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Beginner’s Guide to Shared Hosting: Is This Right For You?

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When starting a business, one of the most vital factors is deciding on a web hosting plan.

There are many different types of hosting.

It isn’t an easy decision when looking at the various web hosting options.

In this article, we will discuss shared hosting and whether or not it is the right choice for your website.

We’ll also provide tips on how to find the most effective shared hosting plan for your needs.

What Is Shared Hosting?

Shared hosting is a type of web hosting where your website is on a server with other websites.

So, while your site receives a custom domain name and unique IP address, it pools hosting services.

Solopreneurs and small businesses find shared hosting attractive as it is typically the most cost-effective option.

Shared Hosting Compared To Other Types of Web Hosting

When looking at shared hosting, it is crucial to compare it to the other types of web hosting.

The three most common types of web hosting include shared, VPS, and dedicated.

  • Shared hosting is the most affordable option. However, it also provides the least amount of control.
  • VPS hosting is more expensive but gives you greater control over your website. With VPS hosting, your website is on a unique server but shares resources with other websites.
  • Dedicated hosting is the priciest option and provides a “dedicated” server for your website.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Shared Hosting

Shared hosting comes with several pros and cons to consider.

Let’s review these so you can make an informed decision about their potential role for your business.

Advantages of Shared Hosting

Here are the advantages of using a shared hosting plan.

1. Affordable

The biggest advantage of shared hosting is that it’s affordable.

If you are on a tight budget, shared hosting is ideal as the cost is often less than $10 per month.

As we mentioned earlier, there are many types of web hosting.

If you choose dedicated hosting, for instance, your costs will rise significantly.

If you’re starting a website with little traffic, you’re typically better off using shared hosting at first.

As your traffic grows, it will likely be necessary to upgrade to other types of plans to support your site.

2. Unlimited Bandwidth

Bandwidth is the amount of data that your website can transfer in a given period.

If you have a lot of website traffic, you’ll need more bandwidth.

Most shared hosting providers offer unlimited bandwidth.

It means you don’t have to worry about going over any monthly bandwidth limits.

3. Unlimited Storage

Your website will get a set amount of allocated storage on a shared server.

Some can be very limiting, so be sure you have an idea of your storage needs before signing up for a plan.

4. Some Plans Offer Non-WordPress Builders

If you’re not interested in using WordPress, some shared hosting providers offer other builders.

You can use these simple drag-and-drop website builders without any coding knowledge.

Disadvantages of Shared Hosting

There are disadvantages to shared hosting plans as well.

Make yourself aware of these before you choose a provider.

1. Possible Slowdowns

One of the potential disadvantages of shared hosting is that your website could experience slowdowns.

If another website on your shared server gets a lot of traffic, it can use up bandwidth and CPU resources, leading to reduced performance for others.

2. Customization Limits

Shared hosting plans usually have customization limits.

Often, shared hosting plans don’t allow you to make custom changes to the server side.

The limitations can be compounded by caps on the amount of storage and bandwidth you can use.

3. No 24/7 Support

While shared hosting providers offer customer support, it’s not always available 24/7.

If you have a problem with your account outside of normal business hours, you may have to wait for a response.

4. Clunky Dashboards

The backend control panels shared hosts use can sometimes seem difficult to navigate for beginners.

You may find that it takes some time to get used to, which can impact how smoothly you run your site.

What Are the Best Shared Hosting Plans That You Can Use?

As you start looking for the shared hosting provider that will provide the plan most suited to your needs, you might get confused with all the options.

Here are the best shared hosting providers to look into during your research.

1. A2 Web Hosting

With A2 Web Hosting, you get a shared hosting provider that’s known for its speed.

The company uses SwiftServer architecture to make sure your website loads quickly.

A2 Web Hosting shared plans come with features such as a free CDN and SSDs (solid-state disks), which are faster than the HDDs most shared hosts use.

2. HostGator

HostGator’s shared hosting plans give you access to unmetered storage space and bandwidth.

The company also doesn’t charge you for website transfers if you’re moving your site from another host.

All shared hosting plans come with a free SSL certificate.

If you want to try the service out before committing, HostGator offers a free trial.

3. DreamHost

At DreamHost, you can access shared hosting optimized for WordPress sites.

The company provides you with a free domain name when you sign up for an annual shared hosting plan.

You also get unlimited email accounts.

