Best Shared Hosting Services

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Every website needs a hosting provider, but which one you choose and what type of hosting plan you pick is up to you. For many businesses, a shared hosting plan will work well. There are numerous shared hosting providers out there, so to help you narrow your options, we put together a list of the 15 best shared hosting services of 2020.

A shared hosting plan means that your website is not hosted by its own dedicated server. Instead, multiple websites share the resources of a single server. This makes shared web hosting one of the more economical hosting options for smaller- to medium-sized businesses whose sites are not yet bringing in a ton of traffic. For a more in-depth explanation of shared hosting, visit the "What Is Shared Hosting" section at the end of this article.

The 15 Best Shared Hosting Services

Best Shared Hosting Services 2020 Badge

How We Chose the Best Shared Hosting Services

Because there are so many shared hosting services out there, we dedicated most of our research to going over the most important features business owners and managers should be focusing on when searching for shared web hosting — multiple server types, uptime and load speed, and customer service.

Multiple Server Types

If your business is small or your website is new, shared hosting will likely work well for you. But as your business grows and the traffic to your website increases, you may need to scale up your hosting plan. In addition to having solid shared hosting services, we picked hosting providers that have a variety of robust server types just in case the day ever comes where you need to switch hosting plans.

Uptime and Load Speed

One of the most important metrics you should be looking at when shopping for shared web hosting is the provider's average uptime and load speeds. Uptime refers to how often the provider's web servers are online, while load speeds refer to how long it takes for web pages to load on average. In order to provide a good user experience, it's important for your hosting provider to load your web pages quickly.

We used a third-party service to get the most accurate numbers since shared hosting providers tend to claim an uptime of 99.9% to 100% in their own marketing materials.

Customer Service

A shared web hosting provider's customer service department handles a variety of tasks from helping troubleshoot downed websites to resolving billing issues. Finding a provider with great customer service is essential especially if you are new to building and managing websites.

A2 Hosting

A2-Hosting

Founded in 2001, A2 Hosting is one of the most established shared hosting providers. The company is known for its turbo servers that have an HRANK Speed of 949 and their easy-to-use control panel. All shared hosting packages provided by A2 Hosting come with unlimited data storage and transfers, solid-state drives (SSD), and free website migration. Other types of web hosting services provided by A2 Hosting include WordPress hosting, reseller servers, and dedicated servers.

With starting prices as low as $2.99 per month, users also get access to features like:

  • A free domain name
  • A website builder
  • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates
  • An integrated data backup system

A2 Hosting provides a wide variety of hosting packages to suit the needs of their customers, from simple plans for business owners creating a web presence for the first time to packages for large businesses running multiple dedicated servers. The myriad of services provided by A2 Hosting makes it easy for clients to scale as their website's needs increase.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

$2.99 to $5 per month

Anytime

>Unlimited data storage and bandwidth
>Free domain registration for one website
>Easy-to-use website builder
>More features at A2 Hosting

Pros and Cons of A2 Hosting Shared Hosting Service

A2 has many happy customers which is not a surprise given how affordable their plans are and the free features that are included like site migrations, free domain names, and unlimited data storage. A2 provides all these features without compromising uptime and loading speeds.

Pros

Cons

>Provides free website migration
>Plans are affordably priced
>Decent loading speeds and uptimes

>Load speeds aren't as fast as others on this list

What Customers are Saying

Most customers seem to be happy with A2's customer service team. "Awesome hosting provider. Extremely supportive A2 guru team. I recommend their service to all," one happy customer states. "They resolved my last issue in under 5 minutes. Service continues to be first-rate," another customer adds.

AccuWeb Hosting

AccuWeb-Hosting

AccuWeb Hosting provides an impressive array of shared web hosting plans for individuals and businesses.

AccuWeb provides both Windows and Linux-based web hosting plans. Prices for the lower-end start at $3.09 per month and come with features like free domains, integrated back-up systems, and a website builder.

