The most common type of hosting plan on the Internet is the shared hosting plan. Shared hosting is a type of server setup comparable to living in an apartment building. While everyone has their own area, you are still sharing the building and resources with 30 to 40 other people. Like an apartment building, there are benefits and disadvantages to this kind of web hosting.
The primary benefit of share hosting is price. The cost of running a server (plus the hosting company’s profit) is divided between all the residents on machine. Instead of one person paying $100 per month for the server, there are 25 people paying $4 per month for space. Typically, the reduced cost is mirrored by the reduced space and bandwidth you get. However, this is a great option for price-sensitive web masters, people who are just starting out, or those who only need a little bit of space for a small website.
Another benefit to a shared hosting plan is the amount of technical know-how needed to operate the server is next to none. The web hosting company is responsible for maintaining the server. The only thing the account holders have to worry about is managing their websites. Additionally, most hosting providers offer tech support. If something goes wrong on your site, you can submit a support ticket and a technician will assist you.
There are two major disadvantages to shared hosting. The separation between the accounts is minimal. All the accounts have equal access to the server’s resources. One account that starts using a lot of computer resources can cause the sites on the other accounts to slow down or even fail. Additionally, a security breach on one website leaves the entire server open to hacking and other unwanted intrusions.
It should be noted, though, that reputable hosting companies work hard to minimize these problems. The risk of them occurring, however, is ever present on shared servers. If you are in the market for web hosting, take time to thoroughly contemplate the pros and cons of shared hosting and make a decision that best fits your needs and goals.