What is Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting (Shared Web Hosting, Virtual Hosting) is a web hosting type where multiple websites are hosted within a Single Physical Server. Shared hosting is one of the least expensive hosting packages among others. The resources are shared among many users. A specified amount of spaces are allocated for individual users to host their websites. Many small website owners especially bloggers and personal website users buy a shared hosting package to host their website. Although it has got many limitations, this package is recommended for a small website because it is cheaper.
How Does Shared Hosting Work?
The name itself is enough to understand the concept of shared hosting. Shared hosting consists of a powerful server with hard disk drive space, a CPU and RAM. These essential resources are shared among individual websites for storing and processing purposes. This hardware is maintained by hosting service providers. There can be hundreds or even thousands (depending upon the HDD capacity, RAM and Processing speed) websites hosting in single shared hosting. Each users are allocated the resources as per their plans purchased. Each user’s files are stored in a separate section of the server in its own file directory tree. Although all user’s data are stored on the same location, one user can not access another user’s data. The following figure illustrates the concept of shared hosting.
When someone sends a request to the website, the data of the website is sent from the server to the internet user. Since individual websites generate different amounts of traffic at different timing, shared hosting optimally utilizes its server resources.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Shared Hosting
Every web hosting package has it own pros and cons. Let’s look at some of the notable advantages and disadvantages of shared hosting.
Shared Hosting Advantages
Cheaper – Shared hosting is the cheapest hosting package as multiple users share the same physical server. If you have a low budget and do not have a big amount to invest is just web hosting, there is always a shared hosting option available for you. This is one of the main advantages of shared hosting.
Most of the web hosting companies start their basic shared hosting plan from $30 a year. However, is you buy premium packages then you will be paying more. But still, this is the cheapest plan than others like Dedicated Hosting, VPN Hosting, and Cloud Hosting.
Easy to Use – Shared Hosting tends to be very easy to use. The hosting provider gives you a very simple control panel to manage all of your website information. So, if you a beginner, this is the plan where you should start.
You Can Host Multiple Sites – As we have mentioned earlier, shared hosting allows you to share the same resources for multiple domains, you can effectively use the resources. This is best when you have to host small but many websites at a time.
Well Managed – Most shared hosting platforms are well managed so that users do not have to worry about server management and platform patches. You get all kinds of technical assistance from the web hosting company such as software updates and upgrades, maintenance, security, backups, etc.
Shared Hosting Disadvantages
Since multiple websites or users share the same hardware resource, shared hosting is comparatively slower than other hosting packages. There are also other limitations like bandwidth, memory limit with shared hosting. At some point in time, there might be a security issue. If one site gets infected by malware the there might be the possibility of spreading to other sites as well. But there is a solution for this, you can apply file restriction in your individual file. But again security is being another disadvantage of shared hosting.
When to Use Shared Hosting?
Shared web hosting is a comparatively cheaper package. So, for lots of people cost might be the deciding factor. But there are other things to consider while making a decision. You can choose a shared hosting plan in the following conditions.
- If you are a beginner in web hosting
- If you have a small business website such as a blog, portfolio, personal site, small business website.
- If you do not have heavy traffic on your website
- If you have a low budget for hosting
- If you want hassle-free (easy) website management