Shared web hosting is very common at the moment; for hosting personal websites and websites for small businesses; however, it is not a very clear concept to the majority of people. Wikipedia defines shared web hosting as "a service where many websites reside on one web server connected to the Internet. Each site "sits" on its own partition, or section/place on the server to keep it separates from other sites. This is generally the most economical option for hosting as many people share the overall cost of server maintenance."
This is a very clear definition of shared hosting; however, it is very hard to find a company that is suitable for you and meets your requirements. In this article, I will identify the right web-hosting company and know what you to look for when shopping for web hosting.
One of the advantages of shared hosting is that you do not have to manage the server that you are using, unlike dedicated servers where you are entirely responsible for the server and ensuring all the services and applications are running on it without a problem. Shared hosting is the starting point of everyone online website and most companies provide unlimited disk usage and unlimited bandwidth with their packages. As I have explained earlier in the article, shared hosting is the best affordable starting point of your website. Once your site is very popular, then you could move on and upgrade into either a virtual private server or a dedicated server.
One of the important aspects of choosing a company is the operating system they run. Most companies run cPanel and cPanel only runs under Linux therefore this makes the large majority run Linux. There are some rare Windows based web-hosting companies, however, the performance of Windows servers is much lower than Linux based servers. Most scripts are also optimized to run under a Linux environment and not a Windows environment, for starters, it is always good to go with Linux based web hosting, unless you are looking to use MSSQL or ASP, in these cases, you would have to go with Windows based hosting as these technologies only offered on the Windows platform.
With shared hosting, the provider is responsible for managing and maintaining the servers and ensuring that the servers are up; installing any needed software and ensuring the servers are always updated with the latest versions of software to be secure. On the other hand, if you rent a dedicated server, you are entirely responsible on everything from making sure all the software applications are configured correctly to monitoring all the services and ensuring there is no problems under your server. This gives the advantage of shared hosting for starters as they do not need any professional knowledge to be able to maintain their website. The control panels offered with companies simplify everything from creating new e-mail accounts, sub-domains to managing your files.
An important aspect when picking a hosting company is their support service. The majority of large, established web hosting companies run a 24/7/365 around the clock full support either through a toll-free phone number, e-mail (support system) or live chat. It is important that you ensure the provider support is very good so you can have peace of mind when your site is down that you are going to speak with someone regarding that issue.
To conclude, shared web hosting is the best solution for anyone that is looking to start their first website or a small business looking to create an online presence.