It is becoming increasingly easy to create and host a website with the number of service providers increasing almost on a daily basis. There is a wide range of hosting options available out there and choosing the right solution is essential for your online success. Shared hosting is easy to explain, but has come a long way in terms of how it performs now.
Shared hosting simply means hosting your website on a server that hosts multiple other websites. Each of them is independent of one another and is individually under the control of the webmaster.
Moreover, the two most appealing facts about shared hosting is that you don’t have to take care of any of the server maintenance tasks or monitoring activities, and it is the most cost-effective hosting solution in the market right now.
If you’re pondering the various hosting solutions, ask yourself the following questions that we will discuss in this article.
- Is admin access extremely important to you?
- Would you rather concentrate on building your website, or do you want to start from scratch in terms of setup?
- Do you want the best bang-for-buck solution?
Shared Hosting – Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover
This is the line that best describes shared hosting. People tend to have a lot of preconceived notions about shared hosting, particularly because of the word shared. It’s time to change that perception.
When people hear about sharing resources with others on a single server, the first thing that comes to their mind is, what if the other person uses more resources than me, but pays the same amount?
What you need to think about is whether your requirements are taken care of and whether you’re paying less than what you would for a dedicated server. If these two boxes check, then you need not worry about the others that are present on the server.
Shared Hosting – Who is it for?
In many cases people are willing to make sacrifices in order to get the best bang for their buck. Especially for a small business, cost-effective services are crucial.
If you’ve got a lot of money to spend on a dedicated server, your business absolutely requires this, and you have all the technical know-how to set up and maintain a website and its backend services, you can opt for a dedicated solution.
However, the majority of users are new to web hosting or don’t require the resources that a dedicated server provides. Shared hosting solutions are not just for casual bloggers and personal website owners. It is more than capable of handling up to 100,000 visitors a month, which translates to roughly over 3000 visitors daily.
This makes it a perfect solution for businesses that operate with less than 25 people. Most of them don’t want to handle any of the server maintenance tasks or continuously monitor the backend activities. They want to showcase their product or service to the world and bring in the maximum revenue within the least possible time.
That’s why a shared hosting solution would be a perfect choice, because the business owner will only need to manage and run the website, while the hosting provider will take care of everything else. Also, the number of visitors largely depends upon the marketing strategies and campaigns undertaken by the business and it will be on the lower side during the initial days.
If the number of visitors turns out to be in excess of what the hosting provider allows, they would always offer you an option to seamlessly switch to a better plan with more resources. If your website fails to generate enough revenue or visitors, you can always stop the service with a few clicks.
Shared Hosting – What do you get?
A lot of people opt out of shared hosting thinking that it doesn’t have enough resources to maintain their website. In reality, shared hosting solutions have grown a lot and they offer more than you think. Typical hosting plans cost anywhere between $3 to $15 a month.
Another factor that determines the rate per month, is the duration for which you subscribe initially. The longer it is, the less it will cost for the first year. This is especially good for bloggers and personal website owners, for whom traffic can get uncertain.
Majority of the hosting providers offer at least 100GB of disk space for the starter plans. This is open to an upgrade depending on your requirements for larger storage. Another huge advantage with shared hosting is the availability of cPanel and SSL Encryption.
To put it in a nutshell, cPanel makes everything about hosting a website easier through its interactive user interface. The entire platform is run from the browser and even new users can pick it up without much effort. If your hosting provider does not provide you with cPanel, it is better you find the one that does.
Another thing that people tend to worry about is privacy due to the presence of several other websites on the same server. This is something that the hosting company will take care of. It must provide the best security with antivirus applications and firewalls running round the clock along with additional benefits like SSL encryption to make your life easier.
One way of making sure you’re safe is choosing Linux web hosting, as this is usually considered the most secure option, as far as the operating system goes.
You might’ve heard about SSL encryption before. It is a protocol that involves sending data in a secure manner between the sender and receiver. It is also applicable to websites where the images, scripts and other resources are loaded from other websites.
When hosting your website, you need to make sure that the hosting provider offers an SSL certificate, and most of them do, to ensure the safety of customer data. According to this study, online shoppers do not move forward with a transaction, if their details are sent over an insecure connection.
When making a decision about a hosting solution, don’t go blindly for a dedicated server just because your site will be hosted on a dedicated server. Gather all the information first. A dedicated server might be an overkill and you might end up losing money in the end. Shared hosting is an ideal solution that can be easily scaled up depending on your changing requirements.
In the scenario that you use up all the resources offered by your hosting provider, you can opt for VPS (Virtual Private Server), which is similar to shared hosting in that it also runs on a single server. But the difference is in how the server is segmented to house the various virtual servers within it. You can read more about when you need to switch to a VPS plan here.
At the end of the day, the major concern for most website owners is the amount of money that they’ve spent versus the revenue generated while having as many returning visitors as possible. Shared hosting is the most logical recommendation for casual bloggers, small and medium businesses, personal websites, and others that who are either just building their digital presence or are well underway with it.
With additions like Softaculous, CPanel, and WordPress, launching a website can be done in no time and it will look as good as any other website on the internet, be it a blog, e-commerce site or a service page.
Are you having doubts if your needs can be covered by shared hosting? Let us know what you think and we will be happy to clarify things for you.