The different types of shared hosting plans provided by AccuWeb Hosting include application hosting, WordPress hosting, cloud hosting, and reseller plans. The company also provides its customers with many of the services that are integral to running a business like domain registration, SSL certificates, back-up systems, and load balancers. AccuWeb also provides Windows-based hosting solutions for a little bit extra.

AccuWeb has a large network of server locations around the world, so customers can select the most appropriate location to store their website. AccuWeb currently has servers in countries like Australia, India, South Africa, Singapore, Europe, and the U.S.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

$3.09 to $9.99 per month

7 days

>Free domain registration provided
>Comes with a built-in backup scheme
>Provides Linux and Windows-based web hosting
>More features at AccuWeb Hosting

Pros and Cons of AccuWeb Hosting Shared Hosting Services

AccuWeb Hosting provides affordable shared hosting at competitive prices. They offer both Linux and Windows-based solutions, and a wide range of servers making it easy to scale as your website grows.

Pros

Cons

>Competitive prices
>Offers different types of servers

>Uptimes could be improved at 97%

What Customers are Saying

AccuWeb Hosting has many positive reviews from current and past customers. "Purchased the basic web hosting plan. I was surprised how fast they had my account set up and running," one customer explains. "Was within an hour and the DNS servers propagation time was very reasonable within 24 hours," says another.

Bluehost

Bluehost-Logo

Founded in 2003, Bluehost has developed a reputation for its affordable shared hosting services and reliable servers that boast an HRANK uptime of 99.96%. The company provides individuals and businesses with the services they need to build their presence online like WordPress Hosting, domain name registration, a website builder, a free content delivery network (CDN), SSL certificates, and unmetered bandwidth. Their platform comes with integrated backup systems that make it easy to restore previous versions of your website when problems develop.

Bluehost offers other services besides their shared web hosting like dedicated servers, making it easier to upgrade hosting services as your website's traffic grows.

Other noteworthy features that are included as part of Bluehost's shared hosting plans include:

  • Customers get one free domain name
  • VPS solutions
  • Great security options

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

$3.95 to $5.95 per month

60 days

>Shared, dedicated, VPS, WordPress, and reseller servers available
>Customers get unmetered bandwidth
>Plans comes with a free website builder and domain name
>More features at Bluehost

Pros and Cons of Bluehost Shared Hosting Services

Bluehost is an established shared hosting provider. They offer a variety of server types like dedicated and reseller plans. Their systems and website builder are easy to use, and plans come with a free SSL certificate. Loading speeds are not anything special at 1176ms (HRANK speed), but uptimes are excellent at 99.96%.

Pros

Cons

>Easy to set up and use
>Plans come with a free SSL certificate
>Great uptimes at 99.96%

>No monthly plans available
>Slow load speeds

What Customers are Saying

Bluehost has expanded its services over the years and many clients are happy with the value they get when they sign up for shared web hosting. "I use Bluehost, currently, for all of my own personal projects as well as hosting for other people."

Dreamhost

DreamHost Logo

Dreamhost provides personal and business-geared shared web hosting solutions. The server types offered by this provider include cloud, VPS, WordPress, and dedicated hosting plans. All plans come with a free web builder that simplifies the process of creating a website.

Dreamhost has established a reputation as one of the best hosting providers available, with their lower-end plans starting as low as $2.59 per month. Their high-end shared web hosting plan goes for $3.95 per month and gives customers access to unlimited web hosting.

Other noteworthy features that come with Dreamhost's shared plans include:

  • A free domain name
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Integrated backup systems

We should also note that Dreamhost had one of the most impressive page loading speeds out of all of the other options we researched at 396ms.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

$2.59 to $3.95 per month

97 days

>Unmetered bandwidth
>Free domain name
>Free SSL certificate
>More features at DreamHost

Pros and Cons of Dreamhost Shared Hosting Services

Dreamhost's page loading speeds are above average. They also provide servers that are optimized for hosting WordPress sites.

