Shared hosting is the most common type of web hosting available and usually the cheapest. Shared hosting gets its name from having all websites – yours and otherwise – on a given server share the same resources, like storage space and bandwidth. Despite the resources being shared, other customers on the same server do not have access to your account or sites. Check out the most popular and cheapest hosts offering shared hosting plans below.
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The Difference Between Shared Hosting And Other Types
All web hosting types function in similar fashion since the basics of storage space, bandwidth, and domains applies to all servers and hosting accounts. The biggest difference between shared plans and others, like dedicated or VPS hosting, is primarily how servers are configured and supplied.
Shared hosting is the only type of web hosting
where the resources allocated to your site are dynamic and not dedicated; a
feature that has both advantages and disadvantages. While there are shared
hosting plans with resource caps, the universal server resources, like
bandwidth, connect speeds, and processing power, are used amongst all accounts
and sites on that server.
Shared hosting can exist on a cloud server; in this case, all accounts share the resources of the server network instead of a single machine. While shared hosting has a reputation for being unreliable at times, on a cloud server, performance and reliability typically see significant boost.
Advantages Of Shared Hosting
Most sites will tell you the obvious advantage of shared hosting is its price: while other types of hosting commonly cost well over $10 a month (and in many cases much, much more), shared plans frequently come in under that threshold. Finding a shared hosting plan for just $5 a month shouldn’t come as a surprise!
The advantages for shared hosting don’t stop there though. Shared hosting is exclusively managed hosting, meaning that your web hosting provider will take care of updates, security, and configuration for anything at the server level. In some cases, web hosts will also help with basic tasks involved in setting up your site. Shared hosting server also overwhelmingly run on Linux – the most widely-used server OS by a significant margin. If you find yourself in need of better hosting – or an entirely new host – the migration process should go relatively easy.
Finding The Best Choice For Shared Hosting
With great power comes a great temptation to
abuse it! Shared hosting is likely the most susceptible type of hosting to how
a web host manages their servers. Shared hosting is frequently the cheapest
type because providers can continue to add accounts and hard drives to machines
in order to add room for customers without increasing the speed or processing
power of the machine. This results in worse performance for all sites on the
Many hosts with shared plans are completely responsible with their management and respect for their customers. Unfortunately, there’s no metric, hardware, or silver bullet for identifying how a host will manage accounts. In this case, it’s best to contact the web host and speak to their customer service or read reviews from trusted sources.
Things To Remember When Shopping For Shared Hosting
Not all plans are created equally, and shared hosting is no
exception. Here are things you should consider when looking at shared plans for
- Many shared hosting plans offer unlimited
bandwidth, storage, and domains. While this is sometimes a double-edged sword,
for small businesses or individuals just looking to have an online presence,
this can offer great value for your dollar.
- Consider both the promotional and regular
prices. The promotional price generally lasts the first pay cycle which could
range from a month all the way to a year. The regular price will give you a
better idea of what the long-term cost of your will be.
- Read reviews from trusted sources before you
purchase a plan. Shared hosting is incredibly susceptible to host a web host
manages their servers. Looking at their reviews and contacting their customer
support can give you a good idea of how they treat their customers.
- There usually is no commitment to stick with the
same host. I have yet to find a host that charges a penalty for leaving them
before your current hosting plan expires. In fact, many hosting providers offer
30-day money back guarantees when you sign up with them. That said, if you opt
in for annual pay cycles, your money will not be prorated and refunded should
you decide to leave part way through.
- Most shared hosting is on Linux OS, making the
move to other hosts and hosting types easy in most cases.