There are four main types of web hosting solutions – Shared, VPS, Dedicated and Cloud hosting. Shared hosting is by far the most economical of the four and can be defined as multiple websites, with each their own domain name, sharing one physical server. While this type of hosting might not suit the needs of big businesses, it can definitely be recommended for users with smaller websites that do not carry that much traffic and who do not have significant security concerns. The majority of websites would thus find this form of web hosting sufficient.
Because this system is shared by many users, system administration is included. This will save you a lot of time and effort. Power users might however find this model frustrating, especially if one wishes to do extensive software development that is not supported by the hosting provider.
There are basically two ways to implement shared hosting: IP-based and name-based. IP-based virtual hosting is where the server is one physical interface configured with multiple virtual network interfaces. The IP address the client connects to is used to determine which website to show. Name-based is when, on a single machine with one IP address, multiple hostnames is served by the virtual hosts. This will however not work effectively on old HTTP/1.0 browsers, since their requests do not contain the hostname, which is how the server determines which website should be shown to the user.
One of the biggest disadvantages of shared hosting is the limited amount of resources you have at your disposal. Users share one physical machine, which means that if one user overuses a certain feature, other users will receive limited performance. The hosting provider’s administrators further more maintains the shared server in a way that aims to please the majority of users, which may prohibit you from installing the modules and programs your website requires to operate successfully. The only other true downside is the boastful manner in which hosting providers advertise their products. Access to unlimited disk space, domains and bandwidth? Really? Maybe in the beginning, but as soon as your website truly spreads its wings and start using too much of server resource, the nicer providers will strongly suggest an upgrade, while others might simply suspend your account and only notify you afterwards.
Now let’s get back to the advantages of shared hosting. It truly is significantly cheaper than any alternatives. The popularity of this type of hosting also resulted in such a large number of competitors that the technology has improved a great deal over time. Sharing the costs also enables you to have highly skilled professionals in charge of maintenance. If you are using a well-established hosting provider it is also ordinarily quite easy to upgrade later on so that your website can grow with your business.
Shared hosting is the perfect choice for entry level users. Hosting is made user friendly and set-up is very easy. You don’t need to have advanced tech knowledge to use this type of hosting. Chances are, if you needed to read this article to tell you what shared hosting is, then shared hosting will suit you just fine.