If you have ever looked for web hosting options online, then you have definitely come across the term shared hosting. Although the most common type of hosting, this type of hosting is sometimes misunderstood. The reason for this may be because a lot of people looking for the best hosting do not look deep enough to find out what it really is all about. That said, this shared web hosting is one of the easiest hosting options to understand. First things first, although there is a lot more to it, most of what you need to know is all in the name.
Shared hosting, as the name implies, is a type of web hosting where a number of users share the same server. This shared hosting meaning is easy to grasp once we understand how a server works. You see, a server is basically a computer if we are to keep things simple; it has storage, a CPU and RAM. In shared hosting-, you get your own space but it is within a bigger storage option that is divided to accommodate more than one user. A server might have thousands of terabytes of space but you may get 20 GB for example allocated to one hosting account.
All the other resources, the CPU and the RAM, are also shared among all the users. This is why some shared hosting options, especially those with lots of customers, might be a bit slow. It is therefore advised that when looking for hosting, you take care not to go with a company known to have too many customers and not enough servers. Shared hosting has its perks too. For starters, the web hosting company is responsible for taking care of the server and sorting out any issues that arise. This means that this type of hosting has the least amount of stress associated with it.
One of the biggest advantages, of shared hosting, in addition to the one mentioned above, is how cheap it can be. Because there are lots of people essentially sharing the same server, a company is able to keep the total number of servers it needs down, thereby reducing its overhead costs. These costs can then be passed down to the customers. Another upside is that all configuration is done for you; you do not have to configure the space allocated to you or any of the software that is needed to run the server. In most cases, you also get software that guides you through the installation of the most common softwares, such as WordPress and Drupal.
One of the biggest downsides to shared hosting is its vulnerability to attacks. Because you are essentially sharing the server with other websites, some that might not be as secure as yours, if one gets targeted, you are likely to suffer in the same breath. As we alluded to earlier, shared web hosting can be a bit slow, especially if there are lots of websites or hosting accounts on the same server. This is made worse if a single website or account is using up more resources than it is allocated. It does happen, but most of the big web hosting companies have measure to mitigate against this.
Even with a few of its pitfalls, shared hosting remains a viable option for a lot of small businesses. This is especially true for businesses that do not have a huge budget for options such as dedicated or managed hosting. The management of the backend functions and configurations is also handy for those not adept with system administration. That said, due diligence and some research are required before committing to ensure that you get the best web hosting solution for you and your business.