Pros

Cons

>Great page loading speeds
>Great WordPress hosting

>Email costs extra

What Customers are Saying

Dreamhost has many happy customers who are pleased with the affordability of their plans and the performance of their websites. "Dreamhost is our main hosting solution, since 2006, and we're offering their services to our clients as well. We have dozens of websites and it works really well for us," a user states.

FastComet

FastComet

FastComet offers reliable web hosting with an amazing uptime of 99.99%. With servers located near major cities around the world like Tokyo, Singapore, London, Chicago, Mumbai, and Amsterdam, FastComet makes it easy to choose a server near you.

FastComet's shared hosting plans come with a 45-day money-back guarantee that allows you to try out their plans with no financial risk. Their plans also come with free daily backups that will come in handy when a problem threatens to compromise all the hard work you have done building a website.

Other noteworthy features that come with FastComet's web hosting include:

  • Free content delivery network
  • Free website migration service
  • A free domain name you get to keep for life
  • Unlimited disk storage and bandwidth
  • Shared, cloud, WordPress, and dedicated servers available
  • Free integrated backups
  • A website builder

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

$2.95 to $5.95 per month

45 days

>Unlimited storage and bandwidth
>Plans come with a free domain name for life
>All plans come with a free content delivery network
>More features at FastComet

Pros and Cons of FastComet Shared Hosting Services

FastComet is carving its space in the shared hosting industry and the company is off to a good start. Their servers offer great uptimes, lots of useful free features like a content delivery network, and unlimited bandwidth and disc space.

Pros

Cons

>Great uptimes
>Only shared web host that provides free domains for life
>Plans come with unlimited disc storage and bandwidth

>Page loading speeds could be improved
>Starter plans are rather limited

What Customers are Saying

FastComet has already built a loyal customer base with many happy customers. "Excellent sales support and after-sales support," one user writes. "They also go the extra mile and solve issues you have raised, not just point you to the guide as some other firms do," says another.

FatCow Web Hosting

Fatcow

You might not expect much from a company named FatCow, but their shared web hosting services perform very well compared to many other top providers. Plus, FatCow's data centers are fully powered by wind energy, which means they leave no carbon footprint.

FatCow's pricing system is straightforward and affordable with no hidden fees. Plans start at $4.08 and that includes unlimited disk storage and bandwidth. New plans also come with free domain names and website migrations. Other noteworthy features that come with FatCow's shared web hosting include:

  • Free website building tool and SSL certificates
  • Integrated back-up solutions
  • Other VPS and dedicated servers available to meet your business' needs as it grows

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Starting at $4.08 per month

30 days

>Free website building tools
>Integrated backups
>24/7 support available
>More features at FatCow

Pros and Cons of FatCow Shared Web Hosting Services

FatCow has one of the most straightforward billing systems in the industry with no hidden fees or surprise charges. Their client interface allows users to install apps like WordPress with a single click. It is a great platform for users who are still new to website development while still giving them the option to scale as needed.

Pros

Cons

>Straightforward pricing system
>Easily installs applications like Joomla, WordPress, and Zencart

>The user interface can be confusing

What Customers are Saying

Customers praise FatCow for their great customer service and hosting options. "I use FatCow to host my portfolio website and domain names," a graphic designer explains. "It addressed the problem of finding a good web hosting service that fits my needs. I wanted to use a service that cares about the customer and has a lot of options."

GreenGeeks

Founded in 2008, GreenGeeks has servers in the Netherlands, U.S., and Canada, and currently hosts over 300,000 websites.

GreenGeeks prides itself on providing excellent customer service. Their response times are generally under a minute and their reps are very knowledgeable about their systems. Customer service teams are available 24/7.

