If you’ve ever needed to look for web hosting for your site, you will have noticed that there are usually three or four different types of hosting that every host will offer. No matter whether the web host is a large international company, or a small independent one, the one thing in common that they all have are the types of hosting they have available.
The main difference between larger and small companies will be that most small ones will most likely be renting the servers that they are using for their web hosting solutions, whereas the larger multinational companies will probably own their own, and in some cases, have their own data centers as well.
The main types of hosting
These include shared hosting, VPS (Virtual Private Server), dedicated server, and also dedicated WordPress hosting. Each of these have their own pros and cons, and each will have a particular type of user that they are looking to attract.
At the end of the day, they are all going to host websites. The differences between them will be in terms of their performance, features, privacy and price.
The most popular hosting solution
Without a doubt, the most popular option when it comes to hosting is the shared hosting solution. This is basically where a web host will take a server, and split up the resources into lots of small, individual accounts, each using a specified amount of disc space, data transfer and other resources.
There are two main advantages to shared hosting, and it is these that make it the most popular option. The first is the price. Simply put, shared web hosting is the most affordable type of hosting. Secondly, it does not require any technical experience or knowledge, and it is suitable for all levels of user.
Shared hosting is very popular for web hosts to offer, as it allows them to sell accounts on a single server to hundreds of individual customers. In some cases with more powerful and larger servers, there might be thousands of individual accounts on it.
If you are looking for some shared hosting, pay a quick visit to the Fortune Lords site, where you can read about different hosts and see comparisons between them. It’s a great way to get an idea about the type of hosting and quality that individual web hosts are offering.
What are the limitations of shared hosting?
The main limitations with shared hosting when compared to other options such as VPS hosting or a dedicated server, are the resources that you are allocated. You’ll be much more restricted in terms of processing power on a shared server when compared to a dedicated server, where the entire server is all yours.
Shared hosting usually comes in a selection of packages, each with their own limitations on the number of websites you can host, the amount of disc space you are being allocated, and other server resources such as data transfer, database creation and email accounts.
Who is shared hosting best for?
Shared hosting is the best option for people who are looking to host a website for the first time. In most cases, you will not need huge amounts of resources or processing power. A basic shared hosting package with a few GB of disc space and bandwidth will be more than enough for most people.
If you are planning on hosting more than one website, then you’ll need to go for the shared hosting package that offers additional add-on domains, or one that allows you an unlimited amount. You’ll also need more disc space if running multiple websites. Usually the second or third options for shared hosting packages will be what you are looking for,
Be aware that different hosts have different limitations between their shared hosting packages. You might find similar shared hosting packages being offered by different hosts at roughly the same price, but one host may have a limit on your disc space and data transfer, while the other may offer you unlimited usage.
It’s important to compare potential web hosts and see which one is offering the best shared hosting packages at the best prices.
Flexible hosting plans
You’ll also want to check with the host that in the event that you need to upgrade your account, due to your website taking off and attracting a lot more traffic or maybe you are simply adding more websites to the account, that the upgrade process to be as quick and easy as possible, without causing any problems with your existing websites.
Most hosts can offer quick and easy upgrades, but some might require you to upload all of your websites again to the new account, which is possible if you are being moved to a different server.
In reality, the host should be taking care of these things for you, but if not, then it’s not a web host that you should be signing up with. This is where doing your due diligence before signing up with a host comes into play.
What should you be paying?
Most web hosts will usually price their shared hosting accounts at around the same mark. You should be looking at paying around $10 a month for a basic package, rising up to maybe $15-20 depending on the package size and the features and functions being made available.
One thing to be aware of are the prices that you will see on the websites of most hosts. You’ll usually see the classic pricing table with the price per month and all the features each account has listed underneath. The price you see though is usually always the lowest possible price that account will cost you.
This price will be the monthly price if you sign up for a multi-year contract. If you want to pay on a month by month basis, then the price will usually be a good few dollars more than the one you see on the site.
Some final thoughts
Shared hosting is a practical and helpful option for those who are looking at web hosting for the first time. It’s the best way to test the waters and get to grips with what is involved with hosting a website.
Before signing up to the first host you come across, it’s a good idea to spend a little time researching possible hosts, and comparing their packages and pricing.