Web hosting is an important aspect of any website. After all, you can't share your website with the world without deciding on a web hosting plan.
And, if you're creating your very first website, the questions you may have surrounding web hosting can cause a lot of confusion. Not only are there different types of web hosting, but there's a wide variety of web hosting service providers that offer a variety of subscription plans.
But, fear not. This post will equip you with the information you need to choose the best web hosting plan for your business. Specifically, we'll focus on how shared hosting presents a variety of advantages to novice webmasters.
What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is the software that stores a website's content on a server and renders it for a visitor whenever requested. This is what enables you to publish your website for anyone to see.
Think of it as your website's home on the internet. Web hosting is like the land that your house, or website, is built upon and people can visit your home when they know your address or domain name. Without hosting, you can't have a website that others can access.
Because the fundamental value of hosting is storage, different forms of hosting vary depending on the amount of server space allocated. Broken down by server usage, below the most popular types of web hosting.
- Shared hosting
- Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting
- Cloud hosting
- WordPress hosting
- Dedicated Server hosting
Let's take a look at shared hosting and see why it's a preferred hosting method for web developers.
What Is Shared Hosting?
If you're building your first website, shared hosting is probably the right solution for your company. That's because, with shared hosting, many websites share a single server. The server's resources — including memory, storage space, and computing power — are proportionately distributed amongst shared client websites. Depending on your hosting package, you'll have a limited amount of server resources at your disposal.
Shared hosting is by far the most commonly used type of web hosting. And, for good reason; it's cost-efficient and easy to manage, making it ideal for most small and medium-sized businesses.
The good news is that most web hosts recognize that shared hosting is often an initial web hosting solution but not necessarily the end game. As a result, scaling up to other hosting plans is usually available at the click of a button.
Because it's easy to upgrade or change hosting providers, shared hosting is a great place to start as you begin to understand your website needs. Although shared hosting is an entry-level option for launching a website, you should still aim to be thorough when evaluating potential providers.
Some of the best shared website hosting providers include:
To understand whether shared hosting is right for your needs, you should consider the following questions:
- How large (in terms of file size) is your website and what functions does it require to operate?
- How much are you willing/able to spend on website hosting?
- How comfortable are you spending time on the technical details of your hosting environment?
- What isn't included with shared hosting that you can do without?
Then, consider these notable advantages and disadvantages of shared hosting.
Advantages of Shared Hosting
Thinking about going with shared hosting? Here are some reasons why that may be a good idea.
One of the most important reasons to consider shared hosting is its affordability. Since resources are shared among many websites, everyone's costs are lower. If you have a limited budget for launching your website, this may be your best option — at least when you first start developing.
Although you won't be able to upload unlimited photos and videos, you'll still get a sufficient amount of storage for your site. Additionally, the low cost can expand your budget for complementary needs, like a website builder, domain name, and marketing tools.
As a marketer, you may prefer to work with digital tools that don't require you to know lots of technical details. If you get anxious at the idea of learning new technology that you'll use only a few times a year, shared hosting probably is for you.
Regardless of your skill level, you can create a professional website through most shared hosting providers thanks to built-in website building features. An easy to use control panel also allows you to manage details surrounding your hosting environment.
3. Support and Maintenance
With shared hosting, you don't have to worry about maintenance because the provider's support professionals constantly monitor the network for any system failures. These employees ensure that the server, hardware, and other related components are well handled and work properly.
Web hosts understand that a single technological issue at any point could affect the whole network of clients. This fact pushes them to be proactive in dealing with any problems that may arise. What this means to you as a marketer is that you can concentrate on doing what you do best without worrying about server maintenance.
4. Easy to Upgrade
One day, when your website's online presence demands more hosting resources, you'll be able to easily upgrade to another plan because most shared hosting providers anticipate this need. This hassle-free transfer to higher hosting tiers allows your business to efficiently transition through various levels of growth.
Now that we've covered some of the benefits of shared hosting, let's look at its disadvantages as well.
Disadvantages of Shared Hosting
For all the great things about it, shared hosting also has some disadvantages that you need to consider. Below are the most important worth mentioning.
1. Website Security Concerns
Security is a major point of concern because shared servers are highly exposed to hackers. The interconnectivity of client websites makes the network more vulnerable than private hosting options. With a shared host, a single malicious activity can affect the whole network.
If you're concerned about security, make sure that you're dealing with a hosting provider that secures its network. Additionally, you should implement your own security best practices as another backup plan.
2. Limited Resources and Poor Performance
Since shared hosting involves websites that are running on the same server, the server itself is prone to congestion and poor performance due to high traffic.
Website speed is an important search ranking factor, so upgrading your shared hosting server should be high on your list of priorities — especially if search traffic is vital to your site.
3. Less Dedicated Customer Support
Because of the large client-base, customer support on shared hosting platforms takes a hit. Most rely on automated tools and generic answers to serve their customers.
This may not be very helpful if you have a specific question. You may create a support ticket, but the answer could take longer than you might appreciate — particularly for timely manners in need of resolution.
Web Hosting Tools
If you're in the process of building your first website, you probably don't want to deal with a different provider for every service that you need. Luckily, most web hosting companies have started incorporating complementary services into their packages.
But, a content management system (CMS) doesn't operate like most web hosting companies. You can build, optimize, monitor, control, and manage your website inside a single tool and a single dashboard.
Platforms like HubSpot CMS are built specifically for the professional marketer. It empowers you to provide personalized user experiences on your new website, increasing your chances of converting leads into prospects.