Uptimes are great with GreenGeeks, averaging around 99.97%. Page loading times are a little below average at 866ms. That's slower than the industry standard, but it may be worth overlooking given how affordable their hosting plans are, which start at $2.95. Plus, shared hosting plans come with unlimited bandwidth and disk storage. Other features included in GreenGeeks web hosting plans include:

  • Free domain name registration
  • Free website migration
  • Website builder
  • Dedicated, VPS, and reseller servers are also available
  • Eco-friendly data centers

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

$2.95 to $5.95 per month

30 days

>Unlimited bandwidth and disk space
>Shared hosting plans come with a free domain name
>SSL certificate provided
>More features at GreenGeeks

Pros and Cons of GreenGeeks Shared Hosting Services

GreenGeeks is an adequate shared hosting service that provides lots of value at low prices. Users get everything they need to get their website going like a free domain name, email accounts, a website builder, a free SSL certificate, and free access to a content delivery network.

Pros

Cons

>Unlimited backups
>Free content delivery network
>Unlimited email accounts

>Below average page loading speeds

What Customers are Saying

Many business owners and managers are happy with the services provided by GreenGeeks. "I'm part of that population that just needs a hosting plan that works," one user explains. "And they deliver such! A free domain was given on set-up. My purchase was pretty smooth and I am one happy customer."

HostGator

HostGator logo

HostGator provides feature-rich shared hosting plans that make it easy to set up your company's web presence. A variety of server types are provided by HostGator like cloud servers, VPS, reseller accounts, and dedicated web servers.

HostGator is most known for its shared hosting packages, which have been their specialty ever since the company was founded. They provide users with month-to-month plans and offer discounts to those who sign on for longer contracts.

HostGator provides both Windows and Linux-based hosting packages that offer unlimited storage space, email addresses, and databases. Plans start at $2.95 per month and that provides a free domain name, a website builder, data backups, and an SSL certificate. HostGator may not be the best choice if speed is your main priority. Page loading speeds are below average at 1,158ms.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

$2.75 to $2.95 per month

45 days

>Plans provide unmetered storage and bandwidth
>Plans come with a free website builder
>Plans come with a free domain name
>More features at HostGator

Pros and Cons of HostGator Shared Hosting Services

HostGator is one of the most established shared hosting providers and they continue to provide plans that come with lots of free features like domain names and email accounts at low prices. The user interface is simple and easy to navigate, but page loading speeds are below average.

Pros

Cons

>Easy-to-use user interface
>Plans come with free email accounts

>Poor page loading times

What Customers are Saying

Many of HostGator's customers praise their shared hosting plans, saying they give you the "power to do what you need to yourself with a nominal fee," one customer writes.

Hostinger

Hostinger

Hostinger provides shared hosting plans for individuals and businesses starting at $7.99 per month. They offer a variety of server types like WordPress, cloud hosting, VPS, and dedicated servers. Plans come with unlimited bandwidth and storage space, a free domain name, integrated backup systems, and a website builder.

Other noteworthy features that come with Hostinger's higher-tier shared hosting packages include:

  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Daily backups
  • Email hosting
  • Beginner-friendly user interface

Hostinger's web servers perform better than most of their competitors with a page loading speed of 459ms. That being said, their uptime is below the industry standard coming in at 98.79%.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

$7.99 to $15.95 per month

30 days

>Plans come with unlimited storage and bandwidth
>Excellent page loading speeds
>Plans come with a free domain name
>More features at Hostinger

Pros and Cons of Hostinger Shared Hosting Services

Hostinger provides high-performing servers that allow individuals and businesses to build fast-loading websites. Their customer service team is great despite not having the option to call in.

Pros

Cons

>Unlimited storage and bandwidth
>Comes with a free website builder
>Fast load speeds

>One of the more expensive options
>No phone support
>Uptime doesn't meet industry standards

What Customers are Saying

With average page load speeds of 459ms, it is not much of a surprise many of their customers are happy with their hosting services. "My site has been up ever since. Haven't seen any downtime. Would highly recommend this web host to all beginners and novices just starting out," says one customer.

HostPapa

HostPapa Logo

HostPapa is a Canadian-based shared hosting service that provides great value to small and medium-sized businesses looking to grow their online presence and build their brand. HostPapa's services come with a variety of features like CRM tools, integrated backups, unmetered storage and bandwidth, database backups, and two free domain names.

