Shared Hosting, a guide for beginners.

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This article is a beginner’s guide to cheap Webhosting, respectively for shared web hosting. Firstly, we are going to explain what shared hosting is and why it is the most popular type of hosting, especially if you are a beginner.

Shared hosting is a hosting arrangement, that most companies provide with their cheapest and basic plan. In this web hosting plan, you share the server and the resources with up to 100 websites, or even more.  Also, we are going to explain in detail what shared hosting offers, as well as recommend some of the best shared hosting companies.

What exactly is shared hosting?

When you are launching your very first website, you might be confused about the right type of hosting for your site. That is why we recommend shared hosting, as it is a good option to start when it comes to small websites that won’t get a lot of traffic.

As we mentioned above, in shared hosting, you share server space and resources such as RAM and CPU, with many other website customers. Since you are using just a part of the server’s storage space, shared web hosting results in reduced hosting charges that are affordable for everyone. The prices start from $0.99/month for new clients, but the average is $3-$6/month. Even though, you should know that your site might be in danger from the viruses that another website can spread, so your website can be injected. 

However, shared hosting is suitable for small websites that don’t have a lot of traffic. If your page starts to grow, your site gets more storage and the resources aren’t shared equally, affecting so other website’s performance. If so, you have to make some changes on your website and contain it according to the limits or upgrade your plan.  A shared web hosting plan is perfect if you have a small blog low in traffic and you are short on budget. 

Some other types of web hosting:

Despite shared hosting, there are some other popular ways to get your website up on the Internet. Take a look at these options as below:

  • Dedicated hosting: This type of hosting allows you to rent the entire server exclusive for your personal use. It is recommended for bigger websites that get a lot more disk space. If your website gets a lot of traffic, dedicated hosting might be the perfect solution for your web. This hosting option provides you full access to configure your server according to the website’s needs and your site is more secured with it. But you have to keep in mind that you are dealing with a very expensive type of hosting and it can cost you up to $300/month.
  • Virtual private server or VPS: Another popular choice for hosting is VPS, which stands between shared and dedicated hosting. In VPS, you have unrestricted permission better than shared web hosting, and worse performance than dedicated hosting. Your website is safer as you don’t have to share your resources with other websites. It is low-priced, so it is affordable for small, medium, and even large websites or businesses. It can cost you about $20/month.
  • Managed hosting: Almost all hosting companies have routine management of operating systems, hardware, etc. They take over software set up, management and maintenance, updating, technical support, configuration, for you to focus only on content. You will even find companies that have a hosting server optimized to run only for a specific type of website. For example, some hosting companies offer specialized WordPress hosting, and the hosting server is optimized to run WordPress websites only. Prices range from as low as $10 per month to over $25k per month for the WordPress VIP service.
  •  Reseller hosting: If you are considering starting your own hosting company, reseller hosting is the best option. This type of hosting provides a separate control panel in order to control each of your websites.
  • Cloud hosting: Cloud hosting is another type of web hosting that indicates a group of servers combining to host many websites together. It is the best option if your website is growing quickly. Cloud hosting also provides you better performance and a strong security policy. It is a combination of VPS power and the simplicity of shared web hosting. You charge based on use. 

What to look for in shared hosting?

After we have gathered more information on what shared hosting is, it is time to know what to look for when picking a good hosting provider. Check out some parameters that you have to consider when you are picking a good hosting company:

· Storage space: It is an area designed to store your databases, files, and media. Some hosting plans offer unlimited storage, but some others have limits, so it depends on the size of your website how much storage does it needs.

· Bandwidth: It is one of the most basic needs, that includes both uploads and downloads. Bandwidth means how much data you can deliver to your website, that is why you should take a look at the data transfer speeds. If you exceed the limit, you are going to pay more than your plan charges you. 

· Uptime: It shows the time your website is available to all your site’s visitors. Most web hosting providers aim to achieve a goal of 99.99% uptime. 

· Customer support: Customer support is an important factor, especially when you are a beginner and don’t possess great technical skills. So, when things go wrong, you are going to ask for help from the technical staff. Most of the hosting companies offer 24/7/365 support, and you can contact them via phone, live chat, email, etc. 

· Security: Even successful hosting companies have had their difficult moments regarding website security, so it is a little bit hard to choose a secure website hosting provider. When doing that, you should look for free services such as SSL certificates, firewalls, DDoS attacks, and malware protection. Your website might be in danger as cybercriminals can take your site down, cause you financial loss, or even damage your ranking in search engines, that’s why you have to ensure maximal protection. 

· Easy to use dashboard: It is convenient if the control panel is beginner-friendly and easy to use. You also have to check out if the dashboard offers eCommerce features and if the pre-installed apps are relevant to your site.

· Database and programming language: The server needs to be compatible with many programming languages (PHP, Ruby, etc.), and needs to support many types of databases (MySQL). In this way, you can upgrade to newer technology or change languages anytime you want.

· Domain name: A domain name, sometimes called URL is an identification string, or in simple terms your website’s address. Some of the hosting companies’ plans provide free domain and this is convenient for you, whereas in some others you get an extra charge for it, so choose carefully. 

Pros & cons of shared hosting.

One thing that clearly differs shared hosting from other types of hosting is that it is low in price and it won’t require you a high budget. You have to pay neither less nor more, but only $3/month. Another advantage of shared hosting is that you have the option to scale up when you need to upgrade your plan. In addition to that, when choosing shared hosting you don’t have to be an expert, because it requires little technical knowledge on the user’s part. 

However, there are some disadvantages that you have to consider if you are thinking on choosing shared hosting to host your website. Your website is not highly secured, because it might be injected by viruses that other websites can spread as you share the same server and resources. Your site’s performance can be slowed down if other sites have spikes in traffic. As it is the cheapest plan, you might have long waits for support (it’s a matter of priorities). 

Best shared hosting companies

You can prevent many disadvantages of shared hosting, just by choosing a good hosting provider company. Listed among the bests that are officially recommended from WordPress.org, we can mention Bluehost, SiteGround, and DreamHost.

Bluehost

bluehost homepage

Bluehost provides a single website hosting that comes for $2.95 per month for the annual payment. The company also offers for free SSL certificate, domain name, and CDN. Bluehost offers you 50GB SSD of website space and access to custom themes. You also have the opportunity in case you want to opt for WordPress-specific hosting too.

SiteGround

SiteGround homepage

 The cheapest plan starts at $6.99 per month when paid annually, and for this price, you get 10GB SSD storage, up to 10,000 visits per month, and unmetered traffic for one website. The company also offers daily backups and free CDN, SSL certificate & email. The higher plans can give you access to on-demand backup, staging, and developer features.

DreamHost

Dreamhost homepage

DreamHost’s basic plan starts at $2.59 per month (annual payment) and you can get unmetered traffic, 50GB SSD storage. This plan also offers a free SSL certificate and free domain name. You will also have access to automated updates, scheduled backups, and domain privacy. As for free email accounts, you have to choose the higher plans.

Final thoughts on shared web hosting.

After having a portrait of what is shared hosting, you might see that it can probably be the best option for new bloggers (for personal sites and startups), but it also works out nice for everyone. The users get a very affordable deal, so you have to pay almost nothing and still have good website hosting. Keep in mind that even the starter plans offer a user-friendly interface and flexible options according to your website’s needs.

 

 

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