What is Shared Hosting?

November 1, 2016

Shared hosting is an attractive option because of economies of scale. A single server can house hundreds of websites, which translates to hundreds of users. A single server is not that expensive to run, so the costs can be split between all users of the server.

Because of this, you will see shared plans for around $5 a month. While this is a great price to get started, there are numerous downsides — the largest of which is the bad-neighbor effect.

Because hundreds of websites are running from the same hardware, what happens if there’s a coding bug in one of them that causes it to use up to 80% of available memory? The remaining websites (which could be hundreds) will grind to a halt and could become unavailable. The same issue arises with security; some attacks aim for a single website and end up affecting all of the other websites on the same server.

This boils down to decreased security and poorer uptime. What’s most frustrating is that these problems are unpredictable.

The only reason to use shared hosting is if you are on a very tight budgetand every dollar counts. It can work just fine, and your website will probably not go down for hours or days on end. Still, your website going down just as a potential client is viewing it could ruin a potential deal.

If you think shared hosting is for you, then a number of companies are available to choose from. I recommend testing the support services of these companies; with shared hosts, these can be your most important asset.

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