Every HostPapa customer gets a dedicated account manager and one bill each month regardless of the number of plans and services they sign up for.

HostPapa has data centers all over the world and provides customer service in English, Spanish, German, and French. Their customer service teams are available 24/7. HostPapa shared hosting plans start at $3.95 per month.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

$3.95 per month

30 days

>Plans come with two free domain names
>Unmetered bandwidth and storage
>CRM tools provided
>More features at HostPapa

Pros and Cons of HostPapa Shared Hosting Services

HostPapa provides businesses and individuals with all the tools they need to build and maintain their web presence. You get a great mix of affordability and free bonuses like two domain names. Their customer service team is available 24/7.

Pros

Cons

>Users get two free domain names
>Customer service available in English, Spanish, German, and French

>Page loading speeds are average at 954ms

What Customers are Saying

HostPapa's customers are happy with the features they get and the reliability of their servers. "HostPapa has hosted my blog for years. The uptime is great," one user explains.

Hostwinds

Hostwinds

Hostwinds provides affordable shared web hosting and their servers perform better than most of their competition. Individuals and businesses get to choose between Linux and Windows-based hosting for their websites.

Hostwinds provides various types of servers including shared, dedicated, cloud, and VPS web hosting. With plans starting at $3.29 per month, customers get to enjoy some of the best performing servers around with an average load speed of 547ms. Reliability is rarely ever an issue with Hostwinds, averaging an uptime of 99.72%.

Other noteworthy features that come with Hostwinds' shared hosting plans include:

  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth
  • One free domain name
  • SSL certificates

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

$3.29 to $5.17 per month

60 days

>Plans come with a free domain name
>Website building tool included
>More features at Hostwinds

Pros and Cons of Hostwinds Shared Hosting Service

Hostwinds provides some of the best-performing shared hosting servers with an average page loading speed of 547ms. That coupled with a 99.7% uptime makes Hostwinds web hosting one of the best deals available. Many of their customers are happy with the responsive customer service team.

Pros

Cons

>Impressive page loading speeds
>Plans provide a lot of value
>Great customer support

>Nightly backups cost an additional fee

What Customers are Saying

Many of Hostwinds' customers are happy with all the features they get at low prices and the competent customer service team. "I love how available Hostwinds' front line tech support people are for quick questions," a user explains. "A lot of questions have to be escalated, but it feels nice that they are just there all the time if I need them."

InMotion Hosting

inmotion-hosting

With plans starting at $6.39 per month, InMotion is one of the pricier companies that made our best shared hosting services list. But that might be worth it thanks to their solid performance. Their shared servers are known for their reliability with an average uptime of 99.84%. Page loading speeds are a little below average at 1,168ms.

InMotion Hosting's platform is integrated with many of the popular content management systems like Drupal and WordPress. It is currently integrated with over 310 applications, including eCommerce solutions like Magento and Prestashop. Other useful features users get with their shared hosting plans include:

  • Free site migrations
  • Two free domain names
  • Unlimited storage space and bandwidth
  • Data backups
  • A website builder

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

$6.39 to $8.49 per month

90 days

>Plans come with two free domain names
>Shared, VPS, WordPress, and Dedicated servers available
>Integrated with over 310 applications
>More features at InMotion Hosting

Pros and Cons of InMotion Hosting Shared Hosting Services

InMotion remains one of the top shared hosting providers thanks to the many free features they provide for a low price like an SSL certificate, two domain names, and unlimited bandwidth. Their load speeds could use some improvement, however.

Pros

Cons

>Reliable servers
>Free SSL certificate
>Fast Support

>Below average page loading speeds

What Customers are Saying

Many of InMotion Hosting's customers are happy with their shared hosting plans. "InMotion cannot be beaten when it comes to the value of the services and support provided," one user explains.

