Shared web hosting is very common these days; for hosting personal and small business websites; However, for the majority of people, it is not a very clear concept. Wikipedia defines shared web hosting as “a service where many websites reside on a web server connected to the internet. Each website “sits” on its own partition or section/location on the server to keep it separate from other websites. This is generally the most economical option for hosting since many people share the overall cost of server maintenance.”
This is a very clear definition of shared hosting; However, it is very difficult to find a company that is suitable for you and meets your requirements. In this article I will identify the right web hosting company and what to look for when buying web hosting.
One of the advantages of shared hosting is that you don’t have to manage the server you are using, unlike dedicated servers where you are fully responsible for the server and make sure that all services and applications run smoothly on it. Shared hosting is the starting point of any online website, and most companies offer unlimited disk usage and unlimited bandwidth with their plans. As I explained earlier in this article, shared hosting is the best and most affordable place to start for your website. Once your website is very popular, you can go ahead and upgrade to either a virtual private server or a dedicated server.
One of the most important aspects when choosing a company is the operating system used. Most companies run cPanel and cPanel only runs on Linux, so this results in the vast majority running Linux. There are some rare Windows-based web hosting companies, however, the performance of Windows servers is much lower than that of Linux-based servers. Most of the scripts are also optimized to run in a Linux environment rather than a Windows environment. For starters it is always good to go for Linux based web hosting unless you want to use MSSQL or ASP, in these cases you would have to go for Windows based hosting as these technologies are only available on the Windows platform are offered.
With shared hosting, the provider is responsible for managing and maintaining the servers and making sure the servers are up and running; Installing required software and ensuring servers are always updated with the latest software versions to ensure security. On the other hand, if you rent a dedicated server, you are responsible for everything from making sure all software applications are configured correctly, to monitoring all services, to making sure there are no problems under your server. This offers the benefit of shared hosting for beginners as they don’t need professional skills to maintain their website. The control panels offered by companies simplify everything from creating new email accounts, subdomains to managing your files.
An important aspect when choosing a hosting company is the support service. The majority of the large, well-established web hosting companies offer full support 24/7/365, either through a toll-free number, email (support system), or live chat. It is important that you ensure that the support provided by the provider is very good so that you can have peace of mind knowing that you will speak to someone about this issue when your website is down.
In summary, shared web hosting is the best solution for anyone looking to launch their first website or for a small business looking to create an online presence.