Shared hosting refers to a web hosting service in which the host serves pages for more than one website— with each site having its own unique domain name—from one web server.
Shared web hosting is useful for:
- Mid-sized firms
- Online e-commerce storefronts
- Portfolios, blogs, and other websites that require frequent updates
- Small businesses
- Web designers and developers who also provide hosting services for their clients
What are the Pros of Shared Hosting?
Shared web hosting comes with the following advantages:
- It makes it easy to set up and manage sites
- It is relatively affordable
- It is highly convenient
- The client doesn’t have to perform technical maintenance while running programs
- It usually comes with easy to use Control Panels that are entirely web-based
What are the Cons of Shared Hosting?
Some of the disadvantages of shared hosting include:
- There are fewer bandwidth and server resources
- Customization flexibility is reduced
- Security concerns might crop up
- The client isn’t the boss
The Catch with Shared Web Hosting
The catch with shared web hosting related to the fact that it is often advertised as being unlimited. However, this is a myth in the sense that it is almost impossible to get unlimited bandwidth and disk storage.
Top Shared Web Hosting Providers
Some of the most recognized shared web hosting service providers include:
- Hostgator.com – With more than 8+ million domains under its wing, HostGator ranks among the most popular of all shared web hosts. The service provides 99.9% uptime guarantee, 24/7 support, 1-click WP installation, and even a free trial for a month—all of which make it an exceptional choice for most website owners.
- SiteGround.com – Another highly rated shared hosting service provider, SiteGround is known for its unique in-house security and speed solutions for WordPress sites. The service also comes with 24/7 customer support, automatic upgrades, one-click staging, GIT version control, as well as built-in WP caching.
- iPage.com – iPage also powers millions of websites. Started in 1998, this host has grown today to rank among the leading providers of shared hosting. Additionally, the company provides 1-click WordPress installation, 99.9% uptime, and 24/7 support for its clients.
Introducing Dedicated Hosting
For those who find the disadvantages of shared web hosting too much to deal with, there’s always the option of jumping ship to a dedicated hosting plan. With such a plan, the client gets to control more resources – meaning that fewer issues arise from shared resources (like memory space and CPU time) as happens with shared hosting.
With a dedicated server, the client gets maximum control over the web server where their website has been stored. This means that such a plan rents out an entire server to the client.
Who Needs Dedicated Hosting
Many websites already hosted on a shared web server ought to jump ship to dedicated hosting. This includes those sites that can no longer tolerate such user-generated complaints as:
- Slow web server response times
- Degraded performance
- Inability to reliably access a website
In the same way, if you have started experiencing an increase in traffic to your website, the best option for you would be to switch from your current shared plan to a dedicated web host. By so doing, you will be able to avoid any of the potential capacity problems you are likely to experience in case your traffic increase remains steady.
Website owners who are planning to include more advanced features to their portals might also fair better on a dedicated server than on a shared one.
Of course, basic shared hosting is the perfect choice for amateur and new blogs. However, if you have already decided that it is time to get serious about your website, then you will end up having to switch to a dedicated web hosting service at one point or the other.
In most cases, shared servers end up vulnerable, crowded, insecure, and slow. Similarly, they allow the client fewer options for overall website control. To counter all these problems, therefore, your best bet would be to jump ship and enroll for dedicated hosting.
Overall, the following should tell you that the time has come for you to get dedicated web hosting:
- When you need your website’s performance to remain stable
- When you need greater control over your site’s server
- When your website needs to be faster and more reliable
- When you need more advanced features on your website
- When you want to give your users and visitors a better online experience
Weather you choose to host your site on a shared or dedicated server, make sure you select a company that is reliable and has good customer service, like the 3 mentioned above.