SiteGround

SiteGround

Founded in 2004, SiteGround is known for their high-performing servers and great customer service team. With an average site loading speed of 532ms, their servers are some of the best shared hosting servers available.

The company provides different types of hosting like shared, cloud, WooCommerce, WordPress, and dedicated servers, making it easy to scale up as your website's traffic grows.

SiteGround's servers are dependable with an average uptime of 99.98%. Other important features that come with their shared hosting plans include:

  • Integrated with popular apps like Magneto, phpBB3, Joomla, and WordPress
  • Unmetered bandwidth and disk storage
  • A free domain name
  • Website builder, database backups, and an SSL certificate included
  • Free CDN

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

$0.33 to $5.95 per month

30 days

>Free domain name included
>Unmetered disk storage and bandwidth
>More features at SiteGround

Pros and Cons of SiteGround Shared Hosting Services

SiteGround is one of the most established shared hosting providers around and they give their customers great value with their fast-loading and reliable servers. Their plans also come with freebies needed to build a website like a free domain name and SSL certificate.

Pros

Cons

>Comes with a free SSL certificate
>High-performing, reliable servers

>Pricing structure could be clearer
>High renewal rateslist

What Customers are Saying

Many of SiteGround's customers are happy with the performance of their hosting plans and the prices they pay monthly. "High performing servers at a price point usually reserved for subpar service," one user explains. "Their interface for their server and account management is very easy to use and can be taught to clients," another user adds.

Web Hosting Hub

Web-Hosting-Hub

Web Hosting Hub was founded in 2010 and currently provides web hosting services to over 40,000 customers. The company operates two datacenters in the U.S., one on each coast.

With plans starting at $5.99 per month, Web Hosting gives you good performance at affordable prices. Their average page loading speed of 878ms and an uptime of 99.94% mean their services are fast and reliable.

Web Hosting Hub only provides shared hosting solutions so scaling up with their services is not an option. You would have to move your website to a different host if your traffic demands exceed what shared hosting can provide.

Important features that come with Web Hosting Hub's hosting packages include:

  • Free domain name registration
  • Unlimited SSD storage and bandwidth
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • A free SSL certificate
  • Database backups
  • A website builder
  • A user-friendly cPanel
  • One-click script installations for apps like Joomla, WordPress, and Drupal

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Starting at $5.99 per month

90 days

>Unlimited SSD storage
>Free domain name
>One-click script installation
>More features at Web Hosting Hub

Pros and Cons of Web Hosting Hub Shared Hosting Services

Web Hosting Hub provides what small businesses and startups need when it comes to building a presence online. Their user-interface is easy to use with one-click installation of scripts and a free domain name. A free SSL certificate is provided when you sign up for a hosting plan.

Pros

Cons

>Easy-to-use interface
>Free domain registration and SSL

>Only offers shared hosting plans

What Customers are Saying

Customers are generally happy with Web Hosting Hub's services. "Easy setup — I can easily add domains, sub-domains, add-ons, as well as set up a WordPress installation in a matter of minutes," a user explains.

Web Hosting Pad

Web-Hosting-Pad

Web Hosting Pad was founded in 2005 and the company continues to provide high-performing shared hosting services to individuals and businesses worldwide.

Server types provided by Web Hosting Pad include shared, WordPress, cloud, and VPS. Prices start at $4.49 and that includes several features like:

  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth
  • Free domain name registration
  • An SSL certificate
  • Database backups
  • Free Malware Quarantine and an Automated Malware Scanner for WordPress plans
  • Free website transfer
  • A free website builder
  • An easy-to-use interface

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

$4.46 to $7.99 per month

30 days

>606ms load speed and 99.58% uptime
>Free domain names and SSL certificates
>Hosting plans come with a free Automated Malware Scanner for improved security
>More features at Web Hosting Pad

Pros and Cons of Web Hosting Pad Shared Hosting Services

Web Hosting Pad provides small businesses and individuals with exactly what they need to start an online presence. Their plans come with a free website builder, domain name, an SSL certificate. Their servers are faster than you would expect given how affordable their plans are.

