Shared web hosting is the most common and most popular type of web hosting, simply because it is the most cost efficient. Web hosting is an intricate part of having an online presence, simply because, without web hosting, you will not be able to host websites online. Web hosting allows for users to host a collection of website files and images online, so that other users can get access to them. In order to understand how a shared hosting environment works, we need to go through a few of the basics to get familiarized with how web hosting works in general.
In order for web hosting to work, there is always a central computer that is connected to the Internet through a series of routers, cables and hubs. If you have a website that is designed and ready to be uploaded online, you will need to have it hosted on a special computer that is connected to the Internet. These special computers are known as servers and they are the most important part of a web hosting network. In order to get some space on a server, you will need to find a web hosting company that is selling hosting services. Now, when it comes to hosting services, there are several types of hosting services you can look into. For the purpose of this context, we will focus exclusively on shared web hosting.
For those of you who need a cost effective way to host websites, a shared web hosting plan would be the most beneficial option. In a shared web hosting environment, you are essentially sharing one server with hundreds of other clients. The web hosting company would have one server with an account creation platform loaded onto it. The server would have a limited amount of storage space (hard drive space) and based on this, the company would allocate a certain number of clients per server. Some hosting companies may try to save money by overcrowding their services, but this hurts the customer in the end. A server is just like a computer and it can only handle a certain amount of load, so hosting companies should be a little reasonable when assigning server space to clients.
When choosing shared web hosting, you will need to choose a plan based on the amount of space and bandwidth you require. Additionally, the number of websites you want to host would make a difference as well. The disk space is essentially the amount of data that you can host. The bandwidth is a monthly quota which represents the total amount of download and uploads on your account. The information that your website users download and the information that you upload onto your account will count towards your total monthly bandwidth usage. What is important to understand is that, with shared web hosting, you are sharing a server among many other clients just like yourself.
Since there are many users using one single server, there are some limitations imposed by hosting companies to allow for a more friendly hosting experience. One such limitation is the CPU usage that one account could reach within a limited time frame. Most web hosting companies will limit the CPU usage to about twenty to twenty-five percent for a maximum of one or two minutes. If your website uses more server resources than what is allowed, it simply means that a shared web hosting plan is not the best option. The next best and most economical solution would be a VPS hosting plan. Overall, the largest benefits in opting for a shared hosting plan would be the low cost of the hosting service. Shared hosting is generally the best option for personal websites and small to medium sized businesses.
The downside to shared web hosting is that you have little to no control over the server and the administrative part of the hosting environment. You will not be able to run your own server-side software, simply because others are using it as well. Additionally, since you are hosted with several other users, an issue with one website could potentially affect the uptime for your website as well. These are several things you should think about before opting for a shared web hosting plan.