Shared Hosting: What is Shared Hosting?
The storage of a website and the delivery of its web pages to the Internet is called Web Hosting and companies who render such services are called web hosts. When the web host houses the files for several websites on the same server, that is called shared hosting or virtual hosting. It is a type of web hosting wherein a number of websites are hosted on a common web server. The essence of shared hosting is to allow your website to maintain a strong connection to the Internet without the cost of running your own server. In this case, certain amount of disk storage space and a fixed bandwidth i.e. data transfer capacity, is allocated to each website usually for a monthly fee. Shared web hosting is cheap, easy and secure as it does not involve manual update.
How shared web hosting works
The shared website host provides system administration. For those who wish to exercise full control over the web server for extensive development work, this could be a problem but it could favour those who are not bordered about what is running inside the web server and are as such satisfied, so long as their websites are up-and-running. The shared host also facilitates the user ease of access to their files on the web server via an admin control panel. Popular control panels these days include cPanel, Plesk, Ensim, DirectAdmin, H-Sphere and InterWorx. In the market today, the most popular control panel of all of these is cPanel. This is due mainly to its high level of user-friendliness, intuitive nature and ease of use.
What are the advantages of shared web hosting?
Shared hosting comes with a lot of advantages. One of these is the fact that it is much less expensive than dedicated hosting whereby a single server is dedicated entirely to one website. You you do not have to pay for the whole server upfront. This in fact, is the primary and major advantage of shared hosting.
Another advantage of shared web hosting is that it is easier to us as the server is preconfigured with the most useful features and the hosting company takes care of any necessary maintenance and security updates for the website. As a result of this, there might be no need to hire a technical staff to run the website update as almost everything is already taken care of by the host. However, it is most important to ensure that the hosting company is such that guarantee that the websit can be accessed any time. The company should also be such that has multiple systems in order to ensure constant connection to the Internet at all times.
Disadvantages of shared web hosting include
In this type of web hosting, server resources are shared with others which as a matter of course is responsible mostly for eventual slowness. If one site on the server becomes very busy it may slow down all other sites on that server.
Moreover, entrusting the whole essence of your website management to the web hosting company makes you hand off some administrative control of it. This could tend to be frustrating especially if you are an IT expert. Also, for the fact the server hosts several sites at once could create a technical problem at one time or the other. If one of the hosted sites is having some technical issues, the problem could affect other sites on the same server at that time.
There are several shared web hosting services companies online many of which offer best shared hosting services at cheap costs. However, certain things need to be considered in advance before going for any of them. To avail yourself of the best shared web hosting plan in the market, it is highly important to consider the following:
Bandwidth and Data Storage
As a newbie, you may not be so familiar with this terms. However, bandwidth is the data transfer capacity of your website and data storage is the amount of disk space allocated to you on the server for storing your files. There is therefore cogent need to consider this carefully before choosing a shared web hosting vendor. Even though your site might not require very high bandwidth at the start, you will eventually need to upgrade your bandwidth as the level of popularity of your website grows. The higher the website grows, the more bandwidth it consumes. Always ensure that your web host does not provide you with too low bandwidth because the result is usually counter-productive. Best shared web hosting plans do offer unlimited bandwidth and data storage but the term “unlimited” is usually tied to a particular upper limit. Generally, a minimum of 500-1000GB bandwidth and 50-100GB storage capacity is suitable for a website.
Make sure your service provider offers excellent tools for your shared hosting. This should include free website builder, website analytics tools, a good control panel, access to PHPAdmin, MySQL databases and other free goodies like website promotion tools. Other things such as free Google AdWords vouchers worth $50, Miva advertising credits and Yahoo! Advanced Search credits worth $25-$50 are also very essential for your your website promotion and marketing campaign.All these are meant to ensure you get full essence of shared web hosting.
Ensure you go for a host with 99.9% uptime guarantees. Certainly there will be occasional downtimes, your service provider must have system capacity to resolve any technical within the shortest space of time possible. The effect of a long-lasting downtimes might be very catastrophic. For instance, if you have a website that has grown in traffic, a few minutes of downtime can cause you losses in hundreds of dollars. Ideally, if you are planning a top-notch website such as ecommerce-related or a video streaming website like YouTube, 99.9% uptime must be of utmost necessity.
Good Customer Service
In any eventuality, there should be a way out. Make sure you look for a shared web host that is tested and trusted for good customer service. To confirm how efficient they are, you may send a test email to their support team and see how long they take to reply. A service provider with a support team that replies you 2-3 days after contact is a sluggish one and is unreliable to do business with.You really need a service provider who is always quick to help at the occurrence of any common problems such as in setting up a website, transferring domains, etc. Moreover, you need a service provider with 100% money-back guarantee over a period of at least 30 days time.