A Beginners Guide about Shared Web Hosting

When you’re searching for cheap webhosting solutions, or the ones that suit your budget, the term “shared webhosting” is what you often see. Shared webhosting is the most common but least expensive form of paid hosting solutions.
You might choose the shared webhosting option, if you’re a beginner, and do not know pros and cons of this plan. But before taking the decision, you should know what it’s all about. You have to assess that whether it suits your requirements or not, because for different requirements, come different solutions.

How does a Shared Webhosting work?

A server is needed to host your data (including the pages and the code), so that it can be seen on the internet. It’s the server with your files which remains connected to the internet so that people can visit the website which you want to show them.
There are several options of how to get your site on the Internet. You can host your own server in your facility, use another facility (co- location), choose to have your files on one server provided by your host (dedicated hosting) or you can choose to share server space with others at your provider.

Options for Shared Webhosting

  1. Use your own system as the server
  2. Buy a server somewhere
  3. Rent a whole server provided by a hosting company
  4. You can share the space on a server provided by a webhosting company, along with other users

Sharing the resources of the server with other people like you is called shared webhosting. You’re allocated a certain space and bandwidth, and you can only access that.

Responsibilities of the webhosting

Upgrades and maintenance of the hardware and the software is the responsibility of the service provider. They’re the one to make sure that you get good quality drives and the latest operating system.

Your responsibilities

While your responsibility is restricted and limited to your own site and space. A control-panel (run by either Windows OS or Linux) is provided to you to maintain your site. You can upload files, email the visitors of site, and install scripts on your site. If you want developers for your site, the hosting company will charge you extra bucks. The control panel allows each client to manage the space and bandwidth specified for his usage.

Is shared webhosting the right option for you?

Now it must be clear to you that why shared hosting isn’t suitable for everyone but still the most popular. It’s affordable and the specifications are more than enough for most individuals and small or medium sized businesses. Especially for blogs, magazines, portfolio and commerce sites.
A user is advised to do research about his needs, and which host provider meets his requirements. Some advantages of shared webhosting are:

  • It’s cheap – There are monthly dues which are easily affordable and many discounts are also available.
  • Freedom to start small and then grow big – There are variety of packages available for you to choose from. Ranging from the disk space and bandwidth needed for a portfolio site, to the space and bandwidth needed for portal and forum sites. You can begin with small space and upgrade when you feel that your site is growing. No need to buy the most expensive package for startup.
  • Enough for your needs – The features provided by most shared hosting providers are enough to meet the needs of most users. There are scripts available in your package through which you can create a blog, forum, commerce site within a few clicks.

But why is it not made for you?

There are times when shared hosting may not suit you, especially when you’re running a social network, large enterprise business, and sites that will get mass traffic:

  • Performance –The shared servers often have the load of many sites and are not regularly updated.
  • Lack of freedom – Some servers are not capable of executing every type of file and application. The provider may reject to run some scripts for security reasons.
  • Restrictions & limitations – No shared hosting provider can give you unlimited space and bandwidth, despite of their claims. If your site is using too much space and bandwidth, it might bother the provider. In that case, you’ll have to move all your data to a dedicated server.