5. BlueHost

You can choose between Linux and Windows-based servers when selecting BlueHost.

The provider has a wide range of shared hosting plans, so you’re sure to find one that fits your needs.

You can start a plan for as little as $2.95 per month.

A free trial of BlueHost hosting is also available.

5. Hostinger

With Hostinger, the plans rank among the cheapest WordPress hosting options on the market.

The company doesn’t sacrifice quality for the price, though.

Its shared hosting plans come with a free domain name, a free SSL certificate, and unlimited email accounts.

6. SiteGround

SiteGround is one of the few shared hosts that offer monthly shared hosting plans.

The company also doesn’t skimp on features, providing you with access to SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, a free CDN, and more.

7. GoDaddy

With GoDaddy shared hosting, you get a free domain name when you sign up for an annual plan.

The company’s plans are affordable, starting at just $2.49 per month.

What Factors Should You Look for in a Shared Hosting Plan?

As you go about your website hosting decision-making process, here are the main factors to look for in a hosting plan.

1. Storage Space

How much storage space is offered will be one of the most important factors to look for in a shared hosting plan.

If you plan to use data-heavy content, you’ll need more storage space than someone with a site that consists mostly of text.

2. Bandwidth

Bandwidth is another consideration that can make or break a shared hosting plan.

It is the amount of data transfer (uploading and downloading) allowed per month.

If you have a lot of visitors, you’ll want as much bandwidth as possible to avoid any slowdowns that might impact the overall user experience.

3. Security

When you’re looking at shared hosting plans, security should be one of your main concerns.

After all, your site will exist on the same server as other websites, meaning your data could be at risk if one of them suffers a breach.

Look for shared hosting plans that offer features such as malware scanning and removal, firewalls, and DDoS protection.

4. Uptime

Uptime is one of the most critical aspects to consider when choosing shared hosting.

You want to look for a plan with a high uptime percentage.

That way, you can be confident your site stays accessible to your visitors.

5. Customer Service

If you’re new to shared hosting or website ownership in general, you might need to rely on customer service for help with some of the technical aspects of your shared hosting plan.

Look for a shared host that offers 24/7 customer support via phone, email, or live chat.

In addition, one optional benefit to keep an eye out for are tutorials or similar resources.

6. PHP and MySQL Supported

If you plan on using PHP and MySQL, you’ll need to make sure that your shared hosting plan supports these technologies.

Most shared hosts do, but it’s always best to double-check.

Is Shared Hosting Right for You and Your Business?

Now that you know more about shared hosting and what to look for in a shared hosting plan, you might wonder if this type of hosting is right for you.

Shared hosting is an option for smaller businesses and personal websites.

If you have a limited budget, shared hosting is a more affordable option than other types of hosting such as VPS or dedicated hosting.

Using shared hosting also makes sense if you’re new to website ownership and don’t have a lot of technical expertise.

However, cheap hosting isn’t always beneficial.

You can often find better hosting solutions by increasing your budget a little.

As well, there are other faster web hosting options available to you.

Overall, we suggest managed WordPress hosting when you will use a WordPress-based website.

Managed WordPress hosting plans are more expensive than shared hosting but they offer better security, speed, and features for WordPress websites.

Additionally, shared hosting isn’t always the most reliable option.

If you’re looking for a hosting solution with high uptime and fast loading speeds, you might want to look into VPS or dedicated hosting options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s provide you with the answers to two commonly asked questions in case you still have questions about shared hosting.

Is shared hosting good?

Shared hosting offers a quality solution for most businesses.

Most shared hosting plans often include easy-to-use tools that make it simple to build a website.

Who should use shared hosting?

Shared hosting is an option for small businesses and individuals just starting with the website creation process.

If you are on a tight budget, shared hosting may work best for you.

You aren’t locked into using shared hosting.

As your website traffic and budget grow, you can consider upgrading to a managed WordPress or dedicated hosting plan.

Wrapping Up

Shared hosting provides several benefits, such as security, scalability, and reliability.

However, there are also disadvantages to shared hosting.

By considering the pros and cons, you can make an informed decision about whether this type of hosting is right for your company.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use shared hosting comes down to your specific needs and budget.

If you need a more affordable option and don’t mind fewer features, consider starting a shared hosting account.

Do you still have questions?

Ask us in the comments so we can help you more.

If you’re ready to get started with shared hosting, consider one of the companies we gave you above.

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