Your Complete Guide to Shared Web Hosting
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A Beginner’s Ultimate Guide to Shared Web Hosting


Getting your site hosted for the first time?

You must be confused by all the different hosting plans available in the market.

Also, there’s always the looming risk of failing to choose a good web hosting company and getting ripped off for services that’re not up to the mark.

Understanding the major differences between hosting types and how various hosting plans work can help you choose the right hosting package that’s affordable, fits your needs, and allows your site to be the best version of itself.

What is Shared Web Hosting?

When you’re a new start-up, money can be tight, so you have to ‘go cheap’ for a lot of things, such as purchasing a domain name, getting ecommerce solution services, and most importantly buying a hosting plan for your new business website.

Shared hosting packages are a popular choice among small business owners because of their cost-effectiveness as compared to VPS services, WordPress hosting, dedicated servers, and business hosting plans.

Which means, if you’re facing budget constraints in terms of getting your new site hosted, a shared hosting plan can be your go-to option.

What exactly is shared hosting?

As the name suggests, shared hosting means you’d be sharing a single server with various other users. To better understand this, you first need to know what servers are and how web hosting actually works.

Every single website on the internet is stored on a server from where it’s accessible to users around the world.

When a web address or a site’s URL is entered into a browser, the browser determines the site’s location, requests the server for information about the said website, and after the server provides necessary data, the requested web page then appears in the browser.

After that, the user is free to interact with the site however he likes, by visiting other web pages, filling out forms, clicking on links, etc.

Now, let’s come back to shared hosting.

When you purchase a shared hosting plan, the server on which your site gets hosted would be ‘shared’ with several other website owners. In a sense, a single server would be storing the data files of multiple websites and would be responsible for providing the information about them. That’s what makes shared hosting is inexpensive.

Another great advantage of getting a shared server is that the hosting company would be responsible for maintaining it and you won’t have to deal with the tech-stuff.

However, shared hosting isn’t all sugar and spice and everything nice, it has its own drawbacks, the major one being compromised site security.

Nevertheless, shared hosting plans tend to be the standard choice among beginners. It’s a small investment that can really pay off if you choose the best hosting company in Pakistan, or anywhere else around the globe.

Also, you can always upgrade your plan or shift to a different hosting plan as your site and business grow.

Would Shared Hosting be Right for You?

Now that you know how shared hosting works, it’s time to determine whether you should actually go for it or not.

Here’s a list of factors to consider when purchasing a hosting plan:

1. Your Budget and the Hosting Features Needed

By now, you must be clear about one thing:

Shared hosting plans are the cheapest in the hosting world because you’re sharing the resources with other users.

For example, have a look at these shared hosting plans that we offer at WebSouls:

And here’s the price you’d be paying if you go for business hosting instead:

As compared to the above options, dedicated servers are even more expensive:

Because a dedicated server plan offers more resources, it’s pricier and best-suited for big websites that need an extra boost, more space, and increased control for great performance.

But if your site isn’t very large or doesn’t get much web traffic, a shared hosting plan can work perfectly well for you.

Apart from the price, you should also be considering the features being offered in a hosting plan. For example, all our share hosting plans come with a free domain, unlimited email accounts, and proactive customer support. So, you’d actually be saving some bucks when getting a plan from us.

Additionally, you can view the features such as the storage space and bandwidth to choose a plan that suits your needs.

2. Are You Technically Savvy?

Remember we mentioned that your host would be maintaining the shared server?

This is yet another factor that makes shared hosting perfect for beginners. Because server maintenance won’t most likely be easy for someone who’s getting a site hosted for the first time.

With a shared hosting plan, you won’t be required to have any advanced technical skills and can easily manage your business while your host manages the server.

However, before you purchase a plan, don’t forget to check the control panel of your potential web host. An easy-to-use control panel would make tasks such as managing billing, troubleshooting, upgrading your plan, etc. less complicated. It’s best to go for a hosting company that’s the official partner of cPanel.

Here’re some other hosting features that can make your hosting experience a great one:

  • Swift upgrading
  • A secure FTP access
  • 1-click app installation
  • Easy database management
  • Proactive monitoring
  • Guaranteed 99.9% server uptime
  • High core CPU, RAM, and disk I/O limits

3. The Size of Your Website and the Resources Required

Considering the fact that a shared server hosts two or more websites at the same time, the resources being offered to a single site are sort of limited. This can have a negative impact on your site’s performance if it gets too much web traffic.

What kind of resources are limited?

Well, firstly, the storage space won’t be much. Which means if you have a large website, shared hosting may not be the best choice. Also, if other sites hosted on the same server grow, they can take more space, pushing yours to the fringes.

Similarly, if you start getting a lot of web visitors, the server can get overloaded resulting in decreased site speed. That’s why, business owners with large websites are recommended to go for VPS hosting plans rather than shared.

Finally, the security of your site can also be compromised if the web host you choose doesn’t have secure server configurations. In this case, it’s best to choose shared hosting plans that’re safe so that hackers won’t be able to access your private data.

Also, go for a hosting company that offers proactive monitoring and automatic daily scans so any virus or malware would be immediately detected and taken care of.

4. What are the Limits of Shared Hosting?

In an attempt to avoid sites using extra space that can affect the performance of other websites on the same server, your web host may apply certain limitations to shared hosting plans. For example:

  • Limited memory or storage capacity: Most hosting companies restrict the amount of bandwidth and storage space that a site can use. If your site grows to a certain point where it requires more storage capacity, you’d need to upgrade your hosting plan.
  • File limits: To prevent the spread of malware from a single site to other sites on the same server, a hosting provider may put restrictions on the types of files that could be uploaded by a site owner.
  • Spam and hackers: A good hosting company would continuously monitor its shared servers. In case of spam activity, the host can disable your site either temporarily or permanently.

These limitations and restrictions can affect your ability to perform certain tasks, such as download specific plugins or send emails directly from the server.

However, if you think your site is perfect to be hosted on a shared server, these limitations may not be much of an issue.

Remember, a shared hosting plan is best-suited for:

  • Small business websites
  • Database-driven sites
  • Portfolios
  • Blogs
  • Personal websites

If the site you’re thinking of getting hosted falls in one of the above categories, shared hosting is the perfect and most affordable solution. Also, your site’s performance won’t be significantly affected if you choose a good web host.

Purchasing a Shared Hosting Plan

After you’ve decided to purchase a shared hosting package, there would be different plans that you’d have to choose from.

This part won’t be much complicated since a hosting provider would let you know the specifications of each plan, such as the storage space, bandwidth, customer support, website security, etc. and you can choose whatever suits you best.

Moving on, after having bought a plan, we’d recommend you to get these add-ons:

  • SSL certificate to provide your web visitors with safe online transactions.
  • Dedicated IP so you can be in control of your IP reputation, have an improved email deliverability, and be able to access your site even without a domain.
  • Backup and restore in case of accidental data loss.

Moreover, most experts recommend picking a web host that also provides SEO services in Pakistan, can handle your social media marketing, and even help you out with the content needed for your website and digital marketing efforts.

 

22 Sep 2020