Shared web hosting is a popular form of web hosting that lets many websites access the same physical server. In this form of web hosting, the various websites will share server resources like disk space, CPU, RAM or bandwidth. Shared web hosting is distinct from dedicated web hosting in the sense that it caters to multiple sites whereas in dedicated hosting, a single server is rented for the exclusive use of a single site only. So, shared web hosting is likely to be cheaper than dedicated hosting and hence a preferred solution for most small and medium sized businesses working on a tight budget.

How does shared hosting work?

Shared web hosting is common because it is cost-effective compared to the other types of web hosting like dedicated hosting or VPS hosting. When you sign up for shared hosting plans, you will be allotted a specific amount of disk space. There will be other users on the same server platform and you will have to share the resources of that server with these sites. Co-users in shared hosting will share the storage space, computing power, bandwidth etc; the costs of maintaining the server in this case rests with the hosting service provider. This makes shared web hosting ideally suited for businesses which are just starting out or sites that are not likely to get too much traffic.

What benefits will you enjoy when you choose shared hosting?

Shared web hosting is economical because all the resources belonging to the server are shared among multiple users. This automatically implies that the tasks of maintaining and monitoring the server are borne by the hosting provider. This guarantees high levels of technical support in times of technical glitches, these are typically resolved promptly to ensure that all the sites hosted on that server are able to function optimally. 

Most hosting providers will offer shared hosting plans which offer features like a user-friendly control panel that lets you create, edit or manage the site independently, they will also allow you to create email and FTP accounts and databases. For smaller websites, this web hosting option is very convenient and affordable because the provider takes care of the server completely and handles all server-related issues.

Free shared hosting is not desirable because your site is likely to be bombarded with advertisements, pop-ups and banners which cause viewers to navigate away from the site soon. Moreover, they may cause your website to slow down as well; when web pages take a very long time to load, chances are that viewers will leave the site. Paid shared hosting however is preferable because it offers basic features like multiple email accounts, PHP and MySQL. For businesses which are planning to launch their own sites, shared web hosting is a good choice because it provides the perfect launch pad. When your business gradually expands and the demands for your resources grow, you can switch to VPS hosting or dedicated hosting, depending on your business requirements and budget. Shared hosting plans are also available for attractive prices and discounts; it is recommended that you choose a company which offers a free trial version.