to see what technologies your hosting provider has put in place, such as SSDs, to help ensure dependable performance.
- Server administration: One of the key reasons users often decide to go with a shared plan is administration: typically, the hosting company is responsible for all maintenance, upgrades, repairs, and so on. For a small business owner, this can mean a lot of time and money saved. It is important, however, to make sure that the company you sign on with actually handles these duties in a timely manner: how often do automatic backups occur? When are updates installed? What about equipment upgrades? If they drop the ball in any way, it can be devastating for your website.
- Security: Website security is a huge concern these days, and it can be an issue especially if you’re operating on a shared server. Because your website is operating in the same space as so many others, it’s quite easy to acquire a virus or get hacked by a malicious user. Make sure that your hosting provider takes steps to ensure the safety of your data, from virus protection to backups.
- Pricing: Of course, the number one reason most people go with a shared plan is cost: It is by far the most economical choice. We hate to tell you to look a gift horse in the mouth but watch out for hidden fees. Although the upfront price might be dazzlingly attractive, many providers charge astronomical fees for renewal, charge you extra for routine maintenance, or try to tack on add-ons wherever they can. Know what you’re really paying for.
InMotion Hosting doesn’t try to trick you into signing up for a plan you don’t want or into paying for unnecessary extras. With our Shared Hosting plans, what you see is what you get (and you get a lot!)
If you are still not sure which hosting plan will work best for you, we recommend our full guide on Shared Hosting vs VPS Hosting – How Do I Choose?