Having quality website hosting is extremely important. Your website needs to be continuously available to your customers 24 hours a day. That’s 1440 minutes every single day! Unfortunately, it only takes a few minutes for a bad hosting provider to wreak havoc on your business.
In this article, I’ll cover Shared Website Hosting, which is a common, entry-level hosting solution. You may find some interesting facts and tips that can help you when choosing the best website hosting.
What is Shared Hosting?
Every website is different and therefore, the resources that it needs to run will be different. This can make it difficult when choosing the best website hosting for your website. It’s best to have your website designer help you choose website hosting. Generally, most small to medium sized websites will run fine on a standard “shared” server. Shared hosting is the least expensive hosting solution and it’s easy to use, so it’s ideal for beginners.
Running your website on a shared server simply means that you’re sharing a server and the resources it has with other websites. The number of websites that you’re sharing a server with can vary from less than a hundred all the way up to thousands, depending on the server capacity and the hosting provider you choose.
Common Problems With Shared Hosting
There’s a few different problems with shared website hosting. One of the biggest problems with shared hosting is the other people/websites that you’re sharing it with.
Some larger hosts like BlueHost, iPage, HostGator, Arvixe and 1&1 will often times overcrowd their shared servers with thousands of websites to help save money. The more websites that are hosted on a shared server, the more likely you’ll experience problems. If one or more websites suddenly have a spike in traffic, the rest of the websites will struggle as the server tries to keep up with demand.
Beyond traffic spikes, a fair percentage of those websites are probably not built properly. It is an entry-level solutions after all. A website that is not built properly can cause excessive resource usage of the server. If this happens, ALL websites on the server are affected. You may experience slow load times, partial page loads, or even full blown timeouts where pages don’t load at all. Most hosting providers have some sort of restrictions built in to prevent excessive resource usage, but it usually doesn’t help until your site has already been affected.
Shared website hosting is also less secure than alternatives.
You don’t know who your neighbors are on a shared server. Anyone with malicious intentions can sign up and get an account almost instantly. This is especially true with larger hosting providers that give accounts out to anyone without being vetted or deemed trustworthy. If you share a server with someone that has malicious intentions, they could potentially take control of the entire server, including your website. This is generally done through website or server vulnerabilities.
WordPress is a very popular content management system, so there’s a good chance more than half of the accounts on any shared server are using it. It’s generally the website owner’s responsibility to keep WordPress, the theme, and plugins updated. Often times, website owner’s fail to perform these updates, leading to vulnerabilities. It’s these vulnerabilities that can cause an entire shared server to become hacked.
Email spam is also a big problem. Spammers can sign up for a hosting account at any large provider with the intention of sending mass spam emails to the world. Eventually, the IP address for the server will be blacklisted because of the spammer. Since your website is on that server, you share that same IP address, therefore your website IP address is also blacklisted. This can prevent you from sending and receiving email or even showing up in certain search results.
How To Limits Your Risks With Shared Hosting & Choosing The Best Website Hosting Service
Shared website hosting is ideal, simply because it’s the cheapest. There’s some good aspects to shared hosting, but there are also some bad. No matter what, your website will always be more vulnerable on a shared server. Keep these important tips in mind to reduce your risks and for helping you choosing the best website hosting for you.
Avoid large companies that offer massive discounts off their regular pricing. This is where everyone else will go, so it’s the first place you’ll run into all these issues. Some of these companies purposely promote massive discounts simply to gain thousands of new customers very quickly. I’ve personally witnessed HostGator remove their support phone number from the top of their website because they over-extended their staff with the onslaught of new customers from huge discount promotions. If you’re lucky enough to avoid issues, your price will eventually go up anyway.
Work directly with your website designer or developer to choose the best website hosting. Web designers and developers have usually worked with many providers and can tell you which one is the best for your needs.
Don’t rely on website hosting reviews or comparisons websites. These websites often provide biased opinions since they make money for every sale they send.
Hiring Me To Build Your Website?
I offer my clients the best website hosting available at an affordable price. Check out my website hosting page for more information.