What is Shared Web Hosting?

Submitted By: Eric Fazio | Category: General Information | Total Views: 7414 | Word Count: 441

Published on June 16, 2007, read more web hosting articles here.

For businesses, organizations, or people looking to host a website the most popular and cost effective choice is usually shared web hosting. For many websites shared web hosting is the ideal solution. Shared webhosting has it's advantages and disadvantages, you should be aware of before making your decision to use it.

Hosting companies offer shared hosting to customers with websites that have small or moderate traffic levels. These packages are offered at a very modest and reasonable cost. By allowing different customers to share computer hardware resources, maintenance and operating costs are spread over a larger number of clients which reduce costs. Customers may be on the same physical computer but hard drive space is separated so no one else has access to your files or data.

The most attractive aspect of shared hosting for most people is its low cost. Customers can choose the amount of disk space and bandwidth they need. If you are willing to sign up for a longer term contract (6, 12, or 24 months) the prices will be lower than paying at the end of each month. As shared hosting is managed by hosting company, all security, and software updates and performed by their staff. Shared hosting packages usually come with a simple to use client management interface, that allows them to set up file and FTP access,manage email accounts and other basic functions, giving you control over your website. For customers who want more features such as shopping carts, automated backups, and security certificates shared hosting packages offer them as extras to your account.

While there are many advantages to shared hosting there are some disadvantages as well. Shared hosting often means you are on the same computer as hundreds or thousands of other websites. This sharing of resources means your response time may be less than optimal. For example if you are on the same webserver as several other high volume websites you may notice a performance lag. Hosting companies monitor shared servers for abuse and resource hogging, sometimes malicious scripts or bad code can cause it to stop functioning, shutting down every website on the server. Limitations on disk space and bandwidth is another concern. If you have a busy traffic spike you may exceed your disk space or bandwidth allowance. Which means overage fees or your website gets shut down.

While not the perfect solution for everyone, for many people shared web hosting is an attractive option to consider. It allows them to start small and manage costs, costs time and people resources and have access to the technical expertise of the web hosting company all on a limited budget.

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Eric Fazio runs Webhosting-Advisor.com where he publishes articles about web hosting and reviews web hosting services.

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