Affordable shared website hosting
Published : Wednesday 9 November 2005
Shared hosting plans come in a variety of forms and are usually very affordable, ideal for many businesses getting started online ...
Please note: this content is 15+ years old, from a time when I produced content for SEO and key word purposes. It may be of lower quality and no longer accurate.
Finding the right host for your web site is extremely important but it can often be confusing with the huge array options available. Most providers these days offer affordable web hosting plans by means of shared hosting which is aimed at home and small to medium business users.
What is shared hosting?
A shared hosting plan means that your web site shares the same physical server with other sites in its own secure and private area. This allows service providers to maximize use of their resources and reduce costs to the end users.
Shared hosting plans come in a variety of ‘flavours’ from free to more costly plans however they are usually very affordable and ideal for most home and small business users and can often meet the needs of larger businesses as well.
What are the advantages of shared hosting?
This is not a definitive list of advantages but an outline of some of the key points.
- Highly affordable web hosting even at the higher end.
- Maintained by the hosting company so you don’t have to worry about maintenance and security
- Most will provide a good range of options to suite most business needs
- They can affordabkly host some web apps and technologies.
- Reasonable amounts of disc space and bandwidth.
- Easy to setup and configure your settings including server features, email, domain names, etc. through use of simple online control panels.
What are the disadvantages of shared hosting?
There are various disadvantages to shared hosting and in our experience a lot of these have been around the lack of configurability.
- Options and services limited to what the provider offers in your package options.
- This can mean limited technologies supported such as ASP, .Net, PHP, etc.
- Ability to configure the server is often minimal and software installation prohibited.
- Some servers can be over burdened with sites and so respond slowly.
- Services and resources can be limited or controlled so you should read the providers policies on usage carefully before signing up.
- In some cases they can be poorly configured and insecure
- Smaller providers and resellers can be problematic.
So what should I choose?
There are a variety of off the shelf shared hosting providers and plans available. Many operate regionally so it is a good idea to pick one that is near your target audience. You’ll need to understand your requirements and and check that the shared plan supports your needs as they only come with limited flexibility.
You should find a provider and plan that will allow you to scale easily, moving from plan to plan and adding more resources as you grow your online business. You will also want to look in to their reputation and support, as this will be important if you ever have a problem.
For basic websites and simple web apps shared hosting offers an excellent starting point to get you up and running. They offer a excellent level of service and features for the price with a good level of reliability.
As your business grows or scales you can upgrade between plans and ultimately move to dedicated hosting if your business requires it.