Website hosting is a key component of the World Wide Web, commonly referred to as the Internet. In fact, without web hosting, there would be no internet. Hosting is what makes it possible for files stored on one server to be accessed remotely from another computer. An organization, or individual, can either decide to host their website on third party servers or on their own servers. Each of these options has advantages and disadvantages which must be weighed carefully before a suitable hosting service is chosen. In many cases, financial institutions, government agencies and large private corporations may choose to host their websites on their own private servers for security reasons. Everybody else can use a third party website hosting service.
Since there are different types of websites, such as eCommerce sites, blogs, informational websites, video-sharing sites, marketing websites and gaming sites among others, website hosting firms have come up with a variety of hosting packages to suit the needs of different types of clients. They include; dedicated server hosting, VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting and shared hosting plans among others. You may be wondering what is shared hosting? Well, read on to find out.
The Ins and Outs of Shared Hosting
This service entails hosting several websites on the same server. The basic premise behind this service is the idea that not all clients can fully utilize the resources of a computer server. Therefore, the unused resources can be utilized by other users and the cost of maintaining the server shared amongst all the users. Imagine hosting your new blog on a dedicated server. Unless your blog becomes an instant hit, much of the storage space, processing speed, RAM and bandwidth will be underutilized. If the server is rented, you will still be required to pay the agreed lease fee, broadband service, electricity and server monitoring. These expenses can force you to shut down your business even before it takes off.
Instead of renting a dedicated server, you should consider signing up for a shared website hosting plan and share both server resources and maintenance costs. If your business picks up steam, you can always upgrade to a high-performance hosting package. If not, you can continue to use the low-cost hosting service.
Benefits of Shared Hosting
The service allows for efficient use of server resources, reducing wastage as a result. For instance, a lot of electrical energy is saved when a single server is used by several clients compared to when clients have multiple servers each drawing the same amount of power. Obviously, shared hosting is more affordable since the cost of maintaining the server is distributed equally amongst the users. In addition to being affordable, the service will still make your website accessible online, just like dedicated server hosting and VPS hosting services.
Shortcomings of Shared Hosting
Every good has a bad. This is a well-known fact, and shared hosting is no different. While the service may be affordable, the server may crush every now and then whenever all the hosted websites get a lot of traffic at the same time. The server may simply freeze if all the RAM and bandwidth are used up by internet traffic. Since there is no way of limiting how much storage space, processing power or bandwidth each client can use, one client may use up all the space at the expense of other clients. A shared server has only one IP address, which means clients have to share a single IP address. This may have a negative impact on privacy and security. The shared IP may also hurt the reputation of a business because running a search on that IP address will yield the name of the hosting company as opposed to the client’s brand name.
If you have been wondering — what is shared web hosting? Now you know. Your budget, privacy, security and performance needs will determine whether or not this is the most suitable service for your business. After all, you may need advanced security and better privacy but your budget won’t allow. Millions of websites are currently being hosted on shared servers, which is a testament to the popularity of this service.
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