While many choose to keep their servers hosted on their own premises, with expensive hardware and maintenance, some are moving towards shared hosting.
Shared hosting is the term given to a service wherein multiple sites owned by different individuals or organizations are hosted on a single service provider's servers. The sites may all be hosted on a single physical server or multiple servers, depending upon the capacities and services rendered by the host.
In a shared hosting service, each website is given its own dedicated storage space, in order to keep it segregated from the other sites on the same server. Localized permissions are set up, so that each customer has access only to his/ her site's configuration options. Generally, an overall user management system is set up, as all the sites are based on the same single operating system that runs the physical server machine.
Benefits of Shared Web Hosting
Shared web hosting has some interesting benefits:
1. Shared Hosting is Economical:
Since the hosting service provider sets up the site alongside several other sites, the overall costs on the customer's end are lesser when compared to dedicated server hosting (where a server is dedicated to managing only one customer's sites). Also, due to the availability of a lot of shared hosting services online, the pricing is quite competitive.
2. Shared Hosting Services are Well-supported:
Since shared hosting service providers are primarily concerned with providing service to multiple customers simultaneously, their general quality of service, technical support and customer relations turn out to be quite good. Site maintenance is often the top priority for such service providers, and this is a good feature to have in a web-based service.
3. Multiple Perks:
Along with the usual services that the customer pays for, most shared hosting service providers also provide other useful services, such as mail servers, PHP hardening and coding support, etc., for minimal charges and sometimes even for free.
4. No Maintenance Issues:
With the server being hosted by the service provider and with no new or expensive hardware requirements whatsoever on your side, you can breathe easy with no worries regarding server maintenance and similar issues.
Demerits of Shared Web Hosting
As with any service, shared hosting can have its pitfalls too:
When multiple sites are being run from a single server, security risks are increased. One server crash can bring down all sites. Moreover, if one of the sites goes down, it can affect the other running sites adversely.
2. Limited Resources:
Since multiple sites are simultaneously being run on the same hardware, the resources are split among the various sites. This results in reduced resources being allocated to each site. The sites run a risk of crashing, if the traffic increases and the site is denied additional resources to handle the increased flow.
3. Reduced Flexibility:
The shared hosting option does not provide for addition of more modules. This is because the modules that are required may cause conflicts with the other sites and their tools, and the admins cannot risk crashing the whole system, just to incorporate more features for one of the sites.
Shared hosting is one of the best ways of reducing the costs and still availing decent services for your website. With excellent pricing and virtually no maintenance issues, shared hosting can be the solution to your web service needs. However, it’s important for you to outline your needs to ensure that the demerits of shared hosting do not outweigh the merits.