What is Shared Web Hosting?

Best Shared Web Hosting Plans

What is shared web hosting? In a nutshell, shared web hosting is a service that lets you host your websites on a web server with a whole bunch of other web sites. Your web site shares the web server's hardware and software. As long as your web site doesn't need all of the server's resources, this is the cheapest option for you because you are sharing the costs with many other people. The shared web hosting article on Wikipedia says: "Each site "sits" on its own partition, or section/place on the server to keep it separate from other sites. This is generally the most economical option for hosting as many people share the overall cost of server maintenance."

What are the benefits of shared web hosting? Shared hosting allows you to serve many websites using the same server. You don't need to buy several hosting packages just to host multiple web sites so it makes hosting web sites very cheap. Shared web hosting also makes it really easy for you to administer your web sites. The hosting company handles all of the complicated configuration, set-up, and maintenance. You just have to use their simple control panel to add domains, set up email accounts, review server logs, upload files, and install scripts. Popular control panel software include cPanel, DirectAdmin, Plesk, Helm, H-Sphere, vDeck, and Virtuozzo Power Panel.

What are the disadvantages of shared web hosting? The disadvantages of shared web hosting include:

  • It is slower and less reliable. If one web site takes up all the bandwidth or causes the server to malfunction, then all the other web sites suffer.
  • Dedicated SSL Support is rare. Though you can sometimes purchase a unique IP address to use on a shared web server, you normally won't be able to use your own SSL Certificate because SSL certificates require a unique IP address for compatibility.
  • Security. If there is one user on the web server that installs an insecure script, it could enable a hacker to bring down all of the other sites on the web server. A properly secured server makes this less likely but it is still a possibility.

Most shared web hosting servers use Linux but many Windows shared hosting servers are now available. Most web sites on shared web hosting use a shared IP address but you can sometimes purchase a unique IP address. Shared web hosting is accomplished by using either name-based or IP-based mapping. Using name-based mapping, each web site uses the same IP address and the server only knows which web site to use by looking at the hostname that is included in the HTTP header. IP-based mapping can just use the IP address to determine which web site to server up. IP-based mapping is required for using a dedicated SSL certificate.

To better understand the question shared web hosting you should read more about other types of web hosting like dedicated hosting and VPS hosting.

Best Shared Web Hosting Plans

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