Hosting a website is a relatively easy thing to do. There are hundreds of different web hosts operating all around the world offering a range of hosting solutions.
If you’ve never hosted a website before, then the best type of hosting you should use is shared hosting. There are various types of hosting available including a dedicated server or a VPS (virtual private server), but both of these are for more advanced users, as well as being much more expensive.
For relative newcomers to the world of websites and hosting, shared hosting is the best option. It is the most affordable type of hosting and one that you won’t need to have any kind of experience or technical knowledge to use.
Shared hosting, as the name implies, is when the resources of a web server are shared among many different users. Web hosts will divide a web server up into small packages, each with their own allocation of resources such as disc space and data transfer.
Some of the larger web hosts may also offer you a choice of CPU Cores and RAM when it comes to selecting the best package for your shared hosting. Others may have a standard set of servers that are used for all shared hosting accounts. It really depends on the infrastructure that the web host has available and access to.
You can find some excellent web host suggestions for all types of hosting on the FortuneLords.com website, which has compared lots of web hosts from around the world.
What is the cost?
The price you pay for a shared hosting account will depend on a number of factors. The first will be the package that you select. Most web hosts will usually offer a small selection of different shared hosting packages, each with different limitations on features such as disc space, the number of websites you can host, database creation, bandwidth and other such resources.
Prices for the most basic shared hosting package will usually be around the $5 a month mark, though that will most likely be if you pay for the account for 1 year. If you want to pay on a monthly basis, then the price will probably be around $7-8 a month.
The higher the package, meaning that you will have more disc space, data transfer, add-on domains and other features, then the higher the monthly cost. But you shouldn’t be paying more than $15 for the high-end shared hosting package offered by any host.
The main benefit of shared hosting, compared to some of the other hosting options, is the price. It will be the most affordable option for hosting a website, and for most users, the features and performance of shared hosting should be more than suitable.
The other benefit is that shared hosting is very easy to use. You won’t need to have any technical experience or specific coding knowledge to manage your hosting account.
Most web hosts use the cPanel management system with their shared hosting accounts, which is a very powerful and easy to use management system. It provides quick and easy access to all of the features you will need such as adding on domain names, creating email accounts, setting up databases and installing and running a variety of CMS (content management systems) such as WordPress or Joomla.
All technical issues, such as the updating of any operating systems or hardware repairs are all taken care of by the host. You won’t need to worry about any of the technical side of things. For beginners, this makes things much easier to manage and also takes away a certain level of anxiety that some people have.
The shared hosting solution is perfect for people who may be on a low budget, or simply want to test the waters with a basic website before they expand it into something larger and more powerful.
As with everything in life, there are pros and cons. As much as shared has some great advantages, it also has a number of disadvantages that often put people off using it.
The main one is the fact that there are so many people all using the same resources on the server. This can have a negative impact on the performance of your website and can make it a lot slower to load than it would if it was running on a VPS or dedicated server.
Another issue is that of security. Shared hosting is often prone to being hacked or attacked more than other types of hosting. With so many users all on the same server, there is bound to be a security breach somewhere along the line. Maybe a user is running an outdated script that is causing problems, or maybe just lax security for their passwords.
If shared hosting is such a great option that millions of people all around the world use, why is it seen by many as a bad choice? Well this all depends on your own point of view.
Power users and technical experts will always say that a dedicated server is the best option for all of your hosting needs. You have full control of the server, without sharing the resources with anyone else, and can update and manage all aspects of the server to fit with your specific requirements.
However, for the average user, a dedicated server is simply too much. It’s like handing over the keys to a Ferrari to someone who has just passed their driving test. Unless they have the knowledge and experience, they simply won’t be able to use it properly. The same is with web hosting. There is simply no point in a beginner signing up for a dedicated server when they won’t have a clue how to use it.
Some final thoughts
Share hosting has a lot of advantages and is beneficial for so many new users. Of course, the performance you’ll get is nothing compared to that of a VPS or dedicated server, but for the price you will be paying, it would be foolish to think otherwise.
Shared hosting is not a bad option, and the fact that there are millions upon millions of users around the world support this fact. It does what it was intended for. It’s the first level into the world of web hosting, and many users will eventually upgrade to a higher level, but for the start, it’s simply the most economical and easy to use option.