Monday, October 27, 2008

What is Shared Web Hosting?

What is shared web hosting? A shared web hosting is a service provided by most web hosting providers. In shared web hosting, the resources of a web server are shared among several websites on a web server. A web server usually has massive capacity with hundereds of GigaBytes of storage space and many redundant links to the internet. In most cases, websites dont usually require so much bandwidth and the storage space unless yours is a really popular website and is very graphic intensive or Media intensive( like videos, audios, etc). So, a shared web hosting is a win-win situation for both the web hosting company as well as the customer i.e you.

Let us consider some of the advantages of shared web hosting:

Cheaper: Shared web hosting is a lot cheaper as compared to dedicated web hosting or Virtual private web hosting. It is cheaper because of the fact that all the costs to maintain all the resources and the web server are shared among several websites or customers and hence the cost is less. Shared web hosting can start at as cheap as $10 per month. Hostgator.com currently offers very good shared web hosting plans starting from as low as $4.95.

Managed: In shared web hosting, you dont have to worry about managing the web server, managing about the security of the web server as well as updating the softwares and database packages. This releases a great deal of workload and hence you can concentrate on your website rather than these things.

Ofcourse there are several disadvantages to shared web hosting as well.

Lack of Control: You have less amount of control on the web server. What if you want have a library on which your entire website is based and your hosting provider doesnt have that library installed? Ofcourse you can request your hosting provider to install that library; but your web site hosting provider won’t always accomodate your requests because he has to think about others who are sharing the web server with you.

SSL Implementation: SSL implementation is a problem when it comes to shared hosting. SSL implementation is used for the Secure socket layer and is usually used for payments or transferring sensitive information over the internet. The SSL certificates are installed per server/IP address and hence since there are several domains installed on the web server it can be a problem. Many web hosting companies make you buy a dedicated IP address if you need to install your SSL certificate and a dedicated IP address can cost you anywhere between $10 per year to $35 per year.

Shared hosting is best suited if you want to keep your hosting costs down and dont require any advanced features or extra ordinary storage or bandwidth requirements. It is best suited for most websites that you find on the internet.

Hostgator.com currently offers excellent Shared web hosting starting from $4.95. They provide a lot of additional features and language options both on the Linux platform and the Windows Platform. The most notable feature being the uptime guarantee which is 99.9% and the 45 day money back guarantee. Hence, I recommend HostGator.com if you are planning to buy a shared hosting package.

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