Pros

Cons

>High performing web servers
>Great customer service and technical support
>Competitive prices

>Lacks SFTP connectivity

What Customers are Saying

Many of Web Hosting Pad's customers are happy with the value they receive. "Don't let the cheap price fool you," one user states. "I have been with Web Hosting Pad for almost 10 years now and I recently renewed my services with them for another 5 years."

What Is Shared Web Hosting?

Of the many different types of web hosting, shared hosting is the most basic, entry-level form of web hosting.

As the name implies, websites hosted on a shared platform share resources with other websites. These resources include server space and bandwidth. You can think of a shared server in terms of physical space — imagine the server as a building, with its space divided into separate apartments. If you are using shared hosting, you are renting one of the apartments within the larger building, and your website will have other websites as its "neighbors."

Because web hosting companies that offer shared hosting can divvy up server space among multiple users, they can offer this type of hosting to customers at a lower price point than other types of hosting. It also means that users must be careful not to use an excessive amount of resources, as this can affect the other websites on the server.

Shared hosting is ideal for small, simple websites that don't require a lot of resources or have a ton of traffic.

Pros and Cons of Shared Web Hosting

There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to consider when choosing shared hosting.

Pros

Shared hosting is the ideal entry-level form of hosting for new websites.

  • It is the most affordable form of hosting.
  • The hosting company will maintain all of the server's hardware and software.
  • Setup is usually fast and easy, and doesn't require extensive technical knowledge.
  • Customers still have a lot of control over the look and functionality of their website.
  • Most web hosting companies allow customers to upgrade to more robust types of hosting as their website grows.

Cons

However, there are a few key drawbacks to shared hosting to keep in mind.

  • You don't have unlimited resources, even if the hosting company promises "unlimited" bandwidth or disk space. Reading the fine print reveals that there are usually some parameters your site must stay within.
  • Exceeding those parameters can result in extra charges, website crashes, or having your website taken offline completely.
  • Your website can be affected by what the other websites on your server do. For example, if another website is using an excessive amount of bandwidth, it can make your website load slower.

Must-Have Features of Shared Web Hosting

The best shared hosting plan for you depends on some unique factors, but here are key features to look for.

  • Reliable uptime: An uptime of 99.9% is considered the industry standard, although the closer you can get to 100%, the better. We recommend checking a host's advertised uptime against the findings of a third-party auditing service.
  • Bandwidth and disk space: While most hosting companies tout "unlimited" bandwidth and disk space, there are usually some restrictions. Read the fine print to confirm that the shared hosting plan you choose has the resources you need.
  • Security features: Security features protect you, your website, and your visitors. Look for hosts that include features like a SSL certificate, FTP, SFTP or SSH functionality, and a CDN.
  • Customer support: Accessing the help you need when you need it can save you time and frustration. Your shared hosting plan should include some type of 24/7 customer support, whether it's via live chat, email, or phone.
  • Upgrades: By choosing a web host that offers hosting types like VPS and dedicated servers, you can scale up your resources quickly and easily as your website's size and traffic increases.

Cost of Shared Web Hosting

Shared web hosting is the most inexpensive type of hosting available. Plans can start as low as $2.75 per month, and usually top out around $15 per month. Most web hosting companies offer a few different tiers of plans, with additional features for an extra cost.

Prices are usually advertised on a per month basis, although most web hosts will bill annually or quarterly. Web hosting companies will usually offer discounted prices to customers who pay on an annual or quarterly basis, with deeper discounts for longer terms.

It's also a common industry practice for web hosts to offer introductory rates that increase upon renewal. Additionally, many plans include a free domain registration for new customers, with the understanding that customers will start paying this fee after one year. Customers should always read the fine print to make sure there won't be any surprises when it comes time to plan renewals.

However, even if rates and fees do increase, shared web hosting is still typically much more affordable than other types of web hosting.

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