Advantages And Disadvantages of Shared Hosting (all you need to know)
You are about to choose a type of hosting for your new website but you are not sure what are the advantages and disadvantages of each type. In this post, we will examine the most popular type of web hosting which is called shared hosting.
Advantages of Shared Hosting
Shared hosting for sure it is the most affordable type of web hosting. You can always find deals that vary from $1 – $10 per month (if you purchase yearly plans). Web hosting providers use one server to host multiple sites and that helps them to offer their services for very low prices. One machine can serve decades or even hundreds of websites. The provider needs to maintain and install software updates only for one server and the cost remains very low.
They move sites to another server only if the overall performance of the sites is suffering a lot or if the resources such as disk space or ram are not enough.
2.)Easy to use
The interface when you use shared hosting is very user-friendly and actually most hosting providers use the same one which is called Cpanel. You have available all the popular software you need to install on your website and you also can easily use important features like email accounts.
You can understand most of the features just from their names on Cpanel so you don’t need to worry. All web hosting providers have a section on their site with FAQs and how you can use each feature. As of the last option, you can contact their support too.
3.)No technical knowledge needed
Since the hosting provider takes care of the server administration you don’t need to get involved. The server is already configured with the proper settings and software. If any issue arises you talk with support and they handle it.
Consider that if you needed to manage a server then you should be prepared to face any kind of issue. For example, you should scan for security issues like malware and always check for new updates of your software. The server can crash when you are sleeping and only find out the morning that your site was down for hours. So, monitoring and maintenance of a server are challenging tasks for an individual.
4.)Many features for so few money (email etc)
Compared with the money you spend you actually receive a lot of great features. You get a free domain name (with some providers) that usually costs around 8$- 14$. You can have multiple email accounts that are very useful for your business.
You get a free SSL which is crucial for your site’s security (the https:// you see in front of website). You can create multiple subdomains if you need so (like maps.google.com). They provide you with often backups of your site in case something goes wrong. You can host in many cases multiple websites without paying additional money. It seems a very good deal for someone that starts a small new website or blog.
Disadvantages of Shared Hosting
1.)Can’t handle much traffic
Shared hosting has its limitations when we talk about the traffic a shared server can handle. Since your website can use only a small portion of server resources it is normal that can’t handle a lot of web traffic at the same time. In addition, if some other site receives a sudden spike of web visitors then your site’s performance can be affected.
As a rule of thumb and based on your hosting provider a shared hosting is performing well for up to 1000-3000 users per day. When you reach those numbers you should consider other types of hosting such as VPS or dedicated hosting.
Security is the biggest concern related to shared hosting. It is enough for one careless website owner to affect your site too. If they don’t update some plugins or site’s theme hackers can exploit those weaknesses. Usually, older versions of any kind of software are more vulnerable to hacking attempts. Since your site is in the same physical server as the affected website, there are chances your website to be in danger too.
The size of the damage depends on how fast your hosting provider will find out about that issue and what hackers managed to do in the meanwhile. Although web hosting providers have taken measures for these circumstances the reality is that the nature of shared hosting has increased security concerns compared with the other types.
3.)Limited options for software
Since you can’t customize the server that your website is located you can’t install additional software other than what is available from your provider. The most popular software would be there for you but if you want to change your email accounts interface or you want to add an additional content management system software you don’t have the option to do it.
4.)No root access
Root access means that you have increased privileges as a user and you can install or uninstall all the files in a server even the basic ones related to the system. You can also decide what permissions other users of the server will have.
Considering what we already discussed shared hosting would never provide you with this kind of privilege.
5.)No dedicated IP
Shared hosting usually doesn’t come with a dedicated IP but all the sites use the same IP. If some other site in the shared server uses its email account to send spam content then this action can affect the IP reputation. As a result, your outgoing emails can be considered as spam too or worse google can evaluate your site in a negative way and decrease your rankings.
Is Shared Hosting a Good Choice?
If you start a new blog or a new website and you do not have previous experience or you are not an established real company with big revenue then shared hosting is always a good option. If you decide to purchase some other type of hosting the chances are that you pay for something that you don’t really need at that moment. Keep in mind that if you really want a better plan later you can still upgrade within the same hosting provider.
There are some cases that you probably need to consider another type of hosting. As we already mentioned, if you generate big revenue offline as a real company then it is a good idea to invest some money on better types of hosting. If you are an existing influencer with many followers (100k+) on social media and you decide to create a website then you can invest more money too. Lastly, if you are planning to create a site that will have many members and you get a lot of login details from your users.
If you are ready to start creating a website, take a look at my previous post Where and how to buy a domain name and hosting