Shared Hosting: Compare Hosting
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What is Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting provides a cost-effective, but still fully-featured, way to create a professional website. By storing the websites and associated content of multiple sites on one physical machine, shared hosting providers can cut costs while still providing quality service to their clients.
Why Choose Shared Hosting?
Choosing a hosting provider that fits your needs and your budget can be challenging if you’re on a budget or just starting out online. Dedicated or Virtual Private Server (VPS) options offer plenty of power and total control over your own (virtual) machine, but these perks come at a premium price. If you’re looking to keep costs down while still building a professional website with the latest Web applications, shared hosting may be the way to go.
Shared hosting takes the powerful resources of a modern Web server and parcels them out among many clients. Imagine an apartment building with ten apartments. Each apartment has electricity, cable, and water services, but all of them are fed these services by tributaries branching off from the main lines that connect to the building itself. You have control over, and pay the bill for, your water, cable, and electricity, but for a big issue like a water main break, you call the super, who’s responsible for maintaining the building and its environs, and making sure the whole works doesn’t come crashing down around the heads of the tenants.
The same principle applies with a shared hosting server: you, and all the other customers who share your server, each receive your own partition, with a specific amount of storage space, processing power and Internet bandwidth dedicated to the health and operation of your website.
And instead of a super, you’ve got a server administrator, who’s responsible for making sure the server’s hardware is in good working order and that its operating system (OS) and related software (including any software offered as part of your hosting package) are up to date.
Shared hosting will probably be the best, most affordable option for you if you don’t plan to do extensive, custom application development or require the resources necessary to support a popular, high-traffic site. Shared hosting is also a great way to “test drive” a particular host without committing to a long-term contract or expensive hardware lease.
One caveat: most hosts (even those with “unlimited” bandwidth and storage space) have specific limits on resources for shared hosting accounts, and have clauses in their service agreements authorizing them to throttle your service or automatically move you to a more powerful (and more costly) plan if you exceed these limits. If you think your site might need a more robust set of hardware and software options, be sure to check with your provider before